by Carrie Russell
March 20, 2010
Abortion is mandated over a dozen times in the healthcare bill. For more, read this.
Abortion is mandated over a dozen times in the healthcare bill. For more, read this.
Amnesty International released a report today on Maternal Mortality in the United States. I was enthusiastic to see a subheading for a right to life until a little further into the report I read that abortion (the procedure that destroys innocent little lives) was included as part of a womans right to life.
From page 14 of the report:
The right to life is protected in a number of international human rights treaties including the ICCPR, which states that every human being has the inherent right to life and that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of their right to life…the need to employ a broad interpretation of the right to life, which includes public health measures, and has called on states to reduce preventable maternal mortality, including by ensuring access to family planning and abortion, as part of their obligation to protect the right to life under the ICCPR.33 Like all human rights, the right to life must also be guaranteed without discrimination.
Sadly, Amnesty International defies their own words by discriminating against those who are in the womb.
To put the right to life issue in context, approximately 12 million women die worldwide each year from complications in childbirth (i.e., maternal mortality). In comparison, approximately 42 million children are denied the inherent right to life through abortion every year worldwide.
Additionally, according to the WHO, Maternal Mortality is not listed among the top ten health causes of death anywhere in the world - in developing or developed countries.
While we can all agree that expectant mothers should have access to good health care, the issue of maternal mortality should not be a cover for abortion.
War is Gods way of teaching Americans history, goes a cynical old European taunt. I dont agree with that, entirely. But they have a point. Who among us knew where Fallujah was before 2003? Or where Kandahar was before 2001? Who among us does not know where Gettysburg is and what it means. Or, at least, what it used to mean.
Living through history has a way of making an impact on our lives. We are living through a great moment in our history. Glenn Beck regales Americans nightly with stories and quotes from the Founding Fathers. Its as if this eager, emotional fellow has just discovered them. Hes that enthusiastic. Legal writer Mark Levin holds forth nightly as well. His book, Liberty and Tyranny, rocketed to the top of the bestseller lists. Its an essential primer in the theory and practice of limited government.
Liberals are, predictably, horrified by the likes of Beck and Levin. But they would have been horrified by Thomas Paine, too. Paine was a hard-drinking, failed tax collector and corset maker from England who came to America with no money and even fewer prospects. His book, Common Sense, sold hundreds of thousands of copies. It electrified the American colonists and helped mightily to move them to demand independence. His Excellency General George Washington had Common Sense distributed to his ragged soldiers.
John Adams powerfully reasoned arguments persuaded many in Congress. Thomas Jeffersons immortal prose inspired all who loved liberty and language—then and now. But it was Paine who set the grassroots on fire.
The great threat of ObamaCare to Americans life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness cannot be overestimated. It holds the menace of financial collapse for the Great Republic —- with trillions in unfunded mandates. It is precisely what C.S. Lewis described when he spoke of worldly peoples reaction to obvious problems. When the ship is about to founder, they yell: Take on more water!
In a country conceived in liberty, a nation that believes all men are created equal, ObamaCare would fund the engines of death, the greatest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade. It would give the official government seal of approval to abortion facilities —- these latter-day tophets —- all over the country. The Obama administration has resisted the Stupak Amendment and every other effort to restrict coverage for abortion.
These heady days remind me of the last great fight we had on Capitol Hill. Back in 1994, H.R. 6, a monster federal education bill, was being debated. Congressman George Miller (D-Calif.) had had quietly slipped into its thousands of pages an innocent-looking amendment. In New Jersey, Carolee Adams, a mother and homeschooler, recognized the threat to homeschooling in the Miller Amendment. It could very likely make homeschooling illegal. Carolee, a former Fortune 500 corporate vice president, is a formidable lady. She was not to be head-patted by congressmen or patronized by liberal Hill staffers. Carolee sounded the alarm. Dr. Dobson brought the Home School Legal Defense Associations fearless advocate, Mike Farris, onto his broadcast and, together, they ignited the grassroots.
Then, as now, phone calls poured into the Capitol Hill switchboard. In just eight days, there were three million calls registered in Congress. Many Members of Congress in those pre-cellphone days could not even reach their own offices!
Give them whatever they want, some of these powerful committee chairman said, just tell them to stop calling! The final vote against Congressman Millers amendment was 434-1. Give the Democrat his due, Mr. Miller voted for the Miller Amendment.
I was fielding phone calls at the FRC offices during that eight-day blitz. Many a parent would call me to clarify what their congressmans office had told them. One young mother, homeschooling several very little children, put me through my paces. Whats a conference committee? Whats a committee of the whole? Whats an open rule? Whats the Union calendar?
What does reconciliation mean?
For almost an hour, as the sun sank over the capital, I answered every one of this worried Moms questions. She had gotten to the point where she wasnt trusting anybody. Finally, she sighed.
Okay, youve been honest with me. Ill tell my group of mothers to keep calling our congressman. Then, with some little embarrassment, she said: I have to admit, I was never very good at this civics stuff when I was in high school.
I told her I was never very good at teaching civics when I worked in a high school. What we learned then was that theres nothing like a fight —- a fight for your family, a fight for your country, a fight for your fundamental American liberties—to teach us all.
So, Mr. President, thank you. You have done a great deal to educate all Americans about their government. Anyone who thinks the American people wont know what deem and pass means now, and how it violates Art. I, Sec. 7 of the Constitution is deluding himself. And if this thing passes by schemin and deemin, we just might see some of those deemin Congressmen voted out!
Youve gotta love Bart Stupak, the brave Democrat from Michigan who is standing athwart the Obama-Abortion-Care Juggernaut, yelling, Stop!
Here are some choice quotes (to use a pun) from Representative Stupak from a recent interview with the Weekly Standard:
When the reporter mentioned speculation that Stupak was ready to cave and vote for a health care bill that would force taxpayers to fund abortion, his response was clear: “Obviously they dont know me,” he said. If I didnt cave in November, why would I do it now after all the crap Ive been through?”
President Obamas attempt to get Stupaks vote is both ridiculous and revealing: Apparently the President invited Stupak to the Russian opera last week. (This is reminiscent of candidate Nelson Rockefeller at the working mans bar ordering beers all around and a Courvoisier for himself.) The Weekly Standard writes: Asked if he was a big fan of the opera, Stupak, who represents a district encompassing the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, laughed and said: No, Im not a fan of opera, especially not Russian opera because I wouldn’t understand a thing.
Stupak isnt afraid to call out his own Party, saying that White House officials are “trying to get face time with members to convince them to vote for a bill that no one has seen in writing.”
Yesterday, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, released a statement including the following: If the current Senate language introduced by Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) is maintained, it would result in the most significant restriction in access to abortion coverage in the nearly 35 years since the U.S. Congress first adopted the Hyde Amendment…For that reason, Planned Parenthood opposed the Nelson provision when it was proposed and continues to oppose it.
This statement makes me wonder if Ms. Richards and I are looking at different bills. To set the record straight, the Senate bill goes beyond current law restricting government funding of abortion and plans that include abortion.
In Section 1303, the bill allows tax credit subsidies for plans that include abortion and leaves an abortion surcharge in place. It then maintains the proposal to create a multi-state plan that includes abortion in Sec. 1334. Lastly, the Obama proposal would increase the Senate bill funding from $7 billion to $11 billion for community health centers in Sec. 10503 without any abortion funding restrictions.
The sad reality, in the words of FRC president Tony Perkins is that If this bill becomes law, this Congress will oversee the largest ever expansion of abortion on demand at taxpayer expense.
Planned Parenthoods claim that the bill is more restrictive of abortion funding than current law is disingenuously inaccurate. However, if Planned Parenthood truly does want to maintain current policy since the 1970s under the Hyde amendment, then weve found common ground, and can agree that inclusion of the Stupak amendment to maintain the status quo on government abortion funding is the best way forward.
During this moment in history when human beings, trapped under concrete slabs are calling out to be rescued; a day in which people who have miraculously survived the Haiti earthquake do not have enough water to continue living; during a time when the UN and US are sending thousands of security personnel for fear of riots and a deteriorating security situation, International Planned Parenthood, the worlds largest abortion provider, is opportunistically responding to this humanitarian crisis by collecting donations for Sexual & Reproductive Health Services for the people of Haiti.
Note the following immediate health needs in Haiti, according to the World Health Organization (WHO): search and rescue of survivors trapped underneath rubble; treatment of people with major trauma injuries; preventing the infection of wounds; provision of clean water and sanitation. Somehow abortion services did not make the list. Planned Parenthood will objectify and manipulate any person or situation to advance their agenda.
As Haiti begins to recover and grieve one of the most deadly catastrophes ever (possibly 200,000 lives lost), and as the United States approaches the anniversary of Roe v. Wade on January 22 —- a moment when 50,000,000 aborted children will be remembered —- let us be clear that abortion is not health care. Not here in the United States, and not overseas.
[Editor’s Note: Here are some organizations which are offering real help to Haiti]
According to a Washington Times news account by Cheryl Wetzstein in Washington Times (1/12/2010), the Obama healthcare bill will contain $1 billion over five years for a new federal welfare program. It is a maternal home-visit service in which a volunteering mother with a new baby will receive, for up to two years, nurse visits once or twice a month to help the younger mother cope with the daily demands of a growing child. Wetzstein adds, This maternal home-visit service is on its way to becoming a massive federal program….
President Obama touted the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), during the campaign. NFP was devised by in the late 1970s by psychologist David Olds, now a professor at the University of Colorado, Denver. True to his word, Obama is pushing this program now.
In an accompanying analysis piece, Wetzsteins focuses her only fire on the lack of attention paid to fathers by the program. Howerver, there are other concerns. The first that struck me was this: so what happens when the poor, at-risk, poorly educated mother doesnt do what the friendly nurse instructs? What if she doesnt stop smoking, for example? How close is the link between the visiting nurses and social services enforcement division in your local community? These nurses have to be filing reports on their student moms and evaluating them. Are there jurisdictions in which NFP visits have led to mothers losing custodial rights over their children?
Intimations of various degrees of governmental intrusion come in the news article: The House bill also stipulates that home-visiting professionals will, when appropriate, provide referrals to other programs serving children and families. For example, the House bill apparently contains the goal of increasing birth intervals between pregnancies. (Aside: the wife of a colleague with a newborn was recently lectured by her ob/gyn about birth spacing when she indicated that she wanted to soon have another child.)
So, lets say a woman becomes pregnant at a time that doesnt comport with the latest social science models optimal birth spacing. Pro-life advocates like E. Christian Brugger, an ethicist and senior fellow at Culture of Life Foundation, worry that there will be referrals to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providing institutions.
James Harden, president and chief executive of CompassCare Pregnancy Services in Rochester, N.Y., observes:
Increasing birth intervals is a very loaded phrase, and where it goes in the future, no one can know, Mr. Harden said. What is the birth interval? Is it two years between children? Three years between children? Five years between two children? From my perspective, [increasing] birth intervals relates to a backdoor approach to population control.
Anyone who thinks Harden is exaggerating, in my opinion, does not understand the manner in which bureaucracies slowly gain more and more power. Finally, how long will it be before all new families have to have an initial screening from the friendly nurses and the very friendly public health officials.
Wetzstein quotes an NFP spokesman, Julian Kesner, as strongly disputing Hardens idea. Kesner states there has been no documented situation in which a nurse has told a mother to get pregnant or not to get pregnant, he said. Thats good to hear.
However, direct commands arent the only way control can be exerted by governments. Financial carrots and sticks, anyone? The bigger point is that there are numerous deep ethical matters that go into the decisions to form families and have children. Contrary to what the public health community would have us believe, these are not value neutral decisions. Nobody has elected the public healthers to impose these values, nor will they receive much scrutiny.
On the contrary, a good case can be made that with the massive retirements coming from the Baby Boom, our country would be better off reducing spacing between children not increasing the spacing. Where is the public debate on this? Notice and comment periods?
Finally, it seems clear that this program is designed to enmesh the mother and her baby into the welfare system through referrals. Is that a good thing?
In closing, before we create another massive federal welfare bureaucracy it seems that much more needs to be learned about all the various facets of this program and how NFP works in practice where the rubber meets the road.
Franklin Roosevelt is not a hero of mine. Arguably the father of today’s big government and a president who never let the Constitution get in the way of his political agenda, FDR summoned a weird confection of Leftists, liberals and disaffected, vulnerable citizens to obtain election to the presidency no less than four times.
His legacy has led to serious problems in the courts, the economy and the way Americans understand their federal government. Yet there is still much to admire about the Democratic Roosevelt - the way he heartened Americans with his optimism, the masterful manner in which he spoke to the hopes and fears of ordinary people, and even his unabashed invocation of the God of the Bible in times of national need.
FDR was also nothing if not decisive. He did not dawdle in times of crisis. For better or ill, he acted. People knew that they had a leader in the White House.
Knowing he was nearing death, he jettisoned starry-eyed Vice President Henry Wallace for sharp, crisp and purposeful Harry Truman. When we entered World War II, he shelved the New Deal and put his full energies into winning the conflict, even appointing Republicans as secretaries of War and Navy. And when eight German spies were found in the U.S., they were not tried in civil court. They were taken before a military tribunal appointed by FDR himself; six were hung, one imprisoned for life, and the eighth sentenced to 30 years. The time between when the spies landed and the hangings: less than two months.
Mr. Roosevelt’s most recent successor could learn a thing or two from him. Barack Obama took three months to decide on adding to America’s troop level in Afghanistan. It took him three days to reassure a shaken public that his national security team would work to better safeguard the country from terrorist attacks.
On health care, the President seems content with getting something —- anything —- as long as it is slapped with rubric of reform and contains federal funding for abortion. He has not led in crafting the legislation. He has led only in demanding a finished product, and then too often, and when legislative deadlines have been missed, he has done nothing about it.
There have been moments when Mr. Obama seems to understand he is not a global citizen or a national academic-in-chief. When, early last year, he ordered American sharpshooters to kill the pirates who had seized U.S. sailors, he rightly won plaudits, including from my organization, the Family Research Council. But these moments have been more incidental and dramatic than consistent and dependable.
In the name of caution, he dallies. For the sake of consideration, he procrastinates. On behalf of prudence, he dissolves into quietude.
“One thing is sure,” said FDR. “We have to do something. We have to do the best we know how at the moment.” Is this a perfect way of addressing crises? Certainly not, especially if the “something” that is done is animated by emotion and directed by panic. But upon obtaining the best counsel possible, the job of a President is to act quickly and firmly when urgency requires it.
Time is a luxury upon which the security of the United States cannot wait. Al-Qaeda, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the tyrants of North Korea and their assorted allies in the international fellowship of evil know this. Do you, Mr. President?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 24, 2009
CONTACT: J.P. Duffy, (202) 679-6800
Washington D.C.- This morning the United State Senate voted 60-39 in favor of final passage of HR 3590, the so-called “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments:
“Today’s Christmas Eve vote may signal the end of the debate in the Senate, but it’s far from the end of the debate at large. Since Senator Reid’s bad bill is substantially different from the House’s bad bill, the lower chamber will have to vote on the plan again. The Senate bill’s massive funding for elective abortions and the construction of abortion facilities are among the most radical differences. On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted in an interview that the Senate health care bill will force ‘everybody’ in the exchange to pay an abortion premium. The so-called Nelson ‘compromise’ ensures that everyone will pay for abortion—no matter how the funds are divided up.
“According to a new Quinnipiac poll, Americans—by a huge three to one margin—are overwhelmingly opposed to using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion. Seventy-two percent of the country is now firmly on the side of Congressman Bart Stupak’s (D-Mich.) solution to ban the government’s financial involvement in the deadly procedure. House and Senate conferees would do well to heed that warning when they come together to iron out their differences with the final bill, else this bill could collapse because of it.
“Disagreement over abortion funding is one of the many reasons this fight is far from over. Both House and Senate versions of the bill are seriously flawed. Both bills still allow rationing of health care for seniors, raise health costs for families, mandate that families purchase under threat of fines and penalties, offer counsel about assisted suicide in some states, do not offer broad conscience protections for health care workers and seek to insert the federal government into all aspects of citizen’s lives. Additionally, the bills would place a crushing debt on both current and future generations.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 22, 2009
CONTACT: J.P. Duffy, (866) FRC-NEWS
Senator Landrieu Closes Office: Constituents Turned Away at the Door, Callers Reach Only Busy Signals
FRC’s Tony Perkins Calls Closure the “Height of Arrogance”
Baton Rouge, LA - This afternoon, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins attempted to deliver a letter to Senator Mary Landrieu’s Baton Rouge office only to be told by a federal marshal that her offices were “closed for the holidays.” Over 150 concerned citizens joined Perkins at a rally in front of Senator Landrieu’s office to urge the Senator to oppose the government takeover of health care.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments:
“We were stunned to learn why so many phone calls have been unanswered and met with continuous busy signals: As the Senate debates one of the most far reaching pieces of legislation in history, Senator Mary Landrieu has closed her office and her ears to Louisianans.
“Senator Landrieu sent press aides to offer the Senator’s spin on the health care bill but she did not make a staffer available to receive letters or answer phone calls. Senator Landrieu knows that almost two-thirds of Louisiana voters oppose the health care overhaul. However, refusing to take their phone calls is insulting and the height of arrogance. Americans are outraged at the conduct of the Majority in the United States Senate and they should be.
“If Senator Landrieu’s office had been open, she would have heard a clear message that Louisianans want her to stop this abominable health care bill that will force every American to support Planned Parenthood in the killing of unborn children, saddle families with higher insurance premiums, raise our taxes and deny our parents and grandparents the essential health care they need.”