News from Planned Parenthood

Affordable Birth Control Restored

Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS) today applauded the passage of legislation to make birth control affordable again for millions of women who obtain contraceptives at community health centers and college clinics. The provision was included in the 2009 omnibus appropriations bill that passed the U.S. Senate late yesterday and the House of Representatives two weeks ago.

In 2005, Congress passed the Deficit Reduction Act, which tightened eligibility for nominally priced drugs. In doing so, Congress inadvertently cut off safety-net providers and every college and university health center from obtaining contraception at a low cost, and passing on those savings to their patients. As a result, women have been paying up to 10 times more each month for basic contraception.

Planned Parenthood began anationwide grassroots campaign to restore affordable birth control in 2007, carrying the message of affordable birth control to members of Congress in an effort to raise awareness about the need for a common sense fix for women and families.

President Barack Obama has been a strong supporter of this commonsense fix; as a senator, he sponsored legislation to restore access to affordable birth control.

Please take just a few moments to thank Senator Tim Johnson and Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin for their support of making birth control affordable once again.

Videos Showing Planned Parenthood Abortion Abuse Led to De-Funding, More Soon

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 16, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Videos taken by college students showing abuses at Planned Parenthood resulted in a decision last week by the Orange County Board of Supervisors in California to cut funding of the abortion business. Two more videos are on the way from the group behind them.

The board took a unanimous vote at a meeting on Tuesday night after receiving calls and emails from pro-life advocates opposed to the $292,000 contract.

Videos produced by Live Action Films were used to help strip Planned Parenthood of the funding. The videos, repeatedly profiled on LifeNews.com, have shown Planned Parenthood employees ignoring the sexual abuse of minors, which mandatory reporting laws require them to report.

Mark Bucher, a local resident and board member of the Family Action PAC, saw the videos and decided to find out if Orange County gave taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood.

Bucher sent one of the undercover videos to every Orange County Supervisor and they took action in response.

“The distribution of public funds to Planned Parenthood through the Orange County Health Care Agency appeared to be a deliberate cover-up since it was nearly impossible to detect where the money was going from the County to several different health clinics,” Butcher told LifeNews.com Monday. “After watching the undercover videos from Live Action, it became clear to me that Planned Parenthood has a lot to hide.”

“Regardless of one’s position on abortion, Planned Parenthood should not receive public funding because of their willingness to deliberately cover up sexual molestation and abuse. This ‘non-profit’ had a $115 million surplus last year, and certainly doesn’t need a bailout from our community,” he continued.

Lila Rose, president of Live Action, is the UCLA student who went undercover in the videos to expose Planned Parenthood.

She tells LifeNews.com that more videos are on the way, as early as Tuesday.

“The undercover footage from the Mona Lisa Project continues to reveal a disturbing pattern in which Planned Parenthood repeatedly covers up the sexual abuse of minors,” said Rose.

“Planned Parenthood needs to be held accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for harming young girls. It is my hope that others like Mark will investigate Parenthood in their local communities, and put a stop to the public funding,” she added.

To view the undercover footage from the Mona Lisa Project, visit http://www.liveaction.org

MSNBC Host Chris Matthews Asked to Apologize for Calling Pro-Lifers Terrorists

MSNBC Host Chris Matthews Asked to Apologize for Calling Pro-Lifers Terrorists
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — Earlier this month, Chris Matthews, the host of the political program Hardball on MSNBC referred to pro-life advocates who oppose pro-abortion Health Secretary nominee Kathleen Sebelius as terrorists. During his program “Hardball” on Monday night, Matthews worried that Sebelius would become the target of “the terrorism of the, of the anti-abortion people.” Immediately after making the remark, Matthews appeared to realize his mistake and corrected himself to say, “I mean verbal terrorism.” Now, the Family Research Council is getting thousands of pro-life advocates to email Matthews to criticize him. “Matthews’ opinion appears to be that pro-lifers are terrorists because they oppose a nominee with views diametrically opposed to most of America. A nominee so radical it is difficult-impossible-to find an instance when she stood up as an elected official in support of life,” FRC president Tony Perkins says. “I guess Mr. Matthews wants pro-life groups to remain silent on a nominee who voted to weaken and eliminate measures like parental notification and waiting periods. Matthews should know better and he should apologize today. It is our duty to educate our fellow citizens about a nominee for an influential cabinet position whose views on abortion and health-care reform are radically outside the mainstream. Please e-mail Chris Matthews today. Standing against abortion-embracing public officials is a moral virtue.”

Pro-Life Women’s Group Upset Obama Administration Denies Post-Abortion Issues

Pro-Life Women’s Group Upset Obama Administration Denies Post-Abortion Issues
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life women’s group is upset that Obama administration officials denied the adverse effects abortion causes for women. As LifeNews.com reported, an Obama representative at the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meeting at the United Nations claimed research showing post-abortion problems “is unreliable because it has ideological elements.” Molly White, a representative of Endeavour Forum and Denise Mountenay, led a team of pro-life advocates and women who regret their abortions to talk with members of the Commission. Obama Administration representative Ellen Cheserly dismissed White’s question about the need for the CSW to address post-abortion issues. After the meeting, White sent eleven of her team to tell each member of the U.S. delegation about their abortion trauma. That led to a meeting with Peggy Kerry, NGO Liaison with the US Mission to the UN. During the meeting the women discussed all the issues surrounding abortion and how their work included helping hurting women recover. White is hopeful that the meeting outcome will lead to further discussions with the Obama representatives about post-abortion trauma. “Regardless if we can continue to move forward with open discussion with the UNCSW and the US Mission, we will not be silenced,” she told LifeNews.com. “We will be at every meeting, every year with more and more women until they can no longer drown out our voices.”

Unnecessary Faustian bargain

The Washington Times

Saturday, March 14, 2009
GALLAGHER: Unnecessary Faustian bargain Maggie Gallagher
COMMENTARY:

With a stroke of a pen, President Obama has reversed former President
Bush’s ban on taxpayer financing of embryonic stem cell research. (In a
display of indifference or cowardice, he has announced he’s leaving it
to Congress to decide whether and how to further lift restrictions on
human cloning.)

But “embryonic stem cell research”? Now there’s a mouthful. What does
that mean?

It means research that is willing to destroy some nascent human lives in
order to (possibly) save others. The politically astute move by the
president produced in the New York Times a beautifully self-serving Page
One headlines:
“Obama puts his own spin on the mix of science with politics.”

Dr. George Q. Daley, who studies blood diseases at Children’s Hospital
in Boston, said private money is drying up for embryonic research,
making the public money particularly welcome.

Why? Controversy may be part of the reason, but venture capital
basically is streaming away from embryo-destroying research precisely
because the science is moving so powerfully (at least in the short and
medium term) toward other, more convenient sources of stem cells, as
the science reporter for the New York Times admits:

“The Japanese biologist Shinya Yamanaka found in 2007 that adult cells
could be reprogrammed to an embryonic state with surprising ease. …
For researchers, reprogramming an adult cell can be much more
convenient, and there have never been any restrictions on working with
adult stem cells.

“For therapy, far off as that is, treating patients with their own cells
would avoid the problem of immune rejection.”

Every week, more stories cross my e-mail about potentially lifesaving
treatments being developed from stem cells. These stories almost never
make the headline news (or even back page) precisely because they share
one salient
characteristic: The researchers making these brilliant discoveries do
not obtain stem cells by destroying human life. And so their
achievements are not “news,”
at least, not big news – not a Page One stick with which to beat former
President Bush and his pro-life ilk over the head.

That is, they are not that interesting to politicians and partisans
fighting culture wars. They are only of interest to someone who knows
and loves a person suffering from one of the diseases they may someday
help cure.

Just recently, for example, not one but two potential breakthroughs
crossed my desk – two very typical ones:
The Whitehead Institute reports that for the first time it has been
able to reprogram skin cells from Parkinson’s patients into
“pluripotent” stem cells (similar to embryonic) that can be used to
create dopamine-producing neurons, while leaving behind potential
cancer-causing genes. The neurons are genetically identical to the
patient from which they come, which might eventually prove hugely
important to patient care and is even more immediately important in
testing possible new drug therapies.

Meanwhile at the 67th annual meeting of the American Academy of
Dermatology, dermatologists presented study findings in which cultured
stem cells and bioengineered skin were used to successfully treat skin
ulcers of three scleroderma patients – a painful and incurable disease
affecting 300,000 Americans.
Where did the researchers get these stem cells? In small amounts of
bone marrow from the affected patient’s hip.
Not news, in other words, just good news.

If you queried these researchers, they may well support lifting
government restrictions on taxpayer financing of stem cell research. I
do not doubt most scientists would prefer that government money came
completely unfettered from any oversight. (Come to think of it, so do
most bankers, most welfare mothers and most overmortgaged homeowners.)

But people betting their own money are betting against embryonic stem
cell research as the likeliest pathway to cures for diseases. Companies
that have invested in embryonic research are correspondingly desperately
anxious to use government to commandeer your money and mine.

And they have used politics precisely to make it happen.

Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist.

South Dakota Federal Judge Gets Papers for Ruling on Abortion Information Law

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 9
, 2009

Pierre, SD (LifeNews.com) — A South Dakota federal judge has received what are likely to be the last legal papers from attorneys for the state to rule on an abortion information law. The measure requires abortion practitioners to tell women that an abortion will destroy a human life of an unborn child.

The state legislature approved modifications to the informed consent law in 2005 with that instruction and information on the plethora of medical and psychological problems associated with abortion.

But Planned Parenthood, which runs the only abortion business in the state in Sioux Falls, claimed making them tell women the truth about abortion’s problems would infringe on the free speech rights of abortion practitioners and filed suit against the law.

After Planned Parenthood sued to stop the law, U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier granted the injunction it sought. She issued the ruling saying she believed Planned Parenthood would prevail in its case and agreed that first amendment rights would be improperly trumped.

The state appealed the ruling for the temporary injunction and a three judge panel of the appeals court agreed on a 2-1 ruling and continued the injunction.

But then the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the injunction last July and the state began enforcing the law.

Now, the case itself is back before Schreier, who will rule on whether the law is constitutional. Planned Parenthood is requesting a decision for summary judgment in the case.

Assistant Attorney General John Guhin defended the law during the hearing before the appeals court.

“The Legislature became convinced women are not getting information about the unborn life within them,” he said at the time.

“The really sad part is that it might be a husband, boyfriend, even parents” who pressured a woman to have an abortion and the state legislature wanted women to know they have a right to keep the baby, he added.

However, Planned Parenthood lawyer Tim Branson called the information “highly misleading and calculated to mislead.”

Judge Raymond Gruender appeared to side with the state and questioned Planned Parenthood, asking “What part of it is untruthful?”

Meanwhile, two pregnancy centers joined the state as defendants in the case.

Alpha Center in Sioux Falls and Black Hills Crisis Pregnancy Center in Rapid City said they have a stake in the case because the women impacted by the law are considering an abortion and often come to the centers for more advice and information.

“When the pregnant mothers realize that abortion involves the termination of the life of a human being, they look at the procedure in a different light,” Leslee Unruh, Alpha Center president, said previously. “It is not taken lightly and for most of the women this fact is of critical importance and leads them to search for other alternatives.”

They also counsel women who have had abortions and say they were not well informed by the abortion centers beforehand.

Similar informed consent laws in other states have reduced the number of abortions and helped women in unplanned pregnancies find local agencies that will help them.

Rep. Mike Pence (IN)

March 9, 2009

Too often over recent years, Christians and traditional value citizens have seen very few leaders who reflect our convictions interviewed by the national media; yet, the lack of presence of such individuals on the secular media certainly does not mean that they do not exist. To the contrary, there are many champions of Biblical values in Congress, but the national media is rarely interested in them and therefore seldom interviews them.

One such champion is Rep. Mike Pence (IN). I thought you might be encouraged to see part of a speech he recently delivered to a large national gathering.

God bless!

David Barton

P.S. If you appreciate Mike’s comments, you might send him an email letting him know. Unquestionably, all of us – especially those on the front lines of the culture war – benefit from words of encouragement!

– – –  à  à  à  – – –

“We must recognize that our present crisis is not merely economic and political but moral in nature. At the root of these times is the realization that we are struggling because so many in authority have walked away from the timeless truths of integrity, personal responsibility, an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay, and the notion that we should live and work in a way that treats others as we would want to be treated. [Matthew 7:12]

The Old Book says, “If the foundations crumble, how can the righteous stand?” [Psalm 11:3] If the foundations of integrity and personal responsibility crumble, indeed how can a free society endure? The truth is, we must get back to basics.

Recently, U. S. News & World Report called to say they had heard a rumor that I open my staff meetings at the House Republican Conference in prayer. (Only in Washington DC is being caught in private prayer a newsworthy event!) We told them, “Yes, the Congressman does open meetings in prayer; we pray for the President, for colleagues in both parties – and sometimes we even pray for the press!” The truth is that in times like these it is good to “remember what your knees are for.”

Our Founders believed in prayer – as did one of our greatest presidents: an Indiana farm boy named Abe Lincoln.

At the height of a civil war and on the eve of a bloody battle on a field in Gettysburg , President Lincoln fell to his knees and prayed. Lincoln later recalled to a Union general, “I don’t know how it was, and I cannot explain it, but soon a sweet comfort crept into my soul. The feeling came that God had taken the whole business into His hands and that things would go right.”

Like millions of Americans, I’ve been spending some time on my knees lately and I’ve got the same feeling that, in the midst of these dark days, by His grace, things will go right again.

I close where this address began – standing, as I did just a few short weeks ago, on the barricades of Fort McHenry, in Baltimore harbor.

Facing overwhelming opposition, and what must have seemed like the inevitable advance of defeat, a small band of regulars withstood 25 hours of bombardment at the hands of the British fleet. And when the sun rose and smoke cleared, because of their courage and determination, our flag was still there. A poem was written, an anthem inspired, and a nation reborn to freedom and independence.

Inspired by their example, let us conservatives resolve this day that we, like they, will stand and fight; we will not yield. And with determination and courage and faith, we, like those Americans so many years ago, will hold the banner of freedom high and the good and great people of this land will rally to our cause. So help us God.”

Mike Pence