The Hill

Pro-Abortion Forces Using More Scare Tactics As Abortion Center Regs Get Closer

The offseason of any professional sports league often is referred to as the "silly season" because there is nothing in the way of competition to report, so reporters, fans, talking heads and online pundits feed their hunger on rumors and speculation on free-agent signings, potential trades and coach firings. Well, there's nothing else to do and you have to keep interest up, right? It's sort of the same thing in politics — when the General Assembly isn't in session (okay, it actually still is in session and Governor Bob McDonnell is none too pleased, but that's another subject) there are some who jusssssst can't resist. Planned Parenthood is one such group. It just has to stir the pot. Maybe it's the summer heat. Maybe it's a way to shake loose some dollars from donors. Who knows? But now that abortion centers finally will have some oversight, the world is coming to an end. It's the same old scare tactics.

The lovely irony that it doesn't admit to, though, is that for years pro-life groups worked for legislation that would have required only three simple requirements for abortion centers: an annual inspection, a defibrillator and a license — bush league stuff in the progressives' world of all-seeing, all-doing government. But they never went in for these reasonable regs, which are less than puppy mills require, playing the "extreme" card and claiming these simple common sense ideas would shut down abortion centers. The only thing extreme was Planned Parenthood's language. It showed the hypocrisy of the pro-abortion movement. So rote is the Planned Parenthood reaction that one year during committee debate, its lobbyist went through an entire laundry list of things that were in the bill and the dastardly things they would do except that none of those assumed regulations were in it. Read the bill! But by all means, do nothing to protect women's health, never mind the unborn.

Which brings us to yesterday. Planned Parenthood now rails against unknown proposed regulations that are months away from being promulgated, much less implemented (see transcript and video from NBC12's Ryan Nobles). It goes without saying, however, that the world is crashing down around us (economically, sure, but it's so passe to count job losses) and the mean social conservatives are imposing their religion on us. Are you scared yet? Of course, South Carolina has very strict abortion center regulations (which have been ruled constitutional) and that state seems to function quite well (except when the Obama administration tries to stop thousands of jobs from coming there to appease union bosses, see NRTWC Blog), but again, jobs are irrelevant these days, see The Hill). None of that matters. None of it! Because, it's the silly season.



Deception Reigns At Planned Parenthood

For an organization that has at the root of its business model the destruction of human life, it's not surprising that Planned Parenthood has had to resort to deception to defend itself after taking some of its worst PR hits in its history. But the more Americans learn about Planned Parenthood, the less they like. Purporting itself to be the arbitrators of "women’s health care," it has successfully siphoned more than $300 million a year of taxpayer dollars out of the economy. Planned Parenthood defenders in the General Assembly, Congress and the media are quick to claim that the majority of services provided by Planned Parenthood are not abortion related. If you weren't paying attention you'd think that without your money being diverted to its coffers women would not have access to any health care.

That, of course, ignores the truth. Now, former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson and many others are finally exposing Planned Parenthood for what it is — and what we've said it is all along. The organization has had to resort to deception and hiding behind the White House to protect its public financing.

Most recently, in the debate over federal funding for the nation's largest private supplier of abortion, Planned Parenthood apologists made the assertion that abortion amounts to only three percent of the organization's services (a claim we've heard over and over again in the General Assembly). For an organization that has at its core abortion and the politics of abortion, this claim makes no sense, yet politicians and pundits alike have puppeted the talking point.

According to Johnson, in an editorial she wrote for The Hill:

Planned Parenthood's claim that abortions make up just 3 percent of its services is also a gimmick. That number is actually closer to 12 percent, but strategically skewed by unbundling family planning services so that each patient shows anywhere from five to 20 "visits" per appointment (i.e., 12 packs of birth control equals 12 visits) and doing the opposite with abortion visits, bundling them together so that each appointment equals one visit. The resulting difference between family planning and abortion "visits" is striking.

Further proof of Planned Parenthood's emphasis on abortion is the directive that recently came down from Planned Parenthood's national headquarters mandating that all its affiliates provide abortions by 2013. In addition, its adoption referral number is appalling, and has been decreasing exponentially for years. Per Ms. Johnson:

. . . 98 percent of Planned Parenthood's services to pregnant women are abortion.

That's just the beginning. It also made the claim that it provides cancer screenings such as mammograms, but the truth is that it simply refers women to facilities that do mammograms, something any free clinic can do. No Planned Parenthood clinic has the equipment to do mammograms (of course, those would cost money, and based on what we've seen in the debate over abortion center regulations, safety is not a high priority for Planned Parenthood).

Of course, nearly every "service" provided by Planned Parenthood, with the exception of its primary money winner — abortion — can be done at free clinics and can be paid for through Medicaid or Medicare. There is absolutely no reason that an organization that has faced accusations ranging from targeting African Americans for abortion to covering up sexual abuse of underage girls should be subsidized by taxpayers. But you knew that already.

In Virginia, we have successfully defunded Planned Parenthood by exposing the money that was being diverted to its clinics. But this reminder seems fitting during tax season: Our federal government continues to provide more than one third of this political organization's budget with your tax dollars.

In Virginia, Planned Parenthood continues to advocate for more money, freedom from minor regulations, and against every single attempt at helping women make a better choice for their unborn children. If a proposal is going to reduce the number of abortions in Virginia, it is sure to oppose it, including funding successful abstinence education programs.

The good news is that this year, we were able to defeat Planned Parenthood over and over again. From passing abortion center safety regulations to abstinence funding to protecting taxpayers from underwriting abortion in Virginia’s health insurance exchange, to defeating its legislative agenda, Planned Parenthood suffered overwhelming defeats this year.

Let's pray we can build on this momentum!

While Some May Want A Truce On Social Issues, Governor McDonnell Says Press On

While some Republicans, in Virginia and nationally, think the time has come and passed on "social issues" (i.e., preserving life and marriage), and that elections can be won only from the "center," Governor Bob McDonnell has some news for you. Social issues matter and they are worth the fight. Charlottesville television station NBC29's RichmondReport conducted an interview (read here) with the governor and posted the video online today. He was asked if there should be a "truce on social issues," perhaps in response to Indiana governor and potential GOP presidential candidate Mitch Daniels, who created headlines last year when he said there should be a "truce" on social issues (i.e., throw in the towel, traditional marriage supporters and pro-lifers). Last week, Governor Daniels reiterated that position unapologetically in The Hill.

Equally unequivocal, Governor McDonnell said that while people tend to think first about jobs and fiscal issues during a tough economy, there are certain issues that must always be discussed because they go to the core of our founding, most especially life. He added that issues regarding the family are a significant aspect of public policy and government has a place in looking for solutions to problems affecting families and in making them stronger.

From the interview:

I believe that’s very much what the focus ought to be on right now, but to say we’re not going to discuss any social or values issues because they’re controversial, I don’t think is the right thing to do. ...

There are (issues) regarding life and marriage and family that there are public policies that I think the government needs to set. ...

No truce here, carry on: Governor McDonnell affirms the importance of life, marriage and other "social issues" in public policy that some politicians prefer to ignore.

QOD: Chamber Of Commerce President Says It Best About DISCLOSE Act

U. S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donahue said it best about the DISCLOSE Act. Never one to shy away from the attention grabbing quote going back to his days at the American Trucking Associations (that's right, it's plural), Mr. Donahue qualifies for our first federal Quote of the Day. From The Hill's On The Money Blog, by Jay Heflin:

The fact that this assault to the First Amendment is being considered as millions are desperately looking for work is a complete outrage. Despite their best efforts, there is no back room dark enough, no partisan motive strong enough, and no cynicism profound enough to barter away Americans' freedom of speech.

As we mentioned posted yesterday, the DISCLOSE Act is a backroom deal of the most nefarious kind to limit what groups outside labor unions and selected others can do and spend on political campaigns, and Mr. Donahue nailed it in the second sentence. (Wasn't the new regime going to end backroom deals?) We do have one concern. Whether deserved or not, the Chamber itself has had a history of flirting with the forces in D.C. not necessarily enamored with free markets and free ideas, as long as it and its members got what it needed. Crony capitalism as it's called. Being "pro business" doesn't mean a politician is for free markets, liberty and constitutionally limited government.

Finally, however, some are waking up to the reality of what happens when you swim with the sharks and lay with the lions too long. At first, you get a bit of a high — untouched in the proximity of such man eaters — thinking you actually can get along with them, cut your own deals, and leave each other to pursue separate agendas. But, in the end, they still are sharks and lions and they have their own instinctive agendas — to rule the seas and jungles. When they want their dinner, they don't care who you are or what you've done together in the past. They need to be satisfied and, if you are in their way, and inevitably everyone is, you will be eaten because what they eat is all the same to them.

Make No Mistake: Abortion Coverage IS IN The Government Run Health Care Bill

Courtesy of our friends at the Family Research Council, below are eight documented facts about the inclusion of abortion funding or mandates in the so-called health care "reform" bill. You can click here, as well, to get them in a PDF document.

Eight Reasons Abortion Is in the Health Care Overhaul

1. The legislation specifically includes it. The President’s bill to amend the Senate bill leaves several abortion provisions in place. In Section 1303 it allows tax credit subsidies for plans that include abortion and leaves the abortion surcharge in place. It maintains the proposal to create a multi-state plan that includes abortion in Sec. 1334. Even worse, it would increase the Senate bill funding from $7 billion to $11 billion for community health centers in Sec. 10503 without any abortion funding restrictions. (H.R. 3590, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.)

2. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has said it is. "And I would say that the Senate language, which was negotiated by Senators Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray, who are very strong defenders of women’s health services and choices for women, take a big step forward from where the House left it with the Stupak amendment, and I think do a good job making sure there are choices for women. ... That would be an accounting procedure, but everybody in the exchange would do the same thing, whether you’re male or female, whether you’re 75 or 25, you would all set aside a portion of your premium that would go into a fund." ( "Sebelius: Everyone will pay into abortion-coverage fund".)

3. Senate Democrats refused to ban it. Instead of allowing for an up or down vote on a Senate amendment similar to the Stupak Amendment in the House which bans federal funding of abortion, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) "tabled" the amendment, effectively killing it. This was the only amendment dealt with in this way. (Vote No. 369 S.Amdt. 2962 to S.Amdt. 2786 to H.R. 3590.)

4. House Pro-life Democrats, who support a government takeover, say it is. "The Senate language is a significant departure from current law and is unacceptable." (U.S. Representative Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), February 23, 2010, CBS News) … "I think abortion’s wrong. The problem is that I’ve lived too long. When they say they can keep this money separate, I just don’t believe it." (U.S. Representative Marion Berry (D-Ark.), March 6, 2010, Arkansas News.)

5. House Pro-abortion Democrats say it is. "The good news is that the Senate bill does allow [abortion coverage]," (Chairwoman of the House pro-abortion caucus, Dianne DeGette (D-Colo.), March 5, 2010, Washington Post.)

6. The Abortion industry has sent out alerts in favor of it. The abortion giant Planned Parenthood sent out alerts on March 6, 2010: "President Obama’s health care reform proposal would make a real difference for the women and families who rely on Planned Parenthood. . . . and [the bill] significantly increase access to reproductive health care." (Planned Parenthood alert, March 6, 2010.)

7. Candidate Obama said it would be included, and the Obama administration includes it in its definition of reproductive health care. Presidential candidate Barack Obama stated he "believes that reproductive health care is basic health care." ( questionnaire, 2008.) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton followed up on this in 2009: "Reproductive health care includes access to abortion." (The Cloakroom Blog: "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, April 22, House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing.")

8. House Democratic Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has indicated he wants to "fix" the abortion coverage problem in the Senate bill. "House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday that lawmakers could draft separate pieces of legislation with abortion language to earn the support of anti-abortion rights Democrats on healthcare reform legislation." (March 4, 2010: The Briefing Room, The Hill's blog.)

But if those eight facts aren't enough to convince your "pro-life" friends who are convinced that anything out of "the annointed one's" mouth is truth, or just can't bring themselves to doubt such "moderate" and "Blue Dog Democrats" such as U.S. Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) or our own Mark Warner, here's 12 more facts and reasons, courtesy of The Cloakroom.

Still not sure? Then check out FRC Action’s resource page: "Standing Against the Government Takeover of Health Care," as well as why the Hyde Amendment does not apply to the current bill: "Q and A: Government Health Care and Abortion." Please disseminate this information by using the share program, e-mailing this link to friends and/or posting it to your own social networking sites.