Archive for March, 2011

Gary Bauer and Dr. Alveda King: Why Our Government Must Stop Funding Planned Parenthood

Thursday, March 31st, 2011





FoxNews.Com – New York, NY
Thursday, March 31, 2011

President Obama has made the concept of shared economic sacrifice a constant theme of his presidency. “Shared sacrifice” should be the catch phrase, Mr. Obama told the National Governors Association in late February. “If all the pain is shared by one group…that’s not good for anyone.”

We agree, but there’s one group that isn’t making the economic sacrifices most other Americans are making. Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion business, receives $350 million annually from taxpayers in the form of government grants and contracts, even though it makes tens of millions of dollars in yearly profits.

A current proposal to defund Planned Parenthood might seem like just another skirmish in the culture war, but it ought to be seen as something more fundamental: the most basic measure of whether our government is serious about resolving its debt problem.

The continuing resolution (CR) passed in February by the House of Representatives to fund federal agencies through the end of FY 2011 included language to defund Planned Parenthood. Had the CR passed, Planned Parenthood’s 825 facilities would have been prohibited from receiving federal taxpayer dollars from any federal programs or departments, but the Senate refused to pass the CR, in part because Senate Democrats would not compromise on taxpayer funding of abortion. Two subsequent stop-gap CRs did not address defunding Planned Parenthood either.

Now, with the prospect of an April 8th government shutdown looming, abortion funding is back in the news as lawmakers this week are debating whether to include cuts to Planned Parenthood in a budget to fund the federal government through the rest of the 2011 fiscal year.

Because new House rules require a bill to be publicly unveiled three days before any consideration on the House floor, any such bill would have to be drafted by April 5th at the latest.

Abortion-rights advocates claim that ending taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood would eliminate funding for cancer screenings, birth control, adoption referrals and other services for which many poor women rely on Planned Parenthood.

Recently Alaska’s senators, Lisa Murkowski (R) and Mark Begich (D) wrote that “without the care Planned Parenthood provides…women will die.”

But Planned Parenthood does not have a monopoly on any of these services. There are thousands of other health care facilities across the country that receive federal funding and offer authentic health care to low-income women.

Also, though it stresses its less controversial work, Planned Parenthood’s raison d’etre is to perform abortions. According to the Chiaroscuro Foundation, abortions constitute roughly 37% of all Planned Parenthood’s revenues. (That’s a conservative estimate.)

A quarter of the nation’s abortions are performed at Planned Parenthood centers, and even as the number of abortions nationally has dropped in recent years, the share performed by Planned Parenthood has grown.

In 2008, the last year for which data is available, Planned Parenthood performed more than 324,000 abortions, up from 305,000 in 2007. To put this in perspective, one abortion takes places at a Planned Parenthood center roughly every minute and a half of every hour of every day.

By law, Planned Parenthood cannot allocate any federal funding for abortions, but its $350 million yearly taxpayer subsidy frees up other funds for abortions. With a $1.1 billion budget, and more than 700,000 donors, Planned Parenthood’s fiscal 2009 net profit was $21.7 million, according to its Internal Revenue Service Form 990 tax filing.

But lavish public subsidies aren’t the only reason to defund the abortion giant. In recent years, Planned Parenthood centers across the country have been exposed for committing a variety of offenses—including refusing to comply with statutory rape reporting laws and parental consent laws, performing illegal late-term abortions and overcharging clients on birth control.

To be sure, ending Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer subsidies won’t by itself close our budget deficit, but it will save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year. And it will signal to a skeptical public that the federal government has finally gotten serious about its profligate spending.

Soon, Congress will vote on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year. It must include the elimination of all taxpayer subsidies for Planned Parenthood. After all, if our federal government won’t say “no” to a scandal-ridden business that’s already raking in tens of millions of dollars a year in profits, who will it say “no” to?

Gary Bauer is President of American Values and Chairman of Campaign for Working Families. Dr. Alveda King is Founder of King for America and Pastoral Associate at Priests for Life.

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The Best Way to Honor Terri’s Memory is by Raising Awareness

Thursday, March 31st, 2011





On March 31, 2005, Terri Schiavo was killed. She was a disabled woman whose estranged husband, and the courts to which he went, decided that she should be deprived of water and food. Terri was not in a coma, she was not on life support, and she did not have a terminal illness. Terri was one of those people who cries out for our extra love and support, which her parents and siblings were ready to give her for the rest of her life. I was at Terri’s bedside during her final hours and moments. As she was dying from lack of water, there stood by her head a display of beautiful live flowers, immersed in water. As I blessed and absolved Terri, I assured her of your love. Now I implore you to educate your neighbors on her behalf.

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Six Years Ago Today…

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011





On March 30, 2005, Terri Schiavo had her last full day of life on this earth. I spent her last night by her side, praying with her, reading Scripture to her, and assuring her of the love of so many of you. Terri had not received a drop of water in nearly two weeks. As I reached out my hand to touch hers, I could also reach it out to touch the vase of flowers that was next to her. And that vase was filled with water. The flowers were nourished; Terri was deprived of nourishment. Court orders saw to it that none of us could give her some of the water that nourished the flowers. In a culture of death, law is divorced from humanity, and we are all victimized in the process.

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A Message to the Fathers

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011





Pope Benedict addressed the Pontifical Academy for Life in February of 2011. Speaking of abortion, he said, “It would be useful to focus attention on the fathers of the children, who often abandon pregnant women. It is the duty of the moral conscience to discern good from evil in the different situations of existence. Abortion blinds the conscience of the child’s father, often ruining family life.”

While men can’t have abortions, they do commit the sin of abortion. The “abandonment” of which the Pope speaks often consists in the man saying it is the woman’s choice. This makes her feel alone and desperate, and increases the temptation to abort. The man, instead, is called to stand with the woman and the baby and say, “we can do the right thing.”

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Lent is a Season of Life

Monday, March 28th, 2011





Lent is a season of life. As baptized believers, we reflect on how the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ have brought us the new life we now live. We commit ourselves to join all our suffering to His for our own salvation and that of the whole world. To help us all observe Lent, I have written a special Lenten Prayer for Life, and invite you to join me in saying it each day of this holy season. Please download it at priestsforlife.org. As we prepare to celebrate the victory of Christ over death, we commit ourselves to defeat the power of abortion and the culture of death, and as we practice Lenten penance, we can do no better than to reach out and save the lives of our youngest brothers and sisters.

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Today is the Feast of the Annunciation!

Friday, March 25th, 2011





Today, the Church throughout the world celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation. This solemnity marks the moment when God Himself became an unborn child. At that moment He also began redeeming the unborn child — and all of us who once were unborn children. Never can the unborn be considered too small to be significant or to possess rights, for God Himself was that small.

In many countries, today’s Feast is observed as a special day honored in celebration of Life, even by decree of the government. At www.priestsforlife.org, you will find special prayers you can use in your homes and Churches as you observe this feast.

Let us all renew our commitment to the lives of the unborn, and to Jesus, whose image is in each one of them.

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A Dangerous Mentality

Thursday, March 24th, 2011





Next week marks the anniversary of the murder of Terri Schiavo. She was deprived of food and water, as police officers stood over her bed to make sure nobody gave her any. She did not have any terminal disease and was not on life support. Her loving parents and siblings were ready to care for her for the rest of their lives. Yet through the actions of her estranged husband and the erroneous decisions of the courts, she was killed anyway. It is perfectly logical and moral to forego useless treatments, but that’s not what Terri’s case was all about. In this case, it was not that treatments were considered useless – it was that a life was considered useless, and that type of judgment is dangerous to us all.

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We Must Address the Bioethical Issues of Our Day

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011





After his conversion from being a pro-abortion leader to being a pro-life activist, Dr. Bernard Nathanson began talking about the new bioethical challenges of our day. Before “stem cells” hit the headlines, he was predicting that they would be the subject of daily news stories. He became a bioethicist and urged the Church to be at the forefront of these issues, so that it would not be caught asleep again, as he said it was when he launched the abortion rights movement.

Now is the time to heed fully his warning, and to cast aside our fears of dealing with issues like stem cells, genetic engineering, and tampering with the biological basis of our species. Let’s encourage study and prophetic teaching by clergy and laity alike on these bioethical issues.

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God’s Mercy is Infinite

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011





In light of the passing of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the pro-life movement continues reflecting on his life. I will never forget the workshop at which I introduced him at the 1994 Human Life International Conference in Irvine, CA. He was supposed to talk about chemical abortion, but at the last minute decided instead to speak of his spiritual journey. At the end of the talk, he said that he was standing on the brink of conversion to the Catholic Church. The room exploded. People were leaping into the air. He said that he hoped God could forgive him, and I said, ‘Dr. Nathanson, He already has,’ and I reminded him of that exchange just a week before he died. Many have turned away from the abortion industry; let’s encourage them to trust in God’s mercy.

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Statement from SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center Regarding Baby Joseph

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011





Contact: SSM Cardinal Glennon Public Relations office, 314-577-5615

“SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center has met the needs of children and families with great compassion for more than 50 years. In the case of Joseph Maraachli, we agreed to take the baby into our care to provide a medical consultation. Baby Joseph has Leigh Syndrome, a progressive neurologic disease.

“Following a thorough examination by a multi-disciplinary medical team of specialists from SSM Cardinal Glennon and Saint Louis University School of Medicine, along with extensive consultations with Joseph’s parents and the SSM Cardinal Glennon ethics committee, we concluded that a tracheotomy was medically appropriate.

“Baby Joseph received a tracheotomy on Monday. He is currently in the pediatric intensive care unit, where tracheotomy patients routinely spend 7 to 10 days following the procedure. After he is discharged from SSM Cardinal Glennon, Joseph will travel to Ranken Jordan – A Pediatric Specialty Hospital in St. Louis before being transported to his family home in Windsor.

“It is our hope that this procedure will allow Joseph and his family the gift of a few more months together and that Joseph may be more comfortable with a permanent tracheotomy.

“As with any of the children we help, our primary focus must remain on the patient and what is best in his or her individual circumstances.

“We ask that you keep Baby Joseph and his family in your prayers.”

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