Wisconsin Right to Life filed an amicus brief late last week before the State Supreme Court addressing important legal issues necessary for guidance on the law governing speech before elections.
On August 13, the Wisconsin State Supreme Court temporarily enjoined Rule 1.28 promulgated by the Government Accountability Board (GAB). That rule had the impact of regulating speech for groups like Wisconsin Right to Life 30 days before a primary election and 60 day before a general election. Rule 1.28 also regulated contributions and established extensive reporting simply for doing issue advocacy.
Rule 1.28 is patently unconstitutional. Speech is one of our most precious rights as Americans and nowhere is it more important than discussing candidate positions and voting records prior to elections so that the general public has complete information before voting. Rule 1.28 is nothing more than an Incumbent Protection Act, allowing candidates and the media to speak freely but restricting the speech of citizen groups. We look forward to the permanent injunction of Rule 1.28.
Wisconsin Right to Life filed a separate suit in the Eastern District Federal Court. While that case addresses the problems inherent in Rule 1.28, it also challenges other GAB rules and specific provisions in state law governing political committees. Regardless of what happens in the State Supreme Court, the Wisconsin Right to Life federal court case has continued merit and will move forward.
Earlier this week, a federal judge temporarily enjoined an Obama Executive Order which gave the green light to federal funding of unethical embryonic stem cell research, saying the Order violated the law under the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. This injunction froze an estimated $70 millions slated for the research. It is possible that the Obama Administration will appeal the ruling.
More ominous is this fall’s Congressional session. Every year since 1996, Congress has enacted the Dickey-Wicker Amendment which prohibits the use of federal tax dollars for stem cell research that involves the killing of human embryos. Now, following the court ruling, that Amendment is under attack. It is possible that anti-life members of Congress will work to repeal the Dickey-Wicker Amendment either in September or in the lame duck session of Congress after the November 2 elections.
Working with National Right to Life, WRTL will fight vigorously to prevent retain the life-protecting language in Dickey-Wicker. We hope you will join us in this fight.
It has started. The steady drumbeat of rationing pounding away at our own ability to buy lifesaving treatment. Some of the most dangerous rationing provisions in Obamacare won’t take effect until 2014. But, HHS is not sitting idly by waiting for that date to enact some of them.
Last week, HHS announced that 45 states had applied for money under Obamacare to conduct “premium review.” What this means is that states, as the first line of enforcement, will review all proposed premium increases and justify “unreasonable” increases to the federal government. At this point, no one knows what “unreasonable” means.
Right now, companies are preparing benefit packages for next year’s benefits. These will be reviewed for the “reasonableness” factor. No one likes premium increases. But, with the new powers given to the federal government under Obamacare, lifesaving treatment will inevitably be rationed as health insurance companies are squeezed by premium limits. The federal government will have authority over not only the state health insurance exchanges created by Obamacare, but over all private health insurance policies. The net result is that we will not be able to even purchase that treatment with our own money.
National Right to Life is an excellent source of information on Obamacare and rationing. You can find the Robert Powell Medical Ethics Center blogspot here.
A shocker! Two Wisconsin newspapers used valuable real estate recently to promote abortion advocates. It must have been a slow news week or a perceived need to pat the pro-aborts on the back.
The first was an op ed on page 1 of the Sunday Crossroads section in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Written by the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, it celebrated 75 years for PP in Wisconsin. And, my, to read this article, PP has saved the state from just about everything — cancer, STDs, poverty, a bad economy. The list is endless.
“Above all,” the article says, “Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin firmly believes, and research demonstrates, that parents should be the primary sexuality educators for their children.” Is that why PP is always touting “confidential” services to teens without parental knowledge? Things like keeping abortions a secret from parents?
The second is a Wisconsin State Journal article sympathetically highlighting a fund set up to pay for abortions for women who can’t afford them. Founded in 1976 (right after the state passed a law spearheaded by Wisconsin Right to Life to prohibit state taxpayer dollars for abortion), the fund boasts payment for 18,986 abortions in the past 34 years. Here is what Anne Gaylor, the fund director, says about things dear to us:
On large families: “How presumptuous of someone to think the world in interested in a half-dozen or eight or 10 of their kids.” So much for “choice.”
On anti-abortion activists: “They’re religiously motivated, not intellectually motivated.” I guess she thinks we’re dumb.
On abortion: “A blessing.” The worst of all.
All in all, thanks to the newspapers, a good propaganda week for proponents of abortion.
Yesterday, a federal judge preliminarily enjoined a March 2009 Executive Order by President Obama removing limitations on embryonic stem cell research. Judge Royce Lamberth concluded that the NIH Guidelines which followed the Executive Order are in violation of the Dickey-Wicker Amendment adopted every year since 1996 in the appropriations process in Congress. The Dickey-Wicker amendment prohibits the use of federal funds for “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death……”
The Obama Administration argued that under the NIH guidelines, taxpayer dollars are only being used on stem cells after they have been extracted and not to destroy embryos. The judge disagreed, saying “ESC research is clearly research in which an embryo is destroyed….ESC research necessarily depends upon the destruction of a human embryo.”
According to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, officials at UW-Wisconsin are worried about continued research using human embryonic stem cells as NIH dollars are poured into our state for embryonic stem cell research studies.
“The law is not perfect, but it does good things and helps many people. Now we’ll work to improve it.” This is the strategy behind a major rhetoric shift on ObamaCare that key White House officials are “selling” to its most important Democratic supporting groups.
No longer will Dems and their groups be encouraged to say that ObamaCare will reduce costs and improve the deficit. They have finally figured out that the American public is not stupid and doesn’t believe ObamaCare will have a positive economic impact on either the cost of our health care system or the ballooning deficit. So, now they will peddle “improving” the law.
Participants in a conference call were briefed on the new talking points by the Herndon Alliance, an organization which includes many leading labor groups. “Straightforward ‘policy’ defenses fail to [move] voters’ opinions about the law. Women in particular are concerned that health care law will mean less provider availability — scarcity [is] an issue,” the groups were told. Translation: voters have figured out that rationing is inevitable under ObamaCare.
Listeners were given a long list of “Don’ts.” The most telling was the one that said “Don’t say the law will reduce costs and deficit.” Thus, President Obama’s major selling point of the overhaul of our health care system has bitten the dust. Another great “HOPE” exposed by reality as a fraud.
Expect to hear this argument over and over as the November 2 election gets closer. According to Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor, Henry Sanders, Jr. in an op ed, “Wisconsin’s legislature must decriminalize reproductive choice because women and their doctors deserve safe, legal healthcare options.” He is, of course talking about repealing Wisconsin’s longstanding abortion ban. This ban will go into effect immediately once Roe v. Wade is overturned and Wisconsin will be one of the first states in the nation to shut down its abortion clinics. And, the pro-aborts know it.
In their zeal to influence the public to favor repeal of the ban, Sanders and his pro-abortion friends resort to misinformation. Women will go to jail, they say, when the ban goes into effect. Rubbish. The legislature in 1985 changed the law so that there are no penalties for women who have abortions, only for those who perform them.
Sanders is not a household name — yet. His abortion position is just another reason to ensure that he does not become one.
It is a roller coaster ride. The State Supreme Court weighed in on free speech issues late last week, issuing a temporary injunction of the GAB rule that would limit the speech of Wisconsin Right to Life and other groups. The vote was 4-3, with Justices Prosser, Roggensack, Ziegler and Gableman voting to enjoin the rule. Now, briefs must be filed later this week before the court makes a final decision.
Briefs are due later this month in the free speech suit filed by Wisconsin Right to Life in federal court. If the State Supreme Court permanently enjoins the GAB rule, there are other provisions in state law that WRTL is challenging in federal court which will go forward.
In the meantime, leaders in the U.S. Senate say they will try to bring up the federal DISCLOSE Act again which would limit speech about federal candidates. This is the act that gives special privileges to the unions and the NRA but cuts out groups like WRTL. The last time the bill was brought up, there were not enough votes to break a filibuster. Senator Reid and company think they can garner the votes of Republican Senators Brown, Snowe and Collins. Senator Mitch McConnell says the Republicans will hold firm and block a vote on DISCLOSE. Stay tuned.
LeRoy Carhart (I refuse to call him a doctor) is the late-term abortionist of record, filling the shoes of the late George Tiller of Kansas. Carhart practices in Nebraska. He did a radio interview in Boston in July before he spoke at a convention of the National Organization for Women.
When asked in the interview why he does late-term abortions, he replies: “Well, someone has to do it.” What is his opinion of pro-lifers? “I feel that the anti-abortion movement is purely an anti-woman movement to keep them literally in their place,” says Carhart.
Here’s the kicker. When asked if there was a point in pregnancy where he would deny an abortion, Carhart says: “No, I don’t believe there is a point where I cannot do it.”
What are your thoughts about this man and his grisly practice?
Two pieces of news from The Netherlands, the country with the longest and most extreme history of caring out acts of assisted suicide and euthanasia. The Dutch government released its 2009 report which reveals a 13% increase in deaths by euthanasia or assisted suicide. There were 2,636 cases of patients being killed or being helped to kill themselves, accounting for 2% of all Dutch deaths. Most of the deaths were direct killing by euthanasia.
But, being the world champ at killing people isn’t enough for the Dutch proponents. Apparently envious of their Swiss counterparts who openly operate suicide clinics, the Dutch Association for a Voluntary End to Life (NVEE) wants to establish its own suicide clinics. The reason? They want to extend the death “benefit” to those who are not terminally ill. Targeted are patients who have dementia, or ones who feel they have “completed” their lives and just want to die. The latter fit the new category of people “tired of living,” a concept being widely promoted in Europe.
Our friend Alex Schadenberg of the Canadian Euthanasia Prevention Coalition points out there may be a profit motive. The individual who established and runs the Swiss suicide clinics has become quite wealthy. Suicide clinic services in Switzerland can run up to $8,000 per patient.
Our friend Wesley Smith says: “There is no denying the evidence that euthanasia consciousness leads to a broader culture of death that eventually accpets all comers….their logic is impeccable. Once killing is considered an acceptable answer to human suffering, nihilism is unleashed and the ‘what’ that causes ’suffering’ ceases to matter.”