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Friday, October 30, 2009

Govt.-run health care bill a radical revamp of U.S. policy, would fund abortions from U.S. Treasury


The government-run healthcare feature of the "reform" bill (HR 3962) introduced yesterday by U.S. Speaker of the House, abortion advocate Nancy Pelosi, would radically transform longstanding U.S. policy by opening the floodgates to government payment for abortions. As usual, my friend Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee hits the nail on the head in his summary of the bill:
The bill explicitly authorizes the "public health insurance option" to pay for all elective abortions. The "public health insurance option" or "public plan" would be a health insurance program operated directly by the federal government, through the Department of Health and Human Services.

The public plan will be a federal agency program, and all funds spent by the agency are federal funds. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), in an October 9 memo obtained by NRLC, confirmed that all funds spent by the bill's public plan will be federal funds. Prominent Democrats who have claimed that the federal government could pay for abortion with 'private' funds have been engaged in a big snow job -- and in swallowing such a contrived, implausible claim, many journalists have been all too gullible.
Doug also highlights a huge battle coming up over an amendment by pro-life Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich. 1):
[The Stupak] amendment would prohibit the federal government plan from paying for abortion (except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest). But Speaker Pelosi intends to try to force the House to pass the 1990-page bill under a "closed rule" (a procedure that allows no amendments to be considered), reportedly because she fears that the House would adopt the Stupak Amendment if a vote were allowed.

Pro-life groups are urging House members to vote against imposition of the closed rule. The showdown could occur on the House floor as soon as November 5 or 6.

Anyone voting to forbid amendments to this bill is in effect voting to set up a federal government program that will directly fund abortion on demand, with federal funds.

The bill also has a second objectionable provision relating to abortion -- it would allow federal subsidies to help pay for the cost of private health plans that cover elective abortion, a departure from longstanding federal policy. Stupak's amendment would correct this problem, as well.
Another pro-life source in Congress quickly analyzed the bill and reported:
H.R. 3962 replicates the Capps amendment, passed in the Energy and Commerce Committee. Therefore, it remains true that the bill clearly does not incorporate the Hyde amendment. Instead it accomplishes the opposite of the Hyde amendment. While Hyde prohibits funding for abortion through government programs, the newly created public option will be authorized to pay for abortions. Similarly, while the Hyde amendment prohibits funding for coverage that includes abortion, H.R. 3962 establishes an accounting gimmick to justify subsidizing private plans that cover abortion.
Congress will be deciding the fate of this bill next week. Let your voice be heard. Contact your legislator today. Tell your legislator to keep the government from funding abortions by:
  1. Voting NO on the “closed rule” (the rule that abortion proponents want to prevent pro-life amendments).
  2. Voting YES on the Stupak-Pitts amendment to ban government funding of abortions.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Contact your Representative today: vote NO to stop government-funded abortions


Just moments ago, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi revealed the federal healthcare “reform” bill that pro-abortion legislators have been working on behind closed doors.
In just a few days, the Speaker wants Congress to vote on the bill.
So our time to act and speak out to our legislators is very, very short. We must do so today.
No one in this short time can analyze the many details of this bill, but one thing is sure:
This legislation would radically change U.S. policy by having the government subsidize abortion on demand.
So our message to Congress is quite simple:
Keep our government from paying for abortions in any way.
When you tell your legislators this simple message, you may get excuses in response. Don’t buy the excuses:
  • The “Capps Amendment” is a phony scheme written by a pro-abortion legislator to set up accounting screens to mask federal subsidy of abortion. The bottom line after the smoke clears is that an abortionist would get a check from the U.S. Treasury to pay him for the abortion he performed.
  • The “Hyde Amendment” is a good law barring certain government funding (HHS appropriations) of certain abortions, but it does not apply to funding from this new healthcare legislation. It also has to be approved again and again each year, and pro-abortion legislators are aiming to vote it down. That would open the floodgates for government funding of abortion on demand.
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich. 1) is leading about 40 pro-life colleagues from his party, along with Republican Representatives, in demanding an amendment to bar government funding of abortions.
The Stupak-Pitts amendment would—unlike the phony “compromises” by abortion proponents—clearly and explicitly bar government funding of abortions. The Stupak-Pitts amendment would parallel the good Hyde amendment.
So far, the Speaker and other pro-abortion leaders have refused to give this group a chance to vote. This battle is now coming to a head.
The pro-abortion Speaker doesn’t want that to happen. In a few days, the Speaker will try to get Representatives to vote to disallow any amendments to the healthcare legislation. That’s called a “closed rule” and it prohibits any amendments.
So when you tell your legislators to keep the government from funding abortions, tell them to vote NO on the closed rule. Tell them the Stupak-Pitts amendment deserves a YES vote to keep the government from funding abortions.
What you can do:

Contact the office of your U.S. Representative today:
http://www.capwiz.com/nrlc/dbq/officials/
Tell your legislator to keep the government from funding abortions by:
1. Voting NO on the “closed rule” (the rule that abortion proponents want to prevent pro-life amendments).
2. Voting YES on the Stupak-Pitts amendment to ban government funding of abortions.
This is not just politics. Little lives hang in the balance.
Thank you for speaking out.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Silent no more

Today's poll release by The Polling Company / Woman Trend shows massive opposition among American women to government funding of abortion.
Yet abortion advocates in Congress continue to aggressively push for government subsidy of abortion. What would drive a politician to so blatantly oppose public opinion that she would continue to push for such an unpopular idea as government-funded abortion?
Part of the answer, to be sure, lies in the campaign contributions received from extremely well funded abortion advocacy groups. Planned Parenthood rakes in about a billion (yes, that's billion with a "B") dollars a year--including hundreds of millions in government grants--and heavily supports pro-abortion candidates.
But I suspect the motivation goes even deeper, to a deep-seated ideological and emotional conviction that abortion somehow empowers women. 
Of course, that's a disillusioning ideology for the many women who at one time bought the lie and now regret their abortion, Listen to their testimonies
Such ideological myths only have power over people until the falsehood is exposed. You can help break that deceptive power by speaking out. If you are a woman or a man with a personal story to tell about abortion, consider sharing it at the Silent No More personal testmony site. If you are a patient or a medical  professional with a personal story to tell about your conscientious objection to abortion, enter your story now on our Freedom2Care site.
By reaching out to individuals with compassion and personal testimonies and also by speaking out in the public square and the halls of power, you and I can make a difference. With the consequences for women so great, and so many young lives at stake, we cannot afford silence.


"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?" --Esther 4:14

Women don't want abortion in health care: Poll


My friend Kellyanne Conway at The Polling Company, Inc. / Woman Trend today released the results of her company's poll of women regarding healthcare reform. One poll question asked:
“Some have suggested that as part of healthcare reform, the law should be changed so that the federal government pays for abortions for women who have government-funded health insurance.  Generally speaking, do you support or oppose using tax dollars to pay for women obtaining abortions in cases other than rape or incest?”
Here's Kellyanne's take on the result:
Opposition outweighed support 67%-27%. As to intensity: 58% of women strongly rejected funding abortions using tax dollars.  Majorities of women of all ages, races, marital and parental statuses, incomes, educational attainments and regions formed a consensus and said it is inappropriate to tap government coffers for funding abortions.  
Perhaps what was most notable to us was the fact that even a majority of Democrats (55%) also opposed (as did an unsurprising 66% of Independents and 84% of Republicans).  And, a majority (53%) of women who pulled the lever for Obama about a year ago rejected the proposition.  
Conservative Democrats – a very important demographic in this healthcare debate – opposed at an even higher rate than moderates overall (76% vs. 63%). 

Meanwhile, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich. 1) continues to round up pro-life Democrat votes to block abortion funding in the House health care legislation. Today's poll gives him some powerful ammunition in that fight.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pro-Life Dems rightly balk at abortion in healthcare bill

Two dozen House Democrats, led by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), are showing backbone by throwing down the gauntlet over abortion government funding in healthcare legislation. Instead of lining up lockstep behind the pro-abortion House leader, reports the Associated Press in a news story today, Stupak and his pro-life colleagues are gearing up to "block action on the larger health overhaul bill unless he's allowed to offer a stand-alone amendment during floor debate to include the Hyde amendment restrictions in the health overhaul bill."
Why all the fuss about the Hyde amendment? After all, the President insists that the healthcare legislation won't allow government funding of abortion, and his White House spokesman has reiterated that claim, hiding behind the Hyde amendment as proof.
My friend Douglas Johnson and the National Right to Life Committee lay out the reasons in a letter to Congress:
H.R. 3200 would create (1) a nationwide insurance program run directly by the federal government, “the public plan,” and (2) an “affordability credit” program that would subsidize health insurance for tens of millions of Americans.  None of the funds that would be spent by the public plan, and none of the funds that would be spent by the premium subsidy program, would be appropriated through the annual appropriations bills (as the Congressional Research Service has confirmed), and therefore, none of these funds will be covered by the Hyde Amendment or any other current law that restricts government subsidies for abortion.  The new government programs created by H.R. 3200 will cover elective abortion, unless the Stupak-Pitts Amendment is added to the bill to prevent this outcome. 
Stupak and his colleagues have seen through the tricky language in this bill that attempts to obfuscate government abortion subsidies through accounting screens. The bottom line is that unless Hyde amendment language is voted into the bill through an amendment, an abortionist will suddenly be able to bill the federal government for an abortion and get a government check drawn from the U.S. Treasury.
That's a radical departure from U.S. policy regarding public funding of abortion, and that's worth speaking out about. Tell your Congressional leaders you won't stand for it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Call your senator today on healthcare legislation

Several pro-life organizations have compiled lists of senators believed to be open to persuasion to vote against current healthcare legislation before the Senate that threatens pro-life principles. Some of these senators may not be pro-life but have concerns about the financial impact.
All senators should understand that any threat to pro-life healthcare professionals is ultimately a threat to millions of patients who depend on these professionals for care. (Visit Freedom2Care to learn more.)
Two examples of pro-life lists--a map and a list of senators identified by a number of pro-life groups--are provided below.
Now is the time to contact your senators and tell them to vote against any healthcare bill that:
  1. Involves the government in funding and mandating abortion.
  2. Threatens conscience protections.
  3. Increases government interference in the physician-patient relationship.

Senator Call List

  1. Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) - 202-224-5623
  2. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) - 202-224-3004
  3. Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) - 202-224-5824
  4. Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas) - 202-224-2353
  5. Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut) - 202-224-4041
  6. Jon Tester (D-Montana) - 202-224-2644
  7. Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) - 202-224-4843
  8. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) - 202-224-5852
  9. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) - 202-224-2023
  10. Jim Webb (D-Virginia) - 202-224-4024
  11. Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) - 202-224-6551 

    For any other senators, see http://www.senate.gov/. 

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    Evasive lawmaking

    Addressing the realization that any supposed benefits from healthcare overhaul legislation would take three years to materialize, the White House cautions, "It's very important to get the execution right.” Yet the same political party that promised transparency and now calls for patience from patients is balking at requests for healthcare bills to be posted online at least three days before legislators vote on it.
    Wouldn’t “getting the execution right” begin with reading the bill to make sure the plan for the execution is right?
    The healthcare “reform” process has been marked by complication (a thousand-page bill creating a massive network of new government bureaucracy), obfuscation (accounting schemes to hide federal funding of abortion), and hypocrisy (promising conscience protections while voting down conscience-protecting amendments).
    Meaningful healthcare reform may well hinge on first reforming the equivocating conduct of Congress and evasive lawmaking.

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Why healthcare access hinges on civil liberties

    In a recent opinion piece in the Washington Post, Louisiana Republican governor Bobby Jindal focuses exclusively on financial solutions such as refundable tax credits and litigation reform. In actual practice, however, civil liberties protections may offer the greatest health benefit to the poor.
    Each year in the U.S., Catholic hospitals care for one in six patients, and one in eight hospitals affiliates with the Catholic Church. With a sizeable network of Protestant hospitals and thousands of faith-based clinics also serving the poor, millions of Americans—especially in medically underserved areas--depend on faith-based healthcare.
    In a recent national survey, 95 percent of faith-based physicians said they would “rather stop practicing medicine altogether than be forced to violate my conscience."
    While Congressional committees deep-six conscience rights amendments and the President trashes the federal conscience-protecting regulation, healthcare for the poor may well be riding on the civil liberties of the faith-based professionals and institutions who serve them.