Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Video: Medicare & Rationing

National Right to Lfie President Carol Tobias discusses the rationing provisions affecting the Medicare program under the Obama Health Care law enacted by Congress in March 2010:

Court of Appeals Ruling Allows Federal Funding of Embryo-Killing Stem Cell Research

WASHINGTON – Today, overturning an earlier preliminary injunction by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 to allow continued federal funding of embryo-killing stem cell research. Last year, Judge Lamberth enjoined using federal money for research that requires the killing of human embryos, but the decision today will allow embryo-killing research to continue being funded with federal dollars while the lawsuit proceeds.

“Given the tremendous advances in medical research using stem cells derived from ethical sources, it is tragic that a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled to allow the Obama Administration to continue federal funding of the kind of stem cell research that requires killing human embryos,“ said David O’Steen, Ph.D, Executive Director of National Right to Life. “Study after study continues to show that treatments developed using stem cell research that does not require killing a living human embryo has shown far more progress than research that destroys the tiniest members of the human family.

“National Right to Life will continue working for the day when all unborn children, regardless of their stage of development, are protected by our laws and not subject to destruction or experimentation.”

 

The National Right to Life Committee is the nation’s largest pro-life group with affiliates in all 50 states and over 3,000 local chapters nationwide. National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.

 

 

 # # #

Nashville Wrap-Up

After 7 days gone and hundreds of miles on the road we’re home from Nashville and the annual National Religious Broadcasters convention.  We met with hundreds of pro-lifers and broadcasters from across the country and around the world while we were in Nashville.  We saw old friends and caught up with Pro-Life Perspective station partners.  And we made new friends in the fight for life.  (And, we ate some wonderful local meals.  If you’re ever in Nashville, you have to make the the trek to the Loveless Cafe).

The photos below should give you a better summary of our last few days on the convention floor than just writing about it…as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!

P.S. If you haven’t seen our “I Am National Right to Life” video produced by the students of SAGU, you need to go take a look! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O_6MBdugPM

Also…spread the word.  Copy and paste this tweet into your Twitter and/or Facebook feed! 

I am National Right to Life http://youtu.be/2O_6MBdugPM. Are you? Join #NRLC today!

Jess caught up with John Schneider (Bo Duke from "The Dukes of Hazard" who was at NRB promoting a new movie.

Olivia takes some time to sit down with an old friend and pro-life activist.

Olivia making a live appearance from the convention floor on American Family Radio

AFR's video feed in their booth while Olivia was live on air.

It's always a joy to see our friend Janet Parshall, host of "In the Market with Janet Parshall" on Moody Radio

“Berwick is a one-man death panel” – NRLC Reacts to Berwick HHS Appointment

“Donald Berwick is a one-man death panel.”

 

NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE REACTS TO APPOINTMENT OF DONALD BERWICK TO HEAD HHS’ CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES

WASHINGTON – Today, President Obama used the power of the recess appointment to install Donald Berwick as the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), in an attempt to avoid examination, through the pending confirmation process, of Berwick’s well-documented support for rationing health care.

“The Obama recess appointment of rationing advocate Donald Berwick to head the key government agency that will apply the new health care law is disastrous news for the vulnerable, especially the elderly and the sickest of American patients,” said Burke Balch, J.D., director of National Right to Life’s Powell Center for Medical Ethics.

Confirmation of Berwick would have faced strong opposition from pro-life Republican senators appalled by his open advocacy of government-imposed rationing of medical treatment. In a June 2009 interview with the journal Biotechnology Healthcare, Berwick said, “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care – the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

In an article in the May/June 2008 issue of Health Affairs, he called for “rational collective action overriding some individual self-interest” so as to “reduce per capita costs.” Lamenting that “[t]oday’s individual health care processes are designed to respond to the acute needs of individual patients,” Berwick wrote that instead government should “approach new technologies and capital investments with skepticism and require that a strong burden of proof of value lie with the proponent.”

Berwick’s advocacy of the decimation of American health care is long-standing. In a 1994 Journal of the American Medical Association article, he wrote, “Most metropolitan areas in the United States should reduce the number of centers engaging in cardiac surgery, high-risk obstetrics, neonatal intensive care, organ transplantation, tertiary cancer care, high-level trauma care, and high-technology imaging.”

“Donald Berwick is a one-man death panel,” said David N. O’Steen, Ph.D., National Right to Life executive director. “While Americans may not remember the agency he heads, he will quickly become known as Obama’s rationing czar.”

 
Berwick is also an enthusiastic supporter of Britain’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), the agency charged with determining which medical advances will – and which will not – be made available to the British public. Berwick claims NICE has “developed very good and very disciplined . . . models for the evaluation of medical treatment from which we ought to learn.” England’s five-year cancer survival rate for men is only 45%, compared with 66% in the U.S. That for women is 53%, compared to 63% in the U.S. (See: Arduiono Verdecchia and others, “Recent Cancer Survival: a 2000-02 period analysis of EUROCARE-4 data,” Lancet Oncology, 2007, no. 8, pages 784-796.)

The difference can in large measure be attributed to the refusal of NICE to authorized British use of pioneering cancer drugs routinely available in the United States. That is to say – currently routinely available in the United States – an availability Berwick will soon be using the power of government to curtail.
“President Obama’s appointment of this open advocate of rationing to implement his health care law underlines the need for repeal before untold numbers of vulnerable Americans suffer death from denial of life-saving treatment,” O’Steen added. “The Obama health care rationing law must be repealed and voters need to remember its deadly provisions in November.”

The National Right to Life Committee is the nation’s largest pro-life group with affiliates in all 50 states and over 3,000 local chapters nationwide. National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.
# # #

The Convention Wraps Up

After the excitement of Boehner’s keynote speech, the convention wrapped up on Saturday with an afternoon of workshops and the closing banquet, with Monsignor James Lisante.

We’ve all had a blast in Pittsburgh, and we leave the convention this week refreshed and renewed in our commitment to life. We hope you enjoyed the updates.

Continue to post, blog, and tweet your pro-life opinions! We are making a difference!

John Boehner’s Speech at NRLC 2010: Liveblog

I’m live-blogging John Boehner’s speech at the National Right to Live Convention at 10:30 EST. Also, live-tweeting at the NRLC Communications Twitter: www.twitter.com/nrlcomm

10:20 AM: Setting up in the Grand Ballroom. They’re handing out American flags, and there’s excitement in the air.

10:24 AM: Found online that portions of Boehner’s prepared remarks were leaked to Human Events. http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=37715

10:30 AM: Running a little late, it seems. There are 17 American flags lining the stage for the speech. They should look good on C-SPAN, who’s here filming the speech for a taped broadcast later this month.

10:35 AM: Darla St. Martin, Co-Executive Director of National Right to Life, takes the stage and begins the introductions. She says: “There’s an awakening across this country about unborn children.”

10:39 AM: Darla introduces the 8 people sitting on stage, and there are plenty of heavy-weights, including Attorney General Tom Corbett, Congressman Tim Murphy, Wanda Franz, President of NRLC, and of course Boehner.

10:42 AM: Corbett welcomes NRLC attendees to the state, and makes me laugh with: “Who’s from out of state? Come here and spend money! We have a problem with our budget and we sure could use your help.” Yeah, you and every other state in the union.

10:46 AM: Corbett signals his solidarity with pro-life causes: “We must remain hopeful and committed to protecting the vulnerable. I believe that’s how as a society we will be judged.”

10: 51 AM: Congressman Murphy’s turn. He rips on taxpayer funding of abortion, particularly in the health care bill. He says: “Abortion is not something we should fund with tax dollars. Life has struggles, but also infinite joys and opportunities.”

10: 54 AM: David O’Steen, Executive Director of NRLC, introduces a power-point with statistics showing that pro-lifers outnumber pro-aborts for the first time in polling history. “Today in America, the normal is to be pro-life. More people identify as pro-life than pro-choice.”

10: 59 AM: O’Steen says 65% of Americans disapprove of the current federal funding of abortion, and 61% do not want government healthcare providing any funding for abortion.

11:01 AM: O’Steen gets brings it back around to elections. “To answer a question from 2008, yes, we have hope. And we will remember in November.”

11:03 AM: NRLC Legislative Director Karen Cross takes over, saying pro-lifers are “encouraged” by recent developments. “The survivors of Roe v. Wade are not just embracing the pro-life position, they are acting on their convictions.”

11:05 AM: Karen points out encouraging signs. “After the 08 election, we were told: it was over. Your presence here is evidence that we did not pack our bags and go home.”

11:06 AM: Karen sends out a political call to action: “With your energy, enthusiasm and determination, we can make this year a turning point for our country and our culture.”

11: 06 AM: Darla St. Martin comes back to the podium to introduce Boehner, and accidentally introduces him as the “House Speaker.” She laughs and says, “I’m getting ahead of myself!”

11:07 AM: John Boehner gets another standing ovation when he walks to the podium. There are a lot of flags being waved.

11:11 AM: Darla holds onto the podium for a minute, telling the audience that Boehner has been a “major impediment to the abortion agenda, the ObamaPelosiReid agenda.”

11:13 AM: Boehner can’t start speaking yet because people are going crazy. It’s the third standing ovation for him and he hasn’t even started speaking.

11:13 AM: Boehner says, “I know that the program says I’m here to accept an award, but it’s not my work that we should be celebrating, it’s yours.” A line we’ll be quoting for years.

11:14 AM: Boehner talks about his background and history, saying that pro-life positions were simply assumed when he was growing up. “Respect for life has never been a political position for me, it’s just who I am,” he says.

11:16 AM: “Americans love life and freedom. They’re intertwined in American character. Without respect for life, freedom is in jeopardy.”

11: 17 AM: Boehner is either crying or has allergies. He looks like he’s tearing up when he says, “There’s nothing more defenseless than an unborn baby.”

11: 18 AM: Boehner starts talking about action. “If you believe in being right to life, being quiet right now isn’t good enough.”

11: 21 AM: Boehner runs through the laundry list of pro-abortion Obama policies, criticizing them in turn. He rips on embryonic stem-cell research, Obama’s relationship with Planned Parenthood, and the push to allow abortions on military bases.

11:23 AM: Boehner moves on to health care, criticizing using federal funding for abortion. “The overwhelming opposition of taxpayers to using taxes to fund abortion almost killed the bill.”

11:25 AM: On the health care law: “These policies do not unite America, they divide America. In the coming months, America must decide if this will continue.” The implication: Americans should decide it should stop.

11:25 AM: Boehner fondly mentions Henry Hyde and the room erupts in respectful applause.

11:27 AM: Boehner announced his intended co-sponsorship of a bill to ban taxpayer funding of abortion.

11:28 AM: Boehner says, “I believe we need to repeal the health care bill and start over,” and the room erupts in applause and flag-waving again.

11:29 AM: Veiled Obama criticisms: “The people running our government haven’t been listening. If they continue, the results could be catastrophic.”

11:31 AM: He finishes with: “There is no cause more norble than the defense of human life,” and accepts the NRLC Legislative Leadership Award.

Friday @ NRLC

A long table with Wills to Live from every state

Friday morning kicked off early with the prayer breakfast at 7:30 a.m., featuring the music of Jaime Thietten. One convention-goer left the session and said of Jaime’s rendition of You Raise Me Up: “She has unbelievable pipes!”

Couple Mark and LaRee Pickup spoke at the breakfast about learning to value life after Mark was diagnosed with degenerative multiple sclerosis. Their journey through physical degeneration and disability caused trials and grief, but they remained strongly committed to life, when others in the same situation have chosen assisted suicide.

Mark and LaRee Pickup speak at the prayer breakfast

Recording artist Jaime Thietten sings at the morning

Later Friday morning, in a humorous and powerful session with Steven Zielinski, M.D., J.D., attendees learned the physiology of prenatal development, and how Zielinski’s research proved that babies can feel intense pain as early as 18 weeks gestation. Zielinski’s best quotes from the session:

“In 1978 we had this weird reality about the unborn child – a concerted effort to hide the development of an unborn child.”

“The normal method of anesthesia for babies in 1978? Adhesive tape. You’d tape them down and just do [the surgery].”

“Pain in unborn children has been demonstrated to be 3 to 5 times worse. It ends up not just being significant, but more significant that in adults. The pain is worse.”

“The most basic function an organism can have is a response to painful stimuli. You will never see an unborn child in the womb that harms themselves. Pushing, thumping, moving, yes, but never to the point of pain, always seeking comfort.”

Zielinski produced a paper in 1984 that proved the pain an unborn child feels during abortion is long and agonizing. To the critics who claim a cerebral cortex or myelin must be present to feel pain, Zielinski had several responses, including this:

“People shot in the brain have had their cerebral cortex removed or damaged but still respond to pain. People who have had myelin eliminated still feel pain.”

While Zielinski was speaking the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released an article disputing the overwhelming body of evidence that unborn children can feel pain in utero. You can read NRLC’s response to RCOG’s article here. It’s almost as though they were in the room.

After the morning general sessions, there were 24 adult workshops and 4 teen workshops held throughout the afternoon. Pro-lifers had a free evening afterward to network and digest the workshop information.

Mary Spaulding Balch J.D, speaks with Zielinski on fetal pain

Steven Zielinski M.D., J.D., speaks on prenatal pain and development

Webcast

Go here to listen to the webcast of this morning’s General Session on unborn pain, airing tonight at 9 PM.

Be sure to tell your friends.

RCOG ARTICLE ON FETAL PAIN IS A ‘STUNNING LACK OF SCHOLARSHIP’

RCOG ARTICLE ON FETAL PAIN IS A “STUNNING LACK OF SCHOLARSHIP”

Attempt by abortion advocates to mislead the public

PITTSBURGH, PA – As the 40th Annual National Right to Life Convention continued with a special general session focusing on the pain of the unborn child, a Working Party of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) released an article disputing an overwhelming body of evidence that unborn children can feel pain in utero.

The following statement may be attributed to National Right to Life Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D.

An objective expert in neurobiology would be appalled by the stunning lack of scholarship in the RCOG article.  Its authors (predominantly abortion advocates and at least one abortionist) based their claim that unborn children do not experience pain before 24 weeks on the absence of complete nerve connection to the cortex before then.

They ignore the seminal 2007 publication of “Consciousness without a cerebral cortex,” in the medical journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences and dismiss its evidence that children born missing virtually all of the cerebral cortex nonetheless experience pain.

Ironically, the article concedes the evidence that by 20 weeks pain receptors are present throughout the unborn child’s skin, that these are linked by nerves to the thalamus and the subcortal plate, and that these children have coordinated aversive reactions to painful stimuli, and experience increased stress hormones from it.

This article is an effort by acknowledged abortion promoters to mislead the public at-large – and most tragically women considering abortion – about the increasing evidence demonstrating the unborn child’s sensitivity to pain.

The issue of fetal pain has captured headlines thanks to a landmark law enacted by the Nebraska legislature in April which restricts abortion after twenty weeks declaring that the state has a compelling interest in the life of a pain-capable unborn child at and after twenty weeks.

The 2007 article from Behavioral and Brain Sciences is available from the NRLC Communications Department.  NRLC’s Balch is available to discuss the issue of fetal pain, the RCOG article, and the body of research demonstrating that unborn children are capable of feeling pain.  To arrange an interview contact the NRLC Communications Department on-site at the 40th Annual National Right to Life Convention at (724) 899-6245.

The National Right to Life Committee, the nation’s largest pro-life group is a federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters.

Thursday Afternoon at NRLC

Young Bridget Maloney eats lunch at NRLC 2010

After lunch yesterday, there were 4 rounds of workshops in the afternoon on every topic from assisted suicide to RU-486, givent by leaders in the pro-life movement including key staff of National Right to Life. A few attendee bloggers wrote about their experiences at those workshops (and have been liveblogging the convention in general.

NRLC Intern Sean McMahon sat down to share about his afternoon in the workshops:

What workshops did you attend?

I went to the RU-486 workshop by [NRLC Director of Education & Research] Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D. first. We reviewed women who used Twitter to record their RU-486 abortion.  The abortionists made all these claims – that they wouldn’t have to go into the hospital, there would be less pain with RU-486, etc – but this one girl tweeted for 14 days, and every day said it was almost over, but then the next there would be a tweet about “tons of bleeding, went through tons of pain.” She said that the doctors told her that RU-was a simple medication, something that was supposed to be painless. Dr. O’Bannon made the point that abortionists market RU 486 as being painless and easy, but women who take RU 486 describe the experience as awful.  He also reviewed deaths caused by the drug with a bottom line that RU 486 is not safe for women.

Then I attended a workshop by Olivia Gans with Mary Balch, called When They Say …You Say.  It was based on the principle that communication is 60 percent how you look – whether you’re smiling, your body language – 30 percent how you say something, and only 10 percent the actual words you use. Mary Balch discussed the five arguments abortion supporters will throw at you and how to respond to them. Then we discussed language, how to frame the issues with the words you use.

Are you attending any this afternoon?

I’m going to the one on eugenics. I’ll probably pick a different one that looks interesting in each time slot.

What was your favorite thing about yesterday’s workshops?

Olivia. The way she presented and the information showed that it’s so easy to use words to advance the pro-life cause.  Her workshop was kind of, “How To Be Pro-Life 101″.

Burke Balch teaches a Teens for Life workshop

Conference attendees sit in on workshops Thursday afternoon

Last evening’s general session featured Angela Franks, Ph.D., the author of Margaret Sanger’s Eugenic Legacy, who spoke on Planned Parenthood’s war on children.

Andy Moore live-blogged the session, following Franks’ argument:

“Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger believed that children oppressed women – she called this “sex servitude” – women are oppressed by their fertility. She said, “The most far-reaching social development of modern times is the revolt of woman against sex-servitude.” She believed that women have a eugenic duty: “Within her is wrapped up the future of the race – it is hers to make or mar.”

Sanger had a naive belief in the promiscuous lifestyle – everyone will be more happy if they have more sex. This would result in a need to reduce population. New York City Planned Parenthood ran a fundraiser entitled “Summer, Sex and Spirits” at which free pole-dancing lessons were given out.

“For Planned Parenthood, pregnancy is the ultimate sexually transmitted disease.”

Also at the general session, NRLC Communications Director Derrick Jones, Wisconsin Teens for Life Director Joleigh Little, and National Teens for Life founders Jack St. Martin and Liz Cerkovich gave a special, hilarious presentation celebrating the 25th Anniversary of National Teens for Life. They told the story of how it all began, with a few students who banded together to protect their generation from abortion.

Teens for Life Co-Directors Joleigh Little and Derrick Jones

Author Angela Franks at the evening general session

Remember, you can follow NRLC and this blog on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nrlc and www.twitter.com/nrlcomm, respectively. Type “NRLC” into the search box in Twitter to follow updates from the convention live, from attendees and organizers alike!