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Entries in Abortion (313)

Tuesday
Mar232010

CHQ - Viguerie says Vibrant Tea Party Movement Reason for Optimism 

Viguerie optimistic about Tea Party Movement at Virginia event



Insidenova.com - "So you think the Tea Party movement sweeping America is due to die? Well, think again, said Richard Viguerie, a Manassas man who also happens to be known as the pioneer of a direct mailing effort in the 1970s that was largely credited as saving the conservative cause.


"Viguerie-an author and the chairman of the Manassas-based ConservativeHQ.com-[addressed] just that point at a free Tea Party event Saturday at the Chantilly Regional Library. 'I've been involved in politics and the conservative movement for a very long time, and this is the most optimistic I've been,' he said, in reference to his political view. '[Former President Ronald] Reagan talked about the need to elect new leaders, unfettered by old ties, unfettered by old relationships. This is what the Tea Party people are doing. They're bringing a new voice, new energy.' 


"And these voices won't be leaving the political scene any time soon, he said."

Other Articles at News From The Front: 

Paul Ryan Is Not Ready to Give Up on Health Care
National Review Online - Rep. Paul Ryan has been an outspoken conservative opponent of Obamacare from the beginning, and he says its passage is just the first salvo in the long war over health care policy in America. 

Stupak stripped of 'Defender of Life' award
Metro Catholic - Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund President Marjorie Dannenfelser withdrew an award from Bart Stupak in light of his pro-Obamacare vote.

Dannefeller criticized Stupak strongly in a formal statement. "By accepting this deal from the most pro- abortion President in American history, Stupak has not only failed to stand strong for unborn children, but also for his constituents and pro-life voters across the country," she stated.

We need conservative warriors in Congress
RedState.com - Erick Erickson blogs on the passage of Obamacare, and implores conservatives to not take 'defeat' lying down.  Erickson says not only must conservatives rally to kick all the Democrats out of Congress, but they must also work like never before to elect real conservative Republicans to take their place - and it's not enough to maintain the status quo with the accommodationist current GOP leadership. 

Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle is a proud conservative
Las Vegas Review-Journal - Conservative leaders such as Richard Viguerie have said that we need a new generation of conservatives who aren't afraid to shake things up in the political world -- and if that's the case, then Nevada's Sharron Angle might be just the type of candidate conservatives are looking for. 

64% Say Congress Doing a Poor Job
Rasmussen Reports - "A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 11% of voters rate Congress' performance as good or excellent, a range it's been hovering in since late 2007. But 64% say Congress is doing a poor job. 
 
Activists set pace in Colorado Senate races

Grand Junction Sentinel - The results weren't conclusive for either Party in last week's Colorado caucuses - meaning, no candidate was shown as the clear favorite - but one thing's for sure:  grassroots activists came out and changed the dynamics of the U.S. Senate races. 

Find these articles and more at News From The Front

Sunday
Mar142010

NRLC - Update on Fight to Defeat Pro-Abortion Senate Health Care Bill 

U.S. HOUSE TO VOTE WITHIN DAYS ON WHETHER TO MAKE PRO-ABORTION SENATE HEALTH BILL "THE LAW OF THE LAND," AS HOUSE MEMBERS STUDY COMMUNICATIONS FROM NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE, U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS, AND OTHERS

 

WASHINGTON -- In a significant development this week, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) made it clear that the House Democratic Leadership will force a vote soon on the Senate-passed health bill (H.R. 3590), including multiple abortion-related provisions strongly opposed by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) and other pro-life organizations, and will not include pro-life language in any followup legislation.

In addition, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) intends to go forward on the basis, reportedly articulated by the Senate parliamentarian, that H.R. 3590 must be enacted into law before the Senate can consider any followup bill under fast-track "reconciliation" procedures.  The Washington Post reported (March 13), "Pelosi shrugged off the ruling, accepting that the Senate bill would have to move first, and independently.  'It isn't going to make any difference except maybe in the mood that people are in,' she said Friday.  'The fact is that once we pass it [H.R. 3590] in the House, it's going to be the law of the land."

House members have received a March 5 memorandum from NRLC, posted here, which summarizes NRLC substantive objections to multiple provisions of the Senate bill, and sketches the political implications of the upcoming roll call.  NRLC said in part:  "When all of the pro-abortion provisions are considered in total, the Senate bill is the most pro-abortion single piece of legislation that has ever come to the House floor for a vote, since Roe v. Wade.  Any House member who votes for the Senate health bill is casting a career-defining pro-abortion vote.  A House member who votes for the Senate bill would forfeit a plausible claim to pro-life credentials.  No House member who votes for the Senate bill will be regarded, in the future, as having a record against federal funding of abortion.  All of those statements are true regardless of how many assurances or denials are disseminated by President Obama or by Speaker Pelosi, both of whom have sought throughout their political careers to undermine limits on government funding of abortion.  House members who vote for the Senate bill will be accountable to their constituents for what the Senate bill contains."

On March 6, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops disseminated to congressional offices a four-page memorandum titled, "What's Wrong With the Senate Health Care Bill on Abortion?  A Response to Professor Jost."  This memorandum is a concise and cogent rebuttal to one recent tendentious attempt to minimize the multiple ways in which the Senate bill departs, in the pro-abortion direction, from the principles of current law and from the substance of the abortion-related provisions adopted by the House last year (especially the Stupak-Pitts Amendment).  The memo explains how provisions of the Senate bill would result in direct federal funding of elective abortions, federal subsidies for plans that cover elective abortions (including some federally administered plans), and authority for federal officials to mandate inclusion of abortion coverage in private plans.  It also notes that the Senate bill lacks the vital abortion nondiscrimination language (the so-called "Weldon" provision) found in the House-passed health bill.  The USCCB memo is posted here.

On March 11, the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention issued a national alert, urging citizens to contact their representatives in the House to urge the defeat of the Senate bill.

The results of polls conducted very recently in 12 congressional districts by the polling companyTM, inc./WomanTrend, dealing with the abortion-related aspects of the health care debate, are posted here.

Additional resources on the abortion-related controversies surrounding H.R. 3590 are posted on the NRLC website here.  

Saturday
Mar062010

NRLC: House Health Bill "Career-Defining Pro-Abortion Vote" 

National Right to Life: 

"Any House member who votes for the Senate health bill is casting a career-defining pro-abortion vote"

WASHINGTON (March 5, 2010) -- The following statement may be attributed to Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) the federation of affiliated right-to-life organizations in all 50 states.  

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE HOUSE VOTE ON THE HEALTH CARE BILL?

On abortion policy, the health care bill that Speaker Nancy Pelosi brought to the House floor last November was extremely bad (before the House fixed it by adopting the Stupak-Pitts Amendment) -- but the Senate health bill (H.R. 3590) is worse.

The Senate health bill is a 2,407-page labyrinth strewn with the legislative equivalents of improvised explosive devices --  disguised provisions that will result in federal pro-abortion mandates and federal subsidies for abortion.  The so-called abortion limits that are in the Senate bill are all very narrow, riddled with loopholes, or booby-trapped to expire.  Some of them were drafted more with the intent of misleading superficial analysts (which unfortunately includes some media "factcheckers") than actually effectuating a pro-life policy.

When all of the pro-abortion provisions are considered in total, the Senate bill is the most pro-abortion single piece of legislation that has ever come to the House floor for a vote, since Roe v. Wade.  Any House member who votes for the Senate health bill is casting a career-defining pro-abortion vote.  A House member who votes for the Senate bill would forfeit a plausible claim to pro-life credentials.  No House member who votes for the Senate bill will be regarded, in the future, as having a record against federal funding of abortion. 

All of those statements are true regardless of how many assurances or denials are disseminated by President Obama or by Speaker Pelosi, both of whom have sought throughout their political careers to undermine limits on government funding of abortion.  House members who vote for the Senate bill will be accountable to their constituents for what the Senate bill contains.

When he ran for president, Senator Barack Obama promised that abortion coverage would be "at the heart" of his health care proposal.  (See the PolitiFact examination of Obama's promise here.)  Throughout this Congress, President Obama has tried to deliver on this promise, even while hiding behind deceptive verbal formulations and outright misrepresentations regarding the content of legislation.

During the latter half of 2009, the White House backed phony "compromise" language that Speaker Pelosi put in the bill she brought to the House floor -- language written by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Ca.) (the so-called "Capps Amendment").  This language explicitly authorized coverage of elective abortions under two major new government programs.  It was this pro-abortion language that the House jettisoned on November 7 through adoption (240-194) of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which was supported by one-fourth of all House Democrats (64 Democrats), joined by all except one House Republican.  The Stupak-Pitts Amendment contained a bill-wide, permanent abortion fix (it begins, "No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act . . ."), which was the approach needed to prevent any provision of the vast bill from being used as a basis for pro-abortion federal mandates or subsidies. 

Although President Obama often has claimed he wants his health care legislation to reflect bipartisan consensus, he lamented the bipartisan adoption of the Stupak Amendment, and he contributed to keeping the Stupak language out of the Senate bill.  As a result, the 2,407-page Senate-passed bill contains at least six separate abortion-related policy problems, any single one of which would dictate a negative vote for any lawmaker who wishes to maintain a record against federal abortion mandates and abortion subsidies.  These problems are summarized below, and discussed in detail in a January 14 letter sent by NRLC to members of the House and other materials posted on the NRLC website.

 

BLOOD OATHS AND RABBIT HOLES

Speaker Nancy Pelosi in recent days has reverted to repetitious denials that there is a problem -- for example, saying at a March 4 press conference, "I will not have it turned into a debate on (abortion) . . .  There is no change in the access to abortion.  No more or no less:  It is abortion neutral in terms of access or diminution of access."   This is the same deny-and-evade approach that Pelosi employed throughout 2009.  It will not suffice now any more than it did then.

Indeed, some of the more recent utterances by Speaker Pelosi and other top House Democrats suggest that they have stumbled down some sort of rabbit hole into a fantasy world in which lawmakers can vote to enact the Senate bill without being accountable for its contents.  For example, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) on March 3 suggested that the House should pass the Senate bill after receiving a "blood oath" from Democratic senators that they would later pass a specific list of changes to the bill.  Lawmakers who are considering voting for the Senate bill based on a "blood oath" or any other promise should first call to mind the once-popular comic strip "Peanuts," in which Lucy frequently teed up a football and enticed Charlie Brown to take a run at it, solemnly promising not to snatch the ball away at the last instant.  Charlie Brown inevitably ended up flat on his back wondering how he could have been once again so foolish.

House members who vote for the Senate bill will be accountable to their constituents for what the Senate bill contains, including its pro-abortion mandates and subsidies, without regard to blood oaths, secret handshakes,  solemn assurances that Congress will revisit the issue in future legislation, or any other artifice or gimmick.

 (Pelosi has also repeatedly implied that the longstanding "Hyde Amendment" would somehow prevent the heath care bill from subsidizing abortion.  Such utterances are highly misleading.  The Hyde Amendment only applies to funds that flow through the annual Health and Human Services appropriations bill, and would not affect funds directly appropriated by the health care bill itself.  As the Associated Press accurately reported in a story dated March 5, 2010:  "The Democratic bills created a new stream of federal money to help working households afford health insurance premiums. And those funds were not subject to the Hyde restrictions."  For further discussion of this point, see the memorandum posted here.  Moreover, the Hyde Amendment is a patch that must be renewed annually -- not an acceptable approach when Congress proposes any large new federal program that implicates abortion policy.)

 

THE LIST

What follows is a thumbnail sketch of the major abortion policy problems in the Senate-passed health care bill (H.R. 3590).

 -- The Senate bill departs from longstanding federal policy by authorizing tax subsidies to help tens of millions of Americans buy private health plans that could cover abortion on demand.  Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Ne.) attached to this provision a badly flawed requirement under which anyone enrolling in such plan would be required to make separate payments into an abortion fund.  In a recent statement, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (which strongly opposes the bill) said, "The bill requires each American purchasing such a plan to make a separate payment to the insurer every month, solely to pay for other people's abortions.  This is an enormous imposition on the consciences of the millions of Americans who oppose abortion."   In its first analysis of the Nelson language, NRLC recognized it as a convoluted bookkeeping scheme inconsistent with the principles of the Hyde Amendment.  In January, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.), a pro-abortion leader in the Senate, assured McClatchy News Service that the abortion surcharge requirement is only an "accounting procedure," and DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also assured pro-abortion listeners that the Nelson language was of no consequence.  Yet today, in an effort to entice pro-life Democrats in the House to vote for the bill, the White House and Democratic leaders are working on "convincing as many as a dozen antiabortion Democrats in the House that abortion language in the Senate bill is more stringent than initially portrayed," according to a report in the March 5 Washington Post.  The bottom line is that a vote for the Senate bill is a vote to subsidize the purchase of health plans that cover abortion on demand -- a sharp break from the principles of the Hyde Amendment and the Stupak Amendment.

-- The Senate bill would establish a new program under which a federal agency, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), would administer private "multi-state" plans.  It has been reported that the bill guarantees that one plan will be available everywhere that does not cover abortion.  In fact, it guarantees no such thing, because even this narrow requirement is rigged to depend on annual renewal through a separate appropriations bill.  Moreover, other plans in the federally administered program would be allowed to cover all abortions -- a break from the policy that has long governed the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, which is also administered by OPM.  A vote for the Senate bill is a vote to put the federal government in the business of administering health plans that cover abortion on demand.

-- The Senate bill would empower federal political appointees to expand access to abortion by federal administrative decrees.  The bill contains a bewildering array of provisions that grant authority to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and other federal entities to issue binding regulations on various matters.  One analyst recently wrote that the Senate bill “contains more than 2,500 references to powers and responsibilities of the secretary of health and human services,” to say nothing of other federal authorities.  Some of these provisions could be employed in the future as authority for pro-abortion mandates, requiring health plans to cover abortion and/or provide expanded access to abortion, unless there is clear language to prevent it.  One clear example is the Mikulski Amendment, under which any service listed as a "preventive" service by the Department of Health and Human Services must be provided (without copayments) in all types of private health plans.  (Sec. 1001, pp. 20-21.)  Sen. Mikulski refused to modify her amendment to exclude abortion from the scope of this mandate authority.  (The Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment, similar to the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, would have prevented abortion mandates or subsidies under any provision of the bill -- but that amendment was tabled, 54-45, on December 8, 2009.)  A vote for the Senate bill is a vote to empower federal political appointees to mandate unlimited abortion coverage in most private health plans.

-- The Senate bill would reauthorize all federal Indian health programs, without including language to prohibit funding of elective abortion, even though such an amendment (the Vitter Amendment, similar to the Stupak Amendment) was approved by the Senate when it last considered Indian health legislation on February 26, 2008.  There is a clause in the Senate health bill [Sec. 10221, pp. 2175-2176] that has been misrepresented as an abortion restriction, but it actually contains no policy standard on abortion funding -- it merely "punts" the question to the annual appropriations process, an unacceptable approach.  A vote for the Senate bill is a vote to open the door to future federal funding of abortion on demand through all Indian health programs.

-- The Senate bill lacks language to protect health care providers from being penalized for refusing to participate in providing abortions (known as the "Weldon language"), even though such language was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and was included in Speaker Pelosi's original bill even before adoption of the Stupak Amendment.  (See Section 259 of the House-passed H.R. 3962.)  Yet, because such language is offensive to the pro-abortion lobby, it was excluded from the Senate bill.  A vote for the Senate bill is a vote to abandon the strong position that the House took in favor of protecting the conscience rights of pro-life health care providers.

-- The Senate bill, due to a last-minute amendment, provides $7 billion for the nation's 1,250 Community Health Centers (CHCs), without any restriction whatever on the use of these federal funds to pay directly for abortion on demand.  (These funds are both authorized and appropriated by the bill, and thus would be untouched by the "Hyde Amendment" that currently covers Medicaid funds that flow through the annual Health and Human Services appropriations bill.)  Two pro-abortion groups, the Reproductive Health Access Project and the Abortion Access Project, are already actively campaigning for Community Health Centers to perform elective abortions.  In short, the Senate bill would allow direct federal funding of abortion on demand through Community Health Centers.  A memorandum documenting this issue in further detail is posted here:  http://www.nrlc.org/AHC/NRLCmemoCommHealth.pdf

In a recent statement, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops noted that this provision alone could lead to "hundreds of thousands of abortions per year that taxpayers would be forced to pay for." In a story published in the March 4 Washington Times, Congressman Diana DeGette (D-Co.) called this concern "patently false," but White House spokeswoman Linda Douglass took a different tact, admitting at least the possibility of what she referred to as a "drafting issue that requires a technical change . . ." 

-- The Senate bill contains additional pools of directly appropriated funds that are not covered by any limitations regarding abortion, including $5 billion for a temporary high-risk health insurance pool program (Sec. 1101 on pages 45-52) and $6 billion in grants for health co-ops (Sec. 1322, pp. 169-180).  Only bill-wide, permanent language, such as the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, can ensure that none of the vast amounts of federal money authorized and appropriated through the Senate bill are tapped by pro-abortion political appointees and bureaucrats to pay for abortion.

Saturday
Mar062010

CHQ - Obama Will Do Anything to Pass his Health Care Takeover - Except Stop Federal Funding of Abortions

Abortion and the Health Bill
Wall Street Journal (Charmaine Yost) - "It's now becoming clear that Barack Obama is willing to put everything on the table in order to be the president who passes health-care reform. Everything, that is, except a ban on federal funding for abortion.

"Last September, the president promised that 'no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.' Yet the legislation most likely to move forward in Congress would be the single greatest expansion of abortion since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision." 

The Front


Other Articles at News From The Front: 

Conservatives turn their fire on the Republican Party
American Spectator - W. James Antle, III writes of the historically tortured relationship between conservatives and the Republican Party, a marriage of necessity for the most part that has left conservatives with a bad taste in their mouths on countless occasions. 

The Tea Party is just Astro Turf? I think not
North Florida Herald - Columnist Mike Hosey disputes the notion amongst liberals and the major media that the Tea Party movement is phony, or 'Astro Turf,' arguing that the great weight of evidence indicates that it's very real indeed. 

Money worries curb GOP optimism
Politico - As Pres. Obama's and the Democratic Congress's popularity numbers continue to sink, hopes rise amongst Republicans that they'll be able to retake both houses of Congress this year - but a quick look at the GOP's nearly empty bank accounts would tend to damper their enthusiasm. 

GOP chief sets high goals for election season
Rocky Mount Telegram (North Carolina) - Here's a close-up look at one county in North Carolina where conservatives are coming together to challenge the status quo in their state capital and in Washington. 

For GOP, Tea Party Offers New Energy And New Woes
National Public Radio (Mara Liasson) - "[T]here is so much energy among the grass-roots conservative base of the Republican Party - and it's going in so many different directions at once - that it's proving to be a challenge for the GOP to manage."




 

Find these articles and more at News From The Front



Thursday
Feb182010

CORNERSTONE REACTS TO DEFEAT OF FETAL HOMICIDE BILL 

Says House Leadership is Beholden to Radical Political Ideology

Concord, NH - Today, the New Hampshire House defeated HB1644 (219-122), which would have included "unborn child" in the definition for the purposes of death caused by murder, manslaughter or homicide.  The 2010 version of this bill, which has been introduced in years past, was a result of a recent NH Supreme Court ruling which denied charges of vehicular manslaughter of an unborn child (who was given both a birth and death certificate) because New Hampshire's laws were 'anomalous'.  Commenting on the House's actions was Cornerstone-Action Director, Kevin Smith: 

"It is unconscionable that this legislature would politicize the life of an unborn child who is killed as a result of murder, manslaughter, or homicide.  Even our State's Supreme Court has said New Hampshire's laws on this matter are outdated and 'unfortunate.'  It is clear that the current House leadership is beholden to the abortion lobby and cannot see beyond their own radical ideology."