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March 26, 2010

Dem. Pro-life Group is Dissenting Voice

When the House sent a sweeping health care bill to President Obama Sunday, most of the nation's leading pro-life groups slammed it as a proposal that would liberalize the nation's abortion laws and increase the abortion rate.

But Democrats for Life America and its executive director Kristen Day were casting a dramatically different message, arguing that the bill was not only pro-life but that the nation's abortion rate likely would decrease.

For months, Democrats for Life had been working on the same side of organizations such as National Right to Life, the Family Research Council and the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission in trying to ensure that the health care bill maintained the status quo on abortion law and did not federally fund the procedure. Yet when Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan announced a deal Sunday that lent his support if Obama pledged to sign an executive order, Democrats for Life was the only group not disappointed. It sent out a press release hours later saying it was "proud to support this historic health care legislation."

"The goal was always to pass a health care reform bill," Day told Baptist Press. "All these [pro-life] members and Democrats for Life supported health care reform, and the point of contention obviously was the abortion issue.... We're proud that this health care legislation passed and we're proud of the work that Bart did. We appreciate that the president signed this executive order that says the Hyde Amendment is the law of the land."

The Hyde Amendment -- which must be renewed annually -- prevents Medicaid from funding elective abortions. President Obama signed the bill, named the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, into law Tuesday.

Generally, groups that oppose abortion have divided into two camps in theorizing how the bill will impact the nation's abortion rates. National Right to Life and others argue that the nation likely will see an increase in abortions because lower-income women who currently are uninsured will be able to use tax subsidies to purchase insurance plans that cover elective abortion, making the procedure affordable and more accessible. (The new law's allowance of tax dollars to go toward insurance plans that cover elective abortions is a break from longstanding policy.) Democrats for Life, though, says the abortion rate likely will decrease because uninsured women who previously would have had an abortion for financial reasons will be less likely to do so because they and their baby now have insurance coverage.

"A lot of women don't have health insurance," Day told Baptist Press. "If they get pregnant, they have to choose between carrying the baby to term or having an abortion. An abortion is obviously much cheaper. So I think having health care insurance will help push the decision toward carrying the baby to term."

The new law also could lead to fewer birth defects for the babies of lower-income women, Day said.

"I have a friend of mine who is on the board for the March of Dimes," she said. "He says these pregnant women would come in and they would have no prenatal care and then they'd come in and have these babies who had problems. That problem will be alleviated [with prenatal care]."

Day also points to aspects of the new law that everyone in the pro-life camp can support. For instance, the law:

-- appropriates $250 million over 10 years in a "Pregnancy Assistance Fund" to help high school and college women who are pregnant and don't want an abortion.

-- raises the maximum adoption tax credit by approximately $1,000 to $13,170 and also extends the sunset on the increased credit from Dec. 31, 2010, to Dec. 31, 2011, according to the Journal of Accountancy. (Adoptive families are promoting a separate bill that would make it permanent.)

Stupak, who opposes abortion rights, defended the executive order by arguing that it toughens the conscience rights of pro-life health care workers and ensures that the law's funding for community health care centers cannot be used for elective abortions.

"I wasn't in those internal discussions, but I feel comfortable that the pro-life Democrats who negotiated this did a good job," Day said. "I trust their judgment."

Other pro-life groups say the executive order could be overturned in court, leading to federal funding of abortion at the health centers. They also say Stupak should have held out for much tougher pro-life language. For instance, the amendment he supported in November -- which passed the House -- prevented federal dollars from going to any insurance plan that covers abortion. But the bill that Obama signed allows tax dollars to go toward such plans, as long as insurance plans segregate the money. (Enrollees must make two separate payments -- one for abortion coverage and one for the premium. All enrollees in such a plan, even men, must make the payment.) Additionally, the law says that if the Hyde Amendment is ever reversed, federal dollars can go directly toward paying for elective abortions.

Day said it's a "mistake" for pro-life groups to target Stupak and other pro-life Democrats who supported the bill. The Susan B. Anthony List announced it would no longer present him with a "Defender of Life" award it had planned to give him Wednesday. CatholicVote.com said it had rescinded its invitation for Stupak to speak at an April meeting. Many conservative groups say they want him defeated. Ironically, pro-choice and liberal groups say they'll try to defeat him, too.

"What I'm concerned about is that there have been some pro-life groups who feel betrayed by the pro-life Democrats and they want to go out and get them out of office, which is a huge mistake, because that's exactly what NARAL [an abortion rights group] is trying to do," Day said. "I don't think that's a good strategy for the pro-life movement. A good strategy for the pro-life movement is to talk to these members and see why they supported this measure, and look to the things that we agree on. There's a lot that we agree on in the pro-life movement. So we need to remember what united us and take our partisan hats off and move forward as a strong, united movement, and not as pro-life Democrats or pro-life Republicans, but pro-life Americans.

"... We cannot solve this problem with one party. That's been a strategy for a long time, and it doesn't work."

Stupak and other Democrats who oppose abortion rights have made a big difference in their party, Day added.

"I think an aspect that is being overlooked is the strength of the pro-life Democrats within the party," she said. "If people stop and look, we really interfered with the stranglehold that the abortion lobby has had on the party. They're not happy with this. And so these pro-life Democrats are united like they've never been before."


About 80% of people that get abortions have insurance. But abortions are only paid for by insurance about 40% of the time. So the connection between insurance and abortion is fairly tenuous.


Democrats for Life--or I should say, from now on, "for life"--win the Useful Idiots of the Century award. Stupak said some weeks back that the Senate language was unacceptable. Then he folded for what people on both sides of the issue acknowledge is a powerless executive order. DFL thinks women and girls get abortions because they can't afford to have the baby? Are they completely unaware that in all 50 states there are pro life groups and crisis pregnancy centers that will guarantee that the women or girl and her baby will be taken care of? Is DFL completely cut off from the pro-life movement???

Not to mention that all 50 states have assistance for pregnant women. Here in GA. you can make up to $36K (?might be a few off) and qualify. My daughter who is helping put her hubby thru school used this program and her doctor. I have served on the national board for RTL in the past and I can tell you that any pregnant woman who wants to have her baby is taken care of in this country, as well as her baby!

This reminds me of the National Organization for Women really being the national organization of women (except for unborn women, women in more oppressed cultures than our own, plus cuckold presidents who are Democrats).

NOW - uw - ow + cpwrD, anyone?

I certainly agree that the pro-life must work across party lines if it is to succeed. Since the Hyde Amendment is now the only piece of federal law keeping federal funds from covering abortions, the pro-life movement should focus on keeping a pro-life majority in congress regardless of which party holds the reigns of power. Also, the pro-life movement is bound to differ on exact policy as it grows in influence, and the healthcare bill is no different. Let's not forget the pro-choice movement did not much like the final bill even before the president's executive order came out; the pro-life cause has had a decidedly strong impact on the bill's production, come what may.

For those who think the Health Care Bill actually contains stronger pro-life provisions than in the House bill, read this from the Family Research Council: http://downloads.frcaction.org/EF/EF10C08.pdf . It is entitled "Comparison of Stupak-Pitts Amendment and Senate Abortion Funding in 'Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act' H.R. 3590" It lists the provisions by section and page number in the Senate bill that encourages abortions. Among other things, the Senate bill authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human services to subsidize healthplans in government run Exchanges to cover elective abortion, it requires everyone in such plans to pay an abortion fee and weakens conscience protections for health care workers. Abortion is subsidized in government run multi-site plans. Elective abortions will be directly funded in 3 new government programs: high risk investment pools, community health centers and non-profit co-op plans. It makes no sense supporting candidates and office holders who cannot be counted on to stand under pressure.

But how are we going to pay for it?
THE GOLD STANDARD CBO report: Debt will rise to 90% of GDP
"President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget will generate nearly $10 trillion in cumulative budget deficits over the next 10 years, $1.2 trillion more than the administration projected, and raise the federal debt to 90 percent of the nation's economic output by 2020, the Congressional Budget Office reported Thursday."
"The federal public debt, which was $6.3 trillion ($56,000 per household) when Mr. Obama entered office amid an economic crisis, totals $8.2 trillion ($72,000 per household) today, and it's headed toward $20.3 trillion (more than $170,000 per household) in 2020, according to CBO's deficit estimates."

Not to worry, tho. The Prez O has it all under control.
[Note to children's children: Suck it up you little whiners and slackers, and get back to work.]

CL, I have been on the board of a Crises Pregnancy center and they DO provide assistance beyond todlerhood. Of course the finances of each center varies, but when the money is available, they provide assistance beyond the very short period of time you mentioned. They also help mothers find ministries and agencies that provide what the centers cannot provide. The canard that pro life groups do little to help mothers once they have a child is an unfortunate sterotype not based on reality. The pro life movement has been in the vanguard of the attempt to make it easier for couples to adopt unwanted children. I once participated in a pro life march through my hometown when we came across one protestor with a sign which read "Who will adopt all these unwanted children?" As we marched past this person, over half the women with children held up their children to him showing him that pro lifers adopt many unwanted children.

"So, what are the Crisis Pregnancy Centers or your church doing to provide health care for these women and their children for more than just the birth?"

You doubt his word? Or do you want to know how it is done, so you can help too?

JG, Apparently, you don't know (tee hee) who you're up against. Should you continue (snort) your "conversation" with Gotham's proglib caped crusader, there may be - consequences. See the following link. This is what happened to me. I had just gotten home from teaching language arts to a bunch of squirrely 6th graders and walked into this:


And then she leveled me with her awesome wit:
"Dan, a little jealous of my law degree are you? Just because you can't tell the difference between medical malpractice reform and class action reform and you got busted just making stuff up (again)? Pobrecito. LOL!"

See what I mean - awesome! And her use of a foreign language at the end - was awesome, too!

But seriously - A suggestion: challenge her to get to know some prolife people who walk their talk. She knows what I mean.
And then ask her to explain the CBO's - the absolute GOLD STANDARD - most recent prediction about what O-Care will do to our country economically. Very encouraging - if by encouraging you mean economic collapse.

So be vewy vewy careful....

Dan, thanks for the warning. Yes, I do know the kind of person I am "debating". I am at a library computer now and did not bring ear phones, so I will have to watch the video later.

It appears that someone's comments have been pulled. I have been considering for the past few days whether to respond to that persons last comments, but I think I'll pass.
Dan, I have decided not to watch the video. From your description it does not sound Christ honoring and I would rather not have those images on my memory banks.

@JG: It's a spoof on the Batman/Joker movie. No inappropriate words. Just humorous. I don't post youtube videos with anything but G-rated content.

Dan, I never thought you would post anything inappropriate or that CT would allow such to be posted. Sorry for giving that impression. I just wasn't sure where the discussion was heading. A certain person must have posted something really outrageous for CT to pull their comments. I did not want to make a comment that could generate further un-Christlike statements from that person. Nor did I think CT wanted us to get way off the subject. I hpoe you have a good Easter weekend!

@JG: Yeah, some of "her" comments were deleted b/c the content was so demeaning on a personal level. In all fairness, tho, some of my posts have been deleted, too. But I think mine that have been deleted, esp. recent posts, were deleted probably b/c I was way-off topic. And that's okay, too. And thanks for the well-wishes for Easter. I hope your Easter will, likewise, be blessed as you consider His promised resurrection for all believers.