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Friday, April 29, 2011

NC House Proposed Budget Defunds Planned Parenthood and Limits Abortion Funding

The NC House passed the budget on a veto proof majority of 72-47. There were three provisions of particular interest to pro-lifers that withstood the efforts to amend them:  the Repeal of the Abortion Fund, the prohibition of abortion in the administration of a governmental health plan or government offered insurance policy, and the de-funding of Planned Parenthood.

The amendments that were offered to amend these provisions were numbers 17, 19, 20, and 21.  To see all the votes and the exact wording of the amendments, click here.  To see all the votes, be sure to click the tab reading " View All Votes" on the "Vote History" box.  Read the earlier post below.

Approximately ten Planned Parenthood supporters attended the House Appropriations meeting on April 27 sporting pink tee shirts.  Others, including a couple of the representatives on the committee, wore stickers saying, “I stand with Planned Parenthood.”  They are upset because there is a section in the proposed budget that defunds Planned Parenthood. Inc. and its affiliate organizations.

During the day long meeting comprised of explanations and amendments, Rep.Verla Insko (D-Orange) offered two amendments aimed at restoring the funding to Planned Parenthood.  The first amendment was to restore all funding, while the second aimed at allowing Planned Parenthood to receive funds that come to them through the state from other funding sources.

Both of the amendments failed.  The first vote was a recorded vote; 37 voted to restore the funding to Planned Parenthood while 51 voted to keep the section which defunds Planned Parenthood.  The vote was mainly along party lines.

Rep. Insko defended her attempts to restore the funding by saying that Planned Parenthood provides family planning and contraceptive services to 25,000 women and to some men.  She did not mention the abortion and abortion referral services that Planned Parenthood provides.

The Daily Tarheel quoted Paige Johnson, lobbyist for Planned Parenthood Central North Carolina, saying, “Losing funding would disproportionately affect low income women who rely on Planned Parenthood for services like mammograms and birth control” 1 According to the web site operated by Planned Parenthood Health Systems, Inc. none of the nine Planned Parenthood Health Centers in NC do mammograms, all nine web sites say they provide “mammogram referrals”2

Each of the nine Planned Parenthood Health Centers in Asheville, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston Salem charge for their services, take insurance including Medicaid, and expect payment at the time of service unless other arrangements have been made.  They discount some services, but not abortion services or HPV vaccines, by 50% for those under 18. 

Five (Chapel Hill, Durham, Fayetteville, Wilmington, and Winston Salem) provide abortion services.  Chapel Hill provides full abortion services, including the chemical abortion RU-486, up to 20 weeks lmp; Fayetteville, up to 14 weeks lmp; Wilmington, up to 13.6 lmp; and Winston Salem, up to 16 weeks lmp.  (Note: NC requires abortions after 20 weeks or more to be performed in licensed hospitals.)

The cost varies from $400 for the chemical abortion; $330 for an abortion up to 12 weeks lmp; $975-1025 for an abortion 17-18 weeks lmp; and $1525 for an abortion up to 19 weeks lmp. These charges do not include IV medication, $100; ultrasound, $116-175; medication for RH negative, $33-103, or follow up for the chemical abortion if over a month after the initial visit, $170-200. 3 

Additionally, they charge $30 for a required surgical procedure within a month of the chemical abortion or $55 if the surgical abortion occurs after 1 month.  These charges substantiate the claim that the RU-486 chemical abortion does not always result in the complete expulsion of the dead unborn child and a surgical abortion is later needed to complete the abortion..

The web site for the Chapel Hill Health Center furthers says, “We have funding which allows us to offer large discounts on abortion services to those who qualify based on their income and family size.”3 Since this center is located near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one would assume that these discounts would be offered to students who can not include their parent’s income as their own and would therefore qualify for a discount based on their income.  

In response to remarks made by Rep. Alma Adams (D-Guilford) in favor of restoring the funding, Rep. Paul Stam (R-Wake) pointed out Planned Parenthood’s ties to its founder Margaret Sanger’s well established support of eugenics and the part her views still play in how Planned Parenthood operates and what its mission is.  Rep. Stam also made references to how North Carolina has had to deal with its own past attempts at eugenics. He reminded Rep. Adams that he had sent her a book about this eugenics connection because of her close association with Planned Parenthood. 

Rep. Stam did not mention the name of the book he sent to Rep. Adams, but this author suspects it might be “Margaret Sanger’s Eugenics Legacy: The control of Female Fertility” by Angela Franks, Ph. D.  Dr. Franks spoke at a Prayer Breakfast sponsored by North Carolina Right to Life in 2010 in Raleigh.  Her web site says her book is “a meticulously researched and carefully referenced work on the history and ideology of Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood.”4

Two other budget items of interest to North Carolina Right to Life and pro-lifers in general are the Repeal of the State Abortion Fund and the limits on abortion for the state health plan and other government administered insurance plans. 

After being slashed from more than a million dollars to $50,000 in 1995, the State Abortion Fund has been at that $50,000 level until now. If this current budget provision remains intact, this will be the first time since1978 when the fund was first established by Governor Jim Hunt that there will not be a line item in the budget funding abortions with state dollars.   

The other section in the budget which prevents abortion funding states: “No State funds may be used for the performance of abortions or to support the administration of any governmental health plan or government-offered insurance policy offering abortion, except that this prohibition shall not apply where (i) the life of the mother would be endangered if the unborn child were carried to term or (ii) the pregnancy is the result of a rape or incest. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit medical care provided after a spontaneous miscarriage.”5 

Various legislators have tried unsuccessfully in the past to rid the State Employees Health Plan of elective abortion coverage. This section limiting coverage will finally accomplish what prior attempts have failed to do.

More recently, the University System has begun requiring students who do not have private coverage to sign up for a student health insurance plan through the University which does provide elective abortion coverage.  This section limiting abortion funding will fix this problem. 

If these sections survive the attempts to undo them, then these provisions will provide the tax payers of the state with a great victory. The vast majority of taxpayers, including those who consider themselves “pro-choice,” do not want their tax dollars to pay for abortions. 

While there were no attempts to amend these sections of the budget, the debate is not over.  The proposed budget now goes to the House floor the week of May 1 and then to the Senate where it will be debated in committee and on the Senate floor.  Stay tuned to find out what happens to these provisions.

NOTE: NORTH CAROLINA RIGHT TO LIFE TAKES NO STAND ON CONTRACEPTIVES, MAMMOGRAMS, ETC.  These items are only mentioned because they were brought up in debate and to point out the discrepancies between what Planned Parenthood says and what it does.


House Budget H 200

Planned Parenthood: Abortion

Planned Parenthood: Money

Planned Parenthood: Mega Clinics

Planned Parenthood: Politics

Planned Parenthood: The Organization

Polling: Abortion, Funding, Pain of Unborn, Etc.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Abortion-Woman's Right to Know Introduced in NC House and Senate

North Carolina Right to Life is pleased that Reps. Ruth Samuelson and Pat McElraft in the House and Senators Andrew Brock, Kathy Harrington and Warrren Daniel in the Senate have introduced the Abortion-Woman's Right to Know, our top priority for this legislative session. In the House, the bill number is H854; in the Senate, the bill number is S769.

Generally speaking, the decision whether to have an abortion is often a traumatic one. It is not made any easier by ignorance.  The question has too often been framed as a choice between a lifetime of misery or a quick fix.  The issue is more complicated as many women later sadly realize.  

Many women who undergo abortions later face years of psychological pain and trauma.  Some experience physical problems. A woman needs to be aware that abortion does not offer an easy escape from her problems. Often, it only complicates them.

Informed consent legislation is not an attack on a personal freedom, but a guarantee of it.  It is constitutionally and legally sound.  It safeguards a woman's right to know and to make informed decisions, helps protect physicians from lawsuits, and is a reasoned and compassionate response to the needs of concerned pregnant women.

When a pregnant woman is fully informed about abortion and the alternatives, often she will choose to give birth rather than abort her child.  Therefore, this legislation has the potential to reduce dramatically the approximately 30,000 abortions performed in our state every year.  Based on statistics compiled in other states who have such WRTK laws, there could be several thousand fewer abortions in NC every year with a WRTK in effect.  In fact, South Carolina has experienced a dramatic drop in the numbers of abortions in their state since passing pro-life legislation: Click here.

Finally, North Carolina is one of only two Southern states without such a law. Please note: the red states have WRTK laws in effect; the brown states have ineffective laws; and the yellow states are states which do not have WRTK laws.

ACTION ITEM (Please act immediately.): 

The bill is in the NC House Judiciary B Committee. If your House member is a member of this committee, ask him or her to vote in favor of the bill and oppose any amendments that would weaken or gut the bill.  

If your House member is not a member of the committee, ask him or her to support the bill when it comes to the House floor for a vote and to oppose all amendments offered on the House floor to weaken or gut the bill.   

The crossover deadline (the date by which this bill has to pass the House in order to be eligible to be considered in the Senate) is currently May 12. 


Monday, April 11, 2011

Carol Tobias Becomes the Newly Elected President of National Right to Life

WASHINGTON -- On Saturday, April 9, Carol Tobias was elected president of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the national federation of 50 state affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters. Tobias, who becomes the 8th NRLC president since Roe v. Wade, succeeds Wanda Franz, Ph.D. of West Virginia.

"I am extremely humbled and honored to be elected president by the National Right to Life board, which represents our nationwide network of state affiliates and local chapters,” said Mrs. Tobias. “As the late pro-life Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois said, National Right to Life ‘is the flagship of the pro-life movement.’ I’m looking forward to the opportunity to help our pro-life network in its continuing effort to educate the public and pass laws protecting mothers and their unborn children.”

A native of North Dakota, Tobias has served on the NRLC board of directors since 1987. From 1983 to 1991 she was executive director of North Dakota Right to Life and in 1991 was hired as NRLC political director, a position she held until 2005. During her tenure as NRLC political director, pro-life majorities
were elected to both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. In both 2000 and 2004, she oversaw the efforts of NRLC’s political action committee on behalf of George W. Bush.

Mrs. Tobias was elected by the NRLC board of directors at its spring board meeting. The board of directors is comprised of representatives from each of NRLC’s 50 state affiliates and 8 directors elected at-large. NRLC is the nation’s pro-life organization which is representative of the country’s grassroots pro-life citizens and activists
“The pro-life movement is the greatest social cause of our time,” added Tobias. “I am eager to continue National Right to Life’s educational, legislative and political efforts to advance the right to life of the most vulnerable members of our human family – the unborn, the elderly, and the medically dependent and disabled.”

Other officers and executive committee members elected at the spring board meeting include: Executive Vice-President: Anthony J. Lauinger of Oklahoma; Vice-President for International Affairs: Jeanne E. Head, R.N. of New York; Vice-President for Medical Ethics: John Wayne Cockfield, USMC Ret. of South Carolina; Secretary: Holly Gatling of South Carolina; Treasurer: Rev. Dennis C. Day of Idaho; Chairman of the Board: Hon. Geline B. Williams of Virginia; Vice-Chairman of the Board: Hon. Lynda Bell of Florida; and Chet Rucinski of Wisconsin.

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life organizations and more than 3,000 local chapters nationwide, is the nation's largest pro-life group. National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

State Senate to take up the U V V A/Ethen's Law in Judiciary II Committee

The Senate Judiciary II Committee will take up the Unborn Victims of Violence Act/Ethen’s Law, H-215, on Thursday, April 7 at 10:00 AM.   From here, the bill will go to the Senate floor for final votes. 

Here is a list of the members of the committee.  Each member needs to receive constituent calls in support of the bill.
Here are links to a list of all State Senators and to find out who represents you.  Please ask your friends and family to make calls in support of the bill.

See previous posts on this page about this bill.