Tuesday, December 29, 2009

National Right to Life opposes Senate version of health care reform because of abortion coverage

National Right to Life Committee has issued a statement noting their opposition to the U.S. Senate's health care reform legislation.
The manager’s amendment is light years removed from the Stupak-Pitts Amendment that was approved by the House of Representatives on November 8 by a bipartisan vote of 240-194. The new abortion language solves none of the fundamental abortion-related problems with the Senate bill, and it actually creates some new abortion-related problems.

NRLC will score the upcoming roll call votes on cloture on the Reid manager’s amendment, and on the underlying bill, as votes in favor of legislation to allow the federal government to subsidize private insurance plans that cover abortion on demand, to oversee multi-state plans that cover elective abortions, and to empower federal officials to mandate that private health plans cover abortions even if they do not accept subsidized enrollees, among other problems.

They have also issued a detailed critique of the abortion language in the Senate's health care reform legislation, clearly explaining why this legislation is unacceptable to prolifers.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Adult stem cells save injured climber’s leg

Doctors in Britain successfully treated a man named Andrew Kent with stem cells from his bone marrow after a boulder fell on him and broke his leg in five places.
Surgeons warned that he was likely to lose his leg unless they tried the new stem cell technique.

"Receiving that news is pretty devastating," Kent said.

Orthopedic surgeon Anan Shetty removed stem cells from the bone marrow in his patient's hip.

These were mixed with a new collagen gel called Cartifill to make a paste or glue, which was smeared into the fractures. They finally fixed his leg in a metal cage to gently squeeze the bones together.

The cage was removed at the beginning of December, six months after the stem cell procedure.

Shetty described how he had put all his weight on Kent's leg, but the bones remained solid.

"He has really surprised us. This is an amazing technique," the surgeon said of Kent. "He won't be able to run for about a year, but after 18 months his bones will have healed completely. I'm sure he'll be able to go back and rock climb again."


FULL STORY

Video exposes how Planned Parenthood lies to patients

Recently, the prolife organization Live Action released a new undercover video which shows how some Planned Parenthood counselors deceive their patients and attempt to talk them into having abortions. On the video, a Planned Parenthood counselor in Wisconsin falsely claims that an unborn child at 10 weeks gestation doesn’t have a heartbeat and the abortionist says, “It's not a baby at this stage or anything like that.”

You can view the video online here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

U.S. Senate continues to debate health care reform

Battle is far from over

President Obama and top congressional Democratic leaders are stepping up their efforts to include abortion in "health care" legislation, before the end of the year.

On December 8, the U.S. Senate rejected the Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment to remove abortion subsidies from the sweeping health care restructuring bill proposed by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (H.R. 3590).

The prolife amendment was defeated by a vote of 54 to 45.

During the days immediately ahead, the Senate may cast votes that will determine the fate of the legislation. The bill cannot emerge from the Senate unless 60 senators vote to end debate ("invoke cloture") on the bill. If a bill does emerge from the Senate, it must also go before the House of Representatives. The House passed a different version of the bill on November 7, but only after first adopting the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to remove subsidies for abortion.

National Right to Life Committee and Right to Life of Michigan are strongly opposed to the Senate bill because of multiple provisions that would promote abortion and the rationing of lifesaving medical care.

Time is short! Please telephone the offices of your two U.S. senators. Urge them to oppose the Reid health care bill (H.R. 3590), and to vote no on "cloture" (ending debate) on the bill. It doesn't matter if you have called your senators before and received a response; please call again. It is not too late!

For detailed information, please visit the Right to Life of Michigan Prolife Action Center.

Action Items:

Listen to the national web cast update

Sign On-Line Petition

Share with Sen. Levin and Sen. Stabenow your desire to keep the government out of the abortion business.

Sample message: "I urge you to vote no on cloture and the health care legislation proposed by Senator Reid unless direct and indirect federal funding of abortion is eliminated. I am strongly opposed to government funding of abortion."


Senator Carl Levin (D)
Washington, D.C., Phone: (202) 224-6221

District Offices:
Detroit (313) 226-6020
Escanaba (906) 789-0052
Grand Rapids (616) 456-2531
Lansing (517) 377-1508
Traverse City (231) 947-9569
Warren (586) 573-9145

On-line Contact Form

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D)
Washington, D.C., Phone: (202) 224-4822

District Offices:
Detroit (313) 961-4330
East Lansing (517) 203-1760
Flint (810) 720-4172
Grand Rapids (616) 975-0052
Marquette (906) 228-8756
Traverse City (231) 929-1031

On-Line Contact Form

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

U.S. Senators Kill Prolife Amendment

Battle is far from over

By a vote of 54 to 45, the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, December 8, tabled (a.k.a. killed) an amendment to remove elective abortion from a sweeping health care restructuring bill proposed by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (H.R. 3590). Both Senator Carl Levin and Senator Debbie Stabenow voted to table the amendment which would have kept federal funds from paying for elective abortions in the Senate health care reform bill.

A majority of senators voted to keep abortion covered in the proposed federal government health care program; however, now the vote on cloture on the bill itself will become the key vote on whether to put the federal government into the abortion business. Right to Life of Michigan opposes cloture on the bill, which would require 60 affirmative votes, if federal funding of abortion is included.

The prolife amendment, which was rejected, was sponsored by Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE), Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Robert Casey (D-PA). It contained the same substance as the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which was adopted by the House of Representatives on November 7, 240-194. Both amendments would prevent the federal government insurance program (the "public option") from paying for abortion (except to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest). In addition, both amendments would prevent federal subsidies from being used to purchase private health plans that cover elective abortion but would not restrict the sale or purchase of such policies with private funds.

Talk from Washington, D.C., is that the U.S. Senate has dropped the "public option" from its bill. The result of this change and the impact of federal funding of abortion is yet unknown. Right to Life of Michigan is following the debate closely.

While the vote yesterday killed an amendment to remove elective abortion from the pending Senate health care reform legislation bill, the battle is far from over.

While this is a setback, it is only step one. The key vote focuses on cloture -- whether to cut off debate. Again, Right to Life of Michigan opposes cloture on the bill if federal funding of abortion is included.

Thankfully, a number of prolife Democrats in the U.S. House who supported passage of health care legislation on November 7 will not vote for the Senate bill in its current form.

For detailed information, please visit the Right to Life of Michigan Prolife Action Center.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Prolife and church leaders sign Manhattan Declaration

Numerous church and prolife leaders have signed the Manhattan Declaration, a document which in part affirms and defends the sanctity of human life. Here’s a portion of the Declaration:
We will be united and untiring in our efforts to roll back the license to kill that began with the abandonment of the unborn to abortion. We will work, as we have always worked, to bring assistance, comfort, and care to pregnant women in need and to those who have been victimized by abortion, even as we stand resolutely against the corrupt and degrading notion that it can somehow be in the best interests of women to submit to the deliberate killing of their unborn children. Our message is, and ever shall be, that the just, humane, and truly Christian answer to problem pregnancies is for all of us to love and care for mother and child alike.

Visit the web site of the Manhattan Declaration to read the full document.

Monday, December 7, 2009

MI Senate Committee to vote on Embryo Package on Dec. 9 - Call your state senator!

The passage of Proposal 2 by a narrow margin in 2008 left many unanswered questions regarding human embryonic stem cell research. A package of bills titled the Embryo Research & Fertility Clinic Transparency Act was introduced in the Michigan House and Senate to address these questions.

The Michigan Senate Health Policy Committee will take up the Embryo Research Transparency Package on Wednesday, December 9, where a vote to report the bills to the full Senate is expected.

Please take 5 minutes to contact your state senator and urge them to support this legislation.

ALL SENATORS IN LANSING should receive calls/emails/faxes either asking for, or thanking co-sponsors for, their support on the Embryo Research package. There are 18 Senators who have co-sponsored the bills and Majority Leader Mike Bishop has put his full support behind it. The list of lead sponsors and co-sponsors to thank and urge their YES vote include:

Mike Bishop, Tom George, Roger Kahn, Jim Barcia, Dennis Olshove, Jud Gilbert, Mark Jansen, Ray Basham, Patty Birkholz, Nancy Cassis, Alan Cropsey, John Gleason, Bill Hardiman, Wayne Kuipers, Michelle McManus, Alan Sanborn, Tony Stamas, Randy Richardville, Jerry VanWoerkom

The message for those senators not listed should be:
“PLEASE VOTE YES ON THE EMBRYO RESEARCH TRANSPARENCY PACKAGE. THE VOTERS EXPECT PROPOSAL 2 TO BE IMPLEMENTED AND ENFORCED.”

Because Proposal 2 was a constitutional amendment no law can reverse it, only another constitutional amendment. This package is designed to close the potential loopholes in the amendment's language. It will make sure the limitations in Proposal 2 are put into statute along with definitions and penalties. It will also clarify that other types of human embryo research were NOT authorized by Proposal 2.

For more information about the bills, please go to the Right to Life of Michigan's legislative center.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

U.S. Senate to Address Key Prolife Amendment

Afghanistan, unemployment and the economy are topics which have been making the headlines. But in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Senate is chipping away at health care reform. The U.S. Senate is engaged in consideration of numerous amendments to a sweeping health care restructuring bill proposed by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (H.R. 3590). Right to Life of Michigan is strongly opposed to the Reid bill because of the federal funding of abortions and potential health rationing provisions.

Soon, perhaps as early as the week of December 6, prolife Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) will offer an amendment that will incorporate the same policy as the Stupak-Pitts Amendment. The Stupak-Pitts Amendment prohibits both direct federal funding of abortion by the "public option" and the use of federal subsidies to purchase private plans that cover elective abortion.

The U.S. House Democratic leadership version of health care legislation (H.R. 3962) originally contained pro-abortion provisions very similar to those now found in the Reid bill. However, on November 7, the House approved the prolife Stupak-Pitts Amendment on a roll call vote of 240-194. The House then passed H.R. 3962, as amended, by a vote of 220-215.

At this time, the Reid bill establishes a big new federal health insurance program, the public option. The bill authorizes (on page 118) the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services to require coverage of any and all abortions throughout the public option program. This would be federal government funding of abortion, no matter how hard they try to disguise it.

For detailed information, please visit the Right to Life of Michigan Prolife Action Center.

Action Item

Sign On-Line Petition

Call and e-mail Senator Carl Levin and Senator Debbie Stabenow and let them know abortion and abortion funding must be "explicitly excluded " from any health care/insurance reform legislation.

Sample message: "I urge you to support the Hatch-Nelson amendment which would prohibit direct federal funding of abortion and prohibit the use of federal subsidies to purchase private plans that cover elective abortions. I am strongly opposed to government funding of abortion."

Senator Carl Levin (D)
Washington, D.C., Phone: (202) 224-6221

District Offices:
Detroit (313) 226-6020
Escanaba (906) 789-0052
Grand Rapids (616) 456-2531
Lansing (517) 377-1508
Traverse City (231) 947-9569
Warren (586) 573-9145

Web Site (you can use the web site to send an electronic message):
www.levin.senate.gov/


Senator Debbie Stabenow (D)
Washington, D.C., Phone: (202) 224-4822

District Offices:
Detroit (313) 961-4330
East Lansing (517) 203-1760
Flint (810) 720-4172
Grand Rapids (616) 975-0052
Marquette (906) 228-8756
Traverse City (231) 929-1031

Web Site (you can use the web site to send an electronic message):
www.stabenow.senate.gov/

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

NIH reveals new federally-funded embryonic stem cell lines

Today, the National Institutes of Health revealed which new human embryonic stem cell lines have been approved for federally funded research. In March, President Barack Obama overturned President Bush's policy which prevented federal funded research on human embryonic stem cell lines created after August of 2001.

Right to Life of Michigan opposes any research which requires the intentional destruction of human life.
The National Institutes of Health announced it will make 13 new embryonic stem cell lines will be available for federally funded research, and will consider adding 20 more new embryonic stem cell lines to a national registry on Friday.

For eight years, scientists using federal grants had to vie for access to just 21 approved lines, or colonies of stem cells --derived from a human embryo. The Bush administration imposed a moratorium on federally-funded research on new embryonic stem cell lines created after August 9, 2001....

The 13 lines are the fist in what the government promises will be hundreds of new embryonic stem cell lines approved for federally funded research....

All told, the NIH is reviewing 96 pending applications (including the 20 up for review on Friday) from scientists to make their stem cell lines available to researchers through a national registry.

Collins said the government has 21 million dollars in grant money allotted for research on the new lines and the NIH is expecting at least 10 million dollars more next year from Challenge Grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.


FULL STORY

Monday, November 30, 2009

Right to Life of Michigan responds to erroneous stem cell editorial

In response to a recent editorial by the Grand Rapids Press on prolife legislation, Right to Life of Michigan legislative director Ed Rivet submitted the following editorial to respond to some of false claims in the Press editorial. The response editorial, which was published on November 27, is below.

When the voters passed Proposal 2 more than one year ago, they approved an amendment to the Michigan Constitution allowing embryos remaining from fertility treatments to be destroyed for their stem cells. The amendment does not allow buying or selling embryos, the embryos must be less than two weeks into development and the parents donating their embryonic children must give their written consent. The problem with the amendment is that it has no enforcement mechanisms, no definitions and no penalties for anyone caught violating these provisions.

In nearly every instance when voters approve a broad amendment to the Constitution, the Legislature must subsequently enact a framework of laws to implement it. Prior to 1996, California had no laws governing embryo research. When some UC-Irvine researchers were caught transferring embryos without proper consent, they had to be charged with mail fraud and tax evasion because there were not appropriate laws in place to charge them. The legislation being offered in Lansing to implement Proposal 2 will avoid this type of legal blunder.

Nothing in the proposed legislation prevents couples from donating embryos or researchers from using them. Researchers would be required to fill out a half-page form once a year that lists from where they received embryos, how many they used, and how many are retained in storage – That's it! No inspections of their facilities, no limits on what they can do with the embryos, no bureaucratic licensing process, just a half-page form once a year.

The Press' editorial against this legislation included several erroneous claims. First, it misleads readers about what Proposal 2 did. It did not “allow research using stem cells from human embryos.” That was already legal and occurring in Michigan prior to Proposal 2. Proposal 2 allowed researchers in Michigan to experiment on and kill human embryos for their stem cells.

Second, if research directors at Michigan's big three universities claim Proposal 2 is “working as intended,” they are grossly misstating the case. As a November 7 Press article indicated, the University of Michigan, the state's leading stem cell research university, “has not started projects to derive human embryonic stem cell lines” a year after Proposal 2 passed. If a year later they haven't even done what Proposal 2 legalized, how necessary was Proposal 2 after all?

Which is why the Press' claim that Proposal 2 is responsible for the $7 million in stem cell research grants is all the more misleading. Only one grant is for research using human embryonic stem cells. All the rest of the research projects are using adult stem cells, cancer stem cells or animal stem cells. The University of Michigan's own press release on the grants notes that the one embryonic stem cell study would have been legal before Proposal 2 because it doesn't require researchers to kill any embryos.

Press editorial writers are entitled to their own opinions on this research and legislation, but they're not entitled to their own facts.

Nothing in the proposed legislation will reverse or undermine Proposal 2 nor will it hinder any embryonic stem cell research. The bills simply provide the framework for Proposal 2 to be properly carried out and its provisions enforced. Voters expect that anyone caught violating Proposal 2 will be punished. But without this legislation, there are no defined penalties, no oversight or enforcement agency in charge, no accountability.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Abortion Funding Remains in U.S. Senate health care bill

On November 21, the U.S. Senate barely cleared an initial 60-vote procedural hurdle, setting the stage for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) 2,074-page health care bill to move forward. The debate and amendment process is scheduled to begin Monday, November 30.

As Right to Life of Michigan has previously noted, Senator Reid's bill [on page 118] would authorize the federal government to pay for any and all abortions through a huge new federal health insurance program, commonly known as the "public option," and also to subsidize purchase of private plans that cover abortion on demand. President Obama and Sen. Reid know that the substance of these abortion-promoting policies is deeply unpopular, so they seek to conceal the reality with layers of contorted definitions and money-laundering schemes.

President Obama and Sen. Reid are also seeking to block the enactment of the bipartisan Stupak Amendment, which was adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives on November 7. This amendment would prevent government funding of elective abortion through the proposed “public option," and would also prevent federal subsidies from paying for private insurance plans that cover elective abortion.

During the weeks ahead, Right to Life of Michigan will continue to fight the efforts of President Obama and congressional Democratic leaders who seek to cover abortion on demand in two huge new federal health programs. The Senate bill faces additional 60-vote hurdles in the future. Moreover, a courageous group of prolife Democrats in the House of Representatives will oppose final approval of health care legislation if the Stupak Amendment is gutted or removed.

Learn more by visiting the Right to Life of Michigan Prolife Action Center. A sample message for our senators and helpful links, which include the U.S. Senate health care legislation and Stupak Amendment, are available in the Prolife Action Center.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Senator Reid’s Health Care Plan Rejects Stupak Amendment and Pushes for Abortion Funding

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has rejected the bipartisan Stupak amendment and has substituted completely unacceptable language that would result in coverage of abortion on demand in two big new federal government programs.

The Stupak amendment would prevent federal subsidies for abortion by applying the principles of longstanding federal laws such as the Hyde Amendment to the new programs created by the health care legislation. Those principles prohibit both direct funding of abortion procedures and subsidies for plans that cover elective abortions, in existing federal programs such as Medicaid, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and the military.

Unfortunately, Senator Reid has rejected the bipartisan Stupak amendment and sought to appease pro-abortion organizations who demand abortion be funded through federal programs.

The Reid bill establishes a new federal health insurance program, commonly referred to as “the public option” and referred to in Reid's bill as the "community health insurance option." The bill allows (on page 118) the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services to require coverage of any and all abortions throughout the public option program. This would be federal government funding of abortion, no matter how hard they try to disguise it.

In addition, the bill creates new tax-supported subsidies to purchase private health plans that will cover abortion on demand.

Right to Life of Michigan will continue to fight for the Stupak amendment and oppose the attempts to establish new federal government programs that will pay for or coverage of elective abortions.

Helpful Links:

Text of Reid's Health Care Bill

Text of Stupak Amendment

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Health Care Reform Focus Shifts to U.S. Senate

Calls to Sen. Levin and Sen. Stabenow are needed

Since the U.S. House of Representatives has passed health care reform legislation, including the prolife Stupak amendment which prevents the government from funding abortion or subsidizing abortion coverage, the debate over health care reform now moves to the U.S. Senate. It has been reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) may attempt initial procedural steps to bring health care legislation to the Senate floor this week.

After the passage of the Stupak amendment in the U.S. House, pro-abortion groups have ramped up their efforts against the Stupak amendment and urged their members to lobby their senators to remove prolife language from the Senate version of health care reform. Some pro-abortion legislators have promised to oppose the final version of health care reform legislation if it includes the Stupak amendment.

Despite their pro-abortion positions, Senator Debbie Stabenow and Senator Carl Levin need to hear your voices on this crucial issue. They need know the people of Michigan strongly believe that abortion is not health care.

Please take the time to call Senator Levin and Senator Stabenow to let them know that Michigan citizens want the government funding of abortion explicitly excluded from health care reform legislation.

There is no time to delay; please make your call today!

Sample Message:

"I urge you to oppose the 'motion to proceed' to the House passed health care bill unless the Senate substitute offered by Senator Reid contains the Stupak-Pitts amendment to ensure abortion is not funded by U.S. taxpayers in the health care bill. I do not support federal funding of abortion."

It is important to note that the Stupak-Pitts amendment doesn't expand any restrictions on abortion. It merely prevents the government from funding abortion and from subsidizing health insurance plans which cover abortion. The language of the Stupak amendment is clear and it mirrors the Hyde amendment and the health care insurance program for federal employees. Federal funds are not to be used to pay for elective abortions and federally subsidized insurance plans can't pay for abortion.

Senator Carl Levin (D)
Washington, D.C., Phone: (202) 224-6221

District Offices:
Detroit (313) 226-6020
Escanaba (906) 789-0052
Grand Rapids (616) 456-2531
Lansing (517) 377-1508
Traverse City (231) 947-9569
Warren (586) 573-9145

Web Site (you can use the web site to send an electronic message):
www.levin.senate.gov/


Senator Debbie Stabenow (D)
Washington, D.C., Phone: (202) 224-4822

District Offices:
Detroit (313) 961-4330
East Lansing (517) 203-1760
Flint (810) 720-4172
Grand Rapids (616) 975-0052
Marquette (906) 228-8756
Traverse City (231) 929-1031

Web Site (you can use the web site to send an electronic message):
www.stabenow.senate.gov/

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Abortionist Alberto Hodari putting abortion clinics up for sale

Prolife advocates have reported that “For Sale” signs have been put up on at least 3 abortion clinics owned by notorious abortionist Alberto Hodari.

Hodari was recently fined $10,000 due to the death of a woman who died in his clinic in 2003 and he was in the news after the bodies of aborted children along with women’s medical records were found in one of his abortion clinic dumpsters and he was given 6 months probation.

Hodari faces various lawsuits and has recently filed for divorce from his wife.

FULL STORY
http://www.lifenews.com/state4575.html

Monday, November 16, 2009

President Obama plans on breaking his promise, wants abortion funding in health care bill

After promising in front of a nationally televised audience on September 9 that “no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions” in health care reform, President Barack Obama is now positioning himself in opposition to an amendment that would enforce his promise.

On November 7, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 240-194 to add the Stupak amendment to health care reform legislation. The Stupak amendment permanently prohibits the new federal government insurance program from paying for abortion, except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest and permanently prohibits the use of the new federal premium subsidies (also known as "affordability credits") to purchase private insurance plans that cover abortion.

Obama and his advisors are now falsely claiming that the Stupak amendment changes the “status quo” even though the status quo is certainly not a government run health care plan which includes federally-subsidized abortion coverage. They also plan on working to remove the prolife amendment from the final health care bill.

FULL STORY

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Critcal Reading on Jack Lessenberry's column

At StemCellResearchCures.com we've published a new critical reading. This critical reading examines Jack Lessenberry recent column in the Toledo Blade entitled, "Michigan Senate aims to ignore people on stem-cell research."

Lessenberry makes a number of false claims regarding stem cell research including claiming that stem cell research was illegal before Proposal 2, misleading claims about legislation to regulate embryonic stem cell research, and claiming that recent stem cell grants to the University of Michigan were because of Proposal 2.

Read the PDF here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Stupak amendment added to health care reform bill

Over the weekend, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a health care reform bill but only after legislators were given the opportunity to vote on the Stupak Amendment sponsored by Michigan’s Bart Stupak (D-Menominee). The Stupak Amendment prevents public funds from being used to pay for abortions in the government public health care plan except in the cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother. It also prevents individuals who have federally-subsidized insurance to get abortion coverage with their federally subsidized insurance.

The Stupak amendment passed by a vote of 240-194.

Michigan’s congressional delegation voted 9-6 in favor of the Stupak Amendment to remove abortion funding from the health care reform bill. The “no” votes included Michigan’s two freshman congressmen Gary Peters and Mark Schauer along with Carolyn Kilpatrick, John Dingell, Sander Levin, and John Conyers. The “yes” votes were Fred Upton, Bart Stupak, Pete Hoekstra, Dave Camp, Dale Kildee, Mike Rogers, Thaddeus McCotter, Vern Ehlers, Candice Miller.

This is a great prolife victory but much more work needs to be done as the U.S. Senate continues work on their version(s) which include abortion funding and rationing concerns. Eventually, the differences in the House and Senate versions will be handled in a conference committee. Prolifers have won a first step battle and prevented the initial expansion of abortion and abortion funding that Planned Parenthood, NARAL and other pro-abortion groups demanded.

FULL STORY

Friday, November 6, 2009

Final Countdown for U.S. House Vote on Health Care Legislation

Phone your U.S. House member today -- urge a NO vote on the "closed rule"

On Saturday, November 7, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) plans to attempt to ram a massive pro-abortion bill (H.R. 3962, previously H.R. 3200) through the House under a no-amendments procedure called a "closed rule." This strong-arm procedural tactic would shut out the only real prolife amendment being offered by Michigan's prolife Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak. The Stupak-Pitts Amendment will remove the abortion-funding provisions from H.R. 3962.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is working to insert into the bill phony compromise language with the Ellsworth Amendment. The Ellsworth Amendment is intended to cloak the bill's pro-abortion provisions in legislative smokescreens.

The time is NOW to take a stand and overwhelm members of Congress with calls and e-mails insisting that they vote against using federal dollars for abortion funding.

This afternoon, House Leaders are expected to put forward a "Rule" which blocks the only prolife amendment on the table, the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, from receiving a vote.

TAKE ACTION NOW (it doesn't matter if you have already called and sent an e-mail message, call and e-mail again today and Saturday!)

Call your U.S. House Representative in Washington, D.C., and call the local district office with this message:

"I am strongly opposed to any attempt to pass the health care bill, H.R. 3962, under a 'closed rule,' and I urge you to vote 'No' on the anticipated closed rule. I support the Stupak Amendment (pronounced STEW-pak), which would remove the abortion-funding provisions from the bill."

Use the link below for U.S. House contact information:
Congressional Contact Information

Send an e-mail message to your member of Congress with the above message.

Please forward this message to at least 5 friends.

Pray that our elected officials will have wisdom and open minds and hearts to hear from their constituents.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Director Quits Planned Parenthood After Seeing an Ultrasound of an Abortion

ABC News is covering the story of Abby Johnson, the former director of a Planned Parenthood in Texas, who quit after viewing an abortion through ultrasound. She was also being pushed to have her clinic provide more abortions.
Although she had seen ultrasounds before, including during her own pregnancy, Johnson said she had never seen an ultrasound image during an abortion. She is unclear why, as the director of the clinic, she was asked to be in the procedure room on that day, because it was not a normal part of her duties. Still, Johnson said, the experience changed her forever.

"I just thought, 'What am I doing?'" she said. "And then I thought, 'Never again.'"

Two weeks later, Johnson quit.

"I looked out the window and saw a couple of women praying and I thought, 'That's where I need to go,'" Johnson said.

She walked down the street and into the welcoming arms of the Coalition for Life.

Although she had originally been happy at her job, Johnson slowly grew to question "the motives of the organization," she said, particularly because her superiors were "pushing clinics that did have an abortion program to bring in more money."

FULL STORY

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Another year wait for early embryonic stem cell clinical trial

The first clinical trial designed to test the safety of the placing cells created from embryonic stem cells in human patients will have to wait approximately another year. Forbes is reporting that Geron hopes to restart it’s delayed clinical trial sometime in the 3rd quarter of 2010. The first ever approved clinical trial using embryonic stem cells was delayed in August after studies using animal studies showed the animals developed cysts at their injury sites after being injected with the cells developed from embryonic stem cells.

FULL STORY

Monday, November 2, 2009

New Critical Reading of Ryan Dinkgrave's editorial in the State News

At StemCellResearchCures.com we've published a new critical reading. This critical reading examines Ryan Dinkgrave's recent column in the State News entitled, "Stem cell opponents defying voters' will."

Unfortunately, Dinkgrave gets a number of basic stem cell facts wrong including President Bush's funding policy on embryonic stem cell research.

Read the PDF here.

Tonight: Urgent Health Care Web Cast

A nationwide web cast is planned to provide an update on health care reform. Hear the updates and learn what you can do!

Your attendance is crucial:

http://www.StopTheAbortionMandate.com/webcast

Seventy plus prolife and pro-family organizations that make up the Stop the Abortion Mandate Coalition invite you to attend this urgent educational event.

Here are the details:

WHAT: Stop the Abortion Mandate Urgent Web Cast

DATE: TONIGHT, Monday, November 2

TIME: 9 PM Eastern, 8 PM Central, 7 PM Mountain, 6 PM Pacific

Register now at:

http://www.StopTheAbortionMandate.com/webcast

During the live webcast, you'll hear the latest breaking news from many nationally respected leaders.

Invited presenters include:

* DOUGLAS JOHNSON, National Right to Life Committee

* REP. CHRIS SMITH, U.S. House of Representatives

* MARJORIE DANNENFELSER, Susan B. Anthony List

* CHARMAINE YOEST, Americans United for Life

* KELLYANNE CONWAY, The Polling Company

* KRISTEN DAY, Democrats for Life

* DR. DAVID STEVENS, Christian Medical & Dental Associations


During the event, you will:

* Hear the LATEST UPDATES and news straight from our nation's capital

* Learn exactly how abortion IS mandated in the proposed health care reform bills

* Discover what YOU can do about it!


Join Right to Life of Michigan and register for the important webcast now:

http://www.StopTheAbortionMandate.com/webcast

Thursday, October 29, 2009

California’s embryonic stem cell funding agency gives majority of grants to non-embryonic stem cell work

In another sign that embryonic stem cell research is unlikely to ever result in successful treatments for human patients and is years behind adult stem cell research, the New York Times reports that only 4 of the 14 projects recently approved for $230 million in funding from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) plan on using embryonic stem cells.

CIRM was created after a ballot proposal was approved by California voters to spend $3 billion dollars over 10 years on embryonic stem cell research. The ballot proposal was sold as necessary to the citizens of California because the federal government was allegedly not spending enough money on embryonic stem cell research.
The $230 million in grants awarded Wednesday to California universities and companies represent a big step toward moving stem cells from basic research toward application in treating diseases like cancer and AIDS. Grant recipients are supposed to have a therapy ready for initial human testing in four years.

But only 4 of the 14 projects involve embryonic stem cells. The others will use so-called adult stem cells or conventional drugs intended to kill cancer stem cells, which are thought to give rise to tumors.

The grants thus represent a departure from the program’s original mission. California voters approved the 10-year, $3 billion effort in 2004 largely to get around restrictions on embryonic stem cell research imposed by the administration of President George W. Bush.

Such research is ethically controversial because creation of embryonic stem cells involves the destruction of human embryos.


FULL STORY

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Stupak will attempt to block health care reform if abortion funding not removed

On Friday, the Hill ran a story about how Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) and approximately 40 Democrats will attempt to prevent health care reform legislation from coming to the House floor unless they are given a vote on an amendment to explicitly exclude abortion funding from health care reform.

"There?s about 40 like-minded Democrats like myself -- we?ll try to take down the rule," Stupak said. ?If all 40 of us vote in a bloc against the rule -- because we think the Republicans will join us -- we can defeat the rule. The magic number is 218. If we can have 218 votes against the rule, we win.?

With 177 Republicans in the House, Stupak would need at least 41 Democrats to cross the aisle and vote against the rule. Stupak's amendment was originally defeated by the House Energy and Commerce Committee during mark-up.


FULL STORY

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bart Stupak (D-MI) and prolife Democrats continue to oppose abortion in health care reform

A recent Associated Press article highlights how Michigan prolife Democrat Bart Stupak continues to work to remove abortion funding from the health care reform bills. Stupak and other prolife Democrats will attempt to block the bill unless they are allowed to a vote on an amendment to remove abortion funding for health care reform.
Stupak says language specifying that someone obtaining an abortion must use her own money, not federal money from the subsidies, doesn't go far enough because it's impossible to clearly segregate funds in that way.

"Once you get the affordability credits (subsidies) in there, that's public funding of abortion. We're not going there," Stupak said. "How do you get past the affordability credits is really the issue. And we can't."

....

Unless an eleventh-hour agreement is reached, Stupak intends to carry through on a threat he's been holding over House leaders for months: to block action on the larger health overhaul bill unless he's allowed to offer a stand-alone amendment during floor debate to include the Hyde amendment restrictions in the health overhaul bill.

Such an amendment would be almost certain to prevail, since it likely would attract the votes of most Republicans as well as some Democrats. So Democratic leaders won't let Stupak offer it.

Instead, it appears they may have to take the risk of letting Stupak try to block action on the underlying bill, which he intends to do by assembling "no" votes on a procedural measure that needs to pass before debate can begin.


FULL STORY

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wayne State Researcher Helping Paralyzed Patients with Adult Stem Cells

WWJ, a news radio station in Detroit, is reporting on how a recent study by Wayne State University School of Medicine researcher Jean Peduzzi-Nelson has shown that taking adult stem cells from the nasal tissue of paralyzed patients and then injecting it into their spines can help them regain some mobility.
The injuries in the study patients were 18 months to 15 years old. The patients, ages 19 to 37, had no use of their legs before the treatment. One paraplegic treated almost three years after the injury now ambulates with two crutches and knee braces. Ten other patients ambulate with physical assistance and walkers (with and without braces). One 31-year-old male tetriplegic patient uses a walker without the help of knee braces or physical assistance. When the stem cell transplant and scar removal process was combined with an advanced form of rehabilitative training that employs brain-initiated weight-bearing movement, 13 patients improved in the standard measures used to assess functional independence and walking capabilities.

“We concluded that olfactory mucosal autograft is feasible, relatively safe and possibly beneficial in people with chronic spinal cord injury when combined with post-operative rehabilitation,” Peduzzi-Nelson said. “There are clear indications of efficacy based on neurological, functional and electrophysiological testing that justify moving forward to a larger, controlled clinical trial. In patients who are willing to commit to lots of intense rehabilitation, this combination treatment holds promise to improve their condition.”


FULL STORY

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Prolife Advertisement Details Abortion Funding in Health Care Reform

Americans United for Life has released a new ad chronicling how current health care reform measures include funding for abortion despite promises from President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that health care reform wouldn’t include funding for abortion.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Health Care Reform Update

Finance Committee passes proposal 14-9

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee approved the America's Healthy Future Act which was crafted by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mt.). The bill contains an array of far-reaching provisions which endanger the lives of senior citizens and unborn children. On September 30, 2009, the Finance Committee defeated two prolife amendments to the bill, offered by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow from Michigan sits on this committee and voted to approve the America's Healthy Future Act. Please let Senator Stabenow know that you are disappointed that abortion coverage was not explicitly excluded from the bill.

Contact Information:
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D)
133 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4822
Fax: (202) 228-0325

Web Site:
www.stabenow.senate.gov/

Now that the Finance Committee approved the Baucus bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nv.) will need to combine the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) and Finance bills into a single bill. The full Senate may take up a bill later this month.

Right to Life of Michigan will continue to keep you posted on health care reform. At any time, visit Right to Life of Michigan at www.rtl.org for information on health care reform.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

NRLC: White House Press Secretary's Remarks Show White House Still Engaged in Smuggling Operation for Government Funding of Abortion

National Right to Life has a press release noting how remarks from White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs show the Obama administration is still attempting to mislead the public on whether health care reform legislation includes government funding of abortion.
Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the national federation of right-to-life affiliates, said: "Gibbs' statement is one more proof, if any more were needed, that the White House is actively engaged in a political smuggling operation -- an attempt to achieve funding of elective abortion by the federal government, cloaked in smokescreens of contrived language and outright deception. There is no current federal law that would prevent the new programs created by the pending health care bills from paying for abortion on demand -- and the White House knows this full well.

FULL STORY

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall 09 Issue of RLM News Online

The Fall 2009 issue of the Right to Life of Michigan News is now online. You can read it online here.

This issue includes articles on health care reform, a Conference recap, information about Michigan 2008 abortion statistics and a state legislative update.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

British and Greek doctors used stem cells and an artificial heart to save a Greek man

Sky News reports on a Greek man whose heart condition was treated using a Jarvic mechanical heart pump and 6 million of his own adult stem cells.
The Greek patient had been so dangerously ill that he had been kept in hospital for four months. He had suffered at least two heart attacks and his cardiac muscle was too weak to push enough blood around his body.

Drug treatment and other surgical devices had failed to improve his condition.

In a radical attempt to save his life, surgeons implanted a Jarvic mechanical device into his heart to divert blood away from the damaged pumping chamber.

In many patients that is enough for the heart to begin to heal - sometimes so well that the mechanical pump can be safely removed weeks or months later.

But in Ioannis' case the cardiac muscle had been badly damaged. So surgeons injected six million stem cells that they had earlier extracted from his bone marrow.

The stem cells kickstart a recovery by building new muscle and releasing chemicals that attract new blood vessels into the damaged areas.


FULL STORY

Monday, September 28, 2009

Health Care Alert, Focus on the U.S. Senate

Please Contact Senator Debbie Stabenow

Both houses of Congress are pushing towards votes on sweeping health care reform bills that currently contain far-reaching provisions which endanger the lives of senior citizens and unborn children. This week the U.S. Senate Finance Committee may vote on amendments which address these concerns.

On September 16, 2009, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT.), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, released a draft health care bill called the "America's Healthy Future Act." The Finance Committee is scheduled to begin considering amendments to the bill, including prolife amendments, on Tuesday, September 29.

The rationing concern revolves around one provision that penalizes Medicare doctors who provide higher levels of medical treatment to senior citizens. Senator Jon Kyl, a prolife Arizona Republican, and Senator Pat Roberts, a prolife Kansas Republican, are behind amendments. In addition to the rationing concerns in the Baucus bill, federally funded abortion is included in the proposed legislation.

The bill contains provisions that would send massive federal subsidies directly to both private insurance plans and government-chartered cooperatives that pay for elective abortion.

To fix these problems, prolife senators Orrin Hatch of Utah and Mike Enzi of Wyoming have proposed a handful of amendments.

Learn more by visiting Right to Life of Michigan at www.rtl.org.

ACTION:
Contact Senator Debbie Stabenow, who is a member of the Senate Finance Committee and urge her to "support amendments to make sure rationing and abortion funding are explicitly excluded from the Baucus bill."

Please act today. Votes on amendments may take place tomorrow.

Contact Information:

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D)
133 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4822
Fax: (202) 228-0325

Web Site:
www.stabenow.senate.gov/

Grand Rapids man saves life by donating his adult stem cells

On September 27, 2009, the Grand Rapids Press shared the story of how Grand Rapids resident Chris Diemer recently met Jorge Rodriguez, a man from Florida whose life was saved by Diemer’s adult stem cells.
Diemer, 31, who works for Gordon Food Service, regularly gives blood at Michigan Community Blood Center on Fuller Avenue NE. He didn't know a lot about bone-marrow transplants until a worker asked if he wanted to be tested to determine if he matched anyone needing a transplant.

"I said, 'Sure, I'll do it.' I didn't really think I'd be called."

A couple of months later, he got the call.

He was concerned about the procedure. He thought he would have to undergo surgery for bone marrow to be extracted. Instead, stem cells were taken by a machine that drew blood from one arm and returned it to the other in a six-hour process.

"I did it because I knew it was the right thing to do," he said.

On Dec. 19, 2007, Rodriguez had the transplant.

"I was relieved and excited," he said. "I would have passed away. The chemo was working, but the cancer would have returned. It would've returned stronger. I would have passed away."


FULL STORY

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Abortion linked to premature births

A recent study published in the BJOB: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology found that women who have had abortions are more likely to experience premature birth with subsequent pregnancies.
The review of 37 case studies found that women who had undergone more than one abortion had a 72 per cent increased risk of having children with low birthweight and a 93 per cent increased risk of having a premature baby.

It also found that women who had an abortion in the first or second trimester had a 35 per cent increased risk of giving birth to a low-weight baby and a 36 per cent increased risk of having a premature baby.

FULL STORY

PDF of the study

Thursday, September 17, 2009

“Abortion is always out of fashion!”

A brewery in Grand Rapids recently informed charity organizers that their brewery wouldn’t participate in a fashion show fundraiser for America’s #1 abortion provider.
After angry calls and letters started pouring in, Founders President Mike Stevens told organizers this week they had to switch to another local, and less controversial, charity. Kids Food Basket, which provides meals for local students, was selected.

"Our goal is simple, make the best beer we can and focus on that and that only," Stevens said in a written statement.

Rockford resident Amy Oatley said she was among those who objected to Planned Parenthood's involvement in the event. She said she sent e-mails to the show's organizers protesting their choice because it goes against her anti-abortion beliefs.

"When I heard you were going to tie this in with raising funds for Planned Parenthood, the country's leading abortion provider, I said no thanks!" Oatley told the group. "Abortion is always out of fashion!"

FULL STORY

Denial, Evasion and Distortion

No, this isn't about an upcoming blockbuster movie ... it's about health care reform.

Mixed messages have made it difficult for many to discern what's fact or fiction in regards to health care reform.

Listen to an update on national health care reform efforts from Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing.

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote soon, perhaps in late September, on "health care reform" legislation (H.R. 3200) that contains far-reaching pro-abortion provisions, including a new nationwide insurance plan run entirely by the federal government that would cover all elective abortions.

The Democratic leaders who hold majority control in the U.S. Senate also have several versions of health-care restructuring bills that will be debated in the near future.

The health care bill recently approved by three committees in the House of Representatives would operate a nationwide "public option" insurance plan that would be authorized to cover abortion on demand. The bill would also provide federal subsidies to private insurance plans that cover elective abortions.

The pro-abortion Capps-Waxman Amendment that was added in the House Energy and Commerce Committee explicitly ratified these pro-abortion effects. This pro-abortion amendment was opposed by all of the prolife members of the committee. The committee rejected the prolife Stupak-Pitts Amendment (Prolife Rep. Bart Stupak represents Michigan's 1st Congressional District), which would have removed elective abortion from the scope of government-operated and government-subsidized insurance plans. We must keep the federal government from running an abortion insurance plan and oppose government subsidies for private plans that cover elective abortions.

For months, Administrative and Congressional proponents of the present health care reform bills have misrepresented the actual language in the bills that would result in government funding of elective abortions. Articles highlighting the misinformation regarding abortion and health care continue to pile up. FactCheck.org, New York Times, Associated Press and TIME Magazine highlight how abortion is included in current health care proposals.

How do we know abortion will be included in proposed health care reform legislation even if the word "abortion" doesn't appear in the legislation? The history of Medicaid shows that the federal government will fund abortion unless it is explicitly excluded.

Action Needed

Two areas of health care reform which need to be addressed include abortion coverage and rationing of health care. Contact your two U.S. Senators and your U.S. House Representative with the following two messages:

* abortion must be explicitly excluded from any health care/insurance reform legislation; and

* any health care restructuring providing coverage for the uninsured must have a sustainable, reliable means of full funding to prevent rationing.


Helpful Links:

Congressional Contact Information


Suggestions for letters to the editor and on-line posts


Sign On-Line Petition


Print Paper Petition to Circulate


Proposed U.S. House National Health Care Legislation -- 1,018 pages

Print and distribute this Action Alert to let others know about national health care reform plans

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing's update on national health care reform

Chart showing how health care bills equal government funded abortion

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Abortion funding myth lingers in the national health care debate

While addressing the joint session of Congress on Wednesday, September 9, President Barack Obama said, "One more misunderstanding I want to clear up -- under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions."

The reality is that the Obama-backed House bill would explicitly authorize the federal government insurance plan to pay for elective abortions and would explicitly authorize subsidies for private abortion insurance -- and all with federal dollars, which are the only kind of dollars that the federal government can spend. Numerous attempts with amendments were made during House Committee meetings to explicitly exclude abortion from national health care reform, but the attempts were defeated. A simple question for our President is: "If federal dollars will not be used to fund abortions, than why can't abortion be explicitly excluded from the plan?"

Right to Life of Michigan will be monitoring national health care reform and will keep you abreast of key happenings. But for now, keep the pressure on with our two U.S.Senators and your U.S. House Representative to "explicitly exclude" abortion from any health care reform.

Go on record TODAY that you oppose abortion in health care reform. The message is:
Abortion and abortion funding must be "explicitly excluded" from any health care/insurance reform legislation.

Action Item:

Call, fax and e-mail Senator Carl Levin, Senator Debbie Stabenow and your U.S. House Representative and let them know abortion and abortion funding must be "explicitly excluded " from any health care/insurance reform legislation.

Congressional Contact Information
Oppose Making Abortion Part of Health Care Reform

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Health Care Reform Should Serve Women, Not Hurt Them

Post-Abortion Voices Join Health Care Debate

"Abortion didn’t solve our problems; it only created new ones." Thus say the women and men who resorted to abortion and ended up regretting it. Their voices are heard in the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, and in the video below.

Please spread this video far and wide, as our nation debates health care reform and as many Americans demand that such reform not include an expansion of abortion.

Please also help us spread the testimonies of all who have joined the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. Learn more at the links to the right of the video.

Link to video

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

British Doctors Use Adult Stem Cells to Treat Hip Ailments

Surgeons at Spire Hospital in Southhampton have been using a new technique to help treat patients with hip ailments. They mix adult stem cells from a patient's own bone marrow with ground up bone fragments from another patient and then put the mix into a spot where they had previously removed dead bone tissue. This is an alternative therapy to artificial hip replacement.
Carl Millard had the stem cell procedure last year. He can now walk normally, without any pain.

"I feel great," he said. "If this can prevent people having to have a hip replacement, I think it is wonderful."


FULL STORY

Monday, August 24, 2009

FactCheck.org notes that President Obama isn’t telling the truth about abortion and health care reform

During a recent telephone call with supporters, President Obama claimed that current health care reform plans wouldn’t allow the government funding of abortion and that prolife groups who were educating the public about this issue were “fabricating.”

The web site FactCheck.org has reviewed the health care legislation and concludes that President Obama is the one who is fabricating information, noting that “(d)espite what Obama said, the House bill would allow abortions to be covered by a federal plan and by federally subsidized private plans.”
Abortion foes quickly denounced Obama’s statement as untrue. The NRLC’s Johnson said "the bill backed by the White House (H.R. 3200) explicitly authorizes the government plan to cover all elective abortions." And our analysis shows that Johnson’s statement is correct. Though we of course take no position on whether the legislation should allow or not allow coverage for abortions, the House bill does just that.

FactCheck.org then concludes their report by saying,
“As for the House bill as it stands now, it’s a matter of fact that it would allow both a "public plan" and newly subsidized private plans to cover all abortions.”


FULL STORY

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Human embryonic stem cell trial delayed

The only clinical trial approved by the FDA using cells created from embryonic stem cells has now been put on hold by the FDA. The delay occurred before any patients were enrolled in the study. No patients have yet to be successfully treated with embryonic stem cells.
The halt was ordered after Geron shared data from dose escalation studies in animals with the Food and Drug Administration, the company said. The therapy is meant to restore movement to paralyzed people by injecting nerve cells made from embryonic stem cells to the site of the injury.

In January, the F.D.A. lifted a delay on the clinical trial from May 2008. The action on Tuesday was probably based on safety concerns that emerged from the new higher-dose data the company had submitted, said Joseph Pantginis, an analyst with the Merriman Curhan Ford Group in New York.

FULL STORY

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Abortion in Health Care Reform

National Right to Life Committee has recently posted a fact sheet which discusses how current health care reform bills in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate would force taxpayers to pay for and subsidize abortions.

FULL STORY

Thursday, August 13, 2009

House and Senate to Vote After Labor Day on Health Bills That Will Greatly Expand and Fund Abortion

The U.S. House and U.S. Senate are expected to vote after Labor Day on "health care reform" bills that, in their current forms, could produce the greatest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade.

Your help is needed today.

The bills are being pushed hard by President Barack Obama and by top Democratic congressional leaders. However, growing public concerns about the bills caused sufficient resistance among some factions of Democrats that the leadership was forced to abandon the original plan of having floor votes on the bills in July. The August recess provides an excellent opportunity for concerned citizens to contact their Washington lawmakers. Below are suggested action items, key messages and links to help you make a difference and save lives!

Action Items:

* Schedule an individual or small group meeting with your U.S. House Representative
* Attend a Town-Hall Meeting. Call the district office of your U.S. Senators and U.S. House Representative to find out when/if a meeting is scheduled
* Call your U.S. Senators and U.S. House Representative district offices to share your message to explicitly exclude abortion from any national health care plan
* FAX a message to the district offices of your U.S. Senators and U.S. House Representative
* Put an announcement in your church bulletin to encourage others to contact their U.S. House Representative and U.S. Senators
* Send out a message using FaceBook, Twitter, and other social networking with a link to www.rtl.org so others can be informed on abortion in proposed national health care legislation

Messages:

* No tax funding for abortion in any national health care program
* Abortion must be explicitly excluded from national health care
* Abortion is not health care

Some say abortion is not part of the national health care plan, however, it is important to note that many attempts were made in committee meetings to explicitly exclude abortion with amendments. Every amendment to explicitly exclude abortion from national health care was defeated in committee.

Key Links:

* Congressional Contact Information
* Suggestions for letters to the editor and on-line posts are available
* Sign On-Line Petition
* Print and distribute this Action Alert to let others know about national health care reform plans. Perfect for fairs and churches

Follow Right to Life of Michigan on FaceBook, MySpace or Twitter.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Abortions increase in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Community Health recently released Michigan’s 2008 abortion statistics. The statistics show that the number of abortions performed in Michigan rose 5.2% to a total of 25,970 induced abortions. While the information is disappointing because of the increase in the number of abortions performed in Michigan, the data is not surprising. Michigan has been hit hard economically which makes a decision for life more challenging for mothers experiencing an untimely pregnancy.

The increase in the number of abortions performed on residents of Wayne and Oakland county was dramatic , totaling more than the increase for the state as a whole. The number of abortions performed on black women also increased disproportionately. The percentage of abortions performed on black women was 45.4% (it was 41.9% in 2007) even though the American Community Survey estimates that only 14.1% of Michigan’s population is Black or African-American.

The death of one woman from abortion was recorded as an immediate complication.

A summary of the statistics along with links to other statistics is available online here.

House and Senate to Vote After Labor Day on Health Bills That Will Greatly Expand and Fund Abortion

The U.S. House and U.S. Senate are expected to vote after Labor Day on "health care reform" bills that, in their current forms, could produce the greatest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade.

The bills are being pushed hard by President Obama and by top Democratic congressional leaders, including pro-abortion House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.). However, growing public concerns about the bills caused sufficient resistance among some factions of Democrats that the leadership was forced to abandon the original plan of having floor votes on the bills in July. The August recess provides an excellent opportunity for concerned citizens to express themselves to their senators and House members while the lawmakers are back home taking the pulse of public opinion.

No congressional Republican has yet endorsed the bills being pushed by the White House in either the House or the Senate. The Democrats, who hold about 60 percent of the seats in both houses of Congress, are divided, with some Democrats opposed, either because of the pro-abortion provisions or for other reasons, and many others undecided or uncertain.

In the U.S. Senate, the White House is backing a bill (as yet unnumbered) sponsored by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Ma.), which was approved on July 15 by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee on a 13-10 party line vote. The committee voted down all pro-life amendments, including an amendment offered by pro-life Senator Tom Coburn (R-Ok.) to prevent health care providers from being penalized for refusing to participate in providing abortions.

"The Kennedy bill would result in the greatest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade," said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. "It would result in federally mandated coverage of abortion by nearly all health plans, federally mandated recruitment of abortionists by local health networks, and nullification of many state abortion laws. It would also result in federal funding of abortion on a massive scale."

In the U.S. House, the White House is behind H.R. 3200, which has been approved by three different committees. All three committees voted down amendments to prevent the bills from mandating coverage of abortions and to prevent federal subsidies for abortions, as only a few Democrats joined the minority Republican members in support of the amendments.

On the third panel, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the pro-abortion side narrowly won adoption of a "phony compromise" amendment offered by Rep. Lois Capps (D-Ca.) (who has a zero percent career prolife voting record) that would result in elective abortions being covered under the government-operated "public plan" the bill would create, and would allow federal subsidies to flow to private insurance plans that cover elective abortions. The pro-abortion members of the committee voted down an amendment offered by Reps. Bart Stupak (D-Mi.) and Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) to prohibit federal subsidies from going to plans that cover elective abortions.

"The adoption of the pro-abortion Capps Amendment, and the rejection of the prolife Stupak-Pitts amendment, underscores that H.R. 3200 would drastically change federal policy, channeling massive new federal subsidies to health plans that pay for abortion on demand, including a national plan that will be offered by the federal government," said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. "This is Condition Red for the pro-life movement. Every pro-life American should communicate, loudly and clearly, his or her opposition to this Obama-backed bill, before it comes to the House floor in September."

ACTION ITEMS

Please take a few minutes to TELEPHONE the offices of your two U.S. senators, give your name and address, and tell the senators' staff persons that you wish to be recorded with the message "abortion and abortion funding must be explicitly excluded from any health care/insurance reform legislation." The offices of any U.S. senator can be reached through 202-224-3121. Also, please TELEPHONE the office of your U.S. House member, give your name and address, and inform the staff person that you wish to be recorded with the message "abortion and abortion funding must be explicitly excluded from any health care/insurance reform legislation." You can reach any U.S. House member's office through 202-225-3121. Town Hall type of meetings may be scheduled in your area. Watch your newspapers for dates and times. Attend these meetings and let your voice be heard with the message noted above.

Also, please send short letters to the "letters to the editor" features of your local newspapers, in order to alert your fellow prolife citizens to the sweeping pro-abortion mandates and pro-abortion subsidies that the Obama White House and the pro-abortion lobby are trying to smuggle into law through "health care reform."

Please share this information with two or three friends or family members and ask them to share it with others.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Efforts in committee to exclude abortion from health care fail

In an attempt to make certain that abortion was explicitly excluded from health care reform, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee including Michigan’s Bart Stupak put forward an amendment known as the Stupak-Pitts amendment. The Stupak-Pitts amendment would prevent the public health care option from funding abortion. On July 30, this amendment passed 31-27 but after a re-vote the amendment failed 30-29.

Efforts will now be made to insert amendments to exclude abortion from health care reform on the House floor after the August recess.

FULL STORY

Thursday, July 30, 2009

More than 13 million abortions a year in China

According to the China Daily newspaper there are at least 13 million surgical abortions performed in China every year. In previous years, the Alan Guttmacher Institute estimated there were 9 million annual abortions in China. According to expert Therese Hesketh who has studied family planning policies in China, abortions in China,
are "completely non-taboo, almost a form of contraception really," she said.

The Madian Gynecological Hospital in Beijing said the cost for a surgical abortion at their facility was between 300 to 400 yuan ($44-$59) and patients were not required to leave their name or identification number.

Whereas women in other countries might go ahead with an unplanned pregnancy, Hesketh said, the one-child policy has also made Chinese women "very choosy about when they want to have a baby."

"They want to control it, want to have the baby when it's convenient, like when they have enough money or have a big enough home, and if it's an inconvenient time, they won't go through with it," she said.

Rabbi's Ride for Life

Over the last eight years, Rabbi Glenn Harris has combined two of his passions, bikes and babies, to help raise approximately $35,000 for a local pregnancy care center. Since 2002, he’s been taking an annual trip on his motorcycle to various destinations and urging others to support him in his efforts to help women in unplanned pregnancies choose life for their unborn children.

In his latest journey, Rabbi Harris and five of his fellow bikers rode their motorcycles from his home in Birmingham and traveled around the lower peninsula’s lengthy and scenic shoreline returning home after 5 days and 1,150 miles. Using their connections with friends, family, congregation members and fellow bikers to get pledges, they were able to raise around $5,500 this year for the Care Net Pregnancy Information Center of Berkeley.

Right to Life of Michigan works with more than 100 pregnancy centers throughout Michigan to help ensure that women in unplanned pregnancies know that abortion isn’t their only choice. Right to Life of Michigan also reaches out to teens through advertisements on the popular search engine Google in the hopes of connecting them with the life-affirming web site www.teenbreaks.com.

Rabbi Harris encourages other prolifers to think of ways to use activities they’re already involved in to help the prolife cause by writing, “Anyone can do this. All it takes is a little imagination and a little faith in a very big God. The word of God (I Corinthians 10:31) urges us to glorify God in all of our activities. If there's something you already enjoy doing, why not find a way to direct it to God's glory and to the benefit of other people?”

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Prolife Michigan Democrat Leading Efforts to Keep Abortion Out of Health Care Reform

For years, Bart Stupak (D-MI) has been a leading voice for life in the Democratic Party. He’s co-sponsored various prolife legislative efforts including attempts to ban human cloning on the federal level.

Now he is leading the efforts of prolife Democrats in Congress to keep abortion out of health care reform legislation. He, along with other prolife Democrats, is currently pushing Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives to add language which guarantees that insurance companies won’t be forced to cover abortions, tax funds won’t be used for abortions and that prolife state laws will remain intact.
"I think if they do not have [the language] in there and President Obama says we are going to have a bill with nothing in there on abortion, I think it is going to backfire. I think we bring down the rule and it will be explicitly discussed in the health care plan one way or another," Stupak told Washington Unplugged's Michelle Levi after a press conference with Republican collegues on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

Stupak told CBS News that he feels confident that "a minimum of thirty nine" democrats would join him in opposing the legislation proposed by House leaders should the abortion language not be written in.

"If there is not direct language and we are denied our ammendment we will focus our attention on the rule," Stupak warned.

"I am optimistic that we will get an ammendment," in the House Energy and Commerce committee which has recessed their mark up of the health care bill in question, the congressman said. However, should the bill leave the committee without banning the use of federal money for abortions Stupak and his collegues will "demand" a house floor vote on the specific issue.


FULL STORY

Monday, July 20, 2009

Obama’s Budget Director Won’t Rule Out Health Care Bill Paying for Abortions

On Sunday, the White House Budget Director Peter Orszag told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that he wasn’t prepared to rule out abortions being funded by tax payers in the health care reform bill working its way through Congress.
On Sunday, Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag was asked if in the taxpayer dollars would not fund abortions in the government-funded, public health insurance plan President Obama is proposing.

"I think that that will wind up being part of the debate," Orszag said on Fox News Sunday. "I am not prepared to say explicitly that right now. It's obviously a controversial issue, and it's one of the questions that is playing out in this debate….I'm not prepared to rule it out.


FULL STORY

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Your Action Can Save Lives

Today go on record that you oppose abortion in health care reform. The message is: Abortion and abortion funding must be "explicitly excluded" from any health care/insurance reform legislation.

The U.S. Senate and U.S. House committees are presently working on health care reform packages including various amendments that will directly affect both abortion and rationing of health care. National proabortion groups see this legislation as an opportunity to mandate abortion and abortion funding. They will not need to pass the Freedom of Choice Act if they get vague wording inserted, (i.e. reproductive health services, family planning services, comprehensive health services) into the bills and if an appointed national health advisory board is part of the packages.

In addition, Planned Parenthood, the number one abortion provider in the United States, could reap millions of tax dollars from any bill that creates federally funded community women health clinics.

What are the ramifications if abortion is not explicitly excluded from health care/insurance reform?

- forced coverage of abortion by all health care plans

- nullification of state abortion laws and commonsense regulations protecting mothers and unborn children

- your tax dollars paying for abortions

- mandated establishment of abortion clinics

- elimination of conscience clause protections for doctors and health care workers

President Barack Obama and proabortion Congressional Leaders are determined to have bills passed this month before the public realizes the abortion flood gates being opened. Don't delay. Call today.

Action Item:

Call, fax and e-mail Senator Carl Levin, Senator Debbie Stabenow and your U.S. House Representative and let them know abortion and abortion funding must be "explicitly excluded " from any health care/insurance reform legislation.

Congressional Contact Information

We have no time to lose. There is no doubt your efforts to explicitly exclude abortion from health care reform will save the lives of thousands of unborn children. Please act today.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Study finds the unborn have memories

A study by researchers from the Netherlands published in the medial journal Child Development has confirmed that the unborn have memories. Using sound and vibrations, alongside of ultrasounds, the researchers discovered that unborn children have short term memory by at least 30 weeks of gestation.
On five occasions during the last eight weeks of their pregnancies, the women received a series of one-second buzzes on their bellies with a "fetal vibroacoustic stimulator," a hand-held diagnostic device used to gauge an unborn baby's heart rate and general well-being.

The baby's responses - primarily eye, mouth and body movements - were closely monitored over the weeks with ultrasound imaging to gauge "fetal learning" patterns. The researchers found that the babies acclimated themselves to the sounds and vibrations to the point that they no longer bothered to respond - a process known as "habituation."

"The stimulus is then accepted as 'safe' " by the babies, the study said.

The team also found that the tiny test subjects actually improved these skills as they grew older, with those who were 34- or 36-weeks old clearly showing that they had become familiar with the hum outside the womb.

FULL STORY

Monday, July 13, 2009

Senate panel votes to secure the reversal of Mexico City Policy

On July 9, 2009, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 17-11 to make it a law that international organizations who advocate for abortion overseas can receive international family planning funds. In the past, the Mexico City Policy prevented international family planning funds from going to organizations who provide and promote abortion in other countries. This policy was first enacted under President Reagan, reversed while President Clinton was in office, re-enacted under President Bush and then reversed again by President Obama a few days after taking office.

The House has already passed a version of this bill which doesn’t include this amendment. If a conference committee keeps the changes made in the Senate version of the bill, the next president wouldn’t be able to restore the Mexico City policy without the approval of Congress.

Monday, July 6, 2009

NIH releases final guidelines on human embryonic stem cell research

On July 6, 2009, the web site of the National Institutes of Health posted the final "National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research." These guidelines allow federal tax dollars to support research on human embryonic stem cell lines obtained from human embryos at in-vitro fertilization clinics.

The guidelines fail to require IVF clinics to inform couples considering donating their embryonic children to research about the possibility of embryo adoption if the clinic doesn’t offer any embryo adoption services. This means numerous couples with frozen embryos will never be fully informed about their options.

These guidelines follow President Barack Obama's March 9 executive order overturning President Bush’s limits on using federal tax dollars to fund research on new embryonic stem cell lines. Human embryonic stem cell research has not helped treat one human being and necessitates the killing of human embryos.

While President Obama and some researchers are focused on killing human embryos, others are working hard to find ways to avoid the ethical dilemma of killing human embryos for their stem cells. To date, more than 70 treatments from adult and umbilical cord blood stem cells have been used to help patients.

READ THE GUIDELINES

Michigan Abortionist Fined $10,000 after a Woman Dies in his Clinic

Alberto Hodari, an abortionist who owns various abortion clinics in Michigan has been fined $10,000 after the Disciplinary Subcommittee of the Board of Medicine found that he was negligent after the death of Regina Johnson.

Regina Johnson died of anoxic encephalopathy due to cardiac arrest in September of 2003 after receiving an abortion at one of Hodari’s abortion clinics. In August of 2007, Attorney General Michael Cox filed an administrative complaint against Hodari charging that he was negligent, incompetent and lacked a good moral character. It was recently discovered Hodari resolved this complaint order in March of 2009 by pleading no contest to the charge of negligence and agreed to pay a $10,000 fine to the state of Michigan.

Alberto Hodari has previously been in the news after the bodies of aborted children were found in the dumpster of one of his clinics in the spring of 2008 and after the death of Tamia Russell, a teenager who died in 2004 after Hodari performed a late-term abortion on her without her parent’s knowledge or consent.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Link Between Abortion and Premature Births

In the Lansing State Journal, Mollie Schweppe provides an explanation for why the number of premature/low weight births continues to rise despite the fact that pregnant women in the Lansing area are smoking less and receiving more prenatal care.
There is another factor contributing to low birth weight and premature births in these and all counties in Michigan - previous abortions. The abortion/premature birth link is the hidden reason why Michigan just can't seem to reduce incidences of low birth weight and premature birth.

A major European study released just this week in Amsterdam confirms that one previous abortion increases by 20 percent the risk of a future premature birth, with premature birth defined as birth at less than 37 weeks gestation. More than one prior abortion? The risk increases by 90 percent! In addition, more than one prior abortion doubles the likelihood of a premature birth at 34 weeks gestation or less. At that stage of prematurity, the child is much more likely to suffer from cerebral palsy, mental retardation, epilepsy or autism.

She then relates what this study means for women in Michigan.
Yet here in Michigan, when smoking goes down, teen pregnancy goes down, the number of women without prenatal care goes down, and premature births still go up, we all shake our heads, bewildered. Let's clear up the confusion: The culprit is abortion. Michigan residents had 24,006 abortions in 2007. For 52 percent of the women, it was their first abortion. Their risk of having a premature baby in the future has increased by 20 percent to 35 percent, depending on how premature birth is defined. For 48 percent of those women, it was their second abortion, or more. Their risk of having a premature baby has doubled. It's high time we face the fact that abortion does carry significant, long-term health consequences - and financial consequences.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

RLM Vice-President Explains Embryo Research Legislation

The Traverse City Record-Eagle has printed an editorial by Right to Life of Michigan Vice-President Joseph Kincaid in which he discusses the recently introduced Embryo Research and Fertility Clinic Transparency Act.

Kincaid writes,
As a result of the passage of Proposal 2 last November, human embryos stored in fertility clinics now qualify as research material and are up for grabs to research laboratories. Most human embryos remain protected from research, with the exception of those produced in "excess" of their parents' childbearing desires and can be designated for stem cell research.

While the election concerning the "leftover embryo" is over, many questions remain. Who decides which university or private research entity will be awarded the highly sought-after embryos? How many are there? What happens when the supply is depleted? Will additional "research subjects," whether human or human-animal hybrid, be manufactured to satisfy the demand? If steps are taken outside the provisions of Proposal 2, what are the penalties?

.....

Transparency and accountability are a must when it comes to this emerging scientific field. The purpose of this legislation is not to impose government regulation but to add transparency. For the first time in Michigan history, a population of human beings will be classified as "research material" and destroyed for their parts.

Without setting these policies in place, we face just the beginning of a field wide open to trafficking human clones into the state, mixing interspecies DNA through creating human-animal hybrids and other potential unspeakable acts of human experimentation.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Detroit News reporter Kim Kozlowski get embryo research facts wrong

In her article on the Embryo Research & Fertility Clinic Transparency Act, Detroit News reporter got a couple of basic facts wrong.

She claims the act is “a six-bill package introduced by Republican lawmakers” when two of the lead sponsors of the six-bill package are Democratic senators.

She also claims that Proposal 2 “allow(ed) research into potential therapies and possible cures” and “lift(ed) restrictions on stem cell research.” Proposal 2 did neither. Embryonic stem cell research had been taking place in Michigan since 2002. Proposal 2 allowed researchers in Michigan to experiment on and kill human embryos who were created for the purpose of fertility treatments.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Human Embryo Research Transparency Requested

In Michigan, the passage of Proposal 2 by a narrow margin in 2008 left many questions regarding human embryonic stem cell research in its wake.

To answer those questions, Democratic and Republican lawmakers have come together to introduce the Embryo Research and Fertility Clinic Transparency Act. The Embryo Research Transparency Act consists of several bills that would codify the wording of Proposal 2 into Michigan law. The package will fulfill the promise of its supporters that no human embryos will be created specifically for destructive research or be bought or sold for monetary value. The legislation would ban the creation of human-animal hybrids and amend the current ban on creating cloned human embryos to prevent trafficking of cloned humans into Michigan. The legislation would also require researchers and fertility clinics to file an annual report to ensure transparency, as well as require informed consent for parents before donating the human embryos.

This package consists of several bills that would codify the wording of Proposal 2 into Michigan law. The bills will not reverse any portion of Proposal 2. The purpose of this legislation is not to impose government regulation, but to add transparency. There are currently no federal or Michigan laws that govern the research and no procedures in place for enforcing violations of Proposal 2. For the first time in Michigan history, a population of human beings will be classified as “research material” and destroyed for their parts. Without setting reasonable policies in place, we face a wide-open field with great potential for abuse.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, "While we disagree with a form of research that destroys human life, if such research is to be conducted, strict guidelines and protection against further abuse are necessary. Supporters of Proposal 2 said that there would be careful oversight of research to prevent any abuses, we intend to make sure their promises are kept in Michigan law."

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