America’s abortion extremism

Hard to be the shining beacon of human rights and dignity with this record.

Somehow, Planned Parenthood has remained powerful, heavily funded and very influential among the power brokers of politics and culture: government, media, academia and Hollywood. Somehow, the abortion mentality has pervaded even believers in religion and absolute truth and moral order, convincing roughly half of them to accept the decades long, slick marketing slogans that it’s about empowering women and respecting women’s rights and protecting particularly their right to choose.

Choose what? Planned Parenthood gives women, particularly in minority neighborhoods, a lack of choice but easy access to abortion.

Having frequent conversations with expert guests on radio covering these issues –  especially lately with congressional efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, the abortion giant’s social media campaign in reaction and response to the possibility of losing federal funds, the recent vote in Congress to ban abortions of five month old babies in the womb, and the administration’s move last week to roll back the HHS mandate requiring birth control pill coverage in health insurance plans for Christian and particularly Catholic groups like Little Sisters of the Poor – the point has come up more than once that the U.S. is among the seven countries in the world with the most lax and extreme abortion laws.

The Washington Post editors must have found that hard to believe, and so submitted it to their well known ‘fact checker‘. This is how it opened:

Seven out of 198 nations allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.”
statement of Trump administration policy, Oct. 2, 2017

 

The House approved a ban on 20-week abortions this week, and this dramatic statistic caught our attention…

It’s about time. What brought it to WaPo’s attention now? That House of Representatives ban on the ‘Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act’, which prompted this response from the White House, which included the attention grabbing statistic contained in this fuller snip than WaPo led with:

The United States is currently out of the mainstream in the family of nations, in which only 7 out of 198 nations allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Worse still, the United States is in the top (or worst) four:

Here’s a look at the seven countries. We sorted them from the most liberal on gestational limits to the least:

 

North Korea and Vietnam: No specified gestational limit, though regulatory mechanisms vary.

 

China: “Abortion is virtually freely available in China, and there are no defined time limits for access to the procedure,” according to Pew Research Center. China now has a “two-child” policy, and human-rights advocates have criticized China’s population and family planning laws.

 

United States: No federal ban on gestational limit, but 43 states have prohibitions on gestational limits, from 20 to 24 weeks, or the point of “viability,” according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights research group. There are some exceptions made, usually for the life or health of the mother.

Then come Canada, Netherlands and Singapore.

Only North Korea, Vietnam and China are ahead of the United States in abortion extremism.

“Our nation does not belong in that disgraceful club”, the Susan B. Anthony List declared in a statement after the House vote.

The 20 week abortion ban bill now goes to the Senate for a vote, and SBA List is running a grassroots campaign in states with vulnerable pro-abortion senators up for re-election in 2018 in states favorable to common sense restrictions to otherwise liberal abortion laws.

My home state of Illinois just got a major setback of unprecedented proportion when Governor Bruce Rauner broke his promise to pro-life leaders and voters, state clergy and even Chicago’s Cardinal Archbishop Blase Cupich and signed into law the first binding legislation passed by an elected state official, ensuring that abortion will remain legal in the state of Illinois even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, and that state taxpayers’ dollars will pay for abortion, violating consciences, and religious and other deeply held beliefs of citizens who have no say now.

At least, until the next election.

Planned Parenthood is not necessary

And too costly.

Questions finally have been coming out about the abortion giant’s funding and how they use it.

So what exactly are taxpayers getting for the $528 million they provide to Planned Parenthood each year? And more important, what could they get if that money were spent instead at the thousands of federally qualified health centers around the country that do provide a full range of services and diagnostic screenings, as well as birth control, pap smears, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases?

In fact, women have the most to gain from a congressional decision to reallocate money away from Planned Parenthood and to community-based health centers that already serve their localities. The quality of women’s health care will be improved by shifting money to medical providers that focus on the health and well-being of the whole woman; the priority should not be funding an organization that treats women’s reproductive health in isolation.

Women’s access to health care will improve, as well. There are more than 13,000 qualified health centers providing a full range of health-care services to women, including 4,000 in under-served rural areas.

The maps in the article make the point best. Taxpayer funds should shift to the federally qualified health clinics.

The House passed legislation to defund the abortion industry giant. Now it’s the Senate’s turn to vote. Pressure is on.

Meanwhile, Students for Life of America has begun running an ad on a massive screen in Times Square to reach women in the heart of New York City with the message that Planned Parenthood is betraying them.

Planned Parenthood claims they care about women but they don’t – just look at their actions. They get over $500 million a year in our taxpayer money and makes more than $100 million in profit, all while having abortion quotas. The organization has been caught covering up statutory rape, double-billing taxpayers, aiding and abetting sex traffickers, scheduling sex-selective abortions and accepting money to abort African American children.

Women have been betrayed by Planned Parenthood. Families have been deceived. And the smallest among us have been the ultimate victims of Planned Parenthood’s horrific business schemes. Quite frankly, we’ve had enough. It’s time to relieve Planned Parenthood of our taxpayer dollars.

In a press release, Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins said enough is enough.

“The atrocities that Planned Parenthood has committed deserve the widest stage possible and we are bringing the message that they betray women to one of the biggest in the world: Times Square. Planned Parenthood preys on vulnerable women, telling them they can’t parent their child or place for adoption, but rather that they must have an abortion to solve their ‘problem.’ That is not empowerment but rather a betrayal and an affront to the power of femininity. By putting this ad front and center in the middle of New York City, where 37% of all pregnancies end in abortion, we are giving notice to Planned Parenthood that we are on their turf and we want to reach those women before they do.”

Abortion as a political football

Or, Planned Parenthood, in particular.

That’s how WaPo’s blog ‘The Fix’ put it.

While the high-profile congressional fight over Planned Parenthood’s funding is over, the group is still engaged in a number of legal battles across the country, fights that could become an issue in the 2012 elections.

It may not be high-profile at the moment, but the effort to defund Planned Parenthood is far from over. True, the organization is embroiled in legal battles around the country wherever states pass laws like informed consent, parental notification, waiting periods or ultrasounds required before women proceed with abortion. They’ll be an issue in the election alright.

The ‘war on women’ mantra in this piece is tired and not working, because it’s not remotely applicable to the effort to protect women’s and children’s health, family health (as opposed to what’s oddly called ‘family planning’), and to direct taxpayer funds to causes other than ending human life.

The piece claims that

…Planned Parenthood — and Democrats — have succeeded in making the debate about women’s health, rather than abortion rights.

Not really, at least not in the real world outside the closed circuit of those who only talk to each other in the abortion movement and their sympathizers in the media and, as the piece makes clear, the Democrats. Though that’s not fair to pro-life Democrats, relatively small group that it is.

It’s interesting that WaPo’s blog enumerates the battles Planned Parenthood is engaged in throughout many states, and only the high-profile ones among many others. But by doing so it shows how concerted the effort is to stop the radical abortion-on-demand-at-all-cost-and-no-regulation mentality across the states.

It’s clear. Planned Parenthood is a political football. For now, the Democrats are punting. Republicans are huddling over who’s on the field and what their strategy is. And spectators are watching.

Paying the tab for Planned Parenthood

Taxpayers pick up a third of it. Chances are, most of us didn’t know that.

Until this new report came out.

“By Planned Parenthood’s own accounting, $363 million – one-third of its budget annually – comes from the American taxpayer,” said president of Americans United for Life Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

“While Congress is discussing going deeper in debt and raising the debt ceiling … our government is quietly subsidizing the world’s largest abortion provider with $1 million a day.”

But wait…there’s more.

The report claimed that the organization has committed numerous financial malpractices and human rights abuses over the last two decades. It cited failure to report criminal child sexual abuse, failure to comply with parental involvement laws and willingness to refer to substandard clinics as some of the offenses.

Sufficiently outraged? What constitutes ‘sufficiently’? Enough to prompt action to stop this spiral. But it’s still in a downward spin of offenses against basic human decency.

The report also states that Planned Parenthood has been documented as assisting people engaged in prostitution and or sex trafficking, and has “dangerously” misused the abortion drug RU-486.

Analysis showed that Planned Parenthood has provided inaccurate and misleading information to women regarding fetal development and about abortion’s health risks. The report also stated that “considerable misinformation” has been given to patients on emergency contraception, including the pill “ella”.

Documentation also touched on Medicaid fraud allegedly committed by Planned Parenthood and its local affiliates. The report outlined four cases – in California, New York, New Jersey and Washington state – where Planned Parenthood affiliates have been exposed for fraudulent overbilling practices.

“American taxpayers are being forced to directly support this abortion-saturated organization which is fraught with fraud and misuse of government monies,” Yoest said on Thursday.

When you see it added up like this, even for halfway seasoned pro-life citizens, it’s breathtaking.

So now that it’s not a hot issue on Congress (and btw…why is it not?), who’s doing something about it?

The states. Several states. Elections have consquences, as if we needed another reminder.

Abortion supporters, in their own words

A majority of Americans are opposed to abortion, and recognizing it is legal, the majority have expressed that they don’t want their tax dollars to be spent on assisting the abortion industry. The effort in Congress to de-fund Planned Parenthood has grown emotional and tense at times, with dramatic claims made by abortion supporters in defense of federal funding for Planned Parenthood. This issue needs clarity.

CatholicVote.org has been monitoring it all closely, working with members of the bi-partisan congressional effort to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Brian Burch issued a press release revealing their latest video message. He said:

This is one of the most agonizing videos we have ever produced.

Two weeks ago we sent our media team into the middle of a rally organized to defend taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood.

They wanted abortion supporters to be heard, speaking for themselves and their beliefs.

What we witnessed left us speechless.

The abortion industry is often portrayed as a big-hearted caring industry that simply wants to serve low-income women. Their supporters claim that stripping Planned Parenthood and abortion providers of taxpayer funds will hurt everyone.

Of course this is a lie. Planned Parenthood is billion-dollar organization that is chiefly concerned with one thing — the destruction of innocent human life.

Some of the footage we captured will shock you. Some of it will make you sad…

The fight over taxpayer support for Planned Parenthood is about much more than budgets and deficits. The fight is ultimately about our vision for America — a vision that cherishes mothers, families and the gift of human life.

Our vision is one of hope. Theirs is filled with anger and hopelessness.

Planned Parenthood, in their own words.

Who in Congress wants you to pay for abortion?

This headline caught my attention: “Pelosi rips ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.‘”

Excuse me? What?

On a conference call with reporters and bloggers this afternoon, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) characterized the GOP’s recent legislative effort to restrict access to abortion and contraception as “the most comprehensive and radical assault on women’s health in our life time,” promising to wage a campaign against the effort.

Go through that sentence slowly.

Nuanced to death

Pro-life leaders have said all along that if abortion is not explicitly excluded from the new healthcare legislation, it will be included. Their critics challenge them to find it in the wording, saying it’s not there. It is, and they have.

If the government wants to assure the majority of Americans who don’t want their tax dollars to fund abortion that it won’t be mandated, why not state that clearly, ask these senators.

Responding to a new report that the 2010 health care law lacks restrictions that prohibit states from using federal funding to pay for abortions in the new high risk insurance pools, 13 Republican senators have written to the head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to urge regulatory action.

“We request your immediate assistance to ensure that federal dollars will not be used to pay for elective abortions,” the Senators’ July 28 letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius read. They asked Sebelius to identify specific actions to be taken and to set a timeline for them by July 30.

The letter cited a July 23 memo from the Library of Congress’ Congressional Research Service (CRS). The Senators said abortion funding restrictions in the health care legislation and in President Barack Obama’s executive order “fail to address high risk pools and the $5 billion in funding provided for their operation.”

CNA spoke with Janine D’Addario of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) who confirmed the authenticity of the memo, pointing to the Senate Health Committee’s website for the “authoritative version.”

According to the CRS memo, the executive order does not “specifically” address the question of high-risk pools but directs the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the HHS Secretary to develop guidelines segregating federal funds from abortion funds.

Additionally, the CRS memo said that the HHS request for state proposals and the HHS model contracts “neither explicitly provide the authority to cover elective abortions with federal funds, nor do they specifically prohibit the use of federal funds.”

This is the reason you can’t find much good coverage out there clarifying what happened with that congressional action now that July 30 is up, or what the legislation really does say and mean and cover. Probably because few really know

It seems as if the regulation is an inverse Rorschach test, in which everyone sees not what they want, but the opposite of it. “[Health-care reform] is a 2,000 page law. There’s a dozen or more provisions that implicate abortion policy,” NRLC legislative director Douglas Johnson explained to NEWSWEEK, “This was the first that we had to deal with, but there are the others down the road. Some will cover larger populations. What we wanted was the Stupak amendment that the House adopted. We think Congress needs to revisit it, so everything isn’t up for grabs. But that will require some change in the composition of Congress.”

And that’s a memo to everyone running for office or for re-election in the mid-terms.

Fix the healthcare law

Besides all the other problems that have either been known or come to light about Obamacare that call for reforming this version of reform, (Heritage has been there from the beginning, has the experts and done the work…) two fundamental moral ones loom large. Heard anything about it lately?

Since you’re here, chances are you have. But those poor souls fed only by ‘mainstream media’ aren’t so informed.

Let’s review, starting with the issue of taxpayer funding of abortion that remains embedded in ‘healthcare reform’ in spite of verbal promises and claims to the contrary, by the people who brought us this law. Though virtually none of them read the 2,409 pages of it to know what’s actually in it.

So about abortion and the bill

[U.S. House Minority Leader John] Boehner criticized the Executive Order that President Obama signed to assuage pro-life Democrats that the Hyde amendment would be upheld in the new legislation – but that analysts say only reiterated what was already stated in the bill.

The GOP leader expressed frustration that the Obama Administration had yet to “[lift] a finger to enforce the president’s executive order on abortion,” as reported by The Hill. He said that, when asked about the implementation of the order, Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the administration was “working on it.”

Boehner said that he would call on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to put legislation codifying Hyde amendment restrictions on abortion funding to an immediate vote.

We’ll keep an eye on that.

Now how does abortion funding fit into the current legislation?

When the health care reform debates were in full swing last November, Boehner decried the “monthly abortion premium” to be demanded of all customers of the government-run plan as dictated by the current version of the bill. Boehner also pointed out, as verified by NRLC analysts, that the bill forced at least one insurance plan offered in each regional insurance exchange to offer abortion and gave the Secretary of Health and Human Services the power to mandate that abortion be considered part of the essential benefits package of a government-run plan.

Later, Boehner excoriated the amended Senate version of the bill for maintaining the “monthly abortion fee,” and posted the NRLC’s detailed breakdown of the bill’s manifold abortion flaws.

Here’s NRLC’s detailed explanation, a rare and explicit analysis for everyone who asks ‘where is abortion in the bill…?’

The other big moral issue is conscience protection, and lack thereof in the law as passed.

Why is the conscience issue so neglected? One possible reason is that conscience violations are less tangible than the destruction of a living human being. Furthermore, the area of conscience protection has many moving parts, which can be hard to monitor. Conscience protection laws can shield both the religious and moral objector or just the former; they might cover many different forms of involvement (providing, referring, etc.) in one or more services (abortion, euthanasia, birth control, etc.); they could cover one or more sets of actors in the healthcare field (individual providers, hospitals, insurance companies, etc.) against discrimination by one or more authorities (government entities, employers, health plans, etc.). There are also various theological and philosophical grounds for different conscience claims…Finally, there is the seemingly insoluble dilemma posed when the demand for legal conscience protection is characterized as a contest between “your right to refuse” and “my right to have.”

The healthcare law known as Obamacare

…contains an extraordinary array of new mandates affecting every player in American healthcare—governments, insurance exchanges and insurance plans, hospitals and clinics, doctors and employers, and every single healthcare consumer. Some new mandates include language (“essential health benefits,” “preventive services”) which regulatory agencies and judges might easily construe to include medical services objectionable to a wide swath of individuals and institutions.

It’s a Pandora’s box, not to be cliche.

Many institutions in need of conscience exemptions provide a level of healthcare characterized by a commitment to treating the whole person, body, mind, and spirit. They take quite seriously their professions’ demands in the way of training, judgment and integrity…For these reasons, such institutions should be protected for what they are; our social world would be worse off without them.

For policy wonks, and everyone who sincerely wants resources and answers to respond to critics who claim this bill holds no moral threats (and I get plenty of questions from such good people seeking information)….read Helen Alvare’s article there on Public Discourse thoroughly, check out the links throughout the piece, and the ones linked above. We need to be informed about this, and remedies underway to resolve the moral threats that do exist in this legislation.

Currently, a bill cosponsored by Republican Joseph Pitts and Democrat Dan Lipinski (H.R. 5111) contains a variety of conscience protections which would repair many of [the healthcare law’s] most serious flaws. It merits considerable attention in the public square…

Especially now, with a looming mid-term election that could significantly change the landscape of Washington and its designs on our health and care.

Defund Planned Parenthood

For the first time since 2002, the nation’s largest abortion provider has been called to an accounting. How much federal funding do they receive and how much do they spend, and therefore ‘need?’ It took 31 U.S. senators and congressional representatives asking for such a report to get the books opened for review. And what they found was a big discrepancy.

Millions of dollars of taxpayer funds are missing.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s (PPFA) audits show the organization spent just $657.1 million between 2002 and 2008 from federal government grants and programs, but the abortion behemoth’s own annual reports show that it took in $2.3 billion from government grants and programs during the same time period.

That’s not pocket change. Why the discrepancy?

More people are asking these days why the highly profitable abortion giant need or get federal funds in the first place.

Since 2009, at least five nationwide polls have confirmed that a majority of Americans consider themselves pro-life.

Someone, then, needs to explain to all those people why $2.3 billion in tax dollars have been doled out to an organization that admits to systematically having killed more than 1.8 million pre-born babies between 2002 and 2008 and then reports it only spent $657.1 million in federal dollars.

Has Planned Parenthood managed to tuck away megamillions of our tax dollars, seemingly unnoticed? Or is that much of its government funding coming from sources other than the federal government? Or is there a problem with the way Planned Parenthood is reporting its expenditure of our federal monies?

PP has just completed its 2009-10 fiscal year, the article notes. But the organization still hasn’t released its annual report for 2008-09.

In light of the discrepancy revealed in this GAO report, we must ask: What is Planned Parenthood trying to keep secret?

At least those members of Congress are asking, and revealing what they uncover.

Here are the groups, all of which promote abortion or provide abortion: Advocates for Youth,  $8.7 million (2002-2009); the Guttmacher Institute, $12.7 million (2002-2008); International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), $93.8 million (2002-2009); Planned Parenthood Federation of America, $657.1 million (2002-2008); Population Council of the United States, $284.3 million (2002-2008); Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), $1.6 million (2002-2009).

We’ve heard supporters point out that Planned Parenthood provides a range of medical services and proceures besides abortion, and that’s true, though their argument that financially supporting the group for those other reasons reduces or eliminates their culpability in funding abortion.

Not exactly.

“Giving taxpayer money to organizations that promote and provide abortion, even if the money is not used for that purpose, frees up other funds for abortion purposes and gives the government’s stamp of approval to their abortion related activities.

“By funding Planned Parenthood and their allies, we are unwittingly supporting an abortion organization and everything they do. When taxpayer money goes to abortion groups for any reason, it supports the work of the abortion industry. We should not let abortion companies benefit financially from taxpayer funds.

Therefore, Cong. Mike Pence and Cong. Chris Smith, along with close to a hundred other representatives are driving a bi-partisan legal effort to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Time to return to taxpayers funding authentic family health care services that don’t include ending the life of any family member….to state the obvious…