Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Albuquerque, NM, Nov. 12, 2013 (OperationRescue) – As of yesterday, over 25,000 Albuquerque citizens had cast early ballots in a city-wide initiative that would ban abortions after 20 weeks and is on pace to set a new early-voting record. This trend is generally a positive sign for Conservatives, who have a history of early voting.
Early voting ends Friday, with thousands more voters expected to cast ballots by the end of the week. Election Day is November 19 with a high voter turnout expected because of strong feelings evoked by the issue of abortion, especially halfway through pregnancy or later.
Meanwhile, campaign finance records show that Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into an effort to defeat the measure and keep abortions legal throughout all 9 months of pregnancy. Planned Parenthood alone has contributed $300,000 to the opposition, Respect ABQ Women – considerably more than the total amount raised by those supporting the ordinance. [Read the campaign finance report for the pro-abortion Respect ABQ Women]
“What we will see when Election Day finally rolls around on November 19 is whether the abortion cartel’s big money will over rule the will of the people,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue, who plans to visit Albuquerque later this week to help with the campaign in favor of the historic Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance. “We know from recent polls that 54% of the people of Albuquerque want to end abortions after 20 weeks when the babies are known to feel pain.”
The ACLU has also contributed over $200,000. Texas abortionist Curtis Boyd, who owns South West Women’s Options, the late-term abortion clinic that will be most affected by the proposed new law, has contributed nearly $2,000 personally and from his abortion business.
The campaign has attracted national interest because Albuquerque is one of the few locations where abortions through all nine months of pregnancy are done for any reason. Even Pres. Barack Obama’s leftist political activism organization, Organizing for Action, is heavily involved against the late-term abortion ban.
Voters casting early ballots have expressed confusion of the length of the wording on the ballot.
“We understand that some well-meaning people may have voted against the measure, thinking they were voting against abortion. However, in this case, a ‘For’ vote is in support of the late-term abortion ban,” said Sullenger.
ABQ Voters for Late Term Abortion Ban is conducting an intensive Get Out the Vote campaign focusing on churches where support for the measure is greatest. To learn more or to get involved visit LateTermAbortionBan.com.
Campaign records are available at Summary Audit Report by Candidate or Measure Committee
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 7, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Nearly five months after passing the House, a bill to end abortion after 20 weeks has been introduced in the Senate.
This morning Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC, introduced the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
The Act, which passed the House of Representatives in June, would ban abortions after 20 or more weeks post-gestation, with the exception of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
Surrounded by a host of pro-life leaders, Graham made the announcement at a press conference this morning attended by LifeSiteNews.com.
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said the bill represented the first time since Roe vs. Wade that the Senate is considering “protecting babies at a stage of life.”
Graham laid out the rationale behind the law: “Because the child is pain-capable, the state has a compelling interest in protecting that unborn child, apart from viability.”
“There is ample medical evidence to support this bill's findings that unborn children are capable of experiencing pain by at least 20 weeks after fertilization,” said Anna Higgins of the Family Research Council, who also spoke at the conference. “Anesthesia is regularly administered to unborn children during prenatal surgery, which eliminates the stress response.”
Graham said he's insisting the legislation come up for a vote in 2014, but he does not expect it to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate – much less President Obama's threatened veto – this session.
If there were a vote today, “I imagine we would be short of 50,” he admitted, but support for this measure would “go at a faster pace” than other pro-life bills, such as the “Unborn Victims of Violence Act” and the 2003 partial-birth abortion ban, that eventually became law.
During the question and answer session, Graham told LifeSiteNews.com the reason the bill was not introduced in the Senate for nearly five months after it passed the House had to do with the nature of the Senate. “We had an argument among my colleagues, that are all supportive of the concept of protecting the baby. They just couldn't agree upon the constitutional theory,” Senator Graham told LifeSiteNews. “There's probably four or five theories.”
Ultimately, they pressed forward and decided to press forward with the bill.
A number of senators, including Marco Rubio and Mike Lee, had been rumored to introduce the bill, which would save between 10,000 and 15,000 unborn children a year, according to varying estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and the Guttmacher Institute.
It would not affect the vast majority of abortions performed before 20-weeks. According to a Guttmacher study published in 2006, 88 percent of abortions are committed before 12 weeks post-gestation.
Senator Rob Portman, R-OH, talked about visiting neo-natal units and holding 20-week-old children “in your hand.”
Portman, who faces opposition from many pro-lifers in his own state, said most Americans agree “abortion should be as rare as possible.”
Graham said the defeat of Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia should not be seen as a reason the legislation could not move forward, adding that Democrat Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe was not asked if he supported banning late-term abortions.
Polls show the bill enjoys popular support. A Quinnipiac poll published in August found 55 percent of Americans opposed abortion being legal without restrictions after 20 weeks. This included 60 percent of women, with only 25 percent of women supportive of keeping current 24-week limits.
“The vast majority of these are purely elective, as abortion doctors themselves have admitted,” said Maureen Ferguson, senior policy adviser for The Catholic Association. As for children with fetal defects, she said, “Surely a country that passed the Americans With Disabilities Act can choose compassion for our most vulnerable disabled members.”
Several speakers cited Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia “house of horrors” abortionist who specialized in illegal late-term abortions. A speaker with the National Black Pro-Life Union founder said “abortion is decimating the African-American community.”
In addition to those who spoke at this afternoon's conference, several other national pro-life organizations have pledged their support to this legislation.
“Every innocent life deserves to be protected,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Casey Mattox. “This bill would protect children who experience horrific pain during a late-term abortion and the women whose physical and mental health is in greater danger from such abortions.”
“This is the human rights issue of our time,” Higgins said.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
BROWNSVILLE, TX, November 5, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Opponents have many labels for Texas Senator Wendy Davis, but none would use this one: Pro-life.
That's how the Forth Worth Democrat, who is best known for engaging in a marathon filibuster against a bill to stop abortionists from killing unborn children who can feel pain, described herself at the University of Texas at Brownsville yesterday.
Attempting to cast herself as more than the woman in loud shoes who temporarily derailed a state pro-life bill, she criticized Governor Rick Perry for not expanding the state's Medicaid program and touted her putative support for the downtrodden.
“I am pro-life,” Davis said, according to the Valley Morning Star. “I care about the life of every child: every child that goes to bed hungry, every child that goes to bed without a proper education, every child that goes to bed without being able to be a part of the Texas dream, every woman and man who worry about their children’s future and their ability to provide for that future. I care about life and I have a record of fighting for people above all else.”
She added, “The battle over reproductive rights and women’s health care that was waged on June 25 was not a battle I chose.”
The rhetorical gambit is a familiar one to those who support the unborn, as pro-abortion politicians attempt to redefine the meaning of pro-life and castigate opponents as merely “pro-birth.”
Critics emphasize that crisis pregnancy centers and church organizations provide for needy babies and their mothers out of their own pockets, while Planned Parenthood has become a billion dollar industry as the nation's largest abortion provider.
Texas Right to Life said Davis is “famous for championing child-killing,” not for her efforts to preserve life.
The bill Davis filibustered barred abortions after 20 weeks, demanded abortion facilities meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers, required abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their office, and mandated that medical abortions follow the FDA-approved method for administering RU-486.
Davis is the prohibitive frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for governor next year. If successful, she would become the Lone Star state's first Democratic governor since Ann Richards, the mother of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood has appealed provisions of the abortion law Davis filibustered, H.B. 2, to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Published: November 5, 2013
JERUSALEM — With Middle East peace negotiations showing signs of lapsing into an all-too-familiar paralysis, Secretary of State John Kerry arrived here Tuesday night for a flurry of meetings aimed at jolting the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to reinvigorate the three-month-old round of talks.
An absence of progress on the core issues, an ill-timed Israeli announcement of plans to build hundreds more housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and grousing by Israeli and Palestinian officials about each other’s motives are contributing to a sense that the negotiations are sputtering, like so many previous efforts to bridge the gaps between the two sides.
“He is trying to give a push,” said a senior American official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the matter, adding that the talks were bogging down “both because of short-term irritants and slowness at getting at fundamental issues.”
Mr. Kerry was a tireless prod and a frequent presence in Jerusalem and Ramallah leading up to the resumption of talks on July 30, and he has more recently met for hours at a time with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, in neutral sites like New York, London, and Rome. Now, after a brief period of withdrawal to deal with other problems, he is returning to the region to throw himself back into the process.
His back-and-forth schedule bears all the hallmarks of shuttle diplomacy. Mr. Kerry is to meet Mr. Netanyahu here on Wednesday morning, then to drive to nearby Bethlehem, on the West Bank, to sit down with Mr. Abbas, before returning for dinner with Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Kerry will circle back with Mr. Abbas in Amman, Jordan, on Thursday evening.
American officials have disclosed little about the details of the talks, though the senior official said that negotiations over Israel’s security and the economic development of the Palestinian-administered West Bank had emerged as bright spots in the discussions.
Until this week, Israeli and Palestinian officials had honored a pledge not to publicly discuss the internal discussions to avoid poisoning the atmosphere. But the first cracks in that facade have appeared, with Mr. Abbas bemoaning the lack of results in a speech and a senior Israeli official accusing the Palestinians of not negotiating in “good faith.”
The public criticisms from Mr. Abbas, in particular, complicate Mr. Kerry’s task, according to former diplomats, by raising the pressure on him to produce results on an accelerated timetable, which in turn could strain his relationship with Mr. Netanyahu.
“After all these rounds of negotiations, there is nothing on the ground,” Mr. Abbas said in a speech Sunday to officials of his Fatah Party. “The negotiations are still without results.”
On Tuesday, the Palestinian leadership published a fact sheet asserting that Israel had “escalated announcements of illegal settlement activity” since the resumption of talks. It cited the new housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including more than 2,000 for which tenders had been published this week.
But an Israeli official brushed off the criticism of settlement construction from Palestinian leaders, saying “Israel has scrupulously honored the understandings that were reached at the beginning of the current round of talks.” Israel had warned Mr. Kerry it would continue to build in the settlements during the negotiations.
On Tuesday, Gideon Saar, Israel’s interior minister and a confidant of Mr. Netanyahu’s, accused the Palestinians “of trying either to isolate or to boycott the state of Israel while holding negotiations with it.”
“There is a total lack of flexibility in their opening positions,” he said.
Senior Israeli and Palestinian officials said that in meetings in Europe last month, Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas both warned Mr. Kerry that the talks were close to an impasse. “I think he was a bit shocked when he got the briefings,” a Palestinian official said.
A senior Israeli official agreed that Mr. Kerry wanted “to put more pressure on both sides.” This official also said the Obama administration had begun to realize it would likely need to present a framework for an agreement if the negotiations reach a “dead end.”
On Monday, however, Mr. Kerry denied reports in the Israeli news media that in the absence of any breakthrough in the next two months, the United States would offer its own plan to create a Palestinian state based on the borders before the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, with agreed-upon land swaps between Israel and the Palestinians.
“There is no other plan at this point in time,” Mr. Kerry said, choosing his words carefully in a clearly fluid situation.
For diplomacy watchers, the speculation about an American plan, while premature, indicates that the talks have progressed beyond their first phase, in which teams of negotiators chew over the issues, to a second phase, in which Mr. Kerry can be more directly involved in trying to find areas of agreement between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas.
He will also brief Mr. Netanyahu about parallel nuclear negotiations with Iran, prompting analysts to suggest a possible link between the two. Mr. Netanyahu, they said, may be under pressure to accede to Mr. Kerry’s demands on the peace process in exchange for American vigilance on maintaining sanctions against Iran during the nuclear talks.
“The challenge is Kerry is that these talks aren’t yet ready for prime time,” said Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East peace negotiator. “He needs to keep the radio silence going to avoid an escalatory public cycle of the blame game between Netanyahu and Abbas.”
Michael R. Gordon contributed reporting from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Tue Nov 05, 2013 15:21 EST
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, November 5, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Michigan pro-life group is arguing in a new lawsuit that it is unconstitutional for the Obama administration to force it to pay for insurance coverage that funds drugs that can cause exactly what the group is dedicated to fighting – abortion.
Right to Life of Michigan has filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama government's Affordable Care Act, claiming that provisions in the health insurance scheme that would require the organization to provide insurance that covers contraceptives and abortion-causing drugs are a violation of religious freedom and freedom from coerced speech.
"As an organization whose sole purpose is to advocate for the protection of human life, especially nascent human life, it is offensive to have the government impose on us a requirement to purchase something that violates our very mission," Ed Rivet, Legislative Director of Right to Life of Michigan, told LifeSiteNews.
"We are unique among plaintiffs in the various HHS Mandate cases," Mr Rivet explained. "We're not a business, we're not affiliated with a church. We don't take a position against all forms of birth control. But we could not remain passive in a case where we are being forced to purchase a so-called ‘health benefit’ that violates our conscience."
The lawsuit names Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Treasury and Labor departments and officials, as defendants.
The 45-page lawsuit, filed by attorney Michael Rizik Jr. on November 4 in the U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, states that Right to Life of Michigan has 33 full-time employees and 10 part-time employees, and claims that the ObamaCare mandate violates the pro-life group's deeply held religious beliefs.
Right to Life of Michigan states that most of its employees are Catholic or Evangelical Christians, and that “All employees subscribed unequivocally to plaintiff’s sole and exclusive mission protecting life.”
“The mandate, therefore, forces employers and individuals to violate their religious beliefs," says the lawsuit, “because it requires employers and individuals to pay for insurance from insurance issuers which fund and directly provide for drugs, devices and services which violate their deeply held religious beliefs, as well, in this plaintiff, reasoned reflection, and sole reason for existence as an organization.”
The lawsuit also contends that the ObamaCare regulations violate constitutionally guaranteed freedom from coerced, government-dictated speech.
“Not only is abortion disordered, but it violates the due process of the laws accorded every human being, and belies reasoned reflection and scientific fact on when life begins. As such, abortion is an act of injustice, and the mandate forces (Right to Life) to violate its only reason for existence,” the statement of claim argues.
Right to Life of Michigan is asking the court to issue preliminary and permanent injunctions to stop the government from enforcing the mandate against themselves and other religious individuals, employers, companies and groups “that object to funding and providing insurance coverage for abortion, abortifacients, and related education and counseling."
BY BEN JOHNSON
Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:49 EST
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 1, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A bill to prohibit abortions after unborn children are capable of feeling pain will be introduced in the U.S. Senate next week, according to the National Right to Life Committee.
The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortions after 20 weeks fetal age or "22 weeks of pregnancy," would protect nearly all children from the sixth month of pregnancy forward.
Congressman Trent Franks, R-AZ, introduced the original bill
Congressman Trent Franks, R-AZ, introduced the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which passed the House on June 18 by a 228-196 vote.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill could save up to 2,750 babies a year, or 7.5 children every single day.
Susan T. Muskett, NRLC's senior legislative counsel, called the act “perhaps the most significant piece of pro-life legislation to come before the U.S. Congress since the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.”
But after passage in the House, the bill languished as Senate Republicans attempted to clarify the Constitutional argument to best advance the bill.
Senators Marco Rubio, R-FL, and Mike Lee, R-UT, had expressed an openness to introducing the motion. A pro-life congressman even attempted to add the measure to a must-pass bill to raise the debt ceiling in order to place it before the upper chamber.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) announced that Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC, will introduce the bill next week.
Its prospects in the Democrat-controlled Senate are unclear. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has classified himself a “pro-life Democrat,” lumps the right to life in with various “fringe issues.”
If it comes to the floor for a vote, the pro-life movement hopes to find enough moderate Democrats to cross the aisle to support the measure.
President Obama has promised to veto the bill if it passes both chambers, calling its pro-life regulations “an assault on a woman's right to choose” and saying they show “contempt for...the Constitution.” The chamber is unlikely to override a presidential veto for the foreseeable future.
Nonetheless, the measure has widespread popular suport. A Huffington Post poll found in July that 59 percent of Americans favored federal legislation. Women and young people were more likely to support the ban.
Pro-lifers believe revelations about Kermit Gosnell's “house of horrors” and allegations made against Houston abortionist Douglas Karpen have made a deep impact on the nation's view of third-trimester abortions, and the people who offer them.
“Because of coverage surrounding the trial of Kermit Gosnell and subsequent revelations about other abortionists, many Americans are becoming aware for the first time that abortions are frequently performed late in pregnancy on babies who are capable of being born alive, and on babies who will experience great pain while being killed,” NRLC wrote in a letter to U.S. Senators after the announcement.
Although not in Franks' original bill, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor engineered the addition of exceptions in the case of rape or incest.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
RICHMOND, October 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An upset victory may be within reach for pro-life Republican underdog Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor race, according to two new polls.
A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday shows heavily-funded, Planned Parenthood-backed Terry McAuliffe up by only four points in the race for Virginia governor, slashing by two-thirds the lead a Washington Post poll credited him with just days ago.
A recent Wenzel Strategies survey of likely voters shows the race even closer than that, with McAuliffe with just a single point lead on Cuccinelli.
Earlier this week, a Washington Post poll showed McAuliffe leading with 51 percent of the vote to Cuccinelli’s 39 percent. But both the Quinnipiac and Wenzel polls used a turnout model weighted to reflect real-life voting trends in recent Virginia elections, meaning they may be more accurate than the Post’s prediction.
“State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is nipping at Terry McAuliffe’s heels as the race to be Virginia’s next governor enters the final week of the campaign,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The Quinnipiac poll shows McAuliffe, a former Clinton fundraiser and past chairman of the Democratic National Committee, with only 45 percent of the likely vote, compared to Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s 41 percent. Another 9 percent of likely voters say they plan to choose Libertarian Robert Sarvis.
If Sarvis wasn’t a contender, Quinnipiac says the race would be even closer – 47 percent for McAuliffe and 45 percent for Cuccinelli, just a two-point difference.
“With the race this close, the final decision by the roughly one in 10 voters who are supporting Libertarian Robert Sarvis has become even more critical,” Brown said. “Nationally, third-party candidates often lose support in the end as voters enter the voting booth and back someone they consider the lesser of two evils.”
Added Brown, “It goes without saying that turnout is the key to this race and the harshly negative tone of the campaign is the kind that often turns off voters.”
The campaign has indeed been a vicious one, with McAuliffe reaching deep into the pockets of his Clinton-era connections for millions of dollars to spend on ads attacking Cuccinelli for his pro-life, conservative values.
In recent weeks, McAuliffe has outspent Cuccinelli ten-to-one on advertising designed to paint the attorney general as an “extremist” mounting a “war on women” because of his opposition to abortion-on-demand and the controversial HHS contraception mandate. (Cuccinelli was the first state attorney general to mount a constitutional challenge to the mandate.)
Additionally, Planned Parenthood’s political action arm has dumped more than a million dollars into the race on McAuliffe’s behalf, while their president, Cecile Richards, has called Cuccinelli’s defeat the abortion giant’s “top priority.”
Despite the lopsided spending, Cuccinelli has enjoyed a sudden surge ahead of Tuesday’s election, with the Wenzel Strategies poll giving him 40 percent of likely voters, compared to 41 percent for McAuliffe.
“The survey shows there is reason to believe the race may well be tightening going into the final stretch,” said pollster Fritz Wenzel. “As the shutdown fades, another key issue that benefits Cuccinelli – the expanding controversy over the bungled rollout of Obamacare – is bound to grab more attention among voters by the day. It could well be that Cuccinelli has bounced off his low point and is headed up.”
Indeed, Cuccinelli has tried to seize on the opportunity to tie McAuliffe to the failed launch of President Obama’s signature healthcare legislation, just as Obama is slated to join McAuliffe on the campaign trail this weekend.
“It’s telling that in the final moments of the campaign for governor, Terry McAuliffe has decided to campaign with President Obama,” Cuccinelli said Wednesday. “The move makes official what we have already known to be true: McAuliffe’s unwavering support for the President’s signature legislative achievement, Obamacare.
“The law is already preventing hiring and job growth across Virginia, driving up the cost of insurance for families and forcing employers to drop coverage for workers. Now we also know that Obama Administration officials, including the President himself, were knowingly misleading the public when they said that the American people would be able to stay on their health plans despite the new law.”
“If McAuliffe wanted to do right by the people of Virginia, he would ask the President to apologize for misleading the public so spectacularly,” said Cuccinelli. “That, of course, is unlikely, since McAuliffe was an ardent supporter of the law, so much so that he thought it didn’t go far enough.”
McAuliffe has been supportive of Obamacare, going so far as to make large portions of his economic plan for Virginia dependent on the law’s success. To pay for McAuliffe’s economic wish list – which includes significant expansions to social services not covered by current budgetary projections – the cash-strapped federal government must come through on its promise to provide federal subsidies to cover the 400,000 people he wants to add to the state’s Medicaid rolls.
Cuccinelli said that’s unlikely to happen, and noted that even the Washington Post, which endorsed McAuliffe, admitted the Democrat’s dependence on the Medicaid expansion provision of Obamacare for his economic plan’s success is a recipe for disaster.
Virginia’s election will be held Tuesday, November 5. Polls open at 6:00 AM and close at 7:00 PM, EST.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Updated 10/30/13 at 2:37pm EST
Oct. 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – During testimony this morning before the House Energy & Commerce Committee, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she doesn't know whether the administration can commit to ensuring that Americans seeking to purchase health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (ACA) exchanges can be told which plans do or do not cover abortion.
Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) asked Sebelius if she could “commit to us that the federal exchanges that offer that is clearly identified, so people can understand if they’re gonna buy a policy that has abortion coverage or not, because right now you cannot make that determination.”
“I don’t know," Sebelius answered. She continued, "I know exactly the issue you’re talking about. I will check and make sure that is clearly identifiable.”
Earlier this month, Rep. Chris Smith had introduced a bill that will ensure that companies will no longer be able to hide whether their plans cover abortion and will charge enrollees a $1 monthly abortion surcharge.
Shimkus followed up by asking Sebelius to “provide for the Committee” which insurers “in the federal exchange” are not offering abortion coverage. Sebelius said, “I think we can do that, sir.”
Rep. Smith told LifeSiteNews.com today that Sebelius' statement is an "outrage." "It doesn’t pass the straight face test and it’s just not believable—that at this stage Sebelius cannot, or will not, tell consumers how to find out whether the plans they are considering include abortions that painfully dismember or chemically poison unborn children."
“Why are they hiding?" he said.
The ACA currently mandates that insurance companies that are part of the law's state exchanges not disclose whether they pay for elective abortions until enrollment.
Section 1303(b)(2) of the law specifically states that agents “shall provide information only with respect to the total amount of the combined payments” – and not about abortion coverage.
One of the most controversial aspects of the Affordable Care Act has been its coverage of abortion.
The ACA contains the most radical departure from the principles of the Hyde amendment to become federal law since the 1970s. It deviates from decades of abortion policy by allowing taxpayer money to flow to plans that include coverage for abortion on demand. As a part of this deviation from the Hyde amendment, plans that include abortion will charge a mandatory $1 abortion surcharge.
President Obama signed an Executive Order in March 2010 that ostensibly prevented the Act from covering abortion except when consistent with the Hyde Amendment – in cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother. However, months later, in at least three states - New Mexico, Maryland, and Pennsylvania - the Administration tried to use funding under the Act to fund non-Hyde Amendment abortions. Pro-life activists responded, stopping the effort.
With the HHS mandate introduced in January 2012, mandating that employers provide insurance that includes coverage of contraception and some abortifacient drugs, the issue of abortion funding has led to dozens of lawsuits against the federal government, including one by the business Hobby Lobby and the Catholic organization Little Sisters of the Poor.
Representative Smith's (R-NJ) H.R. 3279, the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2013, has 108 co-sponsors.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
by Rebecca Downs | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 10/29/13 3:02 PM
TheBlaze recently reported on the story of a remarkable girl, Keelan Glass, who is just six years old and the youngest person to complete a half-marathon, doing so in less than three hours.
Keelan, from Texas, did the half-marathon in Dallas, with her mother, Tracy, a triathlete. That the mother-daughter pair did the run together, and that Keelan set a record is sweet enough. But Keelan was, as of October17, able to raise $2,855 for Pregnancy Resources of Abilene.
TheBlaze links to reporting from KTXS, with those pieces including videos to learn more about Keelan.
While some have questioned as to if it is a good idea for Keelan to have done the half-marathon, Tracy mentions that she and her husband consulted a physician. Keelan then signed up for LifeRunners. From KTXS:
LifeRunners is the world’s largest pro-life running group, as it has more than 1,500 runners/walkers, ages 4 to 79, in 44 states and 10 other countries.
The group prays together before races, fundraises for local pro-life organizations, and trains together monthly. LifeRunners was founded in 2008 by two Catholic friends and although predominately linked to Catholic churches, it is open to all denominations.
What is perhaps even more endearing is that Keelan doesn’t seem to understand that she has said a record. As her mother said for KTXS, in the piece published after the race:
Tracy said he daughter has a world record now and doesn’t even know what it means.
“That’s the thing,” Tracy said. “She doesn’t really even understand how amazing it is.”
No she doesn’t. Keelan said what’s more important to her is why she did the race in the first place: to raise money for Pregnancy Resources of Abilene. To date she’s raised $2,855.
“I love the fact that she does it for a bigger reason,” Tracy said. “It’s fun for her and it’s about running but she wanted to use her skills for something different and people saw that. They were asking her about her shirt and the announcer told her whole story. I don’t think she realizes what a big impact she has on people.”
In describing how she was able to run the race, Keelan mentioned that “…God makes me keep on running.”
It is truly amazing that God has given Keelan and Tracy each the gift of running, but also that He has imparted such literal child-like enthusiasm and concern on Keelan. The pro-life movement and LifeRunners is fortunate to have such a runner as Keelan Glass.
LifeNews Note: Rebecca Downs is currently a senior in college where she is involved in the Respect for Life club there. Upon graduation she hopes to pursue a career in the political world, specifically to do with the pro life movement.
| by BEN SHAPIRO
28 Oct 2013, 5:53 AM PDT
On Monday, pro-abortion groups across the country launched an organized effort to feature women telling uplifting stories of their abortions. The so-called “1 in 3” week of action will feature 100 events in 32 states, and began in Washington D.C. According to the Advocates for Youth, one in three women in the United States will at some point have an abortion. Advocates from Washington D.C. who will lead off the event include Deb Hauser of the Advocates for Youth; Ilyse Hogue, NARAL Pro-Choice America; Andrea Gleaves, Women’s Information Network; and many more. The “1 in 3” organizers will also be handing out a book: 1 in 3: These Are Our Stories. Tellingly, organizers suggest that their goal is to keep abortion “safe, legal, and affordable” – a marked change from the old pro-choice slogan from the Clinton years, “safe, legal, and rare.” The organizers also want to “end the stigma” surrounding abortion.
Helping to end that stigma includes recruiting celebrities to be part of the “1 in 3” campaign. MTV star Katie Stack of 16 and Pregnant will be joining the campaign. Speaking with ThinkProgress, Stack said, “That experience with MTV really reinforced for me that it can be really powerful to provide these opportunities and to allow stories to heard — stories that are complex, and that don’t necessarily fit a pro-choice or pro-life narrative.”
The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor will host an event called an “abortion speak-out,” at which Stack will appear. “It’s very hard to talk about abortion without the negativity, without calling people murderers, without the judgment,” Stack explained. “The speak-out event is almost an experiment to see if it’s possible. Hopefully it is. I know Carly has taken a lot of steps to make it a safe space, but it’s really hard to authentically create a safe space to share these stories.”
Stack told ThinkProgress, “The fact of the matter is, no matter what anyone wants to debate about abortion and its morality, I feel that I made the right decision. And that’s threatening to people, the fact that I will say that.”
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). Follow Ben on Twitter @benshapiro.