Morality In America

General Omar Bradley (February 12, 1893 – April 8, 1981) was a field commander of the United States Army who saw distinguished service in North Africa and Europe during World War II and later became General of the Army. He once stated:

“We have grasped the mystery of the atom and we have rejected the Sermon on the Mount. The world has achieved brilliance without conscience, our world is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.”

One of the moral issues facing America today is abortion. Not just abortion–late term abortion and deciding whether or not a baby who survives an abortion should be given a chance to live. Part of the problem is that abortion is a million-dollar industry partially subsidized by our government and at the same time making large campaign donations.

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about one of Speaker Pelosi’s guests at the State of the Union speech:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., invited Leana Wen, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, to be one of her guests at the State of the Union address.

Wen’s seat was not cheap. Affiliates of her organization spent millions to support Pelosi’s quest for the majority in the House of Representatives and the ultimately unsuccessful efforts by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to retake the Senate.

In total, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Votes — the arms of the Planned Parenthood Network allowed to engage in electoral politics under tax regulations — spent almost $6.5 million in outside spending supporting the election of Democrats to both houses of Congress in the 2018 midterm and special elections, according to FEC records compiled by OpenSecrets.

The article explains the current goals of Planned Parenthood:

Planned Parenthood didn’t spend large sums just to get face time with Speaker Pelosi or reward donors such as Wallace. Federal government programs channel $563.8 million to the Planned Parenthood network annually. To keep Pelosi and her allies in charge of the federal purse strings is to ensure the continued flow of taxpayer money to the organization and its affiliates.

Planned Parenthood also hopes to expand the scope of abortion law. Planned Parenthood-backed Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam recently sparked controversy when he defended a Planned Parenthood-backed repeal of certain limits on late-term abortions. Northam suggested that an infant delivered alive in a botched late-term abortion would “be kept comfortable” and “would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired.”

At the federal level, the Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funds from directly funding abortions except in extremely limited circumstances; Planned Parenthood would like to see these inconvenient restrictions removed.

So on “SOTU” night, full of kingly pomp and symbol, Leana Wen sat in Speaker Pelosi’s section. It was yet another symbol of a powerful special interest’s hold on a Congress it helped pay to elect.

If you do not support these goals, I suggest you get involved locally in order to elect people to Congress who share your beliefs. Otherwise, federally-paid-for-late-term abortions will become a reality in America.

 

Respecting The Wishes Of Pro-Life Americans

On Wednesday, Life News posted an article about some changes the Trump administration has made to ObamaCare health plans.

The article reports:

Today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a new rule directing insurers selling Obamacare plans that cover elective abortion to collect a separate payment from enrollees for that coverage, as required by law. Under the Obama administration, insurers were allowed to collect these payments together in violation of clear statutory language.

In 2018, taxpayer-funded Obamacare insurance plans in 24 states and the District of Columbia are allowed to cover elective abortion with an embedded abortion surcharge. In 10 of those states more than 85 percent of Obamacare plans cover abortion on demand, including seven states where every single Obamacare plan for individuals and families covers elective abortion.

I don’t want to make abortion illegal–I want it available on the rare occasions it is medically necessary. However, I don’t want to be forced to pay for abortions that take place simply because a child is an inconvenience.

Because the Senate Republicans broke faith with the American people, we still have ObamaCare. Hopefully that will change in the near future.

The article concludes:

National Right to Life President Carol Tobias added, “We applaud President Trump and his administration for enforcing the law and seeking to uphold the principles of the Hyde Amendment to prevent the use of tax dollars to pay for abortion coverage.”

Another leading pro-life group praised the Trump administration for issuing the new rule.

“We thank President Trump and HHS Secretary Azar for enforcing the law and providing much-needed transparency about Obamacare’s abortion coverage,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, in remarks to LifeNews.

She added: “Obamacare was the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion on demand since Roe. Then, the Obama administration went even further by allowing insurers to ignore the plain language of the law that said an abortion surcharge had to be collected separately. Instead, the Obama administration allowed the “separate” abortion surcharge to be collected along with regular premiums, effectively defining ‘separate’ to mean ‘together.’ Thanks to this trickery, millions of Americans have unwittingly purchased plans without knowing about the hidden abortion surcharge. Consumers deserve to know how Obamacare pays for abortion so they can avoid having their hard-earned dollars used to fund the destruction of innocent lives. Congress must still act to eliminate abortion funding from Obamacare, but until then, the rule issued today is an important step in the right direction.”

The law preventing taxpayers from paying for abortion has been in place for years. Those in Washington need to follow that law.

Another ObamaCare Promise Broken

CBN News is reporting today that under ObamaCare federal money will be paying for abortions, contrary to the Hyde Amendment passed in 1977. The Hyde Amendment bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion (with exceptions for rape and incest).

The article reports:

“One thousand-thirty six plans cover elective abortions and are subsidized by taxpayer funds,” Arina Grossu, with the Family Research Council‘s Center for Human Dignity, said.

“You not only can’t keep your doctor, you also can’t avoid supporting abortion if you’re a taxpayer in this country given Obamacare,” Ovide LaMontagne, general counsel of Americans United for Life, said.

The Hyde Amendment passed by Congress in 1977 has made it illegal for taxpayer money to pay for abortion. President Obama also pledged during negotiations over the Affordable Care Act that would continue.

Jeanne Monahan, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, said the opposite has happened.

“Obama promised up and down, right and left, that abortion would not be covered in the health care law, and that Americans could be assured on his promise that the Hyde protections that we’ve known since the 1970s would still be covered in the health care law,” Monahan told CBN News. “Well, unfortunately, we know now that President Obama has broken his promises.”

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J, has led efforts in Congress to stop the federal funding of abortion included in ObamaCare. A bill called HR7 has passed the House, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has refused to let the Senate vote on its version of that bill.

Unfortunately, we have two more years of the Obama Presidency, so it may not be possible to change this until 2016. However, polls indicate that most Americans oppose abortion, so an educational campaign letting Americans know that their tax money is being spent on abortion might be a really good idea. In the short term, we can elect Senators that will remove Harry Reid from his position and who will allow a bill banning federal funding of abortion to move forward. It would be nice to have a President who kept his promises.

Hobby Lobby At The Supreme Court

Yesterday the Supreme Court heard arguments in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties case about the companies’ right to manage their businesses according to the religious beliefs of their owners. Breitbart.com has a summary of some of the dialogue that went on in the Court.

Some of the highlights:

Former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, arguing for the plaintiffs, began, “When a federal government agency compelled employers to provide something as religiously sensitive as contraception, it knew that free exercise and RFRA claims would soon follow.”

He went on to quote RFRA’s language applying its protections to all federal statutes and regulations unless Congress specifically provides otherwise, both those already on the books and those to be enacted in the future. Congress later broadened RFRA to protect “any exercise” of religion, unless the government can show the burden on faith is the least restrictive means to accomplish a truly compelling public interest. This test is called “strict scrutiny” in constitutional law, an extremely demanding standard that few government actions survive.

…Sotomayor also pointed out that organizations have the option of dropping all insurance coverage and paying $2,000 per employee, per year, for violating what is called the ACA’s employer mandate. Clement objected that the Green family—owners of Hobby Lobby—consider it a form of Christian ministry to provide healthcare for their employees. He also said this was a choice for Hobby Lobby of between paying a $475 million penalty for violating the abortion mandate or a $26 million penalty for violating the employer mandate.

…Although it’s certainly not definite who won the case, at least four justices seemed to side with religious objectors over the Obama administration’s mandate, and very likely a fifth with Kennedy. (Even Justice Stephen Breyer said several supportive comments during argument, but it’s probably too much for the plaintiffs to hope they picked up a sixth vote.)

There are other issues regarding which millions of Americans are currently asserting religious objections. Hobby Lobby could include pronouncements on several principles which could tip those issues one way or the other in court.

The decision on the case will not be released until June.

The thing to remember in watching this case is that the case is not about birth control–it is about abortion. Healthcare plans at Hobby Lobby already provide for birth control–at issue is ‘after the fact’ birth control, which simply causes an abortion. The mandate in ObamaCare is the government’s first step toward federally-funded abortion, which is now illegal under the Hyde Amendment. If Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties can be forced to include abortion pills in their healthcare plans, despite the religious beliefs of their owners, the government will be able to limit the religious freedom of all Americans.

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The Impact Of The “Lie of the Year”

Yesterday CNN posted an article detailing some of the impact of the 2013 Politifact “Lie of the Year.”

The article reminds us of one of the deals made in order to pass ObamaCare:

Lest people forget, passage of the Affordable Care Act happened in part because Obama struck a deal with a single Catholic holdout: Bart Stupak, D-Michigan. Stupak agreed to vote for the bill in exchange for an executive order protecting conscience rights and preserving the Hyde Amendment‘s ban on the use of federal funds for abortion. Stupak had insisted on an amendment. Instead, he took the President’s word.

The President’s promise to protect conscience rights for American Catholics was broken quickly when HHS wrote the mandate that all health insurance policies written under ObamaCare must include coverage for birth control and abortion-inducing drugs.

The article reports:

This came after the President assured Catholics in his commencement address at Notre Dame that he would “honor the conscience of those that disagree with abortion and draft a sensible conscience clause” and after assuring Congress that “under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience protections will remain in place.”

…In the words of Stupak, “I am perplexed and disappointed that, having negotiated the executive order with the President, not only does that HHS mandate violate the executive order, but it also violates statutory law. I think it is illegal.”

The President is largely responsible for this invasion into the conscience rights of Catholics and other Americans who do not support abortion, but those in Congress who voted for the bill (without having read it) also need to be held responsible. ObamaCare is bad for the economy–it will be very expensive to implement–and it infringes on the religious rights of Americans. We have a Congressional election coming up in less than a year. I strongly suggest that any member of Congress who voted for and supported ObamaCare be voted out of office. I doubt we can repeal ObamaCare–the President would veto any repeal that reached his desk–but a new Congress may be able to defund it or change it enough to make it palatable to all Americans.

It is interesting to me that CNN,, usually a strong ally of the President, posted this article. There is a bit of a disclaimer at the top of the article explaining that it was written by Ashley McGuire, a senior fellow with The Catholic Association and is the founder and editor-in-chief of AltCatholicah, a Web magazine devoted to the exploration of faith and gender. Even so, CNN posted the article.

 

 

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