Collective bargaining and public employee benefits….these are issues that have ignited a flurry of recall elections throughout Wisconsin. Four pro-life state senators were targeted in recall elections last summer. And now, the governor, lieutenant governor and four more state senators will face recall attempts sometime this summer. Wisconsin Right to Life takes no position on collective bargaining or public employee benefits. We will be playing an active role in the upcoming recall elections, just as we did last summer.
We MUST be involved in these elections because every single elected official targeted for defeat in the upcoming recall elections is strongly pro-life and every single candidate likely to challenge these targeted officials is blatantly and radically pro-abortion!
Wisconsin Right to Life cannot sit back and allow courageous right-to-life public officials to be replaced by individuals who believe abortion should be legal throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy, for any reason, with no restrictions whatsoever. Too much is at stake for defenseless unborn children and your vote will be their only voice in these recall elections!
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin and their pro-abortion allies see these recall elections as an opportunity to undo the life-saving Wisconsin Right to Life legislative agenda. They have their sights set on defeating Governor Scott Walker, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and State Senators Van Wanggaard, Terry Moulton, Jerry Petrowski and Scott Fitzgerald. All of these outstanding public officials have stood firm in their commitment to protect the unborn.
The candidates who have announced, or who are considering challenging the right-to-life incumbents, are all strongly pro-abortion. Of the likely gubernatorial candidates, Kathleen Falk is the darling of the pro-abortion movement; Kathleen Vinehout has a pro-abortion voting record in the State Senate and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett maintained an abysmal voting record on right-to-life issues when he was a state legislator and Member of Congress.
Pro-life Senator Wanggaard can expect a challenge from former pro-abortion state senator John Lehman in the 21st State Senate district. Former pro-abortion Assembly Representative Kristin Dexter is considering a challenge to pro-life Senator Terry Moulton in the 23rd State Senate District. In the 29th State Senate district, pro-life State Assembly Representative Jerry Petrowski will face pro-abortion Assembly Representative Donna Seidel. Pro-life Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is also targeted in the recall election in the 13th State Senate district with challengers waiting in the wings.
If the recall elections result in the defeat of Governor Walker and just one of the pro-life incumbent senators, the balance of power in Madison will shift from solid right-to-life leadership to a situation where nothing can be done to protect the lives of unborn children and other vulnerable people!
The recall elections are now set for Tuesday, June 5. Wisconsin Right to Life will have comprehensive right-to-life histories and voting records of all the candidates posted online at WisconsinRightToLife.org after all candidates have filed.
The lives of unborn children are in grave jeopardy in the recall elections. They have no one to speak for them …. except you. Your vote in the recall elections will be their only voice!
Authorized and paid for by the Wisconsin Right to Life Political Action Committee, Richard Fox, Treasurer. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. The committee is the sole source of this communication and the committee did not act in cooperation or consultation with, and in concert with, or at the request or suggestion of any candidate or any agent or authorized committee of a candidate who is supported or opposed by this communication.
In 2010, President Obama repeatedly told the American public that ObamaCare would not contain abortion funding. In a congressional speech on September 9, 2009, Obama claimed that “under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortion.” Obama personally intervened to kill the Stupak/Pitts amendment which would have ensured this promise, instead signing a phony Executive Order which has no substantive effect in prohibiting abortion funding. On March 12, 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an extensive 644 page rule which sets up the health insurance exchanges that are the central focal point of the ObamaCare law, and which reveals how Americans will be forced to pay for abortions.
The health insurance exchanges must be established by every state by January 1, 2014. The ObamaCare law establishes a major new program to provide premium subsidies for tens of millions of American families who enter the exchange. These federal subsidies can be used to purchase health plans that cover all abortions. Once a person is enrolled in a plan which covers abortions, he or she will be required to pay a defined amount to pay for abortions. This is being called an abortion “surcharge” and incorrectly reported as $1/month. In fact, the rule states that the surcharge, which is not optional, must not be “less than one dollar per enrollee per month.” Depending on how many abortions are paid for and how much they cost, the surcharge could be much more.
According to National Right to Life, “Neither the [ObamaCare} law nor the rule contain any limitations on reasons for which abortions are sought or how late in pregnancy they occur.” In other words, abortion on demand for the full nine months of pregnancy.
The only method for escaping the mandated abortion coverage is through state enactment of an opt-out law which prohibits abortion coverage in the plan. The Wisconsin legislature just enacted such a law which is awaiting the signature of Governor Walker.
Wisconsin is not off scot-free, however, since future mandates are possible. The ObamaCare law contains a provision under “preventive services” which allows HHS to mandate the provision of any medical service. The “preventive services” provision was used to mandate coverage for contraceptive services and sterilizations with no meaningful conscience provision for religious institutions. As stated by Wisconsin Right to Life and National Right to Life, the “preventive services” provision can be expanded to include abortion as one of these mandated services.
Bottom line: only repeal and replacement of the ObamaCare law will prevent a vast federal expansion of abortion, paid for by the taxpayer.
There should be no such thing as a “wrongful life” or “wrongful birth.” But lawsuits are filed from time-to-time seeking damages because a baby was born that the parents would have destroyed in the womb “had they only known.” For example, a few months ago we discussed one such case in Israel. These cases are different than a legal malpractice suit in which the actions or inactions of the doctor caused the illness or disability. Rather, the claim is that the child would have been aborted if the parents had been properly told about the nature of the baby that they received.
The latest front on this assault on human exceptionalism and unconditional love is a “wrongful life” lawsuit in Portland involving a Down syndrome child. From the Oregonian story:
On the June 2007 day their daughter was born, Ariel and Deborah Levy were overcome with excitement, then shock when hospital staff told them their daughter looked like she had Down syndrome. A doctor asked Deborah Levy if she’d had a prenatal test — a chorionic villus sampling, or CVS for short — and Levy said yes, the results showed they’d have a normal, healthy child. Within days of her birth, however, a blood test confirmed that the little girl, Kalanit, had Down syndrome.
The Levys filed suit against Legacy Health, claiming that Deborah Levy would have aborted her pregnancy had she known her daughter had the chromosomal abnormality.The lawsuit blames Legacy’s Center for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in North Portland and a Legacy lab for allegedly botching the test. The Levys — who dearly love their daughter, now 4 — want Legacy to pay for the extra life-time costs of caring for her. That is estimated at about $3 million.
We love her totally but would have killed her before she was born? I hope she never learns that her parents brought this case. Unfortunately, a jury awarded the parents $2.9 million. We don’t–or at least shouldn’t–have a right to the baby we want. Most importantly, none of us should ever be declared in law to have been wrongfully born.
Disability rights activists are indomitable opponents of legalizing assisted suicide and an essential constituency in the diverse and broad-based coalition that opposes the death agenda. Now, a new DR organization has been founded to fight against the pending Massachusetts initiative that could bring legalized assisted suicide to the Bay State. From the press release:
“Disability rights activists from across Massachusetts will speak today before the Massachusetts legislature’s joint Judiciary Committee in opposition to a ballot question that would legalize assisted suicide. The activists are members of the recently formed group, Second Thoughts: People with Disabilities Opposing the Legalization of Assisted Suicide…“ Second Thoughts is a group of disability rights activists and organizations who believe that assisted suicide is a dangerous mix with a broken, profit driven health care system,” said John Kelly, the group’s director.
“Economic and family pressures can make elderly and disabled people feel like they’re a burden,” said member Karen Schneiderman. “Under those conditions, how can a choice to commit suicide be considered a free choice?” Schneiderman said that “I don’t believe that Massachusetts voters want to pass a law that discriminates against old, ill and disabled people by singling them out for assisted suicide, while young, healthy people get suicide prevention services.” Kelly stresses that the proposed law lacks safeguards to protect elders and other vulnerable populations from abuse. “An heir can help make the request, sign as a witness and pick up the prescription. Once the lethal drug is in the home, no one will know if it’s taken voluntarily. If the person changed their mind, if they struggled, who would know?”
Three WRTL-backed bills will receive a vote in the State Assembly on Tuesday, March 13, the last day of this legislative session. All bills were previously passed by the State Senate. They are:
AB 154/SB 92: This legislation allows Wisconsin to opt-out of taxpayer-funded abortion coverage under ObamaCare. Wisconsin would join 14 other states that have opted-out of this coverage.
AB 371/SB 306: This legislation works to protect women from coerced abortions and to prohibit unsafe RU 486 chemical web cam abortions.
AB 337/SB 237: This legislation reinstates local control for sex education curriculum in public schools and allows abstinence-only programs.
Wisconsin Right to Life has been the lead organization for the first two measures by providing the following: educating legislators, recruiting testimony for public hearings, assembling exhaustive research, pushing for scheduling of the bills, and coordinating grassroots contact with legislators. We thank the Wisconsin Catholic Conference and Wisconsin Family Action for supporting these bills.
Wisconsin Family Action has taken the lead on the last bill which Wisconsin Right to Life strongly supports.
Governor Scott Walker is expected to sign these measures into law. Enactment of these laws will complete an ambitious and hugely successful legislative session with new public policy in place designed to protect taxpayers, women, families and unborn children.
The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). It even sounds off-putting. Most people are unaware that the ObamaCare law sets up IPAB, a committee of 15 unelected people appointed by the President, and gives it the authority to literally make life and death decisions for all of us. IPAB can impose “quality” and “efficiency” measures on health care providers and disqualify providers from contracting with health insurance plans that individual Americans will be required to purchase. The impact on you? You could be denied life-saving treatment, even if you want to pay for it.
The good news is that the IPAB faces widespread criticism as a rationing agent and is disfavored by a growing number of members of Congress. Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee voted 17-5 in favor of H.R. 452, The Medicare Decisions Accountability Act, legislation which repeals the IPAB. Yesterday, the full House Energy and Commerce Committee approved H.R. 452 by a voice vote. This moves H.R. 452 closer to a vote by the full House of Representatives. Many are concerned about the IPAB’s ability to cut Medicare with limited congressional oversight, but the rationing power IPAB would have to deny life-saving care to people who want to pay for it adds another layer of gravity.
The full House is likely to approve H.R. 452, but the bill faces an uncertain future in the U.S. Senate and could face a presidential veto. Nonetheless, the House is taking an important first step to rid our country of this dreaded board.
Two Australian-based bioethicists have written an article published by the British Medical Journal group arguing that there is no difference between killing a newborn and aborting a baby in the womb. “We claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be,” write the authors. Their logic is unassailable, but also chilling, for they are essentially making the case for infanticide. Or, perhaps, unwittingly, the case against abortion.
The title of the article — “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” has sparked debate and outrage across the world. Dr. Francesca Minerva now claims the article was “a theoretical and academic article,” and that she does not favor infanticide.
The opening paragraph by Minerva and her colleague, Alberto Giubilini, reads as follows:
“Severe abnormalities of the fetus and risks for the physical and/or psychological health of the woman are often cited as valid reasons for abortion. Sometimes the two reasons are connected, such as when a woman claims that a disabled child would represent a risk to her mental health. However, having a child can itself be an unbearable burden for the psychological health of the woman or for her already existing children, regardless of the condition of the fetus. This could happen in the case of a woman who loses her partner after she finds out that she is pregnant and therefore feels she will not be able to take care of the possible child by herself.”
Note that a child without a disability would fit into this criteria.
What do the authors say about adoption?
“We also need to consider the interests of the mother who might suffer psychological distress from giving her child up for adoption,” they write. “It is true that grief and sense of loss may accompany both abortion and after-birth abortion [infanticide] as well as adoption, but we cannot assume that for the birthmother the latter is the least traumatic.”
Killing newborns is already occurring in the Netherlands under a protocol developed by a prestigious hospital. Here are two infamous American examples of how extreme dedication to abortion can lead to support for infanticide:
When the federal partial-birth abortion ban was being debated in the U.S. Senate in the 1990s, then Senator Rick Santorum asked then Senator Russ Feingold what should happen if the baby slipped out of the womb and was born before being killed. Feingold replied that it was still a decision between the woman and her doctor.
Then Illinois Senator Barack Obama did everything possible to bottle up a bill which would require that infants who survive abortion attempts be treated like any other infant born alive. He also voted against the legislation. In other words, if the expected desire was a dead baby, then that’s what the result should be.
The after-birth abortion article will likely get fairly short-shrift at this time. But, it raises provocative thoughts about the fragile link between abortion and infanticide.
It is always shocking when a death occurs unexpectedly, especially when the person is young. So it is with the death yesterday of 43-year-old Andrew Breitbart. I didn’t know him or much about him. To all who did know him, he was universally recognized as a powerful spokesperson and activist for the causes he held dear.
In a video filmed just a few weeks ago, Breitbart spoke to Students for Life and revealed that he was adopted. As was his sister and four other children he grew up with in his neighborhood. He didn’t think much about the abortion issue, because to gain status in Hollywood where he lived, you had to be “pro-choice.” Eventually, he was influenced certainly by his adoptive status and, as he states in the video, by the pro-life movement, especially young people, and came to embrace a pro-life viewpoint.
The world has lost two famous people recently who had a significant impact in the world — Andrew Breitbart and Steve Jobs. Both were adopted. While Breitbart eventually understood how his life as an unborn child could have been destroyed, it apparently was not so with Jobs. Regardless of their viewpoints, both deserved the opportunity to fulfill the life and destiny given to them. And their mothers gave it to them.
RIP, Andrew. We are proud and honored to know of your story and your devotion to life.
The U.S. Senate voted yesterday 51-48 to support the Obama Administration in forcing religiously affiliated organizations to cover contraception and sterilization in their health insurance plans, even in cases where the institution opposes it on moral or conscience grounds. This reinforces that these organizations have no conscience clause protections under the ObamaCare health care law. (The Administration’s dictate gave churches some limited conscience clause protections, but religiously affiliated organizations, such as church schools, hospitals, and charities, will have none).
Fifty Democrats and one Republican voted to deny conscience rights and 45 Republicans and three Democrats voted in favor of recognizing the conscience rights of such organizations. For Wisconsin, Senator Johnson voted for conscience rights and Senator Kohl against.
One possible effect of this in the near-term is that with no conscience clause protection, the Obama Administration is now free to order insurance plans to also cover abortion itself, if it decides to do so. If Obama does this, it would likely be after the November elections when he doesn’t have to answer to the voting public again.
The National Right to Life Committee and Wisconsin Right to Life have long advocated against the Obama healthcare “reform” and continue to work to repeal it. We will continue to report abuses inherent in the law, and any denials of care that ensue from it, and we will fight bureaucracies and panels that arise from the bill whose purpose it is to expand abortion or to deny life-saving medical care. We will work in the House of Representatives and in the courts to establish conscience rights. We cannot allow this unprecedented affront to religious liberty stand and the sweeping ObamaCare law to remain in force.
Your support for these efforts is critical in the weeks and months ahead. Much education and public persuasion needs to be done if we are to repeal ObamaCare and preserve the lives it threatens, and to establish conscience rights. Please support the critical work of National Right to Life and Wisconsin Right to Life with a generous gift today, and please help spread the word about the abuses of ObamaCare and the need to repeal it!
National Right to Life and Wisconsin Right to Life
According to Jared Yee, in an article published by Mercatornet.com, there has been a rapid rise in assisted suicide deaths in Switzerland in 2011 facilitated by the Swiss assisted suicide groups Dignitas and Exit.
“The number of people who died by assisted suicide in Switzerland by assisted-suicide organisations rose significantly in 2011, new figures show. Exit, which assists the suicides of Swiss residents only, announced that it assisted the suicide of 416 people last year up from 348 the previous year. Of those deaths, 305 occurred in the German-speaking region, up from 257 in 2010, and 111 occurred in the French-speaking areas, up from 91 in the previous year. The organisation also saw a boom in new memberships. It now has 75,000. In 2011, Dignitas, Switzerland’s other major assisted-suicide organisation, assisted the suicide of 144 people, a 35% increase as reported by the Sonntag Zeitung.”
Dignitas specializes in assisting the deaths of people who travel from other countries, a practice fondly called “suicide tourism.” Because many of those assisted come from the UK, “suicide tourism” has sparked intense debate in England about legalizing in that country so people do not have to travel to Switzerland. “Suicide tourism” has also generated significant debate within Switzerland and in other parts of Europe.