Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Planned Parenthood Chapter Quits, Forced by National to Do Abortions

LifeNews.com: A Texas-based Planned Parenthood affiliate has resigned as a member of the national organization because Planned Parenthood Federation of America wanted it to do abortions. Local officials say PPFA is instituting a mandate that all of its affiliates across the nation offer facilities where abortions are done and the head of Planned Parenthood of South Texas says her group doesn’t want to add abortions.

CEO Amanda Stukenberg told the Corpus Christi Caller newspaper that PPST doesn’t need to do abortions because independent abortion business already exist in the area, so her group has focused solely on promoting contraception and birth control. “We have never provided abortions,” she said. “Our position is that if that is a need in your community, fine. There are far greater needs in our area than abortion. We feel that women here have options. We don’t need to duplicate services.”

Stutenberg told the newspaper that national Planned Parenthood officials told her they want to standardize their operations nationwide and that includes a requirement to for all affiliates to do abortions.

Instead, Stukenberg said the Planned Parenthood chapter will change its name to Family Planning of the Coastal Bend and she and her board of directors feel confident they can financially survive leaving the Planned Parenthood abortion business. The requirement to do abortions is not a surprise given the resignation of another Texas Planned Parenthood official last year. Abby Johnson quit her job as the director of the Planned Parenthood in Bryan/College Station after participating in an abortion prompted her to change her mind and become pro-life. She has said her Planned Parenthood facility also faced pressure to do abortions — including having a quota of abortions she was required to meet. “There are definitely client goals,” she said last November. “We’d have a goal every month for abortion clients and for family planning clients.”

She said her facility did abortions every other Saturday but began increasing the number of abortions in order to increase revenues. One method involved increasing the number of abortions done with the dangerous mifepristone abortion drug. “One of the ways they were able to up the number of patients that they saw was they started doing the RU-486 chemical abortions all throughout the week,” she said.

Johnson told WorldNetDaily that abortions using the drug, which has killed 13 women worldwide and injured at least 1,100 in the United States alone according to the FDA, would bring in between $505 and $695 depending on the age of the baby at the time of the abortion.

She said the move to increase abortions came as Planned Parenthood experienced financial difficulties due to the troubled economy.

“Abortion is the most lucrative part of Planned Parenthood’s operations,” she said. “Even though they’re two separate corporations, all of the money goes into one pot. With the family planning corporation really suffering, they depend on the abortion corporation to balance their budget, help get them out of the hole and help make income for the company.”

“They really wanted to increase the number of abortions so that they could increase their income,” she told the news service.
Pressure to increase abortions is also borne out in the recent annual reports Planned Parenthood released publicly — which show Planned Parenthood increasing the number of abortions it does annually and increasing its share of the abortion market to more than 25 percent.

The nation’s largest abortion business released a factsheet in September showing the number of abortions it performed in 2008 increased to 324,008, a 6.1 percent increase over the 305,310 abortions it did in 2007. In 1997, Planned Parenthood did about 160,000 abortions. The report shows Planned Parenthood’s 95 affiliates operated 865 centers — all of which either do abortions, give out the dangerous abortion drug RU 486 (Mifepristone) or make abortion referrals. The abortion business says it has 33,000 staff and volunteers nationwide.

The September companion report Planned Parenthood issued showed, despite claims to the contrary, Planned Parenthood’s number one agenda is abortion. The document boasts that the number of adoption referrals provided by Planned Parenthood increased by over 100 percent from 2,410 referrals in 2006 to 4,912 referrals in 2007. However, the total number of adoption referrals still amounts to a number equal to only one-third of the increase in the number of abortions done by Planned Parenthood affiliates. Planned Parenthood also says it helped just under 11,000 women in 2007 with prenatal care and pregnancy help services.

Yet, prenatal care and adoption referrals resulted for only 5 percent of the total services provided to women in 2007 while abortions accounted for 95 percent of the services that year, according to Planned Parenthood’s own figures.

Tags: planned parenthood, Teas, National, abortion, no abortions,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Report Shows Catholic Healthcare West Promotes Abortions

by Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com: San Francisco-based Catholic Healthcare West is already facing a rebuke from a Catholic bishop over an abortion one of its hospitals did that he says violated Catholic teachings. Now, a national pro-life organization has released the results of a new research study showing CHW has a longer history of promoting abortions.

Catholic Healthcare West is a system of 41 hospitals and medical centers located in California, Arizona and Nevada that is the eighth largest hospital system in the nation and the largest not-for-profit provider in California.

CHW member St. Joseph’s Hospital of Phoenix, Arizona, became the subject of controversy earlier this year when the head of its ethics committee, Sr. Margaret McBride, approved the abortion of an 11-week unborn baby whose mother suffered from pulmonary hypertension.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted investigated the case and, after interviewing Sr. McBride, informed her that she had excommunicated herself by approving the abortion. Since then, CHW has defended McBride’s decision, and after months of debate, Bishop Olmsted issued a letter to CHW declaring his intent to revoke his endorsement of St. Joseph’s Hospital as a Catholic hospital unless CHW met three specific conditions.

American Life League conducted its own investigation into CHW’s activities and discovered CHW’s abortion connection is not limited to the Arizona case.  “CHW has granted money to at least six organizations that promote abortion” or birth control, ALL indicates in a report LifeNews.com received.  “CHW helped create the Healthy San Francisco health plan, which covers elective abortion,” it added. “At least one CHW member hospital promotes the nation’s largest abortion chain, Planned Parenthood, on its web site, and another lists the provision of contraceptives as a service.”

The report also indicates CHW’s CEO made donations to the Obama campaign and strongly endorsed the ObamaCare bill the nation’s Catholic bishops opposed because it didn’t properly stop abortion funding and rationing.

CHW members Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, Sequoia Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center donated $267,704 to 17 organizations in 2010, the report notes, including the San Francisco Health Plan.  “SFHP covers abortions. You do not need to see your PCP first or get permission for an abortion. You may obtain outpatient abortion services from an SFHP network provider or from a non-network provider, the plan notes.

Another CHW member, Northridge Hospital Medical Center “refers to a number of pro-abortion and pro-birth control resources for teens, including Planned Parenthood” through its PATH-AT program.  Another 12 members do sterilizations and many others promote birth control, the ALL report shows.

On the ObamaCare bill, the report noted how a December 2009 Market Wire article titled Catholic Healthcare West Applauds Passage of Senate Health Reform Bill gave full, unqualified approval to the health care reform bill after the USCCB called the bill deficient, and American Life League reported on the provisions for abortion, birth control and euthanasia that it contained.

Concerning donations to Obama, Lloyd Dean, Catholic Healthcare West’s president and CEO, according to Federal Election Commission records, made $10,000 in contributions to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee over a ten-day period earlier that summer and donated an additional $250 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
An early supporter of Obama’s presidential campaign, Dean gave $2,300 to Obama for America in September 2007.

Tags: Catholic Healthcare West, abortions, Catholic, healthcare

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mike Pence: Cut All Taxpayer Funding for Planned Parenthood

LifeNews.com: Rep. Mike Pence, the leading member behind legislation in Congress that would de-fund Planned Parenthood, is not happy about the new annual report the abortion business released. The annual report shows the total government grants and contracts received by PPFA affiliates from government sources including state, local and federal governments, increased from $350 million in 2009 to $363 million in the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

That comes after a September report revealing the number of abortions Planned Parenthood performed in 2008 increased to 324,008, a 6.1 percent increase over the 305,310 abortions it did in 2007.

Pence, an Indiana congressman with potential presidential ambitions, sent a statement to LifeNews.com Friday afternoon responding to the new taxpayer funding figures: It is morally wrong to end an unborn human life by abortion.  It is also morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use those funds to promote abortion.
“Planned Parenthood’s own report shows that the largest abortion provider in America is being bankrolled by American taxpayers.  With a nearly 10 percent unemployment rate, there is simply no reason during these tough economic times why taxpayers’ hard-earned money should fund the activities of abortion providers and equip them with the resources they need to end innocent human life.

“The time has come to deny any and all federal funding to Planned Parenthood by passing the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which I intend to introduce again in the next Congress.”
Congressman Pence introduced The Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act (H.R. 614), a bill prohibiting the distribution of Title X family planning money to entities that use abortion as a method of family planning. The bi-partisan bill has 103 co-sponsors.

The Title X Family Planning program was enacted in 1970 as Title X of the Public Health Service Act. Title X is the only federal grant program that provides individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services.
Pence added:
"Originally, family planning services were not allowed to include abortions and currently federal dollars are not used directly for abortions. However, over the years, the subsidy of abortion providers under the umbrella of family planning has been gradually accepted.

"Current law prohibits the use of Title X family planning funds “in programs where abortion is a method of family planning;” and current regulations require some form of separation between federally-funded family planning services and abortions. However, the current regulations do not contain a descriptive standard of what constitutes “separation.” They only require the level of separation to be more than “mere bookkeeping.”
When Title X money goes to clinics that provide both abortions and family planning services, even though the money cannot directly fund abortions, it is being used to offset operational costs with federal funds, freeing up money to promote and provide abortions.

Tags: Mike Pence, taxpayers, abortions

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Obama Admin Working to Rescind Conscience Rights on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com: The Obama administration is still working to overturn conscience rights for medical professionals on abortion that were put in place at the tail end of the Bush administration.

In 2008, the Bush administration issued a rule that prohibited recipients of federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses and health care aides who refuse to take part in medical procedures to which they have religious or moral objections, such as abortion.

The rule implemented existing conscience protection laws that ensure medical professionals cannot be denied employment because they do not want to assist in abortions.

New information about the state of those protections and efforts to repeal them comes from legal papers the administration filed in a case the state of Connecticut launched against the conscience protections. In a document filed in federal court in November, Obama administration attorneys admitted that the administration wants to finalize a rescission of the conscience rules but has been delayed because of other business — likely due to the HHS working on implementing the provisions of the ObamaCare law.

HHS “hope[d] to have an internal draft final rule prepared in the near future, but that the schedule is necessarily tentative given the possibility of unforeseen delays and the need to devote time and resources to other agency priorities,” the November legal paper said.

Responding to the paper, the federal court asked for more information about the delay.
The Obama administration filed another legal paper December 1 stating “HHS still cannot be certain of a date for completing the rulemaking” but added “HHS expects to have a final rule published in the Federal Register within sixty to ninety days – i.e., as early as January 31, 2011, and no later than March 1, 2011.”

Obama officials asked the court to not mandate a time by which the rescission is made and said they hope to complete the rescission of the conscience rights prior to the court issuing a decision related to the Bush rules in the Connecticut challenge.
The Alliance Defense Fund, a pro-life legal group, points out that the papers make it clear the Obama administration intends to repeal the conscience protections on abortion, citing language saying the administration would notify the court “when the final rule regarding the proposed rescission is published.”

ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman said the Obama administration “wants to dismantle” the conscience protections “leaving little defense for the regulation and for health care workers.”

“Medical professionals should not be punished for holding to their beliefs, and they should not be forced to perform abortions against their conscience,” he told LifeNews.com. “Those pursuing this lawsuit, including organizations such as Planned Parenthood, would like nothing more than to deny health care workers the only means that exists to defend their federally protected right to opt out of abortions.”

ADF has been defending the rights of a nurse who was forced to assist in an abortion and is she is now seeking to join the lawsuit to oppose Connecticut’s efforts to overturn the Bush rules.

As LifeNews.com reported in November, Cathy Cenzon-DeCarlo lost a federal court ruling saying she doesn’t have the right to sue the hospital that forced her to participate in an abortion.

Now, the Alliance Defense Fund has filed a motion to intervene in State of Connecticut v. United States of America.

ADF is currently involved in a lawsuit in New York state court to defend Cenzon-DeCarlo’s conscience rights under state law, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld the dismissal of her federal lawsuit, leaving only an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as the means to defend her rights protected under federal law.

That investigation relies upon the conscience regulations implemented by former President George W. Bush that direct the department to conduct such investigations. If Connecticut is successful or the Obama administration overturns the rules, “this case may cause Mrs. DeCarlo to again be illegally compelled to assist in abortions by her federally funded employer due to the removal of all her protective measures,” ADF legal papers say.

“Moreover, that Regulation has helped empower Defendant HHS’ Office of Civil Rights to actually and presently be investigating that violation on her behalf, explicitly telling Mrs. DeCarlo that the investigation is being pursued at least in part under the Implementing Regulation. Yet in this case, Plaintiffs seek to invalidate that Regulation and Defendants have worked with Plaintiffs to stay the case based on their intent to rescind the Regulation,” the papers add.

ADF attorneys, working together with the Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law and Religious Freedom, are simultaneously attempting to intervene in the Connecticut case on behalf of several pro-life medical associations.

The judge cleared the motions from his calendar for now but determined that they can be considered once the case, which is currently on hold, moves forward.

Although federal law has long forbidden discrimination against health care professionals who refuse to perform abortions or provide referrals for them, the regulation required institutions that get federal funding to certify their compliance with laws protecting conscience rights. It also promoted education within the medical community regarding their rights and provided an avenue of recourse in the event of discrimination through the Office of Civil Rights within HHS.

At the end of February, the Obama administration announced it began “reviewing” the regulations implementing conscience laws, the first step toward rescinding the rule altogether. In 2009, Obama told students at Notre Dame he wanted to find common ground on abortion and used the conscience clause as an example. but he came under criticism from pro-life lawmakers who said he was working to remove the protections.

Tags: Medical professionals, doctors, nurses, Conscience Rights, Abortion, abortions, Obama Administrations

Monday, December 6, 2010

Michele Bachmann: Jesus Had a Right to Life from the Moment of Conception

The Annunciation
Depiction of the Annunciation
by 17th Century Spanish artist
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
(Wikimedia Commons image)
By Terence P. Jeffrey, CNS News: In response to a question from CNSNews.com, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.) said this week that Jesus Christ had a right to life from the moment of conception and that all human beings deserve legal protection from the moment of conception.

Earlier this year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) declined to answer [a] question of whether Jesus had a right to life from the moment of conception. Pelosi voted against the partial-birth abortion ban when it became law in 2003.

In May, Pelosi told a Catholic Community Conference in Washington, D.C., that her favorite word was the “Word” as in the “Word was made flesh”—a reference to Jesus Christ in the Gospel passage of John 1:14 that says, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw His glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.” Pelosi told the conference she had a duty to pursue public policies in keeping with the values of the Word made flesh. “And that Word," Pelosi said, "is, we have to give voice to what that means in terms of public policy that would be in keeping with the values of the Word.”

At a subsequent press conference, CNSNews.com correspondent Jane McGrath asked Pelosi whether she believed the Word was made flesh at the Annunciation, when Jesus was conceived, or at the Nativity, when He was born, and when did Jesus get the right to life. Pelosi did not answer the question. Instead, she said: “Whenever it was, we bow our heads when we talk about it in church, and that’s where I’d like to talk about that.” After that press conference, CNSNews.com sent a follow-up question to the speaker’s press secretary by email: “We’d like to clarify the speaker’s position on this: Did Jesus have the right to life from the moment of conception?” “The speaker answered the question. Thanks,” Pelosi’s press secretary responded.

When CNSNews.com put the question to Bachmann, she answered directly:
Q: “And did Jesus have a right to life from the moment of conception?”
A: “Yes,” said Bachmann.
Q: “Do all human beings have a right to life?”
A: “Yes, they do,” said Bachmann.
Q: “Should there be legal protection for every human being from the moment of conception?”
A: “Yes, there should be,” said Bachmann.

Tags: Michele Bachmann, Jesus Christ, right to life, protection of life, Nancy Pelosi, Hat Tip ARRA News Service.