Tag Archives: Hyde Amendment

Why former PP director no longer agrees with the rape exceptions

abby_johnson_sidewalk_road-copyby Carder

I said to myself… okay, then let’s go after the exceptions in the Hyde Amendment. I went to the Hill and made some appointments with several pro-life legislators. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM told me that they would NEVER try to repeal the exceptions in the Hyde Amendment. One of them actually told me that if he went after that, it would be an “election killer” for him. I had one female legislator tell me that closing any rape exceptions would be “unkind” to women who had been raped. Seriously?? Unkind? Unkind for who? It is certainly not unkind for these unborn babies. And it can’t be unkind for a woman who has conceived in rape to have equal rights and information as women who have not conceived in rape.

So that was it for me. I knew that we had to have clean bills go in and clean bills come out… because our politicians will NEVER allow rape exceptions to be closed. To be perfectly honest, they don’t want them closed.

~ Former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson, explaining the difficulties she experienced in attempting to convince legislators to remove rape exceptions included in so much pro-life legislation, Epic Pew, June 10

Pro-life blog buzz 5-22-15

pro-lifeby Susie Allen, host of the blog, Pro-Life in TN, and Kelli

  • Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) calls out the World Health Organization for falsely associating high maternal mortality rates to legal restrictions on abortion:

    … WHO states in its report that “treaty monitoring bodies have … linked elevated rates of maternal mortality to … restrictive abortion laws [and] unsafe or illegal abortion.” But WHO cites only old, and flawed, country reviews. The truth is that maternal mortality depends on the quality of maternal health care, not the legal status of abortion. Some countries prohibit abortion and have very low MMRs; others permit abortion and have very high MMRs. Legalizing abortion is demonstrably unnecessary to improve maternal health and save women’s lives.

  • The Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust Blog addresses questions on abortion like, “Isn’t the world already overpopulated?” and “Isn’t it better not to bring a child into the world if there aren’t enough resources?” Answers to these questions often get people on college campuses to re-think their position on abortion.

4000yrs

  • Secular Pro-Life wonders why the group calling itself 4000 Years for Choice would try to “make abortion appear to be something innately human, by highlighting how long women have sought out abortions and abortion inducing concoctions.” After all, lots of things – not all of them good – have been around for a very long time:

    You know what else was popular in the time of ancient Rome? Slavery, human sacrifice, and mass infanticide. A real hotbed for morality. So what on earth would prompt this organization to promote ancient practices of abortion as proof that abortion is good?

  • At the Daily Caller, Michael New says pro-lifers have good reason to oppose Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion:

    The federal Hyde Amendment limits the extent to which federal Medicaid funds pay for abortion. However, 17 U.S. states fund elective abortions though Medicaid with their own tax dollars. There is a considerable body of research which shows that Medicaid funding of abortion increases state abortion rates. In 2009, the Guttmacher Institute published a comprehensive review of the research on Medicaid funding of abortion. Of the 18 studies included in the literature review, 15 found that public funding of abortion through Medicaid resulted in statistically significant increases in the incidence of abortion. Additionally, in many states, the percentage of abortions funded by Medicaid is dramatically rising. For instance, between 1990 and 2010 the percentage of abortions performed in Washington state that were paid for by Medicaid increased from 24 percent to over 67 percent.

  • Wesley J. Smith is not surprised that the California Medical Association has changed its position on assisted suicide, now claiming to be “neutral” on the issue:

    I am not surprised at this downward turn. The CMA has been seriously courting the culture of death for more than forty years. Here’s a quote from a California Medicine editorial from 1970 – published by the CMA – supporting “death selection.” From, “A New Ethic for Medicine and Society”:

    The traditional Western ethic has always placed great emphasis on the intrinsic worth and equal value of every human life regardless of its stage or condition . … This traditional ethic is… being eroded at its core and may eventually be abandoned…. [H]ard choices will have to be made… that will of necessity violate and ultimately destroy the traditional Western ethic with all that portends. It will become necessary and acceptable to place relative rather than absolute values on such things as human lives…. One may anticipate… death selection and death control whether by the individual or by society.

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  • Pregnancy Help News features the story of a heroic teen who chose an open adoption plan against many obstacles, including temporary opposition from the birth father, the baby’s deafness and unfeeling remarks from school friends. Kudos to the pregnancy resource center that ministered to her during this time:

    In light of the fact that fewer than 1 percent of teen births end in adoption, Jess, Zoe and Brandi’s story is an important reminder of the great love and sacrifice that birth moms demonstrate when they choose adoption….

[T]he adoption process was fraught “with hope, love heartache, grief and, ultimately, sacrifice.” The first adoptive family she chose “returned” the baby when they was discovered she had incurred significant hearing loss due to an infection Urban had contracted while pregnant. While in the foster care system, however, little “Zoe” learned sign language.

The second set of adoptive parents Urban chose were a gift from God. Both deaf, the Rarus family had three boys and had diligently prayed for a little girl for years. To them, Zoe’s hearing loss turned out to be an added blessing.

What the heck just happened with the trafficking bill? We won, that’s what happened.

human+trafficking+1280On January 13, Republican Senator John Cornyn introduced the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, legislation that would “create a federal fund for victims’ services and law enforcement tools financed by fines levied on convicted traffickers,” as U.S. News & World Report succinctly described it.

While victims of sex trafficking have been widely promoted as benefactors of this bill, victims of labor trafficking are also protected, one of a couple of important points.

The bill was sailing toward smooth bipartisan passage until March 17, when Democrats suddenly claimed to have discovered hidden anti-abortion language in the same bill many of them (including top Dem dogs Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer) had already approved in committee.

Within a day that story fell apart.

So, what we really had here was either Minority Leader Harry Reid attempting to reassert his manhood into a process that was running way too efficiently under Republican tutelage, or pro-abortion groups laying down the law.

Screen-shot-2015-03-19-at-11.21.41-AMThe latter is more likely.

What might have stirred the wrath of pro-abortion groups?

The Trafficking Act uses the same anti-abortion language as the 39-yr-0ld Hyde Amendment, which blocks federal funds from paying for abortions except in the cases of rape/incest. This verbiage was thought to be noncontroversial, since Hyde has been approved annually on a bipartisan basis for decades.

And therein lies the rub. The Hyde Amendment isn’t permanent law. Congress must sanction it each year.

But the Trafficking Act has a duration of five years, until 2019, which is why the Hyde language had to be added to it.

Pro-aborts saw this as an expansion of Hyde, a precedent.

Democrats additionally accused Republicans of expanding on Hyde by applying it in this bill to funds collected in part from private sources – convicted traffickers – when Hyde only applies to federal funds.

This is ludicrous, of course, because most federal funds are collected from private sources – taxes, user fees, premiums, etc. Once the government has our money it becomes part of the federal pool.

Which brings us to how a “compromise” was reached that allowed Democrats to save face. Read this quote from Politico carefully:

The strain of the episode took a toll on Democrats….

It took six weeks, but Democratic leaders ended up cutting a face-saving deal Tuesday….

The restitution fund now has two revenue streams, one from traffickers and another from the federal government’s general fund. The money from traffickers can’t be used for medical procedures, while the general fund money is subject to Hyde Amendment restrictions on abortion, like all other federal spending.

In other words, none of the Trafficking Act funds can be used for abortion. But don’t take my word for it. From Jezebel:

In other words, then, none of the money can legally be used for abortion care. That really doesn’t look like a compromise.

From Politico:

“I don’t know that there’s much difference from what was proposed earlier,” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) said….

There’s not.

Even NARAL’s gobbledygook attempt to claim victory still admitted defeat:

A compromise was reportedly reached to deny expansion of the unjust Hyde amendment to a private fund for the first time….

While this is a stunning loss that should serve as a strong lesson to the anti-choice zealots who repeatedly attach unjust abortion regulations to any legislation concerning women’s health, today’s tragic loss is for human and sex trafficking victims – women and girls – who will regrettably be denied full reproductive health care access as a result of today’s compromise.

In other words, we won.

One final point. Had there been no Hyde Amendment in the Trafficking Act, abortion funding would have been available to labor trafficking victims as well as sex trafficking victims, and for all five years – the duration of the Act.

So, by no means would abortion funding have been limited to pregnant victims of sex trafficking. It would have been available to trafficked victims where there was no sex crime involved at all, or to women who were subsequently in consensual relationships, perhaps four years down the road but still part of the program, such as in job training.

That’s the real reason pro-aborts wanted this amendment gone. The Act would have otherwise expanded federal funding of abortion.

Kudos to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for standing firm, going so far as to hold up the nomination of Loretta Lynch for Attorney General. Kudos also to Senator Cornyn.

[HT: Chicken Man]

Pro-life infographics on maternal mortality, sex trafficking

Happy weekend! Here are a couple great new infographics by talented pro-lifers you may find useful. Click both to enlarge.

The first, by Students for Life of America, is in response to the announcement by Senate Democrats that they plan to filibuster a bill that would increase penalties to those convicted of human trafficking, this because it includes Hyde Amendment language blocking federal funding for abortions of pregnant victims of sex trafficking…

Sex trafficking

The second infographic, quite informative, is via the Radiance Foundation and has been posted in conjunction with the United Nations 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, being held in New York March 9-20 (Also be sure to read, “Abortion expansion more important to Dems than rescuing women from sex slavery,” a March 14 op ed in The The Hill by LifeSiteNews.com editor John-Henry Weston)…

Maternal Mortality infographic

Pro-life blog buzz 11-7-14

pro-lifeby Susie Allen, host of the blog, Pro-Life in TN, and Kelli

  • In an amazing “look what God can do” announcement, 40 Days for Life reveals that their new headquarters will be housed in the former Planned Parenthood in Bryan-College Station, Texas, where they started their prayer vigils ten years ago:

    “This news shows what God can accomplish when His people pray,” said Shawn Carney, campaign director…. “More than 6,400 children lost their lives in this building, but God is making ‘all things new.’ What was once a place of death and despair is now going to be a place of life and hope. We are excited to start using this location to aid the rapid worldwide growth of 40 Days for Life, and to help other cities become abortion-free.”

david_goliath-1

  • Pro-Life in TN recaps the David and Goliath pro-life victory achieved by the Yes on 1 movement in Tennessee, overcoming $4 million from the abortion industry, as well as major newspaper and celebrity endorsements. The secret weapon to passing Amendment 1? Grassroots activism and the power of the pulpit.
  • Bound4Life profiles nine pro-life candidates who won in the “red wave” election this week. Read their profiles and be encouraged.
  • Culture Campaign analyzes Wendy Davis’s substantial loss in the Texas gubernatorial race. “War on Women” proponents are stunned that the late-term abortion defender failed to bring out women voters.
  • Ethika Politika challenges the data used by Health & Human Services in deciding that all Obamacare policies must mandate free contraceptive coverage.
  • Josh Brahm announces a speaking engagement at the University of Portland on November 17, in which he and a pro-life convert will discuss relational apologetics: how a pro-life, Christian guy can be friends with a (formerly) pro-choice, lesbian atheist girl after having conversed online for almost two years.
  • Clinic Quotes quotes a pro-choice politician who says she is “heartsick” over attempts to make abortion clinics meet the same standards as other surgery centers.

theyfeelpain

  • Americans United for Life applauds the election of so many pro-life candidates and looks at key legislative issues passed by the House, which can hopefully now go to the Senate:

    Consider this list of key life-saving measures passed by the House and blocked by the Senate since pro-life Republicans took control of the House in 2011:

    • Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibiting abortion after 5 months of pregnancy (i.e., 20 weeks gestation);
    • No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act applying the restrictions on abortion funding found in the Hyde Amendment to all federal funding streams and requiring that all plans offered through the ACA Exchanges disclose if abortion coverage is included;
    • Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act­ prohibiting sex-selective abortions;
    • Protect Life Act ensuring that no funds appropriated or authorized through the ACA can be used for abortion or insurance plans that provide abortion coverage;
    • The “Pence Amendment” (House. Amendment. 95), this measure would have prohibited the use of federal funds for Planned Parenthood;
    • The “Black-Roby Resolution to Defund Planned Parenthood” (House Continuing Resolution 36), this measure would have defunded Planned Parenthood in the Continuing Resolution;
    • The “Foxx Amendment” (House Amendment 298), prohibits federal funds from being used to train abortion providers.”

[Photos: pastorrobert-nikos.blogspot.com and National Right to Life via pinterest.com]

Pro-life blog buzz 10-3-14

pro-lifeby Susie Allen, host of the blog, Pro-Life in TN, and Kelli

  • Life Issues says the deep, dark secret of the health industry is the “hastening of death” through euthanasia thanks to a lucrative market for organ harvesting:

    The difficulty of making a pinpoint diagnosis in such complex neurological matters — and the lucrative financial incentives to harvest organs — will ultimately propel this issue into the forefront of public consciousness and discourse.

    Not surprisingly, the current procurement market for human tissues and organs in the United States is booming, driven by insufficient supply and heavy demand. According to The Milliman Report (see page 4), if all 11 tissues and organs could be harvested from a single patient declared brain-dead, however unlikely, the going rate for procurement would exceed half a million dollars. If all costs related to those 11 transplants are counted — preparation, physicians’ services, post-op care and the like — the money involved exceeds $5.5 million.

    Life Issues is asking for help from health professionals in drawing attention to this.

mcmath3n-3-web

  • Wesley J. Smith says the mother of Jahi McMath (the little girl declared brain dead 10 months ago; pictured left) has petitioned for the case to be reopened so her daughter can be declared alive:

    Here is the gist: Petitioner [Jahi’s mother] is in possession of current evidence, including MRI evidence of the integrity of the brain structure, electrical activity in her brain as demonstrated by EEG, the onset of menarche… and her response to audible commands… demonstrating that Jahi McMath’s brain death was not “irreversible.”

  • Pro-Life Action League’s Eric Scheidler, father of six girls, takes strong exception to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation “that physicians promote the progestin implant and the intrauterine device (IUD) for teen girls.” Four of his objections: It would interfere with the role of parents, weaken the decision to abstain from sex, set a double standard, and ignore the abortifacient potential of the implant.
  • Right to Life of Michigan honors the 38th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, which is responsible for saving many lives:

    If ending tax funded abortions in Michigan saved 10,000 lives in one year, imagine how many lives 38 years of the Hyde Amendment (which effects the whole nation) has saved. Today is a day to celebrate the millions of lives saved by the Hyde Amendment and continue in our efforts to uphold the sanctity of human life.

  • At Priests for Life, Fr. Frank Sandra-Cano63Pavone mourns the death of pro-life warrior Sandra Cano (pictured right) – “Doe” of Doe v. Bolton, the companion decision to Roe v. Wade:

    Father Pavone said: “Sandra’s work to overturn that devastating decision that was based on lies will not end with her death. When life ultimately triumphs over death, Sandra will share in that victory.”When Sandra Cano approached attorneys for help, she understood her case as an effort to obtain a divorce and regain custody of her children. She was pregnant, and her attorney, in partnership with her mother, arranged an abortion for Sandra at Georgia Baptist Hospital. When she found out about the plan, she fled to Oklahoma and never had the abortion.

    Interestingly enough, neither Roe (Norma McCorvey) or Doe (Cano) had abortions.

  • The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform shares Justina Van Maren’s reflections on how her summer internship experience with CCBR changed her perspective on pro-life work.
  • ProWomanProLife features a video in which The Blaze’s Dana Loesch interviews the Gosnell movie screenwriter, Andrew Klavan. Klavan shares that he used to be pro-choice but became pro-life after losing an argument to a Catholic friend. Click below to watch:

klavantheblaze

[Life Issues HT: Bobby Schindler; Cano image via National Right to Life News]

Abortions are expensive, so taxpayers should fund them

hyde-anniversary-2013-final_smallby Kelli

Abortions are expensive. A first trimester abortion costs an average of $470. A second trimester abortion at 20 weeks costs an average of $1,500.

So what do you do if you can’t afford an abortion and you definitely can’t afford a baby?

If you happen to be one of the 12 million women who depend on Medicaid and other federal insurance programs, you are pretty screwed, thanks to the Hyde Amendment….

In the name of abortion rights, human rights and reproductive justice, it is time to repeal Hyde. Reproductive rights activists often focus on abortion’s legality and physical accessibility — where women can receive abortion care and how far along into a pregnancy the procedure is legal; but the fight for safe and legal abortion means nothing if it isn’t accessible to everyone.

I shouldn’t have to mention that providing coverage for abortion care leads to better economic outcomes for both the women who have abortions and for the institutions that would otherwise have to provide childcare service.

But, for some readers and most politicians, these nuances are what matter most for their public support of repealing Hyde. Sadly, the value of a woman’s life, autonomy and dignity aren’t always enough to influence policy. Often in a political context we see financial outcomes superseding socially just policy. Hyde is neither a socially just policy nor an economically sound one.

I currently have $342 in my savings account. If I didn’t admit that having less than $470 makes me nervous, I would be lying.

Like I said, abortions are expensive. But so is the cost of injustice.

So, happy anniversary, Hyde. Here’s to another year of classism, sexism, and broad-based discrimination lovingly provided by the United States government.

*This article refers to abortion care patients solely as women, but not all people who have abortions identify as women.

~ Carly Manes, discussing why she believes every woman deserves to have a “free” abortion, The Michigan Daily, September 29

[Graphic via NARAL Pro-Choice America]

Pro-life blog buzz 1-31-14

by Susie Allen, host of the blog, Pro-Life in TN, and Kelli

We welcome your suggestions for additions to our Top Blogs (see tab on right side of home page)! Email Susie@jillstanek.com.

  • At thirtyone8, Andy Moore outlines some of the fundamental errors in the logic of Gary Gutting’s New York Times editorial entitled, “Should Pope Francis Rethink Abortion?”
  • Suzy B posts videos of the bipartisan men and women who spoke in favor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7), which would make permanent the Hyde Amendment. It passed in the House. Be sure to let your representatives know how you feel about their votes.

Girl-scout-cookies

  • Pro-life Action League proudly joins a nationwide boycott of Girl Scouts USA for their support for Planned Parenthood:

    As detailed at the official CookieCott 2014 website, both the national Girl Scouts USA and many local Girl Scout councils have supported and promoted the work of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion chain, even encouraging girls to volunteer with Planned Parenthood.

  • Wesley J. Smith applauds a British Medical Journal article that points out the dangers of IVF to both women and the children conceived through IVF. However, Smith wonders if in our “me first” society, anyone really cares about the dangers – including the government:

    Our near-absolute sense of reproductive entitlement – mixed with the huge profits being made by the industry – make it far more likely that government will pay for IVF, thereby increasing use of the technology.

  • Reflections of a Paralytic discusses the many ethical and medical issues surrounding womb transplants, which currently also require IVF to conceive.
  • Secular Pro-Life presents an analogy in the hopes that pro-choicers will better understand their position in the case of Marlise Munoz and her preborn daughter Nicole. Munoz was removed from life support after her husband petitioned a judge to bypass a Texas law preventing life support from being removed from a pregnant patient. SPL applies the principles of the case to a different scenario in an attempt to “clarify the core issues, put to rest the accusations of misogyny, and help us to better understand one another.”
  • At National Review, Michael J. New discusses author and abortion supporter Sarah Kliff’s latest article at Wonkblog, which claims it is “unclear” how abortion restrictions affect abortion rates – ignoring a substantial body of evidence from the U.S. and abroad that pro-life laws are effective and that “the incidence of abortion is sensitive to its legal status.”
  • Stand for Life revisits what is happening with Lia Mills, a girl who became known at age 12 for a pro-life speech which was not allowed be entered in her school speech contest. Lia’s viral video received 1.3 million views, and some reactions were reportedly so negative that “she had to use a different last name for her safety.” Here is her latest video:
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[Photo via totustuusfamily.blogspot.com]