Urgent alerts have been issued by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) now that votes are pending in both the U.S. House and Senate on the various health care reform measures. A vote in the House could come as early as November 5 or 6.
Yesterday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled H.R. 3962, the House merger of three bills passed in various committees. According to Douglas Johnson of NRLC, page 110 of the new bill explicitly authorizes the “public health insurance option” to pay for all elective abortions. While the leadership continues its ridiculous claim that by some magical trick, “private” funds will pay for these abortions, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service recently confirmed that all funds spent by the bill’s public plan will be federal funds.
The National Right to Life news release can be found here.
The USCCB, supporter of health care reform for decades, has diligently worked within the houses of Congress to have its voice heard on abortion funding, conscience rights and other issues. Reaching the conclusion that H.R. 3962 and the proposals in the Senate fall very short of protecting unborn children and conscience rights, the USCCB is mobilizing in all Catholic churches immediately to attempt to have the bills amended or opposed if not amended. Action Alerts, pulpit announcements, and prayers have been sent to all Catholic parishes in the nation. The Catholic Church documents can be found here.
Will there be an anti-Palin crowd at the Wisconsin Right to Life Presents Sarah Palin event on November 6 in Milwaukee? Bloggers who appear to have nothing better to do than pound on Palin have their antennae up about the upcoming Palin event. While not blatantly urging people to attend, they do provide a link to the Palin event so that their “followers” can buy tickets, presumably to attend. And, disrupt?
Tickets are going fast and we don’t want the anti-Palin people to crowd the audience. Bring a carload — you don’t want to miss this fantastic opportunity to hear Sarah Palin. Order your Palin event tickets here.
National Right to Life reports that Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to ram HR 3200, the House health care reform measure, through the House on short notice. On October 23, the AP reported that Pelosi and her leadership team have no intention of allowing Reps. Bart Stupak and Joe Pitts offer their amendment to prohibit federal funds for abortions and abortion subsidies.
The AP reported: “Such an amendment would be almost certain to prevail…So Democratic leaders won’t let Stupak offer it. Instead, it appears they may have to take the risk of letting Stupak try to block action on the underlying bill, which he intends to do by assembling ‘no’ votes on a procedural measure [the “rule”] that needs to pass before debate can begin.”
Imagine you live in a democracy and then think again. Pelosi and company will bring HR 3200 to the House floor under a rule which allows no one, not a Democrat or a Republican, to offer an amendment and which does not allow votes on any amendment.
National Right to Life has issued a full-scale alert, asking people to bombard their Congressmen with phone calls urging a NO vote on the “rule” and a NO vote on the pro-abortion bill.
Read the full Alert from NRLC with instructions for calling your Congressman here.
A flurry of polls in May showed significant movement in the American public towards a pro-life position with a clear majority now identifying as pro-life. The shift was stunning because it occurred in a one year period. A new Pew Research Center poll released earlier this month reveals that the 14% advantage for those supporting legal abortions has now decreased to only 3%. “The pattern of changes suggests that the election of a pro-choice Democrat for president may be a contributing factor,” stated the polling firm.
Those fueling the decline in the Pew poll are white Catholics who attend Mass at least weekly and Democratic men whose support for legal abortion is down nine points.
Is the election of Obama inadvertently helping the pro-life cause? A profound question to which the long-term answer is not known. In the meantime, we will revel in the trends which show the culture changing pretty dramatically to value human life before birth.
Yes, it’s true! Sarah Palin is coming to Milwaukee to appear at a benefit for the educational efforts of Wisconsin Right to Life. The event is Friday, November 6 at 7:30pm at the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park, Hall B. You won’t want to miss this exciting opportunity to hear Sarah Palin!
You can find ticket purchase and other information here.
In spite of the horrendous news about abortion and rationing in health care reform, there is some very good news developing on attitude shifts on abortion and reduction in abortion numbers on which I will report next week.
But first, a piece of this good news comes from, of all places, the New York Times! One could legitimately claim that for oh so many years, the Times has been the mouthpiece of the pro-abortion movement. They speak — the Times repeats. Imagine our surprise when reporter Damien Cave wrote a story on abortion appearing in the October 10 edition, complete with a photo montage online showing pictures of aborted babies.
Cave covered the recent funeral of Michigan pro-life activist Jim Pouillon who was killed while holding a pro-life sign. Cave conversed with Monica Miller who has an extensive group of photos of bodies of aborted babies taken from a dumpster in April of 2008. Cave used the photos as the basis of his story. This is “nearly unprecedented in 37 years of legalized abortion,” said Miller.
There are many ways to change hearts and minds and this story will strike a chord for the uninformed who get most of their news from sources like the New York Times. Kudos to Cave and Miller for this important story as we educate a nation to respect the lives of unborn babies.
After rejecting amendments last week to remove government funding of abortion and protect the conscience rights of health care professionals, the Senate Finance Committee voted yesterday to advance the Baucus health care reform bill.
The Baucus bill contains provisions that would use tax dollars to fund massive abortion subsidies must now be melded with the Kennedy health care reform bill. Both of these bills as well as the three House versions of H.R. 3200 would eventually have to be melded together before being voted on by both houses of Congress. There is still a long way to go on the health care reform issue and its future is uncertain.
But there is one thing that is very certain. The various versions of health care reform would pay for elective abortions with government funds and provide huge subsidies to purchase private insurance plans that would cover elective abortions. Unless abortion is explicitly removed, you and I will be paying for abortion on demand with our tax dollars.
Every Wisconsinite who does not want to end up funding the destruction of human life should be contacting Senators Kohl and Feingold and their own member of the U.S. House of Representatives to tell them to take abortion out of health care reform.
If you haven’t already done so, pick up the phone and call!
Call the capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 to be connected into the Senate and House offices.
U.S. House Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan is a man on a mission. Stupak is a pro-life Democrat who is determined to get abortion out of health care reform legislation.
As Stupak puts it, “There are many of us Democrats in the House who are philosophically, legally, and morally opposed to public funding.” He said a large coalition of pro-life Democrats and Republicans want the chance to vote on an amendment to remove the huge abortion mandates and subsidies in H.R. 3200, the House version of health care reform.
Stupak met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who failed to give him any assurances that she would allow a vote on the amendment. After the meeting Stupak remarked, “If our amendment is not made in order we will try to shut down the rule, preventing the health care bill from coming to the floor for a vote.”
Twice last week, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs falsely claimed that the current Hyde Amendment would prevent government funding of abortion in the health care bills currently being considered by Congress and supported by the Obama Administration.
Last Wednesday Gibbs was asked about government funding of abortion in the health care measures at a press briefing and Gibbs said, “there’s a law that precludes the use of federal funds for abortion. That isn’t going to be changed in these health care bills.”
But Fred Lucas of CNS News brought the subject up again at Friday’s briefing and told Gibbs, “The Catholic bishops have repeatedly said that the Hyde amendment would not apply to the health care bill and yesterday in the letter that they sent to Congress they said that if language expressly prohibiting abortion funding is not added to the health care bill, they will vigorously — vigorously oppose — that’s a quote — the bill. My question on that, does the President support the bishops on this? And to eliminte this as an issue, will he call on Congress to have an explicit prohibition of abortion funding?”
True to form, Gibbs responded, “My answer isn’t different that it was on Wednesday. There may be a legal interpretation that had been lost here, but there’s a fairly clear federal law prohibiting the federal use of money for abortion. I think it is — again, it’s exceedingly clear in the law.”
“But the Hyde Amendment is only for direct appropriations for HHS,” Lucas said, correcting Gibbs.
But Gibbs would not back down by replying, “Again, I think that law is exceedingly clear.”
For months, the National Right to Life Committee has been informing legislators, the media and the general public that the Hyde Amendment only applies to Medicaid funding flowing through the Department of Health And Human Services Budget. The funding for the health care plans supported by the Obama Administration are entirely separate and distinct and the Hyde Amendment would not apply to those funds.
Responding to the exchange between Lucas and Gibbs, NRLC’s Legislative Director said, “Again today, for the second time this week, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs repeated the Hyde Amendment myth. His assertions are without foundation in fact, because there is not current federal law that would prevent government funding of abortion under the proposed public plan that would be created by H.R. 3200 or S. 1679.”
The Catholic bishops have remained immune to the President’s/Democrats’ talking points that abortion is not covered in any of the versions of Obamacare being considered by the Congress. If amendments are offered to exclude abortion and they are rejected, as has happened in every House and Senate committee that has considered Obamacare, it’s pretty safe to conclude that abortion is included.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sent a letter to Members of Congress yesterday expressing disappointment that three priority criteria for health care reform desired by the Church have not been met. At the top of the list is the deaf ear Congressional leaders have turned to eliminating abortion mandates and protecting conscience rights. “If acceptable language in these areas cannot be found, we will have to oppose the health care bill vigorously,” states the letter.
This stand and clear language are very welcome, giving the confusing rhetoric perpetrated by the President and Congressional leaders and reported in Catholic publications.