Friday, October 30, 2009
WASHINGTON (October 29, 2009) -- Regarding the health care bill unveiled today by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.), a spokesman for the nation's largest pro-life organization said, "A vote for this bill is a vote to establish a federal government program that will directly fund abortion on demand, with federal funds."
Read the rest. Also, see the bill's dangerous rationing provisions.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
As Birkey notes, we quote FactCheck.org: "Despite what Obama said, the House bill would allow abortions to be covered by a federal plan and by federally subsidized private plans." But Birkey rejects our conclusion that abortions would be subsidized by the federal government, also citing FactCheck.org, which claims that "language [was] added to the House bill that technically forbids using public funds to pay for [abortions]."
Here FactCheck.org is actually mistaken -- the funds used for abortion would be "public" in any sense -- and we explain why in MCCL News ("Abortion not part of health care 'reform'? Don't believe it," page 4):
National Right to Life has issued a detailed memorandum demonstrating that all of the funds spent on elective abortions would be "federal funds" and "public funds" as those terms are defined in law and as they are used throughout the government. Under the House bill's (H.R. 3200) Capps Amendment, abortion providers would send their bills to the federal Department of Health and Human Services and receive payment checks drawn on a federal Treasury account. This would be direct federal government funding of elective abortion.That public, not private, funds would be used for abortions under the bill was also confirmed by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.
Birkey also denies that government rationing of health care would occur based on age, disablity or "quality of life" considerations. But as Burke Balch, director of the Powell Center for Medical Ethics, explains: "The current sources of funds being considered to pay for health care restructuring are so inadequate in the long term that rationing will be compelled."
And as we point out on page 3 of MCCL News, the mechanisms for rationing based on age or disability are present in the different bills. See more here and here.
Birkey rejects our statement that "a substantial part of the cost under the proposals would be paid for by 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' − reducing Medicare funding for older people in order to cover the uninsured."
But here's what FactCheck.org says: "It's true that the president and the Democratic health care bills in Congress propose to pay for part of the costs by holding down the future growth of Medicare by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade, though Democrats now prefer to call them 'savings' rather than 'cuts.' "
The latest on the House health care "reform" legislation, from NRLC:
WASHINGTON (UPDATED October 29, 2009) -- Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Ca.) is planning to try to ram the massive health care bill (H.R. 3962, previously H.R. 3200) through the U.S. House of Representatives on short notice, on November 5 or 6, without allowing consideration of a critical pro-life amendment. National Right to Life is urging every pro-life citizen to immediately TELEPHONE the office of his or her representative in the U.S. House of Representatives with a clear and firm message urging a NO vote on the no-amendment procedure (which is called "the rule") on H.R. 3962.
Pelosi's plan is to demand that the House pass the bill under a "closed rule," which is a procedure that would not allow any amendments to H.R. 3962 to be considered. In particular, Pelosi is determined to prevent a vote on a pro-life amendment proposed by Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Mi.) (pronounced STEW-pak) and Congressman Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), which would prevent subsidies for abortion under two big new federal programs created by the bill. As the Associated Press reported on October 23, "Such an amendment would be almost certain to prevail, since it likely would attract the votes of most Republicans as well as some Democrats. So Democratic leaders won't let Stupak offer it."
Even if you have already called and written your federal representatives about the health care bills, it is critical that you call again now. Pelosi's party currently controls the House by a margin of 256-177 -- but if as few as 40 Democrats are persuaded to vote with Congressman Stupak in opposition to the "closed rule," it would be impossible for Pelosi to ram the abortion-funding H.R. 3962 through the House. Time is short.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
What is an unwanted baby? Is it like an unwanted black person? Or an unwanted immigrant? Or an unwanted woman? Or an unwanted handicapped person?
There are no "unwanted" babies, as if the adjective "unwanted" can be a natural property of that which is intrinsically valuable. There are just adults who have a disordered understanding of their obligations to the vulnerable and defenseless in our community. Reinforcing and nurturing that immaturity by describing the intrinsically valuable as "unwanted" is deeply immoral.
Bad adults blame the baby first, just as bigoted adults blame the immigrant, the minority, and the handicapped first for their own inadequacies.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Phone your U.S. House member now -- urge a NO vote on Speaker Pelosi's plan to ram the pro-abortion health care bill through the House under a 'closed rule'!
WASHINGTON (October 26, 2009) -- Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Ca.) is planning to try to ram the massive health care bill (H.R. 3200) through the U.S. House of Representatives on short notice, without allowing consideration of a critical pro-life amendment. National Right to Life is urging every pro-life citizen to immediately TELEPHONE the office of his or her representative in the U.S. House of Representatives with a clear and firm message urging a NO vote on the no-amendment procedure (which is called "the rule") on H.R. 3200.
Pelosi's plan is to demand that the House pass the bill under a "closed rule," which is a procedure that would not allow any amendments to H.R. 3200 to be considered. In particular, Pelosi is determined to prevent a vote on a pro-life amendment proposed by Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Mi.) (pronounced STEW-pak) and Congressman Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), which would prevent subsidies for abortion under two big new federal programs created by the bill. As the Associated Press reported on October 23, "Such an amendment would be almost certain to prevail, since it likely would attract the votes of most Republicans as well as some Democrats. So Democratic leaders won't let Stupak offer it."
Even if you have already called and written your federal representatives about the health care bills, it is critical that you call again now. Pelosi's party currently controls the House by a margin of 256-177 -- but if as few as 40 Democrats are persuaded to vote with Congressman Stupak in opposition to the "closed rule," it would be impossible for Pelosi to ram the abortion-funding H.R. 3200 through the House. Time is short.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
In order to register your opposition to Speaker Pelosi's strong-arm tactic, the "closed rule," that would allow passage of the pro-abortion H.R. 3200, please enter your zip code into the "Call Now" box above [click here]. You will be shown the phone number of the person who represents you in the U.S. House of Representatives, along with specific suggested "talking points" for what you should say to the staff person who answers your call.
Encourage like-minded friends and family members to also make such calls.
After you enter your zip code, review the short talking points, then make your call. After the call, you will also be given the option of sending a short "feedback" report to National Right to Life by e-mail, telling us what response you received from the congressional staff person. These feedback reports are invaluable to the National Right to Life legislative team as they work day and night against enactment of this pro-abortion legislation.
NOTE: If you wish to also fax a letter to your representative in opposition to the "rule" that would allow passage of the pro-abortion H.R. 3200, click here to reach the page that, once you enter your zip code, will lead you to detailed information about your representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, including (in most cases) his or her fax number. Faxed letters are an excellent way to register your opinion. (But do NOT rely on U.S. mail to communicate with your federal representatives, because time is too short.) This link will also give you phone numbers for your representative's in-district offices. For maximum effect, phone your message to the nearest local office as well as to the Washington, D.C., office of your representative. The same page will offer you information on how your representative has voted on the key pro-life issues that have come up in the past.
Yvonne Nyenhuis' Oct. 19 letter consists of nothing but muddled thinking and mistaken claims. I have space only to briefly address each one.
Nyenhuis implies that abortion is justified by poverty. But it is clearly wrong to kill innocent human beings because they are economically burdensome. The question at issue is not poverty, but whether the fetus or embryo is a valuable human person, like toddlers, teenagers and adults. If so, we may not kill him or her in the name of poverty any more than a father may kill his budget-busting 13-year-old daughter.
Nyenhuis says that women died from dangerous, unsanitary abortions prior to legalization in 1973. But abortion became safer for women because of modern medicine and better techniques, not because it was legalized. Dr. Mary Calderone, former medical director for Planned Parenthood, concluded in 1960 that "abortion, whether therapeutic or illegal, is in the main no longer dangerous." Legalization only made abortion much more prevalent.
Nyenhuis suggests that abortion should be available because some women become pregnant as a result of rape or incest. But less than one percent of abortions in Minnesota are for that reason, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Should we permit all the others?
Nyenhuis asks, "Who will care for [the babies who would have been aborted]?" There are over one million American families waiting to adopt. In any case, we may not brutally kill (as abortion does) innocent human beings, such as homeless orphans, if they lack parents to care for them.
Nyenhuis contends that "no men should have a vote concerning this unique and feminine dilemma." If that's so, the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion was unjust, since it was decided by nine men. In truth, one's gender has no bearing on the validity of his or her position; Nyenhuis should address the pro-life argument, not attack the sex of some with whom she disagrees.
Nyenhuis says prohibiting abortion would violate women's rights and their equality under the law. But if abortion is the unjust killing of an innocent human being, then there is no "right" to such killing, just as there is no right for a mother to kill her toddler. And legal abortion violates the equality of women who are in the prenatal stages of life.
I agree with Nyenhuis that "every baby who is born should be wanted and come into a nurturing environment." But there are two ways to achieve this goal: we can learn to love every child, or we can simply kill off all those who are not "wanted" before they are born.
Our society can and must choose the former. Thousands of pregnancy care centers across the country are showing that we can meet the needs of women and their children. Abortion is never the answer.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Unless an eleventh-hour agreement is reached, [pro-life Rep. Bart] Stupak intends to carry through on a threat he's been holding over House leaders for months: 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 [which would exclude abortion coverage] in the health overhaul bill.
Such an amendment would be almost certain to prevail, since it likely would attract the votes of most Republicans as well as some Democrats. So Democratic leaders won't let Stupak offer it.
National Right to Life's Doug Johnson says, "It is perfectly clear that Speaker Pelosi will seek to impose a 'rule' that protects the pro-abortion language in the bill, and that prevents any vote on a genuine pro-life amendment. That is what she will do."
This is disheartening. As Wesley Smith writes, "[House leaders] want abortion to be covered, I think, more than they want a health care bill to pass."
But it's not too late. Please contact the members of the House rules committee, including chair Rep. Louise Slaughter, and ask them to allow a vote on the pro-life Stupak-Pitts amendment to stop abortion funding in health care. Also contact your representative in the House and urge him or her to oppose bringing the bill to the House floor under a closed rule that would not allow a vote on the pro-life amendment.
Says Johnson: "Every member of the House needs to hear this clear message: A vote to bring this bill to the House floor under a closed rule is a vote for direct government funding of abortion, through the public plan, and also a vote for tax-based subsidies for private insurance plans that cover abortion on demand."
NRLC has much more here.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
It's available online here -- feel free to send the link to your friends and family. Or you can call the MCCL office and order paper copies for your church, family, friends, neighbors, etc.
Remember to contact your Congressional representatives daily if possible!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Urge them to vote against any health care legislation unless it is amended to explicitly exclude abortion and the rationing of care.
As currently written, the bills would significantly expand and fund abortion and ration care for the most vulnerable members of society. This would be a devastating setback for the cause of unborn children and other defenseless persons.
Every call and email to your representatives can make a difference. If possible, please call and email every day. Lives are at stake!
Go here and here, then scroll down, to email your Congressional representatives, or go here.
Friday, October 16, 2009
This is certainly not true. As MCCL has pointed out:
The legalization of abortion may not make the procedure less risky, but it does have one clear consequence: legalizing abortion increases the number of abortions. In the United States, the abortion number skyrocketed from an estimated 98,000 per year to a peak of 1.6 million following total legalization in 1973. Explains Stanley Henshaw of the Guttmacher Institute (an advocate for legalized abortion), "In most countries, it is common after abortion is legalized for abortion rates to rise sharply for several years, then stabilize, just as we have seen in the United States."Professor Michael New adds this about the Guttmacher study:
In South Africa, for example, the number of abortions rose from an estimated 1,600 in 1996, the year before abortion was legalized, to 85,621 in 2005. By contrast, when Poland finally prohibited most abortions following decades of government-funded abortion on demand, evidence suggests that the total number of abortions (legal and illegal) fell dramatically.
However, the [conclusion that pro-life legislation is ineffective] is faulty. Most of the countries where abortion is prohibited are in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. These countries have low per capita income and a higher incidence of social pathologies that may increase the perceived need for abortion. This nuance is not picked up in any of the media coverage of the AGI [Guttmacher] report.
Interestingly, AGI has also released research that demonstrates the effectiveness of pro-life laws. This summer it released a literature review showing that 20 of 24 studies found that public funding of abortion increased abortion rates. Other AGI research has demonstrated that parental-involvement laws and well-designed informed-consent laws also reduce the incidence of abortion. Unfortunately, research like that typically receives scant attention from the mainstream media.
Keith Pavlischek recounts a discussion with Wallis:
I told Wallis as bluntly as I could, that as far as I could tell his position and that of Sojourners [Wallis' organization] was indistinguishable from the old Mario Cuomo position of being "personally opposed" to abortion while wanting to keep the procedure legal. I suggested that neither he nor Sojourners could honestly be labeled pro-life because, for that term to mean anything, it has to involve advocacy for the legal protection of the unborn. Wallis was equally frank in response. He simply rejected my suggestion that the "legal protection of the unborn" had anything to do with being pro-life. Both of us left that conversation with a clear understanding that Wallis was, quite simply, pro-choice on abortion.So Jim Wallis, it seems, takes the popular "personally opposed" position: I'm personally opposed to abortion, but I shouldn't try to force my views on everyone else. So abortion should be legal.
Of course, no one says, "I'm personally opposed to blowing up innocent civilians, but if that's what you want to do, go right ahead." In reality, the reason to personally oppose abortion—that it unjustly takes the life of an innocent human being—is precisely the reason that it should not be publicly allowed.
As Greg Koukl explains:
Whenever you hear someone say, "I am personally against abortion, but I don't think you should pass any laws against it," one question should immediately be on your lips: "Tell me, why are you personally against abortion?" What you'll almost always hear is, "I'm personally against abortion because I think it kills an innocent human being, but that's my personal belief. I don't think I should force this belief on others."
Follow up with this comment: "Let me see if I understand you correctly. You actually believe that abortion takes the life of an innocent human child, but mothers should still be allowed to do that to their own children." Then pause and let the logic of his comment sink in.
When I asked this question of one person he quickly responded, "Well, when you put it that way ..."
I said, "Put it what way? That's your view, unless I've misunderstood you. Please correct me if I have. As I understand it, that's precisely what you believe."
This isn't a trick. It's not clever "spin." I merely repeated what he'd just told me. That was his view. It just didn't sound so good coming back at him.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Guttmacher president Sharon Camp says, "Legal restrictions do not stop abortion from happening, they just make the procedure dangerous. Too many women are maimed or killed each year because they lack legal abortion access."
So the law has no effect on the incidence of abortion? Here's what the Guttmacher Institute's own Stanley Henshaw has said: "In most countries, it is common after abortion is legalized for abortion rates to rise sharply for several years, then stabilize, just as we have seen in the United States."
Moreover, as a report from MCCL Global Outreach shows, poor medical care, not the prohibition of abortion, leads to high maternal mortality rates. And when abortion is legalized in an environment that lacks good maternal care, more women suffer and die as a result of abortion.
"The Guttmacher Institute refuses to address the greatest need of pregnant women: good medical care. This is the most important factor in reducing maternal mortality," says MCCL GO Executive Director Scott Fischbach.
"Even though Guttmacher admits that its abortion numbers in the developing world are based on conjecture and are therefore unreliable, it continues to stridently argue that the legalization of abortion is the answer to the problems facing poor women.
"Pregnant women need access to doctors, hospitals, medications, nutritional care, safe childbirth and other medical care in order to reduce the risks of pregnancy and childbirth. The legalization of abortion does nothing to improve women's health or welfare."
See "Does legalizing abortion protect women's health? Assessing the argument for expanded abortion access around the globe" from MCCL GO.
Monday, October 12, 2009
That's the sad irony of this award. Consider what another Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Mother Teresa, said in a speech the day after she won:
But I feel a great destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing, direct murder by the mother herself. ...
And today the greatest means, the greatest destroyer of peace is abortion. And we who are standing here—our parents wanted us. We would not be here if our parents would do that to us.
Our children, we want them, we love them. But what of the millions? Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a number die, maybe of malnutrition, of hunger and so on, but many are dying deliberately by the will of the mother. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today. Because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing in between.
Friday, October 9, 2009
How can we believe Planned Parenthood's Sarah Stoesz ("Health care facts and misinformation," Sept. 28) when she argues that the very thing her organization wants — expanded abortion coverage — is not included in President Obama's health care plan?
She defends the president's reform plan, which she claims excludes abortion coverage, and then attacks the pro-life movement for supporting that very exclusion. The only problem is that the president's health care reform would, in fact, cover abortions, according to FactCheck.org, the Associated Press and Time.
Obama himself made this promise in a speech to Planned Parenthood: "(I)n my mind, reproductive care is essential care" and would be covered by his public insurance plan (July 17, 2007). Need more proof? Three U.S. House amendments to specifically prohibit abortion funding were either voted down or not allowed a vote last summer.
Polls confirm that the majority of Americans are opposed to abortion coverage in health care reform. Americans do not consider abortion — the destruction of unborn human beings — to be health care, and they do not want to be forced to pay for elective abortions.
The pro-life movement has never been opposed to health care reform, as Stoesz claims.
In fact, the National Right to Life Committee has developed a reform proposal that would truly benefit women and all other citizens. Pro-life citizens believe that all Americans, born and unborn, are guaranteed the right to life. That right must not be decimated by any efforts to reform health care.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
GENEVA, Switzerland—MCCL Global Outreach (MCCL GO) released a new document today defending the rights of unborn children worldwide. "Celebrating the Rights of the Child" is being distributed at the 20th anniversary United Nations (U.N.) celebration of the Rights of the Child taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, with the hope of directing attention to the rights of the unborn child.
"As delegates and child’s rights advocates gather in Geneva to celebrate the progress that has been made, MCCL GO is here to remind them of the clear precedent set to defend the rights of every child—born and unborn," said MCCL GO Executive Director Scott Fischbach, who is in Geneva this week. "MCCL GO is urging U.N. delegates to protect the rights of unborn children and to reject abortion as a gross violation of the child’s right to life."
Read the rest.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Says NRLC's Doug Johnson: "The proposed new pro-abortion programs are badly out of sync with public opinion, which is why Congressional Democratic leaders and President Obama are trying to smuggle them into law behind smokescreens of contrived language and outright misrepresentations."
Dr. Michael New, who studies abortion trends, says this about the new poll:
Many pundits state that this increase in pro-life sentiment is due to the fact that we now have a president who supports legal abortion. There is probably some truth to this. President Obama has certainly galavanized opponents of abortion. His actions — coupled with the negative publicity generated by pro-life groups — has probably led some people with conflicting views on the issue to self-identify as pro-life.Being able to persuasively articulate your view and refute objections really does make a difference, especially when you have the platform President Obama does. Fortunately, he's not very good at it.
However, an overlooked reason for this shift in public opinion is because the most visible pro-choice elected official in America is really not a very articulate proponent of abortion rights. When asked about sanctity-of-life issues, President Obama almost never defends legal abortion. Instead, President Obama seems a little dodgy and somewhat evasive. He often mentions the need to find common ground and expresses an interest in trying to reduce the abortion rate. Now on the policy side, he has done nothing to offer much encouragement to pro-lifers. However, President Obama's unwillingness to make a solid case for legal abortion is likely weakening pro-choice sentiment.
GENEVA, Switzerland—The 20th Anniversary celebration of the Rights of the Child is taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, later this week and MCCL Global Outreach (MCCL GO) is a participant, hoping to direct attention to the rights of the unborn child.
The document being celebrated is the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, General Assembly Resolution 44, which is a comprehensive document to advance the cause and protection of all children throughout the world.
The document quotes the 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which says in part: "The child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth."
Read the rest.