Bad News on the Pro-Life Front

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 \AM\.\Wed\.

In case you missed the terrible news…

…the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. lifted the The District Court for the District of Columbia’s injunction on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research (from NPR):

Court: Stem Cell Funds Can Continue For Now

by Julie Rovner

September 28, 2010

The Obama administration can continue funding embryonic stem cell research for now, a federal appeals court ruled.

Tuesday’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington makes permanent, for the time being, the overturning of an injunction imposed last month by a lower court judge.

The scientific community was stunned when U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ordered a temporary halt to embryonic stem cell research while he considered a lawsuit filed by two scientists who study adult stem cells. The scientists say the Obama administration’s stem cell research policy violates an existing congressional ban on research that harms human embryos.

But a federal appeals court earlier this month temporarily lifted the injunction to give the administration time to make its case that even a temporary halt to the research could set back promising science.

The argument apparently succeeded. Now research funded with federal dollars can proceed pending a full appeal of the lower court judge’s ruling.

Prayer and fasting.

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HHS Statement on Abortion Funding

Thursday, July 15, 2010 \AM\.\Thu\.

The Department of Health and Human Services has released the following statement regarding allegations that newly approved Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans would cover abortions:

As is the case with FEHB plans currently, and with the Affordable Care Act and the President’s related Executive Order more generally, in Pennsylvania and in all other states abortions will not be covered in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) except in the cases of rape or incest, or where the life of the woman would be endangered.

Our policy is the same for both state and federally-run PCIP programs. We will reiterate this policy in guidance to those running the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan at both the state and federal levels. The contracts to operate the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan include a requirement to follow all federal laws and guidance.

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Surprise! ObamaCare is Going to Pay for Abortions

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 \PM\.\Wed\.

In a completely predictable move, ObamaCare will pay for abortions.  Lifesite News is on the story:

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Obama administration has officially approved the first instance of taxpayer funded abortions under the new national government-run health care program. This is the kind of abortion funding the pro-life movement warned about when Congress considered the bill.

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.

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…self-described Catholic groups…

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 \AM\.\Wed\.

Hattip to my friend Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia.  Archbishop Charles Chaput minces no words in condemning the role certain “Catholic” groups played in the passage of ObamaCare.  My emphasis added to portions of his column:

As current federal health-care legislation moves forward toward law, we need to draw several lessons from events of the last weeks and months:

First, the bill passed by the House on March 21 is a failure of decent lawmaking.  It has not been “fixed.”  It remains unethical and defective on all of the issues pressed by the U.S. bishops and prolife groups for the past seven months.

Second, the Executive Order promised by the White House to ban the use of federal funds for abortion does not solve the many problems with the bill, which is why the bishops did not — and still do not – see it as a real solution.  Executive Orders can be rescinded or reinterpreted at any time.  Some current congressional leaders have already shown a pattern of evasion, ill will and obstinacy on the moral issues involved in this legislation, and the track record of the White House in keeping its promises regarding abortion-related issues does not inspire confidence. The fact that congressional leaders granted this one modest and inadequate concession only at the last moment, and only to force the passage of this deeply flawed bill, should give no one comfort.

Third, the combination of pressure and disinformation used to break the prolife witness on this bill among Democratic members of Congress – despite the strong resistance to this legislation that continues among American voters – should put an end to any talk by Washington leaders about serving the common good or seeking common ground. Words need actions to give them flesh.  At many points over the past seven months, congressional leaders could have resolved the serious moral issues inherent in this legislation.  They did not.  No shower of reassuring words now can wash away that fact.

Fourth, self-described “Catholic” groups have done a serious disservice to justice, to the Church, and to the ethical needs of the American people by undercutting the leadership and witness of their own bishops.  For groups like Catholics United, this is unsurprising.  In their effect, if not in formal intent, such groups exist to advance the interests of a particular political spectrum.  Nor is it newsworthy from an organization like Network, which – whatever the nature of its good work — has rarely shown much enthusiasm for a definition of “social justice” that includes the rights of the unborn child.

But the actions of the Catholic Health Association (CHA) in providing a deliberate public counter-message to the bishops were both surprising and profoundly disappointing; and also genuinely damaging.  In the crucial final days of debate on health-care legislation, CHA lobbyists worked directly against the efforts of the American bishops in their approach to members of Congress.  The bad law we now likely face, we owe in part to the efforts of the Catholic Health Association and similar “Catholic” organizations.

Here in Colorado, many thousands of ordinary, faithful Catholics, from both political parties, have worked hard over the past seven months to advance sensible, legitimate health-care reform; the kind that serves the poor and protects the rights of the unborn child, and immigrants, and the freedom of conscience rights of health-care professionals and institutions.  If that effort seems to have failed, faithful Catholics don’t bear the blame.  That responsibility lies elsewhere. I’m grateful to everyone in the archdiocese who has worked so hard on this issue out of love for God’s people and fidelity to their Catholic faith.  Come good or bad, that kind of effort is never wasted.

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U.S. Catholic Bishops’ statement on the Health Care Bill: “Profoundly flawed”

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 \PM\.\Tue\.

USCCB Statement on the recently-passed health care legislation (March 23, 2010):

For nearly a century, the Catholic bishops of the United States have called for reform of our health care system so that all may have access to the care that recognizes and affirms their human dignity. Christian discipleship means, “working to ensure that all people have access to what makes them fully human and fosters their human dignity” (United States Catechism for Adults, page 454). Included among those elements is the provision of necessary and appropriate health care.

For too long, this question has gone unaddressed in our country. Often, while many had access to excellent medical treatment, millions of others including expectant mothers, struggling families or those with serious medical or physical problems were left unable to afford the care they needed. As Catholic bishops, we have expressed our support for efforts to address this national and societal shortcoming. We have spoken for the poorest and most defenseless among us. Many elements of the health care reform measure signed into law by the President address these concerns and so help to fulfill the duty that we have to each other for the common good. We are bishops, and therefore pastors and teachers. In that role, we applaud the effort to expand health care to all.

Nevertheless, for whatever good this law achieves or intends, we as Catholic bishops have opposed its passage because there is compelling evidence that it would expand the role of the federal government in funding and facilitating abortion and plans that cover abortion. The statute appropriates billions of dollars in new funding without explicitly prohibiting the use of these funds for abortion, and it provides federal subsidies for health plans covering elective abortions. Its failure to preserve the legal status quo that has regulated the government’s relation to abortion, as did the original bill adopted by the House of Representatives last November, could undermine what has been the law of our land for decades and threatens the consensus of the majority of Americans: that federal funds not be used for abortions or plans that cover abortions. Stranger still, the statute forces all those who choose federally subsidized plans that cover abortion to pay for other peoples’ abortions with their own funds. If this new law is intended to prevent people from being complicit in the abortions of others, it is at war with itself.

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Far Better Than Nothing

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 \PM\.\Tue\.

While pro-lifers, conservatives, and conservative pro-lifers all have different reasons for not being very pleased with Stupak and his fellow pro-life Democrats at the moment, because of their caving in to the Senate Bill abortion language and Obama’s vaporware executive order, I think it’s worth keeping in mind that if all Democrats were of the Obama/Pelosi persuasion in regards to abortion, we would undoubtedly have a “health care reform” bill which provided complete subsidies for abortion on demand for poor women, if not all women. The Senate language is not nearly as good as Stupak’s, and even with Stupak’s language included I think that the bill would have been deeply irresponsible for financial reasons. But let’s face it, the Democrats have a solid majority in the House and had until Brown’s election a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Without some Democrats breaking ranks with their party’s hard core pro-abortion platform, there would have been no way for the pro-life movement to keep the most extreme support for abortion possible out of the bill.

And while Stupak’s last minute flake-out is disappointing from a pro-life perspective (if he’d stuck to his guns, I would have happily donated to his re-election fund, simple because I admire steadfastness to pro-life principle, even in someone I disagree with on other issues) let’s also be honest about this: Those of us who retain a belief in fiscal responsibility and oppose statism would have been disappointed in the health care bill passing even with Stupak’s language. So while I admired his apparent steadfastness to pro-life principle, I like many other conservatives also appreciated that fact that his principle (had he stuck to it) would have resulted in the bill not passing. We can hardly be surprised that he didn’t share such a hope.


Planned Parenthood: Executive Order A “Symbolic Gesture”

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 \AM\.\Tue\.

It is always best to admit when an enemy is right, and Planned Parenthood, in hailing the passage of ObamaCare as a great victory and the figleaf executive order given to Stupak by Obama as meaningless, is right.

Planned Parenthood called the pro-abortion health care bill the House approved late Sunday night a victory and applauded the financial windfall it expected to reap as a result. The abortion business also dismissed the executive order President Barack Obama promised Congressman Bart Stupak as harmless.

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