Friday, January 22, 2016

MCCL March for Life draws thousands, calls for dismemberment abortion ban

The following news release was issued on Jan. 22, 2016.

ST. PAUL — An enormous crowd of Minnesotans came to the State Capitol today to urge lawmakers to ban dismemberment abortions. Pro-life citizens also called on legislators to protect the safety of women by licensing abortion centers, and to ban taxpayer funded abortion. The annual Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) March for Life commemorates the millions of lives lost to abortion.

The 42nd annual MCCL March for Life marks the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Jan. 22, 1973, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions that have resulted in the deaths of more than 600,000 unborn Minnesota children (Minnesota Department of Health), and more than 58 million unborn babies nationwide.

"Every abortion kills an unborn child, but dismemberment abortions are some of the cruelest abortions of all and it's time to ban them," MCCL Executive Committee member Jaclynn Miller told the huge crowd of citizens gathered from across Minnesota. "In 2014 there were more than 700 dismemberment abortions in the state and it has to end!"

MCCL's 2016 legislative agenda seeks the licensing and inspection of abortion facilities (H.F. 606/S.F. 616), which currently are exempt from licensing and inspection required of other outpatient surgical centers across the state. Such minimal oversight would help ensure a degree of safety for women entering abortion facilities.

MCCL's pro-life agenda also calls for lawmakers to end taxpayer funded abortions (H.F. 607/S.F. 683), which account for 38 percent of all abortions performed in the state. This is the highest percentage since the 1995 Doe v. Gomez decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court forced taxpayers to pay for abortions performed on low-income women. This percentage has increased nearly every year since the court ruling. Taxpayers have funded more than 69,000 abortions since the decision, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Pro-life Speaker of the Minnesota House Kurt Daudt spoke briefly at the March, stating, "Every child in the state of Minnesota has a right to life and a right to fulfill their God-given potential. ... I am very encouraged to see so many of you here, in the cold, to march for life and to stand up to protect the unborn. Minnesota is a pro-life state!"

Many of Minnesota's pro-life elected officials, including state legislators, were in attendance and were introduced during the brief program on the lower Capitol Mall. Minnesota's pro-life Members of Congress John Kline, Erik Paulsen, Tom Emmer and Collin Peterson sent written greetings that were read at the March.

View photos of today's MCCL March for Life and from past marches on the MCCL website.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The devastation of Roe v. Wade—and how to end it

Richard John Neuhaus called it "the most consequential moral and political event of the last half century of our nation's history."

On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton. The Court ruled that abortion must be permitted for any reason before fetal viability—and that it must be permitted for "health" reasons, broadly defined in Doe (so as to encompass virtually any reason), all the way until birth. Roe legalized abortion on demand nationwide.

The harm of that decision is difficult to overstate.

2015 MCCL March for Life
Roe is unjust. The Court ruled that a particular class of innocent human beings (those in utero) must be excluded from the protection of the law and allowed to be dismembered and killed at the discretion of others. More than 58 million unborn children have now been legally killed, including more than 600,000 in Minnesota.

Roe is unconstitutional. "It is bad because it is bad constitutional law," wrote the eminent constitutional scholar and Yale law professor John Hart Ely (who personally favored legalized abortion), "or rather because it is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be."

Roe is undemocratic. Roe and Doe struck down the democratically decided abortion laws of all 50 states. Because it lacked any constitutional justification, the Court's ruling usurped the authority of the elected branches of government to determine abortion policy.

Forty-three years later, what can we do?

Overturning Roe would allow states to once again enact their own abortion laws. But this requires at least one more Supreme Court justice committed to interpreting and applying the law as it actually is (rather than making it). And that requires electing a president who will nominate and senators who will confirm such a judge. Changes to the Court's composition in the past have already led to greater (though still very modest) protection for the unborn.

In the interim, we should continue the multi-pronged effort to reduce abortions. That means providing practical assistance and resources to pregnant women facing difficult circumstances. It means educating and persuading the public. And it means enacting legislation to save as many lives as currently possible.

The success of this strategy is tangible. The number of abortions has dropped 47 percent in Minnesota since its peak in 1980. Abortions have fallen 28 percent since 2006. Yet 10,123 unborn children were destroyed in 2014. Much, much more work remains to be done.

MCCL will hold its annual March for Life on Friday, Jan. 22, the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The purpose of the March is to commemorate the lives lost to abortion and to call for renewed respect and protection for all members of the human family, especially unborn children and their mothers. It is an opportunity to re-energize, remobilize, and refocus. MCCL will introduce its 2016 legislative agenda during the event.

The March for Life begins at 12 noon on the Capitol grounds in St. Paul, followed by a short program at 12:30. We hope to see you there.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Planned Parenthood annual report reveals abortion focus in MN

The following news release was issued on Jan. 19, 2016.

MINNEAPOLIS—With the recent release of the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS) 2014 annual report, it is important for Minnesotans to know that abortion is the one area where it is growing its business. A Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) fact sheet comparing services provided by PPMNS in 2013 and 2014 shows that abortion was the organization's only significant growth area in 2014.

"The latest PPMNS annual report demonstrates what MCCL has been saying for years—that Planned Parenthood's focus is abortion, not health care," said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "Fewer and fewer women are resorting to Planned Parenthood for non-abortion services. But greater numbers of women are being pressured to abort their unborn babies at Planned Parenthood."

The annual reports list eight services; among them, six saw declines in 2014 over 2013. For example, contraception units distributed were down 13 percent, and family planning visits fell 8 percent. PPMNS also saw a decline in its total number of patients (down 4 percent to 65,332) and total patient services (down 10 percent, or 62,040 fewer) in 2014.

Abortion was the exception among services, increasing fully 10 percent in 2014. A total of 5,500 unborn children were aborted at Planned Parenthood that year, according to its report. PPMNS expanded its abortion business by 10 percent in a year when the number of abortions in the state rose just 2.2 percent. PPMNS now commands more than 49 percent of the state’s abortion business, and it increases its market share every year.

Revenue rose significantly in 2014. PPMNS ended the year with total assets up 8 percent to $64.5 million and investment income quadrupled to $1.7 million. Even patient service fees increased 6 percent to $26.7 million. Despite diminished numbers of clients and services, 2014 was a very good year for PPMNS.

"Fewer patients and fewer services, more abortions and more revenue—that is the story of Planned Parenthood in Minnesota," Fischbach added. "Planned Parenthood is focused on dominating the profitable abortion industry, not on providing health care for women."

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Why even many abortion practitioners refuse to perform dismemberment abortions

Vincent Argent is a long-time practitioner of abortion in the United Kingdom. But, as Sarah Terzo notes, he refuses to perform elective dismemberment (dilation & evacuation) abortions after 16 weeks. Argent writes:
In the full knowledge of what is involved in late abortions, and the widespread distaste for them among the medical profession, I would ... support an amendment proposing 16 weeks [as a legal limit].

I am not alone. Within the [UK's National Health Service], the majority of doctors are refusing to carry out late abortions. Three quarters of late procedures are now carried out by private clinics. At Eastbourne Hospital, where I worked for 19 years, the medical staff eventually decided we would perform no abortions on social grounds after 14 weeks.

When I was at Addenbrooke's in Cambridge we agreed on 16 weeks. When I worked as a consultant, and later as medical director for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, I maintained my stance, leaving any "social" abortions which went beyond 16 weeks for colleagues who did not share my qualms.

Now, with increasing specialisation in gynaecology, many younger doctors are avoiding abortion completely, preferring to go instead into areas such as IVF or cancer treatment. Abortion has become the part of gynaecology that no one wants to be associated with, and late abortion is the least popular type of work of all.
Click to enlarge 
Copyright © 2015 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc. 
All rights reserved.
Why do doctors object to the dismemberment procedure? Argent explains:
For some doctors their objections are religious or ethical. Often, as with me, it is based on a distaste for carrying out a procedure which is so traumatic.

Most people do not realise just how distressing late abortions can be. The procedure remains the last taboo. While heart and brain surgery are regularly shown on television, the reality of a late abortion has never been seen on British screens.

There are two main types of procedure ... [T]he surgical procedure [dilation & evacuation] uses instruments to remove parts of the dismembered body from the uterus, limb by limb. It is hard to describe how it feels to pull out parts of a baby, to see arms, and bits of leg, and finally the head.
Even a firmly pro-choice doctor—who has personally performed abortions for decades—draws the line at this barbaric procedure.

Dismembering a 20-week baby is obviously inhumane. It undermines the integrity of the medical profession. And it ought to be stopped.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Congress votes to defund Planned Parenthood; Peterson only Democrat willing to protect the unborn

The following news release was issued on Jan. 6, 2016.

Congressman Collin Peterson (DFL, CD7) again today was the only Democrat to vote in favor of a pro-life bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The House took up a special fast-track bill (H.R. 3762, the "pro-life reconciliation bill") that would cut off nearly 90 percent of the federal funds that go to Planned Parenthood—about $400 million. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) strongly supports the measure, along with the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).

Minnesota Congressmen John Kline (CD2), Erik Paulsen (CD3), Tom Emmer (CD6) and Peterson voted in support of the Senate amendments to the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act (H.R. 3762). Members of Congress Tim Walz, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison and Rick Nolan voted against the measure, which was approved in a 240-181 vote.

"We commend Representative Peterson for his longstanding commitment to life, and urge other Democrats to follow his lead," said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "The cause of life must transcend partisan boundaries. Life is not a partisan issue but rather, most importantly, a human rights issue. Here in Minnesota we are fortunate to have pro-life Democrats and pro-life Republicans who are willing to cross the political divide to protect and defend human life."

The legislation would suspend funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, for one year. It would close the largest pipeline for federal funding of Planned Parenthood, Medicaid, and apply as well to the CHIP and the Title V and Title XX block grant programs. The amounts denied to Planned Parenthood in effect are reallocated to community health centers.

In addition, the Senate-passed H.R. 3762 would repeal many components of Obamacare, including the program that provides taxpayer subsidies to about 1,000 health plans that cover elective abortions.

The legislation will now be sent to President Obama, who has threatened to veto it.