National Committee for a Human Life Amendment

Oppose Destructive Embryonic Stem Cell Research And Funding!

It's bad enough President Barack Obama wants to take away medical professionals' conscience protections to refuse to participate in procedures antithetical to their beliefs and values. Now, his administration is making it open season on embryos and some radicals in Congress want to go further. Here's the situation: No doubt you know of the president's executive order (see here) in early March to remove the restrictions on embryonic stem cell research put in place by former President George W. Bush — even though it flies in the face of recent medical breakthroughs (see here) and expert opinion, as we saw this week on his friend Oprah's show (see here).

Still, the National Institute of Health has published draft guidelines to carry out the directive, which would allow the use of federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying human embryos (unlike state funding, see here).

However, the public has a chance to be heard! As with the medical professionals' conscience protections rules, there is a public comment period. It ends Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Hundreds of you e-mailed your comments to Washington regarding the conscience protections debate when we asked you and we need you to do so again — and spread the word!

It's easy to send your comments. Our friends at the Virginia Catholic Conference today sent an alert explaining that the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment has set up a Web page with information on the issue and an e-mail system allowing you to express to your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators your opposition to the use of your tax money for the destruction of embryos for stem cell research. Click here for the NCHLA Web site.

But that's not all: The Catholic Conference informs us that:

". . . some members of Congress have already stated a desire to move forward with legislation in favor of an even broader policy that would encourage the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research."  

Not only is it horrible to contemplate government destroying life, but encouraging the harvesting of it for destructive research and using our hard-earned tax dollars to do so! If this research was so compelling, so likely to provide cures, private money by investors hoping to profit would fly into the equation. After all, there's a lot of money to be made on patents for cures and treatments.

The president and the hard left love to proclaim that we should follow the science and not the politics on this issue. As usual, it is the left purposefully twisting the argument because it is they who refuse to acknowledge the science that has produced 70-plus treatments and cures via adult stem cell research and zero from destroying embryos.

Reminder: Ask HHS To Keep Medical Professional Conscience Protections In Place!

A crucial reminder: Thursday, April 9 is the last day the federal Department of Health and Human Services will accept public comment on whether it should maintain, discard or otherwise change the conscience protections for medical professionals put in place only last December! We had a great response from many of you the last time we posted something about this, so for those who haven't e-mailed HHS, please do! Every comment matters, and you know Planned Parenthood and NARAL aren't staying silent. Not only is it unconscionable to make anyone, much less medical professionals, perform actions against their religious beliefs (such as abortion), it would have a disastrous affect as well: It would no doubt force religiously affiliated hospitals, such as Catholic-run hospitals, to close down rather than perform procedures contrary to their faith. Unfortunately, some would rather kow-tow to the extremist abortion-at-all-costs mentality than see this very real decimation to this segment of our health care system, one that provides millions of dollars of charitable health care each year. Pretty ironic — sad, really — coming from an administration so concerned with health care for those who can't afford it.

The amazing thing is that it's even come to this in America, where you supposedly are guaranteed freedom to practice your religion. Instead, a Christian nurse, for example, could be fired for not participating in an abortion if these safeguards are repealed.  

Cardinal Francis George, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called the current regulations "one part of the range of legal protections for health care workers — for doctors, nurses and others — who have objections in conscience to being involved in abortion and other killing procedures that are against how they live their faith in God."

Incredibly, the other side claims that repealing these regulations is necessary to increase medical care opportunities for those seeking certain services.

Writing HHS is simple: Click here for the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment and/or here for the U.S. Catholic Bishops, both of which have information to use in your comments as well as the HHS e-mail link; or, simply e-mail HHS from here at proposedrescission@hhs.gov.

Help Maintain Medical Conscience Protections!

Thanks to our friends at The Virginia Catholic Conference — who do fantastic work keeping up with federal issues, especially regulatory matters that don't require Congressional action and therefore aren't in a big a media spotlight — we have an urgent reminder that the Obama Administration is losing no time in trying to force medical workers of faith into providing services they find objectionable. On February 27, it announced its intention to remove current regulations, put in place by the Bush Administration late last year, that protect conscience rights in health care. On March 10, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a formal proposal to rescind these regulations, thereby activating a 30-day period for the public to submit comments. 

The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment has devised an Action Alert explaining why the regulations should be retained and providing directions on how to submit comments to HHS (click here). E-mail messages can be sent directly through the NCHLA Action Center. A preset message is provided, to which the sender can add personal comments. 

Please submit your comments before the April 9 deadline! 

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has set up a special Web site with that provides a wealth of information and resources on conscience protection (click here), including a link to the NCHLA Action Center message. We encourage you to visit that site and others to fully arm yourself on the issue.  

Churches are encouraged to display the NCHLA and USCCB links on their Web pages. Highlighting the critical importance of the current conscience regulations, Cardinal Francis George, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said:

They are "one part of the range of legal protections for health care workers — for doctors, nurses and others — who have objections in conscience to being involved in abortion and other killing procedures that are against how they live their faith in God." 

Removing these conscience regulations "would be the first step in moving our country from democracy to despotism."

The Obama HHS promises to be as destructive as ever toward the unborn. Its secretary-designate, Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic, was the most pro-abortion-on- demand governor in the country before her nomination. He extremist policy positions prompted Archbishop Raymond L. Burk to call her an "embarrassment" (Catholic News Agency). It will take every possible effort to counter the new adminstration's pro-abortion initiatives. Pro-life Virginia activists responded in numbers to impress upon the Bush Administration how important these medical professional conscience protections are (see previous commentary). A redoubled effort is required to convince the Obama Administration to retain them.

Freedom Of Choice Act Involves Neither Freedom Or Choice

The so-called Freedom of Choice Act again is before Congress. This dangerous legislation, called FOCA, would eliminate hundreds of pro-life laws and policies in every state as well as those in federal law. (Read the bills' summaries and status, sponsors, and other information, by clicking the bill numbers: The Senate bill number is S. 1173; the House bill number is H.R. 1964).

By imposing federal oversight on the states, this legislation would take away your rights to influence your state lawmakers to pass pro-life legislation by making Congress the only and ultimate authority on these critical issues. Hence, the Orwellian misnomer: It neither guarantees freedom or choice. Most assuredly, it limits representative democracy. This again reveals the shaky ground radical pro-abortion forces are on: If Americans overwhelmingly favor abortion on demand, as they claim, why are they afraid of letting citizen legislators and state electorates make those decisions? What's next, Congress deciding what doctors we can visit? (On second thought, don't ask.) 

We highly encourage you to contact your U.S. Representative (click here for list) and Virginia's two U.S. Senators (Jim Webb, here, and John Warner, here) and urge them to defeat these bills. The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment has a good briefing sheet on the bills (click here). Because of the seriousness of this threat to innocent life and our freedoms — for example, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops calls it "a grave concern" — please forward the information on this blog to as many pro-lifers as you can.

Many thanks to the Virginia Catholic Conference for its work in alerting thousands of Virginians to the dangers to these bills.