Illinois Right to Life Committee
Wednesday, Feb 29, 2012 -- IVF issues raised at Pontifical Academy for Life conference
A recent infertility conference sponsored by the Pontifical Academy for Life seems to have raised more controversies than answers. Supporters of in vitro fertilization (IVF) were among the speakers at the conference, but they were not well received by the audience, who tend to recognize IVF as a moral problem.
Dr. Thomas Hilgers half-hour talk outlined the significant success of NaPro technology, a cost-effective method for discovering and treating underlying causes of infertility, and one that is not built on a foundation of destroying life. However, he said, these gains have been largely eclipsed by the IVF industry, particularly in the United States: had it not been for the race to create children artificially, said Hilgers, we probably would have had a cure for infertility by now. Hilgers' presentation was fully in line with Catholic moral ethics and was met with sustained applause far exceeding that given for any of the other speakers of the day.
When Pope Benedict XVI addressed the conference, he stressed that the only acceptable way of conceiving a child is through sexual intercourse between a husband and wife. Indeed, the union of a man and a woman, in that community of love and life which is marriage, represents the only worthy place for a new human being to be called into existence, he said.
Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012 -- Effectively opposing the HHS mandate?
I have heard the explanation before that the HHS mandate will force Catholic facilities (hospitals, colleges, etc) to close because refusing to violate conscience will result in large fines and leave no options. Now Cardinal George has made definite statements in his Catholic New World column that the HHS mandate will lead to the closure of Catholic facilities in two years.
Somehow, I find this a rather limiting approach to this very serious issue, as it seems to be lacking the most effective means to respond. We can look to Planned Parenthood for examples of a much more effective way to respond. When they are challenged with regulations they refuse to comply with or denial of government funding, they go to court and claim that their First Amendment rights are being violated by the regulations, or they are being discriminated against by denial of the money. In many cases, they get immediate injunctions to block the regulations or restore the funding.
The Catholic Church faces the exact same issues. Why would we not just continue business as usual and go to court to demand our First Amendment rights in the face of regulations that violate our consciences, and when government funding is involved, focus on the discriminatory practices involved in that denial of funds (e.g. the recent defunding of the efforts to help women escape from sex trafficking)?
In some cases, we might not even need to initiate the lawsuit, but rather force the government to bring suit against the Church when we continue business as usual and refuse to comply with their regulations. Then, use the defense of our First Amendment rights in response to the government lawsuit.
I really think that the approach of saying the Church will just close everything down is missing some very important aspects of an effective defense of conscience rights and religious freedom. Can the Thomas More Society work with other Pro-Life law firms to help formulate a better strategy that defends the mission of the Church rather than surrender everything to stand on principle without any means left to carry out the mission?
Another aspect of defending conscience rights applies to pregnancy care centers. Many of these will be affected by the HHS mandate and be forced to fund abortifacient drugs, one of the very things they are trying to overcome. They are the perfect example of how the need to defend conscience rights goes well beyond churches. The Knights of Columbus is another example.
Monday, Feb 27, 2012 -- More action taken to oppose HHS mandate
Seven states have come together to file a lawsuit challenging the HHS mandate. This lawsuit reflects a desire to protect the religious liberties of the citizens of these states. Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas joined Nebraska in filing the lawsuit, along with several Catholic groups subject to the mandate.
Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning started coordinating the lawsuit with other states attorney general recently. On February 23rd, he led seven states in asking a Federal judge to block the Obama administration HHS mandate by filing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court of Nebraska alleging that it violates the First Amendment rights of groups that object to the requirement to pay for sterilizations, abortion inducing drugs, and birth control.
This violation of the [First] Amendment is a threat to every American, regardless of religious faith, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said in a news release. We will not stand idly by while our constitutionally guaranteed liberties are discarded by an administration that has sworn to uphold them.
About the same time, Cardinal Timothy Dolan has issued a clarification to confirm that the proposed "compromise" offered by President Obama changes nothing. The HHS mandate must be reversed for the Catholic Church to maintain religious liberty and the conscience rights of its members. Cardinal Dolan explained:
On Friday, February 10, the Administration issued the final rules. By their very terms, the rules were reaffirmed without change. The mandate to provide the illicit services remains. The exceedingly narrow exemption for churches remains. Despite the outcry, all the threats to religious liberty posed by the initial rules remain.
Religious freedom is a fundamental right of all. This right does not depend on any governments decision to grant it: it is God-given, and just societies recognize and respect its free exercise. The free exercise of religion extends well beyond the freedom of worship. It also forbids government from forcing people or groups to violate their most deeply held religious convictions, and from interfering in the internal affairs of religious organizations.
Friday, Feb 24, 2012 -- Pro-Life bills in Illinois House target of hostile amendments
On February 22nd, both the Ultrasound Opportunity Act (HB 4085) and the Women's Health and Safety Act (HB 4117) were approved in committee and sent to the House floor for consideration. Opponents of these bills immediately introduced hostile amendments as a strategy to delay or even block a vote on them.
For example, Amendment 003 to HB 4085 would expand the medical procedures that require a prior ultrasound to include "cardiac, renal, liver, gallbladder, vascular, abdominal, obstetric, gynecological, muscle, ligament, tendon, eye, testicle, salivary gland, lymph node, breast, liver, kidney, and joint diagnosis or treatment." Amendment 004 to HB 4085 would expand the bill's provisions to also require detail review of the medical risks of erectile dysfunction drugs as a means to establish informed consent for their use.
The hostile amendments to HB 4117 are not quite as outlandish as those filed for HB 4085, but close. Amendment 004 expands to every surgical procedure the requirement that "any facility where 50 or more surgical procedures are performed in any calendar year must comply with all of the statutes, rules, and regulations applicable to ambulatory surgical treatment centers generally." Amendment 005 would limit state funding for enforcement of the regulations to only funds allocated specifically for that purpose.
It is not yet clear whether these hostile amendments will be simply distractions as HB 4085 and HB 4117 are moved forward, or whether they will create serious roadblocks based on time constraints or other factors that can prevent bills from getting a vote of the entire House.
Call your Illinois Representative to ask for support of HB 4085 and HB 4117 as approved by committee and to reject floor amendments. Send a fax or email to your Representative regarding HB 4085 and HB 4117.
Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 -- Incremental successes for life in recent days
Some recent court rulings and legislative actions have been encouraging for the cause of life.
A federal court in Tacoma, Washington, struck down a Washington state law that requires pharmacists to dispense the morning-after pill, even when doing so would violate their religious beliefs. The court held that the law violates the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion.
In Missouri, Judge Daniel Green in the Cole County Circuit Court ruled this week that the Missouri Science Innovation and Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA) is unconstitutional. Since MOSIRA allows use of public funding for unethical embryonic stem cell research and human cloning, this decision prevents such funding.
In Kansas, Administrative Judge Edward J. Gaschler, representing the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts, has ordered the revocation of the medical license of abortion practitioner Ann Kristin Neuhaus, stating that Neuhaus practice of providing late-term abortion referrals to George Tiller was professionally incompetent and constituted unprofessional conduct.
In Wisconsin, the Senate passed SB 306 that will ban the practice of RU 486 abortions using webcams, and includes provisions to prevent forced abortions. This important bill will prevent the spread of webcam abortions to Wisconsin, and is expected to become law because the Wisconsin House is strongly Pro-Life and Governor Scott Walker will sign it.
In Virginia, a bill that will require offering women the opportunity to view an ultrasound before an abortion has overcome radical opposition from Planned Parenthood and appears on its way to final approval.
The court rulings are likely to be appealed and the Pro-Life laws might have lawsuits brought against them, but these positive results for life are encouraging. Pray that these efforts have quick impact of savings lives in those states and beyond.
Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 -- 40 Days for Life starts today at 258 locations
The annual Lenten 40 Days for Life starts today and runs through April 1st at 258 locations, most in the USA, but including some in Canada, England, Australia, Spain and Poland. This latest 40 Days for Life campaign is expected to build on the following cumulative results:
Information about 40 Days for Life in Illlinois can be found at: Champaign; Chicago - Old Town; Downers Grove; Rockford; and Springfield. Please consider spending time at one of these 40 Days for Life locations. If that is not possible, be sure to keep 40 Days for Life in your prayers.
Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 -- PP accuses ultrasound bills of raping women, but they already do
How long will it be before opponents of the Illinois Ultrasound Opportunity Act claim that the bill forces women to be raped? Planned Parenthood created this argument in Virginia as a slogan for opposing a bill there that would require women be offered the opportunity to view an ultrasound before an abortion.
Planned Parenthood claims that such a requirement will be "raping" women. To justify such an outlandish claim, Planned Parenthood wrongly stated that the bill required a transvaginal ultrasound, which requires inserting a probe into the vagina, as compared to an abdominal ultrasound. Since the women are seeking abortions, and most abortions involve vaginal probing, including vacuum aspiration, which takes place in the first trimester, apparently the abortion isnt rape, but the transvaginal ultrasound is.
Not only does the bill not make any provision requiring a transvaginal ultrasound, but research into the practices of Planned Parenthood has revealed that they very frequently perform transvaginal ultrasounds to determine the gestational age of the baby. Thus, Planned Parenthood is already performing what they term as rape, while the bill they are attacking does not make any provision for using transvaginal ultrasound. As usual, Planned Parenthood lies to you!
Monday, Feb 20, 2012 -- Insurance companies confirm increased cost of HHS mandate
When President Obama claimed an accommodation had been reached to resolve the conscience rights issues raised by the HHS mandate that forces health insurance plans to cover sterilizations, abortion inducing drugs, and contraceptives, he suggested that health insurance companies would have no problem offering these services for free because providing birth control is cost-effective, reducing the need for more expensive maternity coverage.
Not surprisingly, a new survey of health insurance companies from consulting firm Reimbursement Intelligence, which surveyed 15 pharmacy directors at health insurance plans, found almost half of them expect costs to increase.
As the Washington Post notes, The White House has said this is a good deal for health insurance companies: Providing birth control is cost-effective, preventing more expensive pregnancies down the line. But health insurers dont seem totally sold: About 40 percent expect it to increase the cost of their drug benefits .About 20 percent expect the provision to be cost-neutral, while a third still dont know what the impact will be.
It appears none of the major firms surveyed indicate costs will go down. Of the insurance companies that expect costs to increase, they insure more than 100 million Americans. The fact that more birth control does not actually reduce costs is a business reality for insurance companies while it is an untested explanation to justify a social agenda for the Obama administration.
Friday, Feb 17, 2012 -- Obama admin response to lawsuit against HHS mandate
It seems that the Obama administration is doing a lot of double talk with regard to the HHS mandate that forces health insurance plans to cover sterilizations, abortion inducing drugs, and contraceptives. First, they announced the regulation as final on January 20th. Then on February 10th President Obama claimed accommodations would be made, but shortly thereafter, the January 20th regulation was implemented without change.
Now, just days after saying the HHS mandate was final, the Obama administration has told a Federal court it shouldnt rule on a lawsuit against the new regulation because the administration may decide to change it at an unspecified later date. These actions suggest a lack of truthfulness regarding the idea that changes can be made to resolve the conscience rights issues raised about this policy. This lack of clarity looks more like a stall tactic than any true potential for negotiating a resolution.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing Belmont Abbey College in the case, said today that the administrations response lacked any constitutional defense of the mandate, which would force religious organizations, including charities, hospitals, and even religious orders, to cover sterilizations, abortion inducing drugs, and contraceptives. We must pray that the court rejects such delaying tactics and promptly addresses the First Amendment rights violated by the HHS mandate.
Thursday, Feb 16, 2012 -- Pro-Lifers arrested at White House protesting HHS mandate
As I understand it, protests can occur outside the White House fence, but participants must keep moving. Today, when Pro-Lifers went to the White House to protest the HHS mandate forcing all health insurance plans to cover sterilizations, abortion inducing drugs, and contraceptives, some of the participants fell to their knees to pray, which led to their arrests.
However, as Father Denis Wilde, associate director of Priests for Life, and one of six people arrested, noted, Occupy Wall Street protesters have been occupying Federal property for months, but when we kneel in prayer, the police are called in and we are arrested. Obviously, this inconsistency confirms there is a different standard of law enforcement taking place here.
Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said about the arrests at the White House, The Obama Administration has attacked ideals, principles, and protections for which Americans have fought and died for. Therefore, the reaction is not only in the press, in the courts, and in the Congress. It is, should be, and will be in the streets. Civil disobedience must be a part of the response.
Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012 -- Whistleblower reveals PP strategies to defraud government
Karen Reynolds, a former Health Center Assistant at the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC), in Lufkin, Texas, has filed a complaint alleging PPGC fraudulently billed the government by falsifying patient records, billing the government for unwarranted services and services not covered by Medicaid, and tacking on services the patient did not receive. These strategies for overbilling that were reflected in PPGC corporate policy and instructions from clinical directors included:
1) PPGC would falsify medical charts for patients having, or who earlier had, abortions to make it appear as if their visit was primarily for some other reason so Planned Parenthood could receive Federal reimbursement.
2) When patients were relying on Medicaid or another government program to pay the bill, then PPGC would run up the costs often provid[ing] services on an across the board basis even when such services were not medically necessary.
3) PPGC billed the government for "birth control counseling" for almost all Womens Health Program and Medicaid patients. These patients were handed a bag of condoms and vaginal film on the way out the door, despite the fact the items were not needed or requested by the patient. Then PPGC employees entered billing codes to be submitted to the government at an average billed cost of $57.85.
Karen is providing more evidence of a consistent pattern of fraudulent billing by Planned Parenthood. Another recent report included information that at least $7,867,547 in fraudulent billing has been identified in separate state audits of seven Planned Parenthood affiliates in New York state, California, Washington state, and Texas due to a variety of abuses, including "extensive overbilling and illegal billing for abortion-related procedures that are ineligible for government reimbursement under Federal laws."
Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 -- State of Washington House votes for abortion mandate
The threat to later add abortion as "preventative care" was noted after President Obama justified his "compromise" to resolve conscience rights issues in health care by claiming that insurance companies can provide sterilizations, abortion inducing drugs, and contraceptives for free because they save money by avoiding costs for pregnancy and childbirth.
These conscience rights issues were created by the HHS mandate that all health insurance plans provide sterilizations, abortion inducing drugs, and contraceptives at no charge because they are classified as "preventative care" under an HHS regulation that was declared final on January 20, 2012. When President Obama announced the "compromise" on February 10th, his justification was found to be an easy means to later add abortion as "preventative care" using the very same faulty justification.
By coincidence the State of Washington had a bill moving forward in the House that mandates abortion coverage be included in any health insurance plan that offers maternity coverage. This bill passed 52-46 today in the House. Though it still remains uncertain whether this bill can pass in the State of Washington Senate, it does reveal the agenda to find any way possible to justify insurance coverage for abortion.
Certainly, this action should serve as a warning that failure to overturn the HHS mandate expanding preventative care to include sterilizations, abortion inducing drugs, and contraceptives would provide the means to expand the definition of preventative care to include abortion in short order. The agenda of abortion advocates to make abortions "free" to women must be stopped.
Monday, Feb 13, 2012 -- Statistic that 98% of Catholic women use birth control is false
As an attempt to justify the HHS mandate that requires most religious organizations to fully cover sterilizations and abortion inducing drugs as "free preventative care," statistics have been cited claiming that even 98% of Catholic women use contraceptives at some point. An analysis of the basis behind this statistic, which originated with the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, reveals a false extrapolation of data collected from 7,356 women ages 15-44 who were sexually active.
Without questionable classification of women as Catholic who may not have been, and exclusion of women who are not sexually active or who are "pregnant, post-partum, or trying to get pregnant," the results would change substantially. The final manipulation was starting at 100% and reducing only by the 2% using natural family planning, while including women who used no method (11%) as using contraceptives. What can be concluded? This 98% statistic is contrived for political effect without any factual basis!
Friday, Feb 10, 2012 -- The "compromise" is worse than the original HHS mandate
Today President Obama announced a "compromise" claimed to resolve the concern about conscience rights created by the HHS mandate that requires even most religious organizations to fully cover sterilizations and abortion inducing drugs as "free preventative care." In fact, the "compromise" is actually worse than the original mandate!
Rep. Chris Smith noted, The White House Fact Sheet is riddled with doublespeak and contradiction. It states, for example, that religious employers will not have to pay for abortion pills, sterilization and contraception, but their insurance companies will. Who pays for the insurance policy? The religious employer.
The "logic" used to claim this accounting gimic is a solution relies on the false concept that religious employers will not really pay for the sterilizations and abortion inducing drugs their employees receive under health care plans because insurers will deem these expenses as "savings" because of the higher expenses of pregnancy and birth that will be avoided.
There are at least three reasons why this "compromise" is worse than the original HHS mandate. First, since these services will be provided "free" by health insurance companies so religious organizations "will not be paying for them", there is no longer any need for even the narrow religious exemption previously established in the mandate. No wonder Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America are in full support, since now there are NO exceptions to the mandate for "free preventative care."
Second, there is no chance that insurance costs will not actually increase because of providing sterilizations and abortion inducing drugs, so religious organizations will be paying higher premiums to obtain the health insurance that includes this "free preventative care." Third, under the same faulty "logic" that savings from avoiding pregnancies actually reduce health insurance costs, the justification gets established to mandate coverage of abortion on demand as well.
NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson explained, The same twisted logic will be applied: By ordering health plans to cover elective abortion, health plans would save the much higher costs of prenatal care, childbirth, and care for the baby - and under the Obama scam, if a procedure saves money, then that means that youre not really paying for it when the government mandates it.
Commenting on what he terms a distinction without a difference, Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention stated, The presidents failure to grasp the seriousness of this issue reveals a dangerous presidential blind spot concerning First Amendment constitutional religious free exercise guarantees. The Southern Baptist Convention uses a self-funded insurance plan, GuideStone, to cover 200,000 pastors, missionaries, and other church employees. Under this accommodation, GuideStone may have to provide abortifacient drugs, in violation of the churchs doctrine. Clearly, this approach is not a meaningful compromise and fails to resolve the serious concerns of Catholics and other Christians about threats to their conscience rights and religious freedom.
Thursday, Feb 9, 2012 -- Lawsuits filed against HHS mandate, with plans for more
Priests for Life and EWTN Global Catholic Network have each filed suit against the HHS mandate that forces religious employers like them to pay for sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs as "preventative care" under employee health insurance.
The EWTN Global Catholic Network filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Birmingham, Alabama against the Department of Health & Human Services, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and other government agencies seeking to stop the imposition of the anti-conscience mandate as well as asking the court for a declaratory judgment that the mandate is unconstitutional.
The lawsuit was filed on EWTNs behalf by attorneys from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The Becket Fund previously filed similar lawsuits on behalf of Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C. and Colorado Christian University near Denver, which demonstrates that this is not just a Catholic issue.
Meanwhile, New York based Priests for Life announced that it will be filing a lawsuit against the Obama Administration in an effort to seek injunctive relief from these impending HHS regulations that would require the organization to pay for employee health insurance that covers sterilizations, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Priests for Life has retained noted civil rights attorney Charles LiMandri of San Diego to represent them in their lawsuit against the HHS mandate.
Additionally, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning is coordinating a legal challenge against the controversial Obama HHS mandate by inviting the Attorney Generals of every state to consider joining the lawsuit. He said it unconstitutionally expands congressional authority and infringes upon individual liberty.
Wednesday, Feb 8, 2012 -- Simply abandon 'norm against killing' to obtain more organs
Do you need more convincing that vital organ donation is problematic? Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, a Duke University bioethicist, and Franklin G. Miller, an ethicist with the National Institutes of Health, have admitted that patients who are routinely declared dead for purposes of organ harvesting are in fact alive and that removing their organs kills them.
These bioethicists claim they have the solution to concerns faced by the organ transplant industry. The conundrum that the removal of vital organs kills the donor can be easily obviated by abandoning the norm against killing. In an article titled, What Makes Killing Wrong? appearing in last months Journal of Medical Ethics, the authors have moved the argument forward by admitting that the practice of vital organ donation ignores traditional medical ethics.
Traditional medical ethics embraces the norm that doctors must not kill their patients. This norm is often seen as absolute and universal. In contrast, we have argued that killing by itself is not morally wrong, although it is still morally wrong to cause total disability.
Traditional ethicists have responded, warning that this stream of thought, now common in the medical community, will ultimately undermine the right of anyone to life or the protection of law, and will annihilate public trust in the medical profession. Doesn't it appear that organ donation is leading to a slippery slope that will destroy the right to life?
Tuesday, Feb 7, 2012 -- Other churches join Catholics to oppose HHS mandate
The Obama administrations mandate that religious institutions cover all birth control, including abortifacient drugs like Plan B and Ella, and sterilization in their health insurance plans has people of faith banding together across traditional doctrinal divisions.
Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said any government law requiring people of faith to violate their conscience is not only a Catholic issue, even though the mainstream media wants to make this a Catholic issue.
The 65 canonical bishops of the Orthodox Church have asked President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to repeal the mandate that religious institutions provide birth control, sterilization, and Plan B abortion drugs in their health care coverage.
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion, the statement says. This freedom is transgressed when a religious institution is required to pay for contraceptive services including abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services that directly violate their religious convictions.
Monday, Feb 6, 2012 -- Graphic abortion ads during Super Bowl blocked in Chicago
Randall Terry is running for president on the Democratic ticket in order to be able to run ads that reveal what abortion looks like. Federal regulations require television stations to air political ads from candidates unedited. Angela Michael of Small Victories Ministry in Granite City is running for Congress for the same purpose. Her ads have generated feedback that at least one baby was saved when the mother decided against abortion after seeing Angela's ad.
After the NBC affiliate in Chicago refused to air Randall Terry's ad, Terry appealed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), arguing that the stations refusal was a content-driven exclusion, and is therefore forbidden under FCC rules. However, the FCC ruled that broadcasters were exempt from the requirement to sell airtime to candidates near or during the Super Bowl, but also ruled that it was reasonable for Chicagos WMAQ to bar the ads because Terry did not make a substantial showing that he is a legally qualified candidate entitled to reasonable access to broadcast stations in Illinois.
In a statement responding to the FCC ruling, Terry said that at least 15 stations in seven states were scheduled to run his Pro-Life Super Bowl ad in pre-game shows, during the Super Bowl, or in News Broadcasts after the game. He pointed out that the FCCs ruling about his status as a candidate only applied to Illinois. Since he is on the ballot in other states, he is a de facto legally qualified candidate which is why the stations were proceeding to run the ads.
Friday, Feb 3, 2012 -- Planned Parenthood claims victimhood, but is actually the bully
Even though the media had no time to cover the March for Life or the negative response to the HHS health care mandate for abortifacient contraceptives and sterilizations, they had plenty of time to present Planned Parenthood as the "victim" of defunding by Komen for "political" reasons. Using Planned Parenthood's own talking points, the media portrayed Komen as heartless for "abandoning" so many women without any recourse to "health care" with their denial of funding to Planned Parenthood.
This constant attack on Komen led to a retreat with a statement that included: "We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities." Given that Komen had already indicated they were honoring some previously arranged grants to Planned Parenthood for 2012, and that anyone can apply for a grant with no guarantee they will receive it, this statement does not appear to ensure Planned Parenthood more grants in the future.
The last phrase is likely a reference to the issue of who is actually providing mammograms to women. Since Planned Parenthood does not do mammograms, they effectively become pass-through overhead by simply referring women for mammograms. The new Komen policy reflects an objective to provide grants to those who actually provide services to women.
Since the first sentence in the Komen statement of retreat included the word "apologize," the media and Planned Parenthood apparently took it as rescinding the "defunding" policy. PP leader Cecile Richards press release in response included some very revealing information. She wrote, "With Komen Foundation grants, over the past five years, Planned Parenthood health centers provided nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams and more than 6,400 mammogram referrals."
What can we conclude from these facts? First, it confirms that Planned Parenthood does NOT do mammograms. Second, it reveals that only 6,400 of 170,000 women who got "clinical breast exams" at Planned Parenthood actually had the opportunity for a mammogram. Is that effective health care for uninsured women as Planned Parenthood claims? It seems like most of them got substandard health care because they had no chance to get a mammogram. Is that the quality of breast health care that Komen wants to be associated with?
Thursday, Feb 2, 2012 -- Storm Lake IA Planned Parenthood to close after one 40 Days
After just one 40 Days for Life last fall, the Planned Parenthood facility in Storm Lake, Iowa will be closing its doors for good on March 1st, as reported in the local newspaper there. That 40 Days for Life was special because it was organized and led by the former manager of that facility.
Sue Thayer had been fired after she objected to the introduction of telemed abortions there a few years ago, but she became moved to organize a 40 Days for Life. This closing is the 21st abortion facility where a 40 Days for Life vigil has been conducted that will be closing its doors forever.
Sue was recently profiled in an article in the Des Moines Register. Might that negative publicity have been the final push needed for Planned Parenthood to close the Storm Lake location? Probably the word spreading throughout that small community about Sue leaving Planned Parenthood after 17 years was enough to cut their business and force them to close.
Wednesday, Feb 1, 2012 -- Bishops confront threat to conscience rights, religious freedom
After the Obama administration confirmed the mandate that all health plans must fully cover contraceptives, even those known as abortifacients, as well as sterilizations, the media found this news of little interest. Even as bishops began to confront this serious threat to conscience rights and religious freedom, the media took little interest in covering the issue.
When at least 86 bishops have spoken out against the Obama/HHS mandate publicly, and that number increases almost every day, wouldn't you think the media should cover the issue? The next step the bishops are taking is having priests in parishses throughout their diocese read the bishop's statement at all diocesan Masses. How else will the people learn of the issue since the media have apparently declared it off limits?