Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Senate bill provisions threaten rationing

In addition to funding abortion, the Senate health care "reform" bill has numerous rationing-related provisions. A new National Right to Life analysis concludes:

  • Senior citizens' ability to use their own money, if they choose, to avoid involuntary denial of medical treatment under Medicare could be severely limited.
  • State commissioners of the new health insurance exchanges created by the bill would be given power to deny people who are trying to obtain policies in the exchange the option of choosing health plans less likely to deny treatment, by limiting what they would be allowed to pay for such policies.
  • In response to public reaction over the summer denouncing efforts to encourage patients to agree to reject treatment as a way of saving costs, the Senate avoided including the "advance care planning" provisions still in the House bill. Instead, it has sought to achieve a similar result under a different name, Under the title "Shared Decisionmaking," the bill funds and promotes "patient decision aids" to "help" patients make treatment decisions.
  • A Medicare Advisory Board is established to force Medicare payments below the rate of medical inflation.

Since its inception, the pro-life movement has been as concerned with protecting the lives of older people and people with disabilities from euthanasia, including the involuntary denial of treatment, food, and fluids necessary to prevent death, as it has been dedicated to protecting unborn children from abortion. Sen. Reid's bill contains multiple provisions that threaten these lives.

The Reid Bill contains important elements that would greatly impact the ability of patients to receive unrationed medical care. These elements, combined with inadequate funding -- a scheme of "robbing Peter to pay Paul" under which half of the funding comes from cuts in Medicare spending -- would result in rationing life-saving treatment for senior citizens.

Read the full analysis.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Answering pro-choice arguments -- the real issue

Most pro-choice rhetoric assumes the very point it must demonstrate: that the unborn entity killed by abortion is not a valuable human person. This is a logical fallacy called begging the question.

Consider whether a justification for killing the unborn also works to justify killing or harming other human beings. If not, it begs the question by presupposing a lesser status for the unborn.

"Women should have the right to choose," abortion defenders say. But women should not have the "right to choose" to drown their 10-year-old children. The question at hand is whether the unborn, like a 10-year-old child, deserves full moral respect and ought not be killed for the convenience or benefit of others.

"Abortion is a private matter between a woman and her doctor," some claim. But we do not permit spousal abuse on the grounds that it is a private matter between a husband and his drinking buddies. "Women should be able to control their own bodies," it is often said. But this assumes only one body is involved -- that the unborn does not count as another person.

The real issue is not choice, privacy or bodily autonomy, but the moral status of the unborn. Is he or she a rights-bearing human being, as pro-lifers argue? If so, killing him or her by abortion, like killing a toddler for the same reasons, is a serious moral wrong.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Senate bill moves forward; fight to exclude abortion funding will continue

National Right to Life to Obama and Reid: You wanted debate? Now you'll get debate -- on government-funded abortion

WASHINGTON (November 21, 2009) -- The U.S. Senate tonight barely cleared an initial 60-vote procedural hurdle, setting the stage for a 2,074-page health care bill, crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.), to move forward to debate before the full Senate. The following statement was issued by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of right-to-life organizations in all 50 states, and may be attributed to NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson.

As National Right to Life has previously noted, Senator Reid's bill [on page 118] would authorize the federal government to pay for any and all abortions through a huge new federal health insurance program, the "public option," and also to subsidize purchase of private plans that cover abortion on demand. President Obama and Reid know that the substance of these abortion-promoting policies is deeply unpopular, so they seek to conceal the reality with layers of contorted definitions and money-laundering schemes.

Obama and Reid wanted debate -- so now they'll get debate, on their cloaked provisions that would cover abortion on demand in proposed new government-run and government-subsidized insurance plans.

Obama and Reid are seeking to block enactment of the bipartisan Stupak-Pitts compromise, adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives on November 7 by a vote of 240-194. This amendment would prevent government funding of elective abortion through the proposed "public option," and would also prevent federal subsidies from paying for private insurance plans that cover elective abortion.

During the weeks ahead, National Right to Life will continue to fight the efforts of President Obama and congressional Democratic leaders to cover abortion on demand in two huge new federal health programs. The Senate bill faces additional 60-vote hurdles in the future. Moreover, a courageous group of pro-life Democrats in the House of Representatives will oppose final approval of health care legislation if the Stupak-Pitts Amendment is gutted or removed.

For extensive further documentation on the Stupak-Pitts Amendment and other aspects of the issue, visit the NRLC website at

Friday, November 20, 2009

Take action now to oppose Reid abortion bill

Tomorrow, Nov. 21, the U.S. Senate will have its first key vote (whether to begin debate) on the health care "reform" bill unveiled earlier this week by Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The Reid bill establishes a big new federal health insurance program, the public option (although now referred to in Reid's bill as the "community health insurance option"). The bill authorizes (on page 118) the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services to require coverage of any and all abortions throughout the public option program. This would be federal government funding of abortion, no matter how hard they try to disguise it.

In addition, the bill creates new tax-supported subsidies to purchase private health plans that will cover abortion on demand.

Contact your Senators here (scroll down) and urge opposition to the bill unless Stupak-Pitts language is added to exclude abortion funding, as it was to the House bill.

Adult stem cells are saving lives today

A new Web site -- -- tells the stories of patients who are benefiting from ethically-derived adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cell research, which requires the killing of human beings in the embryonic stage of their development, has yet to produce any benefits for human patients.

The site contains videos like this one:

Senate health care bill: Abortion funded, disguised by 'hollow bookkeeping requirements'

National Right to Life Committee Rejects Reid Abortion Funding Language as 'Completely Unacceptable,' Calls for Enactment of Stupak-Pitts Amendment

WASHINGTON (November 18, 2009) -- The following statement was issued by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of right-to-life organizations in all 50 states, and may be attributed to NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.) has rejected the bipartisan Stupak-Pitts Amendment and has substituted completely unacceptable language that would result in coverage of abortion on demand in two big new federal government programs.

Reid seeks to cover elective abortions in two big new federal health programs, but tries to conceal that unpopular reality with layers of contrived definitions and hollow bookkeeping requirements.

Rep. Lois Capps (D-Ca.), who has a 100% pro-abortion voting record, said in a press release following release of the Reid language: "It appears that their approach closely mirrors my language which was originally included in the House bill." The Capps language referred to was opposed by NRLC and other pro-life organizations and was deleted by the House by a vote of 240-194 on November 7, as 64 Democrats (one fourth of all House Democrats), along with 176 Republicans, voted to replace it with the Stupak-Pitts Amendment.

The Stupak-Pitts Amendment would prevent federal subsidies for abortion by applying the principles of longstanding federal laws such as the Hyde Amendment to the new programs created by the health care legislation. Those principles prohibit both direct funding of abortion procedures, and subsidies for plans that cover elective abortions, in existing federal programs such as Medicaid, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, and the military.

Regrettably but predictably, Reid rejected the bipartisan Stupak-Pitts language. Instead, Reid has sought to please the militant minority that demands funding of abortion through federal programs, even though substantial majorities of Americans believe that abortion should be excluded from government-funded and government-sponsored health programs.

The Reid bill establishes a big new federal health insurance program, the public option (although now referred to in Reid's bill as the "community health insurance option"). The bill authorizes (on page 118) the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services to require coverage of any and all abortions throughout the public option program. This would be federal government funding of abortion, no matter how hard they try to disguise it.

In addition, the bill creates new tax-supported subsidies to purchase private health plans that will cover abortion on demand.

National Right to Life will continue to fight for the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, and to oppose the stubborn attempts of congressional Democratic leaders to establish new federal government programs that will fund coverage of elective abortions.

For extensive further documentation on the Stupak-Pitts Amendment and other aspects of the issue, visit the NRLC website at

To go to the Abortion in Health Care index, click here.
To go to the NRLC Home page, click here.
To go to the NRLC Legislative Action Center, click here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Maximize your pro-life efforts!

Remember to help us out today, Nov. 17.

We need your help -- Give to the Max, today only!

Dear Pro-life Friend,

Today, Tuesday, Nov. 17, is Give to the Max Day! For the next 24 hours, Minnesotans will come together to show the power of online giving through a new online resource,

You can take part in this unique giving opportunity with a contribution to the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Education Fund. From 8:00 a.m. on Nov. 17, 2009, until 8:00 a.m. on Nov. 18, 2009, all gifts given to the MCCL Education Fund through will receive a portion of the $500,000 matching gift offered by several local foundations for this event. (To ensure all donations receive a portion of the matching funds, the exact amount matched per dollar donated will be determined after Give to the Max Day concludes.) partners are also paying the transaction costs for gifts made to Minnesota nonprofits on Give to the Max Day, so 100 percent of your gift will go directly to our lifesaving programs!

To further our pro-life work and increase the impact of your donation, Give to the Max! Visit RIGHT NOW and make your lifesaving contribution. Again, to be eligible for the matching grant your contribution must be made within the next 24 hours.

I hope you will take advantage of this matching grant—I know I will be making my own $100 tax-deductible contribution, and I hope that you will do the same. I know MCCL's efforts can save lives, but we need your help to make it happen. Join us!


Scott Fischbach
Executive Director

Monday, November 16, 2009

Human value: three possibilities

Princeton professor Robert P. George writes:
There are three positions that can be defended without quickly falling into logical inconsistency. The first is that human beings are in no morally relevant way different from other creatures and therefore have no special dignity. The second is that human beings have an inherent and equal dignity; each and every human being possesses it simply by virtue of his or her humanity. The third is that some, but not all, human beings have dignity; those who have it possess it by virtue of some quality or set of qualities that they happen to possess that other human beings do not possess (or do not yet possess, or no longer possess).

Anyone who believes that stepping on an ant is not a grave moral wrong but murdering your grandmother to prevent her spending down your inheritance is one, has already rejected the first position. Anyone who accepts the third position will, in fairly short order, find himself driven by the force of logical argumentation into the positions infamously defended by Peter Singer. Assuming one doesn't want to embrace Singerism [e.g., infanticide], that leaves the second position.
Given the established facts of embryology (that a distinct, living and whole human organism exists beginning at conception), the second position George notes above -- the equal dignity of all human beings -- entails the moral impermissibility of killing human embryos and fetuses by abortion or embryo-destructive research.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

House adopts pro-life amendment to health care bill

National Right to Life Says House Abortion Vote 'Disrupts the Obama Administration's Pro-Abortion Smuggling Operation,' But Further Battles Ahead

WASHINGTON (November 7, 2009) -- The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of right-to-life organizations in the 50 states, issued the following statement regarding today's actions in the House of Representatives on the health care restructuring legislation, H.R. 3962.

The House adopted the NRLC-backed Stupak-Pitts Amendment, 240-194. The Stupak-Pitts Amendment removed two major pro-abortion components from H.R. 3962. Specifically: (1) the amendment would permanently prohibit the new federal government insurance program, the "public option," from paying for abortion, except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest; and (2) the amendment would permanently prohibit the use of the new federal premium subsidies ("affordability credits") to purchase private insurance plans that cover abortion (except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest). The amendment was sponsored by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mi.) and Joe Pitts (R-Pa.). It was supported by 176 Republicans and 64 Democrats. It was opposed by 194 Democrats. One Republican withheld his support by voting "present."

NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson said: "The Obama White House and top congressional Democratic leaders spent months concealing and misrepresenting provisions that would directly fund abortions through a government plan, and subsidize premiums for private abortion plans. Today's bipartisan House vote is a sharp blow to the White House's pro-abortion smuggling operation. But we know that the White House and pro-abortion congressional Democratic leaders will keep trying to enact government funding of abortion, and will keep trying to conceal their true intentions, so there is a long battle ahead."

The Associated Press reported, "Abortion rights advocates called the measure the biggest setback to women's reproductive rights in decades."

In addition to working hard to remove abortion subsidies from the bill, NRLC has sought to educate lawmakers and the public about components of H.R. 3962 that could result in rationing or discriminatory denial of lifesaving medical care. A letter sent by NRLC to the House late today, summarizing objectionable elements of the amended bill, is posted here. The letter states: "We will continue to work to correct provisions that we find objectionable in this area, both in the health care legislation that will come before the Senate, and in any conference committee on health care legislation. We reserve the right to score the roll call vote on the conference report, or on any Senate-passed bill, if these concerns are not adequately resolved."

An archive of NRLC letters to Congress and other documents regarding the abortion-related components of the legislation are posted here.

House will vote on pro-life amendment TODAY

House leaders have agreed to allow a vote on the pro-life Stupak-Pitts Amendment to the health care reform bill, H.R. 3962. The amendment would prevent government funding of abortion by prohibiting coverage of elective abortion in two big new federal programs created by the bill -- the new federal health insurance plan ("public option") and the premium-subsidy program ("affordability credits").

The vote should take place later today (Saturday, Nov. 7), with a vote on the bill itself possibly tonight. Contact your representative in the House NOW and urge him or her to support the Stupak-Pitts Amendment! Even if you have already contacted your representative about health care reform, you must do so again!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Planned Parenthood official becomes pro-life

The following MCCL news release was issued on Nov. 3, 2009.

MCCL urges pro-choice community to reconsider reality of abortion

MINNEAPOLIS — Following the dramatic change of heart by Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) called upon members of the state's pro-choice community and abortion providers themselves to take a fresh look at the reality of abortion.

"MCCL applauds Ms. Johnson's honesty and integrity in admitting that abortion is wrong," said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "Once she set aside all of the rhetoric and abstractions, she recognized that abortion unjustly ends the lives of innocent unborn children."

Johnson has worked at the Planned Parenthood facility in Bryan, Texas, for the past eight years. She has been the center’s director for the last two years, but she left last month after viewing an ultrasound of an abortion.

"A flash hit me and I thought, that's it. … I can't do this anymore," Johnson said in an interview yesterday. She now volunteers with a local organization working to educate women about abortion and alternatives.

Such "conversions" to a pro-life viewpoint are not uncommon. In fact, one of the strongest advocates for legalized abortion prior to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy, was Dr. Bernard Nathanson. An abortionist himself and a founder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL), he was director of New York’s largest abortion center. Nathanson ended the lives of 75,000 unborn children before his change of heart. The development of ultrasound technology in the 1970s led him to the conviction that abortion wrongly ends a human life. He has produced two documentary films on abortion: "The Silent Scream" and "Eclipse of Reason."

More than 90 percent of pregnant women considering abortion decide against the procedure once they have viewed an ultrasound of their unborn child. Revealing the mysteries of human life in the womb, ultrasound has become a powerful tool to correct misunderstandings regarding fetal development and the humanity of the unborn child.

"Just as it is crucial that every pregnant woman know that her unborn child is a living human being worthy of protection, it is equally important for citizens and abortionists to reconsider the reality of abortion," Fischbach said. "MCCL strongly urges people to set aside their preconceived ideas and take a fresh look with open eyes and open hearts."

Videos and DVDs are available on the Internet that show actual abortion procedures. MCCL's lending library includes videos and DVDs showing fetal development via ultrasound.

MCCL is Minnesota's oldest and largest pro-life organization. For more information about MCCL, visit