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.



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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!

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

I am National Right to Life 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.”



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.
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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:

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.

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