In This Issue: On funding bills of all kinds, growing coalitions fight for life-advancing policies, and the investigation of the nation’s largest abortion provider proceeds. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius tells pro-abortion supporters at a Chicago fund raising lunch for NARAL Pro-Choice America, “We are in a war.”
Can Planned Parenthood Justify $1 Million a Day?
Investigation of Nation’s Largest Abortion Provider Moves Forward
The current political uproar over an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s use of federal funds reveals an interesting paradox. While all congressional leaders want to cut wasteful programs and investigate possible misuse of taxpayer dollars in theory, it is a different matter entirely when the institutions in question are political favorites, noted Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest and AUL attorney Anna Franzonello in a recent column at FoxNews.
In a time where deep cuts are necessary to budgets across the board, the Energy and Commerce Committee—led by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Government Reform—recently sent a letter to Planned Parenthood asking for financial records and documents. The purpose is to learn more about troubling questions facing Planned Parenthood’s use of taxpayer dollars and apparent disregard for federal and states laws including those that mandate the reporting of suspected child sexual abuse.
While Rep. Stearns agreed to give Planned Parenthood a few additional weeks to gather the documents requested, the investigation into the abortion industry leader is unprecedented and underway.
At National Review, Michael J. New pointed to AUL’s involvement as key in advancing this long overdue look into Planned Parenthood’s affairs, both financial and procedural. “Americans United for Life deserves credit … for combining all these allegations into a report entitled ‘The Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood.’ Individually some of these episodes can be seen as lapses in judgment (albeit very serious ones). Collectively they paint a very compelling picture of both mismanagement and misconduct,” he wrote. Click here to read more.
“We are in a war,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told pro-abortion supporters at a Chicago fundraising lunch for NARAL Pro-Choice America recently, where she discussed the Obama Administration’s efforts to keep the taxpayers on the hook for Planned Parenthood funding, among other such programs. To read more, click here.
“There will never be a better time for a public accounting of the millions of taxpayer dollars given to the abortion industry each year,” said Dr. Yoest. “And Congress has a duty to look into Planned Parenthood’s troubling record. No institution that covers up or turns a blind eye to the crimes of sex offenders, molesters, and abusers should expect the taxpayer to write a blank check of support.”
To read more analysis of the issues under investigation, click here to read the Fox News article.
AUL-Backed Pro-Life Bill Passes House Committee
Legislation Would De-fund UN Program
Linked to Forced Abortions in China
and Save Taxpayers Millions
Rep. Renee Ellmers & Dr. Charmaine Yoest
A bill that would prevent U.S. tax dollars from funding an organization that supports coercing women to abort their children passed out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week. Congresswoman Renee Ellmers introduced H.R. 2059 to prohibit funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a major proponent of China’s coercive one-child policy – a move that would save $400 million in taxpayer dollars over ten years. Since President Obama reinstated funding to the UNFPA in 2009, Congress has allocated $145 million in taxpayer funds to this abusive organization. A rising pro-life leader, Rep. Ellmers also held a Capitol Hill news conference in which she and other members of Congress called for an investigation of Planned Parenthood after reviewing AUL’s “The Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood.”
Rep. Ellmers’ bill was the winning YOUCUT entry for the first week of the competition in May, an on-line event sponsored by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in which taxpayers were invited to say what Congressional budget items they would eliminate.
AULA has long been active in opposing taxpayer funding to UNFPA because of the grave injustice of funding an organization that supports coercing women to kill their children.
“In opposing taxpayer funds from supporting UNFPA, Americans United for Life Action supports human rights for all human beings,” said Dr. Yoest. “We in the U.S. must end the grave injustice of funding an organization that facilitates the cruel and barbaric policy of coercing women to abort their children.”
For more on this effort, click here.
Progress on Keeping Health Care Pro-Life
28 Senators Write to HHS Asking that Coverage Guidelines Respect “Human Life, Individual Liberties, and Personal Conscience”
Senators Mike Johanns & Orrin Hatch
As the Obama Administration implements the Affordable Care Act (the 2010 health care law), AUL has been active in monitoring the regulations that will govern the choices all Americans will be forced to make when buying health care. Guidelines for “Preventive” care for women have been especially controversial because they have been written to force nearly all Americans to pay for abortion-inducing drugs as part of the health insurance mandate.
AUL has twice submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services and testified at each of the Institute of Medicine’s three public meetings to protect the conscience rights of Americans who may be forced to pay for abortion-inducing drugs. And last week, 28 U.S. Senators added their voices to the debate, asking that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius address their concerns with a July report entitled, “Clinical Preventive Services for Women: Closing the Gaps.”
In the letter, the Senators wrote that they are concerned “with the lack of due consideration given by [Sebelius] and your Department to the adverse impact that IOM’s recommendations would have on our core constitutional value of religious liberty.”
For the full list of Senators who voiced their concerns and to read the letter, click here.
In the News
AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest was profiled in a piece that ran in the National Catholic Register that examined the pro-life momentum sweeping the country.
“One of the most exciting things is looking back at where we were in 2008, when there was such desperation in the pro-life movement, and comparing it to now, when we are seeing a tidal wave of pro-life victories,” Dr. Yoest told reporter Charlotte Hays. To read the entire article, click here.
Last week, with the advice and counsel of AUL attorneys, Rep. Michele Bachmann introduced the Heartbeat Informed Consent Act of 2011 along with 29 co-sponsors that if passed would require women to undergo an ultrasound prior to an abortion, an effort that AUL supports. To read more at LifeNews, click here.