Pro-life protest on the US Supreme Court steps
40 years after the infamous Roe v. Wade ruling, where does America stand on abortion -- and how did
we get here?
(Posted by Bryana Johnson on April 27, 2013)
Abortion has been legal in the US since 1973, when the passage of Roe v. Wade divided the nation on lines that still separate the champions of unborn life from the advocates of the woman’s right to choose. For a generation of young adults who have no memory of the years before abortion was legal, it may seem that this conflict is interminable and has no end. However, while the battle is still raging as fiercely as ever, in recent years some signs have appeared that seem to indicate a shift in the tide of popular opinion.
In 2009, a Gallup poll indicated that the majority of American adults were identifying as pro-life, rather than pro-choice. Gallup commented, “This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in 1995.” Since that date, subsequent polls show that the pro-life majority has remained more or less constant.
What occasioned the shift? While it’s hard to say for certain, it’s undeniable that technological advances have enabled physicians and ultrasound technicians to gain more understanding than ever before of the nature of life inside the womb. 3D ultrasounds allow parents to see lifelike photographs of their unborn children and the vast accumulation of medical experience that has occurred since 1973 points relentlessly to the complexity and humanity of the fetus.
Disillusionment with the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, may also have something to do with the trend towards cultural acceptance of the pro-life message. Virgina-based student activist group, Live Action, started by then-fifteen-year-old Lila Rose, has generated nation-wide media coverage with their videos exposing Planned Parenthood corruption. Other reports from former Planned Parenthood employees have drawn attention to the massive fraud perpetrated against taxpayers by the abortion giant.
However, it is not far-fetched to surmise that the biggest factor influencing this astonishing and even unexpected trend is the accumulated testimony of hundreds who have come out of the abortion industry or have experienced abuse at its hands. From abortion survivors to post-abortive women, to former employees of abortion providers, to victims of botched abortions at the hands of physicians like Kermit Gosnell, the cries proclaiming the brutality of the industry have becoming impossible to ignore.
Nurse Kathleen Malloy of Jacksonville Florida writes of her own experiences in this disturbing fashion,
“I worked the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift, and when we weren’t busy, I’d go out to help with the newborns. One night I saw a bassinet outside the nursery. There was a baby in this bassinet – a crying, perfectly formed baby – but there was a difference in this child. She had been scalded. She was the child of a saline abortion.
This little girl looked as if she had been put in a pot of boiling water. No doctor, no nurse, no parent, to comfort this hurt, burned child. She was left alone to die in pain. They wouldn’t let her in the nursery – they didn’t even bother to cover her. I was ashamed of my profession that night! It’s hard to believe this can happen in our modern hospitals, but it does. It happens all the time. I thought a hospital was a place to heal the sick – not a place to kill. While doctors will go to extraordinary lengths to save the lives of premature babies such as these, babies born alive during abortions at the same age are left to die.
I asked a nurse at another hospital what they do with their babies that are aborted by saline. Unlike my hospital, where the baby was left alone struggling for breath, their hospital puts the infant in a bucket and puts the lid on. Suffocation! Death by suffocation!”
Supporters of legal abortion are quick to dismiss such heartbreaking anecdotes as addressing circumstances unique to late-term abortions, which they tout as being only a miniscule portion of abortions performed in the US. However, it is a telling observation concerning the entire industry that it has repeatedly opposed all legislation restricting these brutal late-term abortions. In a shocking incident in March, a Planned Parenthood representative from Florida went so far as to voice support for “post-birth abortions.” Fortunately for humanity, the vast number of Americans don’t concur, and the majority seems to be slowly but surely pulling away from this callous attitude.
Last month, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul introduced his long-awaited Life At Conception Act before the US Senate. Such bills have been ridiculed for years as useless, and dismissed as attempts on the part of politicians to pander to the pro-life voting bloc. But, despite the fact that Paul’s Life At Conception Act is unlikely to ever get a vote in the US Senate, there is still something different about this year’s bill.
What’s different is that this year, for the first time since the war on abortion became main-stream in the US, two states have already passed historic legislation stating that life begins at conception and that unborn persons must be afforded all of the rights and protections offered under the US Constitution to all persons.
Just a few years ago, it seemed this kind of legislation could never be passed. Yet Kansas’ bill was signed into law by Governor Sam Brownback last week, a testimony to how much can be done by dedicated activists with science on their side. The new law reads,
"On and after July 1, 2013, the laws of this state shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the unborn child at every stage of development, all the rights, privileges and immunities available to other persons, citizens and residents of this state, subject only to the constitution of the United States, and decisional interpretations thereof by the United States Supreme Court.”
The new law bans abortion providers from providing sex-education materials for schools and from accessing public funds or tax breaks. It also requires doctors to provide material about fetal development and resources to help pregnant women. Additionally, the law bans sex-selective abortions.
North Dakota’s bill has not yet been signed by Governor Dalrymple, but provides for a statewide referendum to be on the ballot in 2014.
Obviously, neither of the bills directly address the issue of banning abortion entirely. Legislators say they are hoping the new language will prompt a lawsuit that will end up at the Supreme Court level and result in the annulment of the infamous Roe v. Wade ruling. That they’ve made it that far is a cause for great jubilation in the ranks of the pro-life movement, and serious consternation among the supporters of legal abortion.(First posted at The Washington Times Communities.)
Planned Parenthood representative: babies born alive & breathing after abortion can be killed
(Posted by Bryana Johnson on April 1, 2013)
A baby was born alive during a botched saline abortion on April 6, 1977. Weighing just two lbs and severely injured by the abortion solution which had burned her skin, the child was premature and had cerebral palsy. Her parents, two young teenagers, released her to the foster care system of the state, and she was later adopted at the age of four. Gianna Jessen is now a recording artist, public speaker and pro-life activist who seeks to raise awareness regarding the rights of abortion survivors. She understands, in a way many of us cannot, the brutal nature of abortion and the value of laws that protect infants born alive. She knows that if someone at the hospital where she was accidentally born had not intervened on her behalf, she could have been left to die in a utility room on a heap of soiled linens.
In 2008, nurse Jill Stanek explained in a riveting and shocking video that many abortion survivors have not fared as well as Gianna. Many have been denied medical care and simply abandoned. As 2012 Presidential Candidate Ron Paul shared in his ad, “Life,” during his time as an ob/gyn doctor in Texas, he witnessed viable and breathing babies that were delivered after botched abortion procedures who were left to die, while premature babies born to expectant parents were given every consideration and surrounded by doctors and nurses fighting to prolong their lives.
It is incidents like these that have inspired “Born Alive” legislation all around the nation, providing legal protection for infants who survive an abortion procedure. This week, one such bill went up before a committee in the Florida House of Representatives.
Horrifically, although not surprisingly, the “Infants Born Alive” bill was challenged by the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. The Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates sent Alisa LaPolt Snow to present their case at the committee hearing. The video of her testimony is cringe-worthy and horrible, but profoundly indicative of the criminally callous nature of the abortion industry.
“It is just really hard for me to even ask you this question because I’m almost in disbelief,” Rep. Jim Boyd says to Snow. “If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?”
The response Snow has to give to his question is so reprehensible that she even seems embarrassed to give it. “We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician,” she manages to say.
Rep. Daniel Davis then goes on to probe a little deeper. “What happens in a situation where a baby is alive, breathing on a table, moving. What do your physicians do at that point?”
Snow bristles. “I do not have that information,” she replies. “I am not a physician, I am not an abortion provider. So I do not have that information.”
“I understand that you’re not a physician,” Evans rejoins. “But you do represent physicians who do perform this activity. Can you tell me what happens when a baby is alive on the table? At that point, what do they do with the baby that is struggling to live?”
“I don’t know,” says Snow hurriedly. “And, as it’s been referenced earlier, you know, we don’t know how prevalent this situation is.” Does she know that her statements are shocking to the civilized world as she pauses here and allows her eyes to dart about uneasily? Does it occur to her that even if the situation only happens once in the whole state of Florida, someone is going to be grateful someday for the law that gave them life? Someone, perhaps, like the beautiful Gianna Jessen?
Evans’ looks stunned as he appeals to the chairman. “I—I don’t know how else I can get an answer Mr. Chairman,” he says.
Rep. Jose Oliva addresses Snow again. “You stated that a baby born alive on a table as a result of a botched abortion, that that decision should be left to the doctor and the family. Is that what you’re saying?” The barbarity of this concept is hard to take in all at once.
Snow looks uncomfortable as she reiterates her earlier statement. “That decision should be between the patient and the health care provider.”
Oliva doesn’t miss a beat. “I think that at that point, the patient would be the child struggling on the table. Wouldn’t you agree?” he counters.
Snow pauses, caught off-guard. She laughs. “Uhh, that’s a – really good question. I don’t know how to – answer that,” she says. “I – uh, you know, I think – I would be glad to have more, you know, conversations with you about this.” She nods her head decidedly, signaling that she has nothing else to say. She has been defeated.
Or has she? In a civil, humane society, where vulnerable and innocent lives are respected, Snow’s little testimony would be a scandal and an abomination. To people who do honor and cherish the lives of babies, it is just that. Unfortunately, it’s not immediately clear that we do live in such a society. And when people like this woman hold high positions among us and lobby on behalf of the rights of adults to kill living children, my doubts get more and more pronounced.
The bill ultimately passed the committee on Wednesday.
Does the new birth control mandate "compromise" really do anything to protect religious freedom?
(Posted by Bryana Johnson on Feb 5, 2013)
The Obama administration sparked a massive controversy last year when it was announced that a new federal mandate would require all health insurers and employers to include coverage in their health plans for every form of contraception approved by the FDA. The mandate also required coverage for sterilizations.
Faith groups who teach against the use of contraceptives became immediately fearful that such a mandate would force violations of conscience. Some Catholics view every form of contraceptive use as sinful. A far broader base of Christian people accepts the use of most contraceptives but opposes the use of abortifacient “emergency contraception,” like the “morning-after pill.”
Unfortunately, the Obama administration did little to allay their fears. While the mandate included a religious exemption, it only applied to church organizations themselves. It did not apply to church-affiliated non-profit institutions, such as hospitals, or to employers. An amendment was proposed that would have made provisions for employers to “refuse to include contraception in health care coverage if it violated their religious or moral beliefs.” The Blunt Amendment was voted down 51-48 by the U.S. Senate last March.
Between then and now, nothing much has changed. After an unsuccessful appeal to the Unites States Supreme Court, the Christian owners of the craft store chain Hobby Lobby announced at the beginning of this year that they would refuse to add the contraceptive coverage to their employee insurance plan. According to NPR, their attorney stated that they consider the emergency contraceptives “tantamount to abortion.” The company faced up to $1.3 million a day in fines for defying the mandate. Two weeks later, however, it was learned they had discovered a way to delay the fines. Peter M. Dobelbower, the company's general counsel, stated, “Hobby Lobby discovered a way to shift the plan year for its employee health insurance, thus postponing the effective date of the mandate for several months.” But their time is running out.
Late last week, the Obama administration released a new version of the infamous birth-control mandate. Religious and pro-life groups were hoping the new regulations would spell out broader conscience rights for employers – like the Hobby Lobby owners – and institutions whose faith prohibits them from funding sterilization and various forms of contraception. Sadly, after examining the altered version of the mandate, pro-life legal groups have bad news. The new proposal barely changes existing policy and still allows for no business or individual opt-out, they say.
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, CEO and President of Americans United for Life, stated Friday, “With another phony compromise, the Obama Administration continues to insult the intelligence of the American people and trample our Constitutionally-guaranteed rights.”
LifeNews reports of the new proposal that it will not have any impact on businesses run by people of faith, such as Bible publisher Tyndale House or Hobby Lobby. They also explain that it “provides no options for individuals seeking plans that accommodate their values on the exchanges.”
So, what does the new proposal do? Well, the only major difference for people of faith seems to be that the religious exemption has been modified so that it no longer specifies that churches must have “inculcation of religious values” as their purpose and primarily employ and serve people of their same faith in order to qualify for the exemption.
This doesn’t sound like much of a concession, once you get down to it. The change only broadens the definition of a church for the purposes of the exemption, and does nothing to protect the conscience rights of for-profit employers and individuals.
The absurdity of this state of affairs is truly remarkable. To state it plainly, the Obama administration has conceded the right of churches to opt-out of participating in the funding of procedures their faith prohibits, but won’t provide the means for members of these same churches to avoid violating the dictates of their faith in their workplaces. What is the point of protecting the rights of a church as an institution and then trampling the rights of the individuals that comprise that same institution?
New report indicates Planned Parenthood ignoring Hyde Amendment, charging taxpayers for hundreds of thousands of abortion services
(Posted by Bryana Joy on February 20, 2012)
If you're concerned about the $330 million in taxpayer funding which Planned Parenthood currently receives each year, chances are you’re all-too-familiar by now with the Hyde Amendment: a legislative provision that’s supposed to bar federal funds from going to pay for abortions. My guess is that it’s been flung at you time and again if you’ve dared to suggest that your government shouldn’t be giving your money to the largest abortion-provider in the US when you are personally opposed to abortion.
The Hyde Amendment, of course , is utterly bogus, and it does nothing to protect pro-life people’s consciences and keep their money away from abortion. It does, however, stand as a legal assertion of the fact that it is unjust and immoral to force people who are staunch opponents of abortion to pay for them. For this reason, the Hyde Amendment is something that pro-life people should look on with fondness – if frustration – perhaps as a mother looks on a three-year-old child who wants to “help Mommy cook supper” but only succeeds in breaking dishes and burning herself on the stove. Unfortunately, a new report released by the Alliance Defense Fund suggests that Planned Parenthood is not content to use your money for graphic sex-education resources, birth control, and STI testing, but is determined to force you to pay for abortions as well.
The report, which found upwards of $99 million in waste or possible fraud, included evidence of illegal taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion-related procedures. LifeSiteNews reports that the 10 known audits which took place in California, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Washington state, uncovered numerous instances of financially questionable practices such as wrongly billing Medicaid for medications provided as part of an abortion in violation of the Hyde Amendment, overbilling for prescription drugs, dispensing prescription drugs – including oral contraceptives – without a prescription, double-billing, charging for medically unnecessary services, falsely claiming services were provided for family planning, and unsigned or missing documentation. The ADF report identified 12 types of potential fraud, and stated in one place that,
“ In New York alone during one four year period, it appeared that hundreds of thousands of abortion-related claims were billed illegally to Medicaid.”
Just last week, the Lufkin Daily News reported that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast is a defendant in a federal lawsuit after a former Lufkin clinic employee alleged a fraudulent multi-million-dollar billing scheme. The complaint names Karen Reynolds as the whistle-blower in allegations brought against her former employer of 10 years, Planned Parenthood.
According to Reynolds’ complaint, filed in October 2011, she was instructed by the organization to maximize billing revenue by fraudulently charging Medicaid and the Women’s Health Program for unwarranted services, services not covered by Medicaid, and services with patients did not receive. She says Planned Parenthood also falsified patient records, and claims these procedures were employed in in all 12 Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast locations across Texas and Louisiana.
The Lufkin Daily News has more disturbing details:
“An example given in the suit is Medicaid being billed for birth control counseling. The suit states almost all Women’s Health Program and Medicaid patients were handed a bag of at least two birth control devices despite the fact the items were not needed or requested by the patient. Pursuant to corporate policy and instructions from clinical directors, after merely handing the patient a bag of condoms and vaginal film on the way out the door, clinic employees then entered billing codes to be submitted to the government at an average billed cost of $57.85.”
In her complaint , Reynolds quotes a clinic memo as stating, “If the client [getting an abortion] is getting on birth control make this the focus of the visit and put a note in the chief complaints that the client had a surgical or medical abortion ‘x’ weeks ago.”
A former employee who was chief financial officer of Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles, P. Victor Gonzalez, claimed in a 2010 lawsuit that PPLA paid “$225,695.65 for Ortho Tri-Cyclen birth control pills, yet billed the government $918,084 – for a profit of $692,388.35.”
Steven Aden, vice president for human life issues and senior council at ADF, told LifeSiteNews,
"Americans deserve to know if their hard-earned tax money is being funneled to groups that are misusing it. Planned Parenthood has to play by the same rules as everyone else. It is not entitled to a dime of taxpayer funds, especially if it is committing Medicaid fraud."
It’s a good day to remember some words of Thomas Jefferson’s, which perhaps indicate that the statesmen who founded this great nation in turmoil and trials are spinning around and around in their graves this week:
"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. "(Originally posted at The Washington Times Communities)
Planned Parenthood chooses to ignore science and perpetuate the overpopulation myth
(Posted by Bryana Joy on December 28th)
Originally posted at The College Conservative “There is only one country in the world for which we project the median fertility to not fall below 2.1 children in the projection period between 2010 and 2100,” said the UN Population Division in the 2010 Population Estimates and Projections Revision. In their informative video series, Overpopulation Is a Myth, The Population Research Institute explains, ”by the end of this century, we’ll be losing 1 billion people every twenty years.”
The delusion that planet earth is overpopulated and spiraling into uncontrollable and unsustainable population growth is one of the most destructive myths of our time, and is responsible for the deaths of millions. From Paul Ehrlich’s ludicrously inaccurate predictions in The Population Bomb, to climate change alarmist Al Gore’s recommendation of “better choices” to curb what he considers excessive childbearing in developing countries, scare tactics have been shamelessly employed for the purpose of nurturing the big and burgeoning myth of overpopulation.
In 1970, President Richard Nixon signed a bill establishing the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future, known as the Rockefeller Commission, chaired by John D. Rockefeller III. Two years later, this same Commission released the 1972 Rockefeller Commission Report on U. S. Population. The report recommended,
“that present state laws restricting abortion be liberalized…such abortions to be performed on request by duly licensed physicians under conditions of medical safety. In carrying out this policy, the Commission recommends that federal, state, and local governments make funds available to support abortion services in states with liberalized statutes [and] that abortion be specifically included in comprehensive health insurance benefits, both public and private.”
Enter Roe v. Wade, the tragic landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme court to legalize abortion. There has been a lot of talk lately of yanking federal funding from the world’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, due to abuses uncovered by the Live Action video team and other investigators. While we’re commonly told that the Hyde amendment prevents taxpayer dollars from paying for abortions, this claim is so ridiculous that it hardly even merits a response.
But what if Planned Parenthood didn’t cover up child sex abuse or provide abortions? Then would it be OK to support them? I mean, what’s wrong with providing free condoms to couples who don’t want kids, right?
What many people – even pro-life people – don’t realize is that Planned Parenthood isn’t just about abortion. It’s about population control, and it always has been. Abortion is just a means to that end. In fact, it’s only one of many despicable means to that end. Get ready to be properly horrified, because I’m about to offer for your reading pleasure one of Planned Parenthood’s deepest, darkest secrets: The Jaffe Memo.
In 1969, Planned Parenthood was asked by the government to produce some ideas to help with overpopulation. They came up with a sheet of “Measures to Reduce U.S. Fertility,” known as The Jaffe Memo, after Planned Parenthood’s then-Vice President, Frederick Jaffe.
SEE THE JAFFE MEMO
This shocking table includes the following suggestions as policy changes suitable to an agenda of population control:
-Postpone or avoid marriage
-Alter image of ideal family size
-Compulsory education of children
-Encourage increased homosexuality
-Educate for family limitation
-Fertility control agents in water supply
-Encourage women to work
-Compulsory abortion of out-of-wedlock pregnancies
-Compulsory sterilization of all who have two children except for a few who would be allowed three
-Confine childbearing to only a limited number of adults
-Payments to encourage sterilization
-Payments to encourage contraception
-Payments to encourage abortion
-Abortion and sterilization on demand
Unfortunately, The Jaffe Memo is just one particularly frightening example of Planned Parenthood’s obsession with population control methods. Kirsten Powers explains,
“According to its most recent tax filing, the purpose of Planned Parenthood Federation of America is to provide leadership in ‘achieving, through informed individual choice, a U.S. population of stable size in an optimum environment; in stimulating and sponsoring relevant biomedical, socio-economic, and demographic research.’”
Okay, so Planned Parenthood is all about population control. But what’s the big deal? What’s wrong with population control efforts, as long as they are implemented through “informed individual choice”? I would answer that question with another question: how can it be the proper function of the government to take sides on such a controversial issue and spend taxpayer money to indoctrinate the population? Are our reproductive rights not being violated when the government uses our money to fund organizations that have suggested such far-fetched and ridiculous ideas as those in the Jaffe Memo? Are we being fairly treated, citizens of the United States? Or are we being brainwashed?
In addition to all of this, there’s one other really big point that makes the taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood utterly ridiculous: overpopulation is a myth! Human Life International puts it best:
“Over the past 40 years, there has been much disagreement over whether or not population control programs are necessary for those nations with the most rapidly growing populations. There can be no disagreement now, however, except among those organizations whose incomes depend upon it. The time for population control has come and gone. It is now necessary to plan ahead. We have successfully averted a ‘population explosion,’ and now we must work just as hard to avoid a ‘population implosion.’”
The problem is that fertility rates are dropping worldwide, and while the population may be going up right now, growth is actually going to start slowing very soon. When the government gives taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood, they are forcing you to contribute monetarily to an outdated cause that is not supported by science. You are being coercively required to fund the dramatic population decline of the human race.
Lila Rose, President of Live Action
The Obama administration's staunch defense Planned Parenthood hurts women and raises some serious questions about the pro-choice movement's concern for women's health
(Posted by Bryana Joy on December 20th, 2011)
Investigative journalists from Live Action conducted a series of “sting” operations on Planned Parenthood clinics in January of this year. Actors posed as a pimp and a prostitute working a child sex ring and asked for advice on how to skirt legal requirements designed to protect minors from sexual abuse. Clinic workers offered assistance and suggestions, going out of their way to aid the supposed pimp. Needless to say, the tapes caused quite a stir, and prompted some Americans to rethink the issue of Planned Parenthood’s government funding. Planned Parenthood Federation of America is an abortion provider that also offers other reproductive health services. Planned Parenthood received 360 million dollars of taxpayer money in 2009, and about one third of its funds are supplied by government grants and contracts. As a result of the sting videos, there was an effort to defund the organization at the federal level, with an amendment which passed the house but died in the senate. Nonetheless, several states have decided on their own to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, including Indiana, Kansas, New Jersey and North Carolina.
Once these states’ intentions were made known, it didn’t take long for things to get ugly. The Obama administration declared Indiana’s measure illegal and ordered the state to restore the family planning funding to Planned Parenthood. If Indiana did not comply, it would lose its 4.2 billion dollars of Medicaid money – the government aid funds that are utilized by low-income women. The administration also warned that other states’ Medicaid funds would be in jeopardy if they chose to follow Indiana’s example.
This heavy-handed federal action was accompanied by a flood of accusations of the usual sort leveled at pro-life activists. President Obama stated that Republicans were trying to “turn back the clock” on women’s health. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards called Indiana’s measure,
“a dangerous bill that would have a devastating impact on women’s health and take away health care from thousands of women in Indiana, leaving them at greater risk for undetected cancers, untreated infections and unintended pregnancies…” Unfortunately for Cecile Richards, the truth of the matter is that there are over 800 Medicaid providers in Indiana and Planned Parenthood only serves 1% of Medicaid patients. Under the law that Indiana passed, a Medicaid patient trying to set up an appointment for feminine care with Planned Parenthood will simply be referred to a nearby primary care physician and provided with the same health services. Live Action tested this in a series of calls to Indiana Planned Parenthood clinics. Indiana’s law, which has been suspended pending a decision from the 7th Circuit of Appeals Court, would not have kept a single woman from her Medicaid money or her healthcare. The Obama administration’s decision to suspend Indiana’s Medicaid money is a threat to thousands of women’s health care plans.
In July 2011, Texas governor Rick Perry signed into law a bill that effectively defunded Planned Parenthood in the state of Texas. SB 7 also prevents hospital districts from using local tax funding for elective abortions, and encourages adult stem cell research by giving health officials authority to regulate adult stem cell banks. But when the Texas Health and Human Services Commission submitted a request for federal funding of the state’s Medicaid Women’s Health Program earlier this month, the Commission was told that it would have to defy the new law if it wanted the money.
What this means is that the Obama administration won’t provide money for Texas’ Medicaid Women’s Health Program unless Texas gives a portion of that money to Planned Parenthood and allows Planned Parenthood to be among the Medicaid providers. And this in spite of the fact that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) did give Texas a waiver allowing Texas to move all Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries to doctors in managed care plans. Tom Suehs, HHSC’s executive commissioner, said in a statement that the denial of funds was itself “inconsistent with federal law,” since states have the right to “establish qualifications for Medicaid providers.”
Perhaps Texas Gov. Perry said it best when he accused the Obama Administration of “holding women's health care hostage because of Texas' pro-life policies.” While we’re always hearing claims from pro-choice groups that opponents of Planned Parenthood don’t care about women’s health, the shoe is definitely on the other foot in this case. Women’s health may be important to the Obama administration, but what’s more important to them is that it be provided by Planned Parenthood. And if it can’t be – well, tough. It’s the government-sanctioned clinical program or the highway. (Originally posted at the Washington Times Communities)