Friday, January 30, 2009

Attempt to Restore Pro-life Policy Defeated

Attempt to Restore Pro-life Policy Defeated

Congressional pro-life advocates have responded quickly to President Obama's reversal of a ban on federal funds for organizations that perform or promote abortions overseas, but their initial effort failed Jan. 28.

The Senate rejected by a 60-37 vote an amendment by Sen. Mel Martinez, R.-Fla., designed to restore the prohibition known as the Mexico City Policy.

Also on Jan. 28, Rep. Chris Smith, R.-N.J., introduced a bill intended to accomplish the same goal.

The actions came after the newly inaugurated president issued an executive order Jan. 23 rescinding the Mexico City Policy. That rule has prohibited international organizations from receiving U.S. family planning funds unless they agree not to perform or counsel for abortion or lobby in order to liberalize the pro-life policies of foreign governments.

President Bush restored the policy in 2001, eight years after President Clinton overturned it. The Reagan administration instituted the rule in 1984, announcing it at a conference in Mexico City.

Southern Baptist pro-life leader Richard Land applauded the "pro-life champions" in Congress who "are speaking up for millions of the unborn who cannot speak for themselves."

"These pro-life heroes in the House and Senate are giving voice to the silent screams of the millions of babies of the world who will be killed before they can even be born, often subsidized by the taxes of American citizens," Land said.

"I grieve that they were not successful in this effort in the Senate, but at least they were faithful to the cause of the unborn," added Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Before the vote on his amendment, Martinez told senators, "The core of this argument is whether U.S. taxpayers ought to be forced to fund efforts abroad that utilize abortion as a means of family planning. If we want to continue fostering a culture of life, where every life is considered sacred, every child is celebrated and life at all stages is given the dignity it deserves, then we will reinstate this policy."

Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska was the sole Democrat to join Republicans in voting for the amendment. Four Republicans -- Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania -- joined 54 Democrats and two independents in voting the amendment down. Sen. Bob Casey, D.-Pa., is sponsoring the Pregnant Women Support Act, a leading pro-life bill in Congress, but he voted against Martinez's amendment.

"I hope that every person of faith and conscience will carefully scrutinize the roll-call vote to see how their senators voted on this crucial matter, and then respond accordingly by commending their senators who voted to defend life and by expressing their extreme displeasure to those who voted to countenance the government-subsidized killing of the unborn," Land said.

NARAL Pro-choice America, a leading abortion-rights organization, applauded the amendment's defeat.

"This shows that a majority of senators understand that Americans are tired of the antagonistic politics of the past," NARAL President Nancy Keenan said in a written statement. "Unfortunately, anti-choice politicians continue to be relentless in their attacks on women's reproductive health."

Abortion-rights advocates have labeled the Mexico City Policy a "global gag rule," but only two organizations -- the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International -- have refused to abide by the Mexico City Policy in recent years and consequently have been refused the funds, according to Democrats for Life of America (DFLA). There are 650 organizations that accept federal money under the restrictions, DLFA reported.

Upon introducing his bill, H.R. 708, Smith described the policy overturned by Obama as "common ground."

"It has allowed the U.S. to substantially fund international family planning without padding the budget of radical groups intent on spreading the scourge of abortion," Smith said in a written release. "Under [the] Mexico City Policy, funding for family planning was not reduced one penny. The president's decision will shift U.S. funding from true family planning programs to programs that provide and promote abortion with little or no regard for the sovereignty of democratic nations that oppose abortion as a method of family planning."

The repeal of the Mexico City Policy may be only the first in a series of efforts by Obama to roll back federal pro-life measures.

In a statement released when he rescinded the Mexico City Policy, the new president indicated he intends to reverse another Bush action. Obama said he planned to work with Congress to reinstate funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). During the last seven years, the Bush administration withheld congressionally approved funds for the UNFPA based on the agency's support of a Chinese population control program that has included forced abortion and sterilization.

Other policies that may be targets of the Obama administration either through executive or legislative means include Bush's 2001 policy that bars federal grants for stem cell research that results in the destruction of human embryos, and the Hyde Amendment, a 1976 law that prohibits Medicaid and other federal funds from paying for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or a threat to the mother's life.

Obama also has endorsed the Freedom of Choice Act, a congressional proposal that would overturn all restrictions on abortion, such as parental notification laws and bans on partial-birth abortion. FOCA, as it is called, would ensure that abortion remains legal through all nine months even if Roe someday is overturned.

To see how senators voted on the Mexico City Policy amendment, click here.

Contact: Tom Strode
Source: Baptist Press
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Publish Date: January 29, 2009
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Senate Vote Leads to More Abortions

Senate Vote Likely to Lead to More Abortions

Hatch Amendment to Codify Unborn Child Rule to State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Defeated in Senate Washington

Today the president of the Susan B. Anthony List commented on the Senate's defeat of an amendment sponsored by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) that would have permanently codified the Unborn Child Rule in the State Children's Health Insurance Program:

"This action suggests that 59 senators are more committed to the demands of the abortion industry than to caring for the health of pregnant women and their unborn children," said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. "President Obama has said that he wants to reduce the number of abortions, but this misguided vote is likely to lead to more abortions. We are disappointed that President Obama failed to use his influence to persuade the Senate majority to preserve a policy that has affirmed pregnant women and their unborn children."

In 2002, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revised the definition of the term "child" under the SCHIP program to clarify that an unborn child may be considered a low-income child for the purposes of eligibility for the program. Currently, 14 states have approved plans to provide SCHIP coverage to children before birth, including President Obama's home state of Illinois, Arkansas, California, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. The rule can be rescinded at any time by the Obama Administration. A December report sent to the Obama-Transition Team by abortion groups called for abortion coverage in any government health care program.

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced an amendment to permanently codify the Unborn Child Rule in the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) bill yesterday. The measure effectively ensures that states can preserve the option to protect the health and rights of both the mother and the unborn child. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 39 to 59.

Through the Susan B. Anthony List Stop the Abortion Bailout! Campaign (, over 80,000 letters have been sent to the U.S. Senate advocating the preservation of federal abortion funding restrictions. The campaign's goal is to secure the 41 votes necessary to sustain a filibuster against measures promoting federal taxpayer funding of abortion.

Joy Yearout
Source: The Susan B. Anthony List
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Publish Date: January 30, 2009
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Investigation Urged Before UNFPA Funding Resumes

'One-Child' Expert Urges Investigation Before UNFPA Funding Resumes

An American expert on China's "one-child" population control policy is urging President Obama to delay restoring funding to the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) pending an independent investigation into whether U.S. taxpayers' money will support coerced abortions in China.
"The one-child policy is an issue about which pro-life people and pro-choice people can agree," Reggie Littlejohn wrote to the president this week. "No one supports forced abortion, because it is not a choice."
Citing links with the Chinese population control programs, the Bush administration withheld congressionally-approved funding from the UNFPA from 2002, blocking a total of $244 million.
U.S. law prohibits funding for any agency that "supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization."
Obama on Saturday signaled his intention to restore financial support for the UNFPA. The U.S., he said in a statement, would in so doing join 180 other donor nations working to "reduce poverty, improve the health of women and children, prevent HIV/AIDS and provide family planning assistance to women in 154 countries."
Withholding funding from the agency was hugely unpopular with many non-governmental organizations dealing with reproductive and family planning issues. They frequently accused President Bush of putting ideology ahead of the health and welfare of women, especially in the developing world.
For its part, the UNFPA has long denied supporting coercive practices in China, saying that in the counties where it operated, the aim was to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies and abortions and to promote "client-oriented" family planning services.
The NGO Americans for UNFPA praised Obama's statement, saying that it "allows all Americans to again hold our heads high. We can be proud to be part of a nation that is, once again, ready to lead the world in promoting the health and rights of women."
But Littlejohn appealed to Obama, recalling that he has in the past called abortion a "personal tragedy."
"You have also stated that, while you believe in a woman's right to choose, you are not 'pro-abortion.'  Rather, you seek to reduce the conditions that make women feel they have to choose an abortion," she wrote. "Unfortunately, women in China cannot choose whether or not to have an abortion. They are coerced."
Abortion, financial pressures, loss of homes and jobs
Littlejohn advises Human Rights Without Frontiers – a Brussels-based international NGO – on China's one-child policy and last month addressed the European Parliament on the issue. As a lawyer she has also represented Chinese refugees in political asylum cases in the U.S.
In her letter, she noted that Beijing boasts at having "prevented" 400 million births since 1979.
"This figure is greater than the entire population of the United States. How have these births been 'prevented'?  Through coercive measures that include forced abortion, forced sterilization, detention of family members until the illegally pregnant woman gives herself up for an abortion, job loss and other financial pressure, and the destruction of homes for those who escape forced abortion."
Littlejohn quoted former Secretary of State Colin Powell – "your strong supporter" – as having stated after a 2002 State Department fact-finding mission to China: "UNFPA's support of, and involvement in, China's population-planning activities allows the Chinese government to implement more effectively its program of coercive abortion. Therefore, it is not permissible to continue funding UNFPA at this time."
Some controversy arose as a result of the State Department mission, because of a finding in its report that "we find no evidence that UNFPA has knowingly supported or participated in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization."

The mission did find evidence, however, of coercion in the form of severe punitive fines, or "social compensation fees," imposed on couples who violate the policy, and the department's legal analysis determined that those fines "have the purpose or effect of forcing mothers to have abortions." UNFPA-funded computers and data-processing equipment facilitated China's ability to impose fines or perform abortions on those women coerced to have abortions they would not otherwise undergo, it found.
Littlejohn said there was ample evidence that the coercive practices continue to this day, and an independent investigation should be commissioned to probe the issue.
"I have no doubt that such an independent investigation will reveal that coercive implementation is routine, including in areas in which UNFPA has been operational," she said. "To restore UNFPA funding without investigating whether these coercive practices still exist, and whether UNFPA has been complicit with them, would be irresponsible."
The State Department investigation followed an earlier one by the Population Research Institute (PRI), whose researchers in 2001 uncovered evidence of forced abortion and sterilization in a county in southern Guangdong province where UNFPA was operating. 

PRI in its report (pdf) said the UNFPA was even sharing an office with family planning officials enforcing coercive programs in Sihui County.
 UNFPA expects 10 percent of funding from US
China's population policy limits couples to having one child, with exceptions made in various cases. For instance, ethnic minorities or rural couples may have a second child if their firstborn is a girl, and a couple who are themselves both only children may have two.
Littlejohn disputes that these exceptions amount to an improvement, saying the problem is not how many children are allowed but with the coercive enforcement of the set limit.
"Whether a couple is allowed to have one child or two children, it is a human rights atrocity to drag a woman out of her home in the middle of the night, screaming and pleading, to forcibly abort her pregnancy, even in the ninth month – and under certain circumstances, to sterilize her – because she does not possess a government-issued birth permit," she wrote to Obama.
"This is a crime against women and, in my opinion, a crime against humanity of the first order."
Littlejohn also argued that the policy has spawned other serious problems and abuses, including gendercide, human trafficking, suicide, child theft, health problems arising from forced sterilizations, and an aging population.
Experts have warned of a demographic timebomb in a country that does not have a social security net and where elderly parents have traditionally relied on their children for support.
UNFPA executive director Thoraya Obaid told a press conference on Tuesday that Obama's policy shift would "provide support to women in the poorest countries of the world."
While the exact U.S. annual contribution to the agency's $430 million annual budget would be up to the U.S. Congress, discussions were in the $40-$60 million range, she said. Congress has typically approved $34 million in previous years.
Obaid said the biggest contributor in recent years has been the Netherlands, while other major funders include the Nordic countries, Britain and Japan.
"We welcome the opportunity to work with the United States again as a full partner."
Americans for UNFPA president Anika Rahman said Congress should allocate $60 to UNFPA in its fiscal year 2009 appropriations.

Patrick Goodenough
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Publish Date:
January 30, 2009
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Keep the Hyde Amendment

House Members Petition Leaders to Keep Pro-Life Hyde Amendment

U.S. Representatives Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Heath Shuler (D-NC) have drafted a letter to House leaders urging them to retain traditional pro-life provisions in the House's annual appropriations bill that President Obama has promised to remove.

Despite its history of bipartisan support, Obama has made clear his intention to repeal the Hyde amendment as part of his radical pro-abortion agenda. The Hyde amendment is a provision that has been in effect since 1976 that bans taxpayer funding of abortions.

"Members of both parties have expressed strong support for these measures, which reflect the moral concerns of many Americans who do not wish to see their tax dollars used for any organization that provides abortion services," notes the letter.  "We believe that failure to include all of the current policies with regard to the right to life will mark a radical departure from a policy a majority of Americans support."

The letter is addressed to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Appropriations Chair David Obey, and Rules Committee Chair Louise Slaughter.

The authors of the letter have called upon pro-lifers to urge their representatives to sign the letter by Feb. 13.

In case the pro-life provisions (known as "riders") are removed from the bill, the letter asks that the deleted provisions be granted consideration on the House floor. "The magnitude of this issue and the history associated with it require no less.  If this Congress intends to rescind these riders, at a minimum the American people deserve a full debate with an up-or-down vote," it states.

Kathleen Gilbert
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January 29, 2009
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Pro-life doctors protected

Pro-life doctors protected by law...for now

Medical professionals who don't want to perform abortions or fill prescriptions that are contrary to their religious or ethical beliefs now have some help.
A federal law called 45 CFR Part 88 is already on the books to protect people in the profession on the basis of conscience, and former President George W. Bush implemented rules to enforce the law. Matt Bowman of Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) notes that Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have filed suit to block enforcement.
"Far from arguing from the idea of choice, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU and their allies are actually seeking to punish doctors for refusing to kill and make these doctors face dire consequences if they want to heal instead of kill," he notes.
ADF will be representing a long list of medical personnel who want to work on the basis of their conscience rather than the dictates of a court.
"[It includes] groups of pro-life doctors at the Christian Medical [& Dental] Association, the Catholic Medical Association, and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists who do not want to face dire consequences just because they choose not to participate in abortion," he adds.
An ADF press release notes the three pro-life medical groups claim that denying rights of conscience could damage healthcare overall, possibly forcing medical professionals to relocate to freer jurisdictions or to leave the profession altogether.

Charlie Butts
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Publish Date: January 30, 2009
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Fighting FOCA

Fighting FOCA with all he's got

Senator David Vitter is vowing to do everything within his power to block the Freedom of Choice Act from moving forward in the Senate.
Barack Obama made this promise to Planned Parenthood supporters at a campaign event in 2007: "The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act," he said. "That's the first thing that I'd do."
The Freedom of Choice Act, which was authored by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) in the 110th Congress, would eliminate all state and federal restrictions on abortion. Although the legislation has not yet been introduced in the current Congress, Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) tells OneNewsNow he intends to aggressively oppose the bill, which he calls a "huge threat."
"In one fell swoop it would wipe away so much of the progress we've made in the last decades -- so many legitimate, proper restrictions that are in place now on abortion. It would threaten conscience provisions. It would usher in unprecedented federal taxpayer funding of abortions," he notes. "So, it would be horrible, and that's why I'm going to do everything possible to fight the bill, to filibuster it, to use every procedural tool available in the Senate to block that bill when it's introduced."
Vitter says the Freedom of Choice Act is not likely to come up for a vote in President Obama's first 100 days, but Democrats will be working to include provisions from that measure in appropriations bills. For example, he expects an attempt soon to eliminate the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortions.

Jim Brown
Source: OneNewsNow
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Publish Date: January 30, 2009

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Disclaimer: The linked items below or the websites at which they are located do not necessarily represent the views of The Illinois Federation for Right to Life. They are presented only for your information.

Florida governor vetoes crisis pregnancy center funding cut

Governor of Florida Charlie Crist has vetoed a half-million dollar cut in funding to crisis pregnancy centers in the state.

The Florida Legislature, meeting during a Special Legislative Session, passed a series of budget cuts to address a $2.3 billion shortfall, the Florida Family Policy Council reports. One funding cut passed by the legislature removed $574,728 from the $2 million allocated to the Florida Pregnancy Support Services Program.
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Family: Octuplets' Mother Has 6 Other Children

The woman who gave birth to octuplets this week has six other children and never expected to have eight more when she took fertility treatment, her mother said.

Suleman said her daughter had embryos implanted last year, and after finding out she was pregnant with multiple babies was given the option by doctors of selectively reducing the number of embryos. The woman declined.
"What do you suggest she should have done? She refused to have them killed," Suleman told the Times. "That is a very painful thing."

Dr. Harold Henry said the woman was already pregnant when she came to Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center, and she was counseled on the option of aborting some of the fetuses.
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Tenn. Resolution would Amend State Constitution on Abortion

The five-year path to a state constitutional amendment removing protection for abortions may have started with a meeting in Bicentennial Mall on a blustery Sunday afternoon. Hundreds of pro-life supporters gathered in the park for Tennessee Right to Life's annual rally, which focused mainly on the potential of Senate Joint Resolution 127 in the state legislature. Republicans, who control both the state House and the Senate for the first time since Reconstruction, have indicated they will make SJR 127 a priority in the coming session. The resolution would amend the state constitution to read that nothing secures or protects the right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion in Tennessee. Abortion would remain legal under federal court rulings.
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Australia Won't Follow Obama on Abortion

The Rudd government has signalled it will not be pushed into following a United States decision to lift a ban on foreign aid money being used on abortion-related services. However, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith says he expects the government to make a decision soon about any change in the policy. He has been considering an internal report on the issue for more than six months. The report is from a sub-committee of the Rudd government's national security committee, which has been liaising with caucus members over whether to lift the restriction. US President Barack Obama last week ended a ban on giving federal money to international groups that perform or provide information about abortions, which prevented the organisations receiving funding for other work, as well.
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NBC Rejects Pro-Life 'Super Bowl' Ad Using Obama

A popular pro-life video portraying President Obama as an unborn child has been rejected by NBC-TV as an ad during Sunday's Super Bowl. "Imagine Spot 1," a YouTube video that has amassed more than 700,000 hits since its Jan. 2O premiere on Black Entertainment Television, was submitted earlier this week to NBC by Fidelis, a Chicago-based Catholic organization. Its subsidiary,, runs the 30-second spot on its Web site. 
Click here to view the ad
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Hospital Fined $20,500 for Throwing Baby Out With the Trash

Christ Hospital in Jersey City has been fined $20,500 for violating state procedures after the body of a stillborn baby was accidentally thrown out with the trash by hospital staff in December, according to a report today by the Jersey Journal . Investigators determined that on Dec. 21, the stillborn body of Bashere Davon Moyd Jr. was placed in the hospital morgue but later discarded before Jan. 2, when funeral home employees were to remove him. Despite an extensive, multi-state search, the infant's body was never found.
Click here for more on this story

Thursday, January 29, 2009

'What the FOCA?!'

Students: 'What the FOCA?!'

Students spread the word about the Freedom of Choice Act.
Students for Life of Illinois (SFLI), a collegiate pro-life organization, has coordinated pro-life students on campuses nationwide to educate the public on the effects of the so-called Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) with the "What the FOCA?!" Campaign.
"We want to make sure everyone knows that FOCA poses a real threat to hundreds of commonsense abortion laws on the federal and state levels," said John-Paul Deddens, Director of SFLI. Students will be distributing literature and wearing T-Shirts and buttons that outline several of the laws that FOCA would supersede if it were to be signed into law.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 is the first "What The FOCA?!" Activism Day. Students will be spreading the word on campus in solidarity with pro-life groups from schools including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Loyola University Chicago, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Lewis University, Bradley University and the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Student leaders have utilized (created by SFLI) as a resource to educate themselves. They plan to share the truth about FOCA with their peers on campus using posters, hand-outs and even facebook. Students have already begun sharing videos and changing their 'facebook statuses' to broadcast the "What The FOCA?!" message to their friends.
"The common 'WTF' phrase resonates with college students. 'WTF' is vulgar and offensive, just like abortion. Students are taking this offensive phrase, changing it and using it to convey the offensiveness of unrestricted abortion. This is really catching on. We have campuses nationwide that are planning their own 'What The FOCA?! Activism Day' in the days and weeks to come." Deddens said.

Contact: Alicia V. Torres
Source: Students for Life of Illinois
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Publish Date: January 28, 2009
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House, Senate Consider Pro-Life Legislation

House, Senate Consider Pro-Life Legislation
Four U.S. representatives — including one Democrat — introduced legislation to reinstate the Mexico City Policy after President Barack Obama eliminated it Friday.

Reps. Chris Smith, R-N.J., Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Bart Stupak, D-Mich., are sponsors of H.R. 708.

Also, the U.S. Senate rejected a similar pro-life measure, which was offered by Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla. Among the 60 senators who voted "no" was Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., who ran as a pro-life supporter in the 2006 campaign for his Senate seat. Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat, supported the amendment.

"The Mexico City Policy represents common ground," Smith said. "It has allowed the U.S. to substantially fund international family planning without padding the budgets of radical groups intent on spreading the scourge of abortion."

The Mexico City Policy, which prevents U.S. tax dollars from funding international groups that perform or promote abortions, was put in place by President Ronald Reagan, reversed by President Bill Clinton, reinstated by President George W. Bush and reversed by Obama.

Sensenbrenner said that with one stroke of his pen, "Our new president gave the green light for the execution of thousands of preborn children.

"I can think of no clearer signal to illustrate our changing times," he said. "We pro-lifers now face a huge challenge in our cause to protect the life of the innocent unborn children who have no voice but ours to speak out for their survival."

Contact: Jennifer Mesko
Source: CitizenLink
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Publish Date: January 28, 2009
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'Largest abortion clinic in world' protested

'Largest abortion clinic in world' protested

A diverse group of pastors gathered on the 36th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision to condemn renovation of a six-story Houston building into what they described as "the largest abortion clinic in the world."

Sonny Foraker, spokesman for the Greater Houston Area Pastor Council, told the group of supporters and journalists, "We are standing here because [abortion] is a moral evil that destroys human life. We stand together as pastors to say this is not something we want in our community."

The building, formerly the Sterling Bank at 4600 Gulf Freeway, loomed behind the pastors as they took turns speaking out against the new Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas clinic.

"This building is an invitation that gives everyone the message that it is OK to take life away," said pastor Hernan Castano (Hernan is correct spelling) of Iglesia Rios de Aceite in Houston. "This cannot be the answer to the world. We must respect life."

Melvin Johnson, pastor of Heart of Christ Community Church in Brazoria, Texas, called the Planned Parenthood facility an "abomination" and talked about the racist ideas of the organization's founder, Margaret Sanger.

Johnson, who is black, held up pictures of Sanger participating in a Ku Klux Klan rally in the early 20th century. He pointed out that African American women undergo a disproportionately higher number of abortions compared to the general population of women.

"As Jesus died on the cross, He proclaimed life," declared Carlos Martins, a Roman Catholic. "Any Christian should see the evil of this."

Martins quoted Mother Teresa's famous chastisement of America when she spoke at the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, calling abortion "the greatest destroyer of peace in the world."

Martins made it clear that the community of faith is not angry toward the women who seek and follow through with abortions but with organizations like Planned Parenthood that promote and conduct them. "There is a caring community that is willing to stand with and next to pregnant women. You do not go through this alone," he said.

Noting that the Planned Parenthood site is just a few blocks from the University of Houston and historically African American Texas Southern University, pastor James Clark of Park Place Baptist Church charged Planned Parenthood with targeting college students.

Foraker concurred: "This building is not by chance located here. I assure you, they are targeting our young people, African Americans and Hispanics," he said.

Christine Melchor, director of Houston's Coalition for Life, said the clinic will encompass 78,000 square feet -- with one entire floor dedicated to abortions, including late-term abortions. She said she had reviewed building plans, permits and architectural drawings filed with the city of Houston.

"We've been following their expansion since 2006" when Planned Parenthood purchased the property, Melchor said, adding that she thought the most striking feature of the drawings is a planned ambulatory unit over the expanse of the third floor. A Planned Parenthood clinic in downtown Houston performed late-term abortions until a state law was passed in 2003 to require that abortions conducted on women beyond 16 weeks of pregnancy be done in a center equipped with an ambulatory unit, which that Planned Parenthood clinic did not have.

Planned Parenthood clinics offer women a wide range of health-care services, including pap tests, disease prevention and treatment, health-care information and birth control. Melchor acknowledged that the entire 78,000 square foot facility would be used for other health-care purposes but added, "Planned Parenthood is all about abortions."

Melchor said she suspects the clinic will be used to host international clients seeking abortions, especially late-term procedures. Dave Welch, director of the Houston pastors' group, said he believes the new clinic could replace the notorious Wichita, Kan., clinic operated by George Tiller, who is on trial for violating state laws regulating the practice of late-term abortions.

Melchor plans to ask the Houston City Council how they plan to address the issues that will arise with the clinic's operation, including how the city intends to dispose of aborted babies. She said she is dubious about getting an objective response since Mayor Bill White's director of health and environmental policy, Elena Marks, is national chairman of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Even if the city approves all the permits required to complete construction, Foraker said area pastors, along with, a coalition of pro-life organizations, plan to press contractors to disassociate themselves from the project. By asking church members, businesses and the community to stop doing business with Planned Parenthood contractors, they hope to bring enough pressure to force them to withdraw their services to Planned Parenthood.

At the beginning of the Jan. 22 gathering, David Fannin, pastor of suburban Nassau Bay Baptist Church, compared the 3,000 lives lost in the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- and the country's resolve afterward -- to the 3,700 lives lost each day to abortion. Will the nation, he asked, steel itself with the same resolve as the massive abortion clinic rises from the ground?

Contact: Bonnie Pritchett
Source: Baptist Press
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Publish Date: January 28, 2009
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Taxpayers must fund abortions

Taxpayers must fund abortions

President Obama's nominee for deputy secretary of state contends American taxpayers are required to pay for abortions, a position that contradicts the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution.

James B. Steinberg's written testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was highlighted by Sen. Jim DeMint, a pro-life Republican serving South Carolina.

In a written response to DeMint's questions, Steinberg said the Mexico City policy -- the newly overturned policy that forbade taxpayer subsidization of abortions overseas -- "is an unnecessary restriction that, if applied to organizations based in this country, would be an unconstitutional limitation on free speech."

Not so, said DeMint, pointing out Steinberg's stance is in direct opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court.

DeMint cited the 1991 Rust vs. Sullivan decision in which the court ruled, "The government has no constitutional duty to subsidize an activity merely because it is constitutionally protected, and may validly choose to allocate public funds for medical services relating to childbirth but not to abortion."

DeMint had asked: "For more than 30 years the Hyde amendments, which prohibit federal funding for abortion services, have been supported by Republican and Democrat administrations and Congresses. Unfortunately, while this is the domestic policy of the United States, President Obama has vowed to reverse our foreign policy by repealing the Mexico City policy and use the federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortion services overseas. Do you support President Obama's efforts to lift the Mexico City restrictions? Do you believe our foreign policy should contradict long held domestic policies?"

Steinberg's complete response was, "President Obama has supported repeal of the Mexico City policy, as has Secretary Clinton. Longstanding law, authored by Senator Jesse Helms, expressly prohibits the use of U.S. funds [for] abortion. The Mexico City policy is an unnecessary restriction that, if applied to organizations based in this country, would be an unconstitutional limitation on free speech."

Just days ago, Obama imposed an executive order repealing the Mexico City policy that during President Bush's tenure protected Americans from being required to fund groups that promote and pay for abortions around the globe.

The plan was originated by President Reagan in 1984. It prohibited non-governmental organizations that receive federal funds from providing or promoting abortions in other nations. President Clinton rescinded the rule Jan. 22, 1993, calling it "excessively broad" and "unwarranted."

But when President Bush took office in January 2001, he immediately issued an executive order reinstituting the pro-life policy.

"It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortion or actively promote abortion," Bush said.

International Planned Parenthood Federation and other abortion groups refused to conform to the ban. They continued to provide and promote abortions and, consequently, were denied access to funding from U.S. taxpayers.

A Jan. 16 letter from 77 members of Congress posted by Life News had urged Obama to continue the ban.

"[T]his policy is important because it establishes a bright line between family planning activities and abortion, therefore ensuring that United States family planning funds are not co-opted by groups who promote abortion as a method of family planning," the letter stated. "Such activities would send a wrong message overseas that the United States promotes abortion."

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told the Washington Post, "President Obama issued executive orders banning the torture of terrorists but ... signed an order that exports the torture of unborn children around the world."

Perkins noted that Obama vowed at the debate with Republican candidate Sen. John McCain last fall at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church to find "common ground" on the issue of abortion and that he, as president, would work to "reduce the number of abortions."

"His action today flies in the face of that vow and probably sets a record as the most quickly broken campaign promise ever," Perkins said.

The Rust vs. Sullivan decision says rules and regulations regarding abortion funding were consistent with the Constitution.

"Indeed, the legislative history demonstrates that Congress intended that Title X funds be kept separate and distinct from abortion-related activities," the opinion said.

"The regulations do not violate the First Amendment free speech rights of private Title X fund recipients, their staffs, or their patients by impermissibly imposing viewpoint-discriminatory conditions on Government subsidies. There is no question but that [the] prohibition is constitutional, since the government may make a value judgment favoring childbirth over abortion, and implement that judgment by the allocation of public funds," the opinion continued.

"Similarly, in implementing the statutory prohibition by forbidding counseling, referral, and the provision of information regarding abortion as a method of family planning, the regulations simply ensure that appropriated funds are not used for activities, including speech, that are outside the federal program's scope."

As a state lawmaker in Illinois, Obama opposed mandated physician help for babies who survive abortions.

The president has promised to sign the "Freedom of Choice Act," a sweeping bill that would abolish pro-life rules and regulations across the nation.

The organization, launched to oppose the plan, already has collected 500,000 signatures in opposition.

According to Pastor Rick Scorborough of Vision America, more than 500 state, federal and local laws would be destroyed by the action.

"There are not enough words to convey the seriousness of this piece of legislation. Now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand and hope this will go away. It won't. If we don't do something about it, the basic fundamental right to be born will be taken from millions of unborn children, ironically, in the name of 'freedom,'" Scarborough wrote.

Among the laws that would be overturned are the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, the Hyde Amendment restricting taxpayer funding of abortions inside the U.S., informed consent laws, waiting period laws, parental consent and notification laws, requirements that abortion businesses follow health regulations, a ban on non-physicians doing abortions and bans on abortions of babies who can survive outside the womb.

Source: WorldNetDaily
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Publish Date: January 27, 2009
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Targeting children, born & unborn

Targeting children, born & unborn

Just a week into Barack Obama's presidency and we have several tragic reminders that we live in an increasingly anti-child culture, where too many adults ignore society's responsibility to protect children -- both born and unborn -- if it interferes with their adult "preferences" and "choices."

President Obama was the most radically pro-choice candidate of a major party in American history, and during his campaign he pledged to Planned Parenthood's supporters that he would never back down on this issue. Unfortunately, his Jan. 23 executive order overturning the Mexico City Policy may be just the first step in his fulfillment of that campaign pledge to his radical pro-abortion supporters.

By a stroke of his pen, American taxpayers' money once again will be used in part to fund abortions that end the lives of our fellow human beings in other countries.

A day earlier, in remarks on the 36th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision, Obama reiterated his commitment to protect a "woman's right to choose."

More than 50 million babies have been aborted since the Supreme Court's decision in 1973, because at least one parent considered that child too expensive, too embarrassing, too disruptive, too much of a burden or just too inconvenient.

And it is not only the unborn that are being victimized. Even in the face of overwhelming bipartisan congressional action to protect our children from hardcore Internet pornography that corrupts their hearts and souls and steals their innocence, the U.S. Supreme Court declined Jan. 21 to review the Third Circuit Court's decision on the Child Online Protection Act, effectively killing this measure.

This Act merely put the same restrictions on protecting children from hardcore material on the Internet that are currently placed on so-called "adult" book and DVD stores, with customers having to prove they are at least 18 years of age to gain entry.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court concluded that an adult's supposed "right" to see anything he wants to see online without having to identify himself trumped society's obligation to protect children from corrosive exposure to such spiritual toxic waste. Untold human suffering will be the result of this incredibly wrong decision.

Since government has abdicated its responsibility, all reasonable adults must do everything they can to protect the children within their circle of influence from exposure to such spiritually and emotionally damaging material.

Contact: Richard Land
Source: Baptist Press
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Publish Date: January 28, 2009
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"Pro-Lifers In Obamaland"

"Pro-Lifers In Obamaland"

Such is the headline of a Newsweek "web exclusive," written by Sarah Kliff. We are not blind: we all know that the political terrain is far rougher, more demanding, than it was before pro-abortion Barack Obama became President. But the questions raised (which are mostly either bogus and/or riddled with the fallacy of false alternatives) in such stories demand a steady hand and a calm explication of the facts.
Please understand that we are being given "helpful" advice whose only outcome would be to voluntarily embrace irrelevance and abandon the cause of unborn babies. It is their right to try. It is our responsibility not to be so foolish as to be taken in.

The subhead to Kliff's story is very instructive: "Now that the political climate has changed, will those dedicated to eradicating abortion embrace abortion-reduction strategies instead." It is simultaneously self-evident (the political climate has changed) and profoundly misleading (propagating the truly odd notion that those who refuse to be suckered in haven't been assiduously working--and successfully so--to reduce the number of abortions).

Part of the three-pronged strategy of those who are dedicated to sowing seeds of discord within our Movement is to build on the made-out-of-whole-cloth myth of Obama as the trans-partisan builder of accord on abortion. (The most bizarre line in Kliff's piece is, "But the Obama team may still have a hard time bringing the two sides together.")

So, for example, we are supposed to take it as a sign of Obama's willingness to "reach out" to pro-lifers that he waited until the massive crowd that attended the March for Life left town before obliterating the Mexico City Policy. In case you (like me) don't get it, opening the door to the likes of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which is ideologically committed to increasing the number of abortion across the world, is nothing compared to Obama's willingness to wait 24 hours before giving them the green light. Talk about settling for crumbs…

A second component of the strategy of convincing pro-lifers to give up the fight to pass legislation such as women's right to know and laws that give women the chance to look at an ultrasound before aborting is to chide "both sides"--the pro-life movement and the pro-abortion movement--ostensibly for being locked into equally futile positions. (We are supposed to miss that all the criticism in these stories is of pro-lifers.) In that case who is the reasonable "middle"?

According to Kliff, groups such as Third Way, which she describes as "a non-profit think tank that promotes bipartisan cooperation." Let's assume Kliff is simply uneducated. Who is Third Way?

In a piece he wrote for, here is how NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson explained the background to the organization:

"One important part of the 'faith outreach' sales pitch has been to insist that Obama would promote 'abortion reduction' policies -- that is to say, policies that would have the practical effect of reducing the number of abortions performed, without actually restricting abortion directly. This spiel was really a public relations strategy cooked up at a liberal think tank called third way, where veteran pro-abortion activists develop 'messaging' strategies to help pro-abortion politicians camouflage their positions.

"The third way 'Culture Program' (responsible for the 'abortion reduction' strategy, among other projects) is directed by Rachel Laser, whose previous job was with the Health and Reproductive Rights group at the National Women's Law Center, and who before that worked for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, a major abortion provider."

Can't get any more "bipartisan" than that, right?

The third prong of the strategy to convince pro-lifers to voluntarily choose irrelevance is closely related to the first two.

According to Kliff, "The idea of lobbying Congress to reduce abortions--rather than ban them outright--strikes many as a wrong-headed signal that tolerating any level of abortion is acceptable."

Again, let me assume out of a sense of charity that she actually believes this. What would you say in response?

The abortions rate is down a third from its high-water mark in 1980-81 while the absolute number of abortions has dropped by one quarter from the peak of 1.6 million in 1990. Nine million lives have been saved.

That didn't just happen coincidentally. It is a direct consequence of: passing legislation that informs women about the nature of their unborn child and gives them time to reflect; limiting the direct funding of abortion by the federal government and state governments; enacting measures that involve parents in the abortion decisions of their minor daughters; pro-life educational efforts in general; and the saintly work of crisis pregnancy centers.

In other words, pro-lifers in the 50 states already have adopted a proven abortion-reduction strategy. But all these proven routes to decreasing the number of dead babies are precisely the roads Obama and the pro-abortion leadership in Congress want eliminated, all in the name of (you guessed it) "abortion reduction."

There will be no end to stories such as this one. Their objective is to convince us that people and organizations whose entire reason for existence is to multiply the number of abortions have suddenly seen the bipartisan/compromise/common ground light. How dumb do they think we are?

Contact: Dave Andrusko
Source: National Right to Life
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Stimulus still funds anti-family programs

Stimulus still funds anti-family programs

A multi-million dollar proposal for contraception and abortion has been removed from the huge economic stimulus bill. But the bill still contains funding for controversial projects.

Earlier this week Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) vehemently defended the idea of spending millions of dollars on birth control and abortion as part of the economic stimulus package. "Contraception will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government," she stated on ABC. But after pro-life advocates -- including several in Congress -- cast a spotlight on that portion of the package, it was removed. The U.S. House passed the stimulus package on Wednesday and has now passed it on to the Senate.

However, as Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America (CWA) points out, Planned Parenthood and others are still seeking money through the stimulus package to reduce population and promote "safe sex" programs for youth. Wright says it does not make sense. "The economic stimulus bill shifts the burden of the debt onto the next generation; yet if we are spending billions of more dollars in 'family planning,' there won't be much of a next generation to pay this huge debt," she argues.
In a CWA press release, Wright points out the $825-billion stimulus package halts funding for abstinence education programs while including $335 million for sexually transmitted disease (STD) education and prevention programs. She notes that the Centers for Disease Control -- a recipient of STD education funding -- previously has used federal funds for programs that she says "may stimulate some people, but not the economy."
"A transgender beauty pageant in San Francisco that advertised available HIV testing, that funded an event called 'Got Love? – Flirt/Date/Score' that taught participants how to flirt with greater finesse," the family advocate notes, "and also funded events called 'Booty Call' and 'Great Sex' put on by an organization that received nearly $700,000 in government funds."
Simply put, says Wright, the economic stimulus bill still funds programs that "encourage irresponsible sexual activity that increases healthcare costs."

Contact: Charlie Butts and Jody Brown
Source: OneNewsNow
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Publish Date: January 29, 2009
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Disclaimer: The linked items below or the websites at which they are located do not necessarily represent the views of The Illinois Federation for Right to Life. They are presented only for your information.

Virginia bill targeting pro-life pharmacies shelved

DMC Pharmacy, a new pro-life pharmacy in Chantilly, Virginia claims to have been the target of a bill recently introduced into the Virginia House of Delegates. The bill, which was tabled indefinitely, placed restrictions on pharmacies which refuse to prescribe contraceptives.

Virginia House Bill 2373 was proposed on Jan. 14 and tabled in the Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions on Tuesday. Bob Laird, Executive Director of DMC's parent company Divine Mercy Care, told CNA that the effect of the bill being tabled is that "the issue cannot be brought up again this year."

Obama Administration, Vatican Clash Over Abortion

After President Obama ended a ban last week on federal funding to international groups that perform or promote abortions, he is taking heat from the Roman Catholic Church.

While President Obama's special envoy tries to broker peace in the Middle East and the White House dangles an olive branch before a near-nuclear Iran, a new foreign policy confrontation is in the making -- with the Vatican.

After he ended a ban last week on federal funding to international groups that perform or promote abortions, Obama is taking heat from the Roman Catholic Church, that political powerhouse based overseas.

Vatican officials said last weekend that they were disappointed by the president's decision to reverse the so-called Mexico City policy.

Planned Parenthood Pushing `Prevention First Act'

What is the Prevention First Act? The Prevention First Act has several components, all of which would fund programs that are promoted by Planned Parenthood and would put millions more of our tax dollars into PP's coffers. These components include:

Making Title X (family planning) a permanent program and funding it at $700 million or more.

Mandating that health insurance programs that cover prescriptions must cover abortifacient contraceptives.

Creating additional massive government funding for PP-style sex education programs (abstinence-only programs are specifically excluded from funding).

Permanently including family planning services as part of the Medicaid program.

Lawmakers Fail to Limit Health Insurance Programs, Dems Shoot Down 'Mexico City' Amendment

Senate Republicans fell short Wednesday in their effort to limit the expansion of a government health insurance programs. Republicans tried several times to amend a bill that would renew the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The Senate rejected that amendment, 65-32. The Senate rejected another proposed amendment that would have revived a prohibition on federal taxpayer funding for international groups that perform abortions [and] provide abortion information (Mexico City Policy). By a 60-37 vote, Democrats turned back an amendment that would have denied [taxpayer funding] to groups involved in abortions abroad.

Pro-Abortion Politicians Back Away from Pelosi

Pelosi's long record of support for pro-abortion policies continues to mislead and distort Catholics teaching on the sanctity of human life. While the family planning component Pelosi is championing in the economic stimulus package remains, we are mildly surprised to see President Obama place pressure on Pelosi to drop that component.

S.C. Panel OKs Republican's 24-Hour Wait On Abortions Regulation

Women seeking an abortion in South Carolina would have to wait at least 24 hours after their ultrasound under a bill given initial approval Wednesday by a House subcommittee. The measure would increase the waiting time from an hour to a day. Proponents said it would bring South Carolina in line with other states that have waiting periods and give women time to reflect on the decision. Critics said requiring two trips creates a burden, especially for poor, rural women.

One Quarter of UK Secondary Teachers Have Been Asked about Abortion by Students

A quarter of UK secondary school teachers have been asked for advice by students on how to obtain an abortion, a recent study has found. 24 percent of secondary school teachers said they had been asked for advice on abortion. 67 percent of those polled said they think information about abortion should be included in the national curriculum on sex education.
The Teachers TV poll of more than 800 teachers and others working in education found that although there was general support for providing students with abortion information, 82 percent believe that discussing the topic could offend parents, and 42 percent think it could offend students.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Photos from National March for Life

Photo journal from National March for Life

Becoming frustrated with the lack of media coverage of the National March for Life, writer and mother of 12, Barbara Curtis decided to create a photo journal on her blog to document the nearly 300,000 people defending the rights of the unborn.

Click here to view photos of the 2009 March for Life

Support for pregnant women among bills

Support for pregnant women among bills

Members of Congress continue to promote pro-life legislation in spite of control by abortion-rights advocates of both the legislature and the White House.

Several measures designed to reduce abortions or block federal funding of the practice have been offered in the new congressional session. Among the bills seeking to decrease abortions is the Pregnant Women Support Act (PWSA), which has been reintroduced by two Democrats, Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Rep. Lincoln Davis of Tennessee.

The legislation, S. 270 in the Senate and H.R. 605 in the House of Representatives, proposes a multi-pronged approach to helping women in crisis pregnancies choose to give birth. The bill seeks to provide women with information on their unborn child and their options, as well as to offer various forms of assistance.

PWSA is a legislative companion to Democrats for Life of America's 95-10 Initiative, which seeks to reduce the number of abortions in the United States by 95 percent in 10 years.

The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) reiterated the endorsement of PWSA it provided in the last Congress.

"If we're pro-life, then we need to do everything we can to empower women to choose to have their babies, and the provisions of this bill are aimed directly at that goal," ERLC President Richard Land told Baptist Press.

Among its proposals, PWSA would:

-- Require abortion providers to obtain informed consent from women before performing abortions;

-- Approve the issuance of grants to health centers for the purchase and use of ultrasound equipment;

-- Establish a toll-free phone number to direct women to organizations that will provide support during and after their pregnancies;

-- Create programs to assist pregnant and parenting high school and college students so they can complete their schooling;

-- Eliminate pregnancy as a pre-existing condition in the health-insurance industry, thereby providing prenatal and postnatal care for women;

-- Codify a rule providing coverage under the State Children's Health Insurance Program for low-income pregnant women and unborn children.

In a Nov. 5 letter to then-President-elect Obama after his election, the ERLC's Land said an excellent way for him to unite the country "would be for you to put your full and vigorous support behind" PWSA.

"All of these measures [in PWSA] would help fulfill the pledge made in the 2008 Democratic Party platform, which 'strongly supports a woman's decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre- and post-natal health care, parenting skills, income support and caring adoption programs,'" Land wrote to Obama.

Obama fully supported abortion rights throughout his years in the Illinois and U.S. Senates. On Jan. 23, he issued an executive order overturning the Mexico City Policy, which barred family planning funds from going to organizations that perform or promote abortion overseas.

Casey told reporters in a Jan. 16 conference call he is unaware if the White House has a position on PWSA, "but we'll certainly be working with them to get the support of the administration."

In Congress, abortion-rights advocates expanded their majorities in both houses in the November election. In spite of that fact, Casey said he hopes the "new kind of common ground" PWSA represents will gain support.

The bill, Davis told reporters, starts the process of seeking "to help reduce abortions" and "bring about at least options and opportunities for women by themselves in a distressed situation."

On another front in the battle over abortion, Rep. Mike Pence, R.-Ind., has reintroduced legislation to ban abortion providers from receiving funds through Title X, the federal government's family planning program. The measure especially would affect Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). Its affiliates performed nearly 290,000 abortions in 2006, the latest year for which statistics are available.

It is morally wrong not only to kill an unborn child, but "it is also morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use them to promote abortion at home or abroad," Pence said in a written statement Jan. 22, the day after he reintroduced the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, H.R. 614.

"Many Americans fail to recognize the largest abortion provider in America is also the largest recipient of federal taxpayer dollars through Title X -- this should not be," Pence said.

Sen. David Vitter, R.-La., has introduced a similar measure, S. 85.

Among other pro-life bills already introduced in the new Congress are the:

-- Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, H.R. 6, which would prohibit a minor from being transported to another state to avoid a parental involvement law in her home state;

-- Ultrasound Informed Consent Act, H.R. 649, which would require an abortion provider to perform an ultrasound and give a woman considering an abortion the opportunity to view the images before agreeing to the procedure;

-- Abortion Non-discrimination Act, S. 96, which would protect the conscience rights of pro-life health-care providers and institutions.

Contact: Tom Strode
Source: Baptist Press
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Publish Date: January 27, 2009
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The MOTHERS Act - Trolling for Mental Patients in a Maternity Ward Near You

Certain Congressmen who normally spend time pushing legislation are on a mission to "save" birthing mothers of America from "mental illness." The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act exploits a mother who was "treated" with almost everything the mental health industry can offer, from drug cocktails to electroshock. These "treatments" worked so well for Melanie that she jumped from a 12th story Chicago hotel room window.

The bill seeks to screen all pregnant and new mothers in America for being "at risk" of mental disorders, and funnel them into "preventive treatment." What the sponsors won't talk about are the thousands of babies dying each year from spontaneous abortions and birth defects caused by antidepressant exposure. Nor do they publicize a provision in the text to conduct research on post-abortive women.

The bill died last session, despite Harry Reid's attempt to pass it in a failed $10 billion omnibus spending bill. This session, we may not be as lucky. One cosponsor of the bill from the 110th Congress is now President. Another is Secretary of State. And Majority Leader Harry Reid now enjoys a much larger majority in his voting caucus, which could help him overcome any potential filibuster in the Senate.

Implementing a nationwide "mental illness" scaremongering campaign seems logical to those who haven't yet learned to locate the FDA website for black box suicide warnings. Or to those who think that electrocution is wrong if used for capital punishment, but electrocuting the brain of a mental patient is ok.

But to people like me, or my friends Julie Edgington, Mathy Downing, Kim Witczak, Jim Torlakson, Kim Crespi and Enne Currie, this bill flies in the face of not only reason, but morality. For it ensures that more families will suffer the same horrors ours have. Things we can never forget. For myself, being suicidal and homicidal after only three days on Zoloft. For Julie, having a baby with a rare heart defect who nearly died at birth. For Mathy, Kim W. and Jim, losing a child or husband to antidepressant-induced suicide. For Kim C. -- twin daughters murdered by their father under the influence of Prozac. And for Enne, not knowing whether her son Dirul Lewis is alive or dead, even though his psychiatrist does.

This path paved in death and destruction is a road America must not travel.

Contact: Amy Philo

Source: UNITE
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Publish Date: January 28, 2009
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Suit over Rights of Conscience

Planned Parenthood, ACLU Sue over Rights of Conscience
Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union are suing the government over rules that protect health care providers' freedom of conscience.

The Department of Health and Human Services put the regulations in place last month to reinforce federal laws that protect doctors from being forced to participate in abortion and other anti-life practices.

"We consider right of conscience to be the biggest issue we face," said Dr. David Stevens, executive director of the Christian Medical Association. "If we lose this one, soon there will be no Christian health care personnel debating the other ethical issues like cloning or physician-assisted suicide."  

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and Christian Legal Society have intervened in the case.

"Medical professionals should not be forced to perform abortions against their conscience," said Matt Bowman, legal counsel for ADF. 

Editor's Note: What about
the hippocratic oath?

    The Hippocratic Oath (Modern Version)

     I SWEAR in the presence of the Almighty and before my family, my teachers and my peers that according to my ability and judgment I will keep this Oath and Stipulation.

    TO RECKON all who have taught me this art equally dear to me as my parents and in the same spirit and dedication to impart a knowledge of the art of medicine to others. I will continue with diligence to keep abreast of advances in medicine. I will treat without exception all who seek my ministrations, so long as the treatment of others is not compromised thereby, and I will seek the counsel of particularly skilled physicians where indicated for the benefit of my patient.

    I WILL FOLLOW that method of treatment which according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patient and abstain from whatever is harmful or mischievous. I will neither prescribe nor administer a lethal dose of medicine to any patient even if asked nor counsel any such thing nor perform the utmost respect for every human life from fertilization to natural death and reject abortion that deliberately takes a unique human life.

    WITH PURITY, HOLINESS AND BENEFICENCE I will pass my life and practice my art. Except for the prudent correction of an imminent danger, I will neither treat any patient nor carry out any research on any human being without the valid informed consent of the subject or the appropriate legal protector thereof, understanding that research must have as its purpose the furtherance of the health of that individual. Into whatever patient setting I enter, I will go for the benefit of the sick and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief or corruption and further from the seduction of any patient.

    WHATEVER IN CONNECTION with my professional practice or not in connection with it I may see or hear in the lives of my patients which ought not be spoken abroad, I will not divulge, reckoning that all such should be kept secret.

    WHILE I CONTINUE to keep this Oath unviolated may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art and science of medicine with the blessing of the Almighty and respected by my peers and society, but should I trespass and violate this Oath, may the reverse by my lot.  

Josh Montez
Source: CitizenLink
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Publish Date: January 27, 2009
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Don’t Count the Pro-Life Movement Out

Don't Count the Pro-Life Movement Out

Another pro-abortion president and his Freedom of Choice Act will not stop the fight to save lives.

Progress made by the pro-life movement at the state level in recent years faces virtual elimination if one policy endorsed by President Barack Obama becomes law. The result will be what no one wants: more abortions.

Abortion opponents are a resourceful bunch. When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state laws banning or regulating abortion 36 years ago, pro-lifers went to work to find the weaknesses in those two court rulings. And, you'd better believe that Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton have plenty of flaws you can take issue with.

But pro-lifers were not detoured. They started passing state laws to test the parameters of Roe and Doe. And since 1973, the Supreme Court has upheld many of them: Restrictions on public funding and non-physicians performing abortions. Parental involvement, women's right to know and waiting period measures. And in 2007, a federal ban on a particularly gruesome abortion method: partial-birth abortion.

These laws do more than test the legal limits of Supreme Court scrutiny. They save lives!

Americans United for Life — a leading pro-life legal organization — reports that in the past 15 years, Mississippi has adopted 15 pro-life laws. As a result, abortions in that state have dropped by nearly 60 percent. All but one abortion clinic in the state has closed.

One researcher has determined that such incremental, life-affirming laws are a significant factor in the nearly 20 percent decrease in abortions nationwide during the 1990s.

Passing these laws is a slow, tedious and sometimes painful progress, but it's one that makes a difference to the moms and babies whose lives are spared the pain and death that comes with abortion.

Unfortunately, more than 200 pro-life laws are being targeted by pro-abortion groups that have more than a sympathetic ear in our new president. Obama has promised to sign a measure called the Freedom of Choice Act, which would eliminate virtually every federal, state and local measure that limits or restricts abortion.

That means no restrictions on public funding of abortion, no parental-involvement or informed-consent requirements, and a re-emergence of partial-birth abortion.

There's no reason to doubt Obama's promise; his pro-abortion voting record and policy positions pave the way for him to sign such legislation into law.

But don't count the pro-life movement down and out. It has withstood devastating Supreme Court rulings and pro-abortion presidents before. And it will again.

Carrie Gordon Earll
Source: CitizenLink
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Publish Date: January 27, 2009
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