Archive for July, 2010

NRLC Release: H.H.S. Approves Pennsylvania Plan to Use Federal Funds to Subsidize Coverage of Nearly All Abortions in New “High-Risk Pool” Program

July 13, 2010

WASHINGTON (July 13, 2010) — The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million to set up a new “high-risk” insurance program under a provision of the federal health care legislation enacted in March — and has quietly approved a plan submitted by an appointee of Governor Edward Rendell (D) under which the new program will cover any abortion that is legal in Pennsylvania.

The high-risk pool program is one of the new programs created by the sweeping health care legislation (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) that President Obama signed into law on March 23. The law authorizes $5 billion in federal funds for the program, which will cover as many as 400,000 people when it is implemented nationwide.

“The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million in federal tax funds, which we’ve discovered will pay for insurance plans that cover any legal abortion,” said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of right-to-life organizations in all 50 states. “This is just the first proof of the phoniness of President Obama’s assurances that federal funds would not subsidize abortion — but it will not be the last.”

An earlier version of the health care legislation, passed by the House of Representatives in November 2009, contained a provision (the Stupak-Pitts Amendment) that would have prevented federal funds from subsidizing abortion or insurance coverage of abortion in any of the programs created by the bill, including the high-risk pool program. But President Obama opposed that pro-life provision, and it was not included in the bill later approved by both houses and signed into law. An executive order signed by the President on March 24, 2010 did not contain effective barriers to federal funding of abortion, and did not even mention the high-risk pool program.

“President Obama successfully opposed including language in the bill to prevent federal subsidies for abortions, and now the Administration is quietly advancing its abortion-expanding agenda through administrative decisions such as this, which they hope will escape broad public attention,” Johnson said.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has emphasized that the high-risk pool program is a federal program and that the states will not incur any cost. On May 11, 2010, in a letter to Democratic and Republican congressional leaders on implementation of the new law, DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote that “states may choose whether and how they participate in the program, which is funded entirely by the federal government.”

Details of the high-risk pool plans for most states are not yet available. But on June 28, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario (a member of the appointed cabinet of Governor Edward Rendell, a Democrat) issued a press release  (see: http://tinyurl.com/icrelease) announcing that the federal Department of Health and Human Services had approved his agency’s proposal for implementing the new program in Pennsylvania. “The state will receive $160 million to set up the program, which will provide coverage to as many as 5,600 people between now and 2014,” according to the release. “The plan’s benefit package will include preventive care, physician services, diagnostic testing, hospitalization, mental health services, prescription medications and much more, with subsidized premiums of $283 a month.”

Examination of the detailed Pennsylvania plan (www.nrlc.org/AHC/PennsylvaniaHighRiskPoolPlan.pdf), , reveals that the “much more” will include insurance coverage of any legal abortion.

The section on abortion (see page 14) asserts that “elective abortions are not covered.” However, that statement proves to be a red herring, because the operative language does not define “elective.” Rather, the proposal specifies that the coverage “includes only abortions and contraceptives that satisfy the requirements of” several specific statutes, the most pertinent of which is 18 Pa. C.S. § 3204, which says that an abortion is legal in Pennsylvania (consistent with Roe v. Wade) if a single physician believes that it is “necessary” based on “all factors (physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman’s age) relevant to the well-being of the woman.” Indeed, the cited statute provides only a single circumstance in which an abortion prior to 24 weeks is NOT permitted under the Pennsylvania statute: “No abortion which is sought solely because of the sex of the unborn child shall be deemed a necessary abortion.”

As a result, “Under the Rendell-Sebelius plan, federal funds will subsidize coverage of abortion performed for any reason, except sex selection,” said NRLC’s Johnson. “The Pennsylvania proposal conspicuously lacks language that would prevent funding of abortions performed as a method of birth control or for any other reason, except sex selection — and the Obama Administration has now approved this.”

A group of Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives who initially withheld support from the federal health care bill, because of concerns about pro-abortion effects, cited President Obama’s March 24 executive order in justifying their votes to pass the bill over objections from NRLC and other pro-life groups, which argued that the executive order did not contain effective barriers to federal subsidies for abortion. As USA Today reported on March 25, “Both sides in the abortion debate came to a rare agreement on Wednesday: The executive order on abortion signed by President Obama, they said, was basically meaningless. ‘A transparent political fig leaf,’ according to the National Right to Life Committee’s Douglas Johnson. ‘A symbolic gesture,’ said Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.”


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Florida Right to Life PAC issues endorsements and ratings for Fla. primary

July 1, 2010

Florida Right to Life Political Action Committee

Primary Election, August 24, 2010.

The Florida Right to Life Political Action Committee is a single-issue committee affiliated with Florida Right to Life, Inc. After careful review of candidates voting records and questionnaire responses the PAC issues the following endorsements and ratings for the Florida primary election.  Please note that districts not listed indicate either no election or no recommendation.

U.S. Senate
Marco Rubio – Endorse

U.S. Congress
District 2 – Eddie Hendry, David Scholl, Steve Southerland – all “A” ratings
District 3 – Dean Black – Endorse
District 6 – Cliff Stearns – Endorse
District 8 – Kurt Kelly, Daniel Webster – “A+” ratings
District 12 – Dennis Ross – Endorse
District 13 – Vern Buchanan – Endorse
District 20 – Karen Harrington – Endorse
District 22 – Allen West – Endorse
District 23 – Bernard Sansaricq – Endorse
District 24 – Sandy Adams – Endorse
District 25 – David Rivera – Endorse

Governor
Bill McCollum, Rick Scott – “A” ratings

Attorney General
Jeff Kottcamp – Endorse

Fla. State Senate
District 2 – Greg Evers – Endorse
District 8 – John Thrasher – Endorse
District 24 – Thad Altman – Endorse
District 25 – Ellyn Bogdanoff – Endorse
District 27 – Lizbeth Benacquisto – Endorse
District 36 – Miguel Diaz De La Portilla – Endorse
District 38 – Anitere Flores – Endorse

Fla. State House
District 1 – Greg Brown, Doug Broxson, Ferd Salomon – all “A” ratings
District 2 – Clay Ingram – Endorse
District 11 – Paul Watson – Endorse
District 16 – Charles McBurney – Endorse
District 20 – Bill Proctor – Endorse
District 22 – John Deakins, Keith Perry, Remzey Samarrai – all “A” ratings
District 25 – Rick Joyce, Larry Metz – “A” ratings
District 26 – Vince Champion – Endorse
District 28 – Dorothy Hukill – Endorse
District 29 – Roger Shealy, Erin Grall, Robert Dale, Tom Goodson – all “A” ratings
District 31 – John Tobia – Endorse
District 33 – Jason Brodeur, Alice Sterling – “A” ratings
District 45 – Richard Corcoran – Endorse
District 47 – James Grant – Endorse
District 54 – Jim Frishe – Endorse
District 56 – Rachel Burgin – Endorse
District 57 – Todd Marks – Endorse
District 60 – Trey Stroud – Endorse
District 61 – Will Weatherford – Endorse
District 66 – Ben Albritton – Endorse
District 67 – Greg Steube, Robert McCann – “A” ratings
District 79 – Mike Horner – Endorse
District 80 – Debbie Mayfield – Endorse
District 91 – George Moraitis – Endorse
District 101 – Matt Hudson – Endorse
District 104 – John Julien – Endorse
District 112 – Jeanette Nunez – Endorse
District 115 – Carla Ascencio-Savola – Endorse
District 116 – Carlos Manrique, Whilly Bermudez – “A” ratings
District 117 – Michael Bileca, Marcus Rivchin Jr., Jose Pazos, Ralph Rosado – all “A” ratings

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Endorsement & Ratings

  • Endorse – best pro-life candidate in the race (our endorsement is a recommendation that our members vote for that person).
  • A+ – rating where there is more than one pro-life candidate in the race, and the candidates have a recent pro-life public voting record.
  • A – rating where there is more than one pro-life candidate in the race, and the candidates have returned a 100% pro-life questionnaire.

In the case of A and A+ ratings, we are recommending that a vote for any candidate with an A or A+ rating is a vote for a pro-life candidate.

_________________________________________________________

“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.” – Thomas Jefferson

~ Thank you for voting Pro-Life  ~

Paid for by Florida Right to Life PAC

378 CenterPointe Cir # 1272, Altamonte Springs FL 32701

Florida Women who have Experienced Abortion Call on Gov. Crist to Sign HB 1143

July 1, 2010
(TALLAHASSEE, FL, June 10, 2010) – Dozens of Florida women today held a press conference to call upon Governor Charlie Crist to sign HB 1143 into law. The women shared their common experience of having had an abortion in the past and how abortion hurt them. They all stated they wish they had the benefit of an ultrasound.
OperationOutcry_Tallahassee 2010Daria Monroe, Florida State Leader of Operation Outcry, said the event was organized because the governor needed to hear from women who had been through the experience of an abortion.
“We came to Tallahassee today with a message for Gov. Crist – listen to our stories” Monroe said. “Studies show that women who are fully informed are able to handle whatever decision they make better than those who are not fully informed. We made those decisions at the time without the information that an ultrasound can provide. Women have a right to that information.”

HB 1143 is a bill passed by the Florida Legislature this year which requires abortion providers to allow women to view and understand an ultrasound image of their baby prior to an abortion. The bill does not require the woman to view the image provided by the ultrasound, which is a standard procedure already incorporated into the price of the abortion at most clinics.

Each woman participating held a pair of baby shoes, representing a child lost to abortion. The baby shoes each had a note attached from the mother expressing regret over her decision. Over a thousand pairs of tagged baby shoes were placed on display at the Capitol in the courtyard and rotunda and are a part of the “A Cry Without A Voice” Memorial.

“We’re not making a political statement,” said Rebecca Porter, the National Declarations Director of Operation Outcry. “We are simply sharing our personal experience in hopes that the governor will see the value in implementing this bill on behalf of the thousands of women and babies who can benefit from the measure.”
OperationOutcry_Capitol Walk 2010
Following the press conference, the women carried the baby shoes in a solemn procession from the Florida Press Center to the Capitol. The “A Cry Without A Voice” Memorial has traveled to multiple states, Washington D.C. and other countries including Israel, Holland, Hungary and Jamaica.

Attempts have been made by the women to hold a private meeting with Gov. Crist, and they are still awaiting confirmation of a meeting.

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Florida Right to Life (FRTL) is the state’s largest pro-life group with chapters throughout Florida. FRTL works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Florida Right to Life Announces Legislator Awards

July 1, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010

On behalf of the Florida Right to Life Board of Directors and its entire membership we wish to announce our 2010 Pro-Life Legislator of the Year awards. The 2010 Senator of the Year is State Senator Andy Gardiner (District 9), and the 2010 Representative of the Year is State Representative Kelli Stargel (District 64). We are honoring these legislators for their work on the Parental Notice of Abortion bill (HB 1449/S 2446) and HB 1143, which includes the ultrasound amendment.

President Carrie Eisnaugle noted, “We are very grateful for the efforts of Senator Gardiner and Representative Stargel to protect the rights of the unborn. Although it was often in difficult circumstances, they tirelessly championed pro-life legislation during the 2010 session. Florida Right to Life is thankful to Senator Gardiner and Representative Stargel for their resolve to defend life.”

It is with honor and gratitude that we bestow these awards on such distinguished and hard working members of our legislature, who have proven themselves as continual defenders of the unborn.

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Florida Right to Life (FRTL) is the state’s largest pro-life group with chapters throughout Florida. FRTL works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Statement by the National Right To Life Committee on Abortion “Deal” on Health Care Legislation

July 1, 2010

WASHINGTON — (Sunday, March 21, 2010, 6 PM EDT) —  In response to today’s announcement regarding an agreement between Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mi.) and President Obama on the pending health care bill (H.R. 3590), the following statement was issued by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of right-to-life organizations in the 50 states:

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) remains strongly opposed to the Senate-passed health bill (H.R. 3590).  A lawmaker who votes for this bill is voting to require federal agencies to subsidize and administer health plans that will pay for elective abortion, and voting to undermine longstanding pro-life policies in other ways as well.  Pro-life citizens nationwide know that this is a pro-abortion bill.  Pro-life citizens know, and they will be reminded again and again, which lawmakers deserve their gratitude for voting against this pro-abortion legislation.

The executive order promised by President Obama was issued for political effect.  It changes nothing.  It does not correct any of the serious pro-abortion provisions in the bill.  The president cannot amend a bill by issuing an order, and the federal courts will enforce what the law says.

To elaborate:  The order does not truly correct any of the seven objectionable pro-abortion provisions described in NRLC’s March 19 letter to the House of Representatives, which is posted here: www.nrlc.org/AHC/NRLCToHouseOnHealthBill.pdf.

Regarding Community Health Centers (CHCs), NRLC has documented the problem created by H.R. 3590 here: www.nrlc.org/AHC/NRLCMemoCommHealth.html.

Prof. Robert Destro, a professor of law and former dean of the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America, and an expert on abortion-related litigation, has sent lawmakers a letter explaining why the bill opens the door to direct federal funding of abortion in Community Health Centers: www.nrlc.org/ahc/DestroLetterToStupakOnCommHealthCenters.pdf.
Prof. Destro clearly explains why it is the statutory language that will govern.

Regarding the new program to provide tax credits to purchase private insurance, the executive order merely tinkers with the formalities of a bookkeeping scheme under which federal subsidies will pay for plans that cover elective abortion — a break from the longstanding principles of the Hyde Amendment.

The order does nothing at all to mitigate the other abortion-related problems described in the NRLC letter, dealing with bill provisions that create dangerous regulatory mandate authorities, revise Indian health programs, and create pools of directly appropriated funds that are not covered by existing restrictions on funding of abortion.  Nor can the order correct the omission from the pending legislation of the necessary conscience-protection language that had been included in House-passed health care legislation last November (the “Weldon language”).

For additional information regarding the abortion-related components of the legislation, and NRLC’s assessment of the gravity of these issues, please refer to the March 19 letter linked above, and other materials posted on the NRLC website at www.nrlc.org/AHC/Index.html.