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U.S. Senators Roberts & Moran

U.S. Senators Roberts & Moran

Although the major TV networks didn’t tell the public, Thursday night was historic for pro-lifers. That was when, for the first time ever, the United States Senate passed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. HR 3762 also dismantles large chunks of Obamacare.

HR 3762 passed 52-47 under a process called “reconciliation,” allowing a bill to pass by a simple 51-vote majority, without the possibility of a filibuster requiring 60 votes for passage.

Kansas U.S. Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran supported the bill and did not vote for either of two hostile amendments, which were narrowly averted.

National Right to Life, the nation’s largest pro-life organization, applauded approval of the bill,

which will block approximately 89% of all federal funding to Planned Parenthood – about $400 million in the next year. The amounts denied to Planned Parenthood are reallocated to community health centers.

Because of changes made by the Senate, the House of Representatives must approve the bill before it reaches the desk of President Barack Obama, who will undoubtedly veto it.

Legislative director for National Right to Life, Douglas Johnson said, “While this bill faces the implacable opposition of President Barack Obama, it blazes a trail that can be followed to victory in the future – once we have a pro-life president.”

The bill would close the largest pipeline for federal funding of Planned Parenthood, Medicaid, and apply as well to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Title V and Title XX block grant programs.

Based on data from their own annual report from 2013-2014, nearly one in eight women walking through the door of a Planned Parenthood clinic has an abortion. A background memo from National Right to Life is available here, which addresses the fallacious claim that abortion comprises only 3% of Planned Parenthood business.

KANSAS BEATS PLANNED PARENTHOOD
In Kansas, Planned Parenthood of Kansas- Mid Missouri (PPKMM) no longer receives federal reproductive health grants under Title X—which (in 2011) amounted to more than one third of a million dollars annually. Kansas instead sends those funds to full-service clinics and hospitals, under a pro-life state budget provision that was repeatedly vetoed until Sam Brownback became governor.

After three years in litigation, Planned Parenthood lost its court challenge to the measure at the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Following that blow, they closed their Hays clinic, which referred for–but did not perform– abortions. Currently, PPKMM operates one Wichita abortion-referring clinic and an Overland Park abortion-performing clinic.

Planned Parenthood also lost its legal challenge in federal district court to a KFL-sponsored bill passed in 2013, the Pro-Life Protections Act. Under the law, all Kansas abortion clinics must feature a live link on their website homepage that offers fetal development information from the Kansas health department, KDHE.

More and more, citizens—through their elected officials– are refusing to partner with the nation’s largest abortion business.

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ProlifePowerSurgeThe U.S. House passed two significant pro-life bills this morning with the support of all four Kansas U.S. Reps. The bills now head to the U.S. Senate.

  • H.R. 3504 strengthens penalties for those who don’t protect babies born alive during induced abortions. It passed 248 – 177.
  • H.R. 3134 defunds Planned Parenthood for one year, exempting facilities that do not perform abortions (with exceptions). It passed 241 – 187.

Born-alive abortion survivors and the defunding of Planned Parenthood are not new issues for legislation, but 10 undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress have renewed public outrage at abortion business practices. Three Congressional investigations of Planned Parenthood are underway.

Predictably, President Obama, who is a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood, has promised to veto both bills as “threatening the sacred doctor/patient relationship.” Read more here.

It is already illegal not to medically care for babies who have escaped death during an abortion attempt under both Kansas law since 1997 and federal law  since 2003 (read more here). Yet– in their own words on the videos– Planned Parenthood physicians and tissue procuring personnel reveal that born-alive babies are not given medical care, but treated merely as more valuable sources of organ harvesting:

  1. Dr. Savita Ginde, Medical Director of Colorado’s Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains is taped saying, “sometimes we get—if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure—they are intact…”
  2. One fetal tissue broker describes watching a “fetus …just fall out. And left to die.”
  3. Procurement technician Holly O’Donnell shamefully admitted that she’d been ordered to harvest an intact brain from a late-term male unborn baby whose heart was still beating after the abortion at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, California.

H.R. 3504, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act requires that the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence be exercised to preserve the life and health of the child as would be rendered by a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner. Violations include fines and/or up to five years jail time. The Act also provides for civil remedies for victims.

H.R. 3134, the moratorium on federal funding of Planned Parenthood, is based on the alleged criminality of the nation’s largest abortion business. This bill would remove more than $528 million dollars in tax money that goes annually to PP and specifically reallocates $200 million to Federally Qualified Health Centers. See more here.

We in Kansas enjoy a wonderful confidence that all our federal elected officials are strongly pro-life, without reservation. Please contact our Kansas U.S. Reps to thank them for standing strong for life: Dist.1 Tim Huelskamp, Dist.2 Lynn Jenkins, Dist.3 Kevin Yoder, Dist.4 Mike Pompeo.

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stop pp baby partsThe U.S. Senate will vote as early as Monday, August 3, on a bill — strongly backed by National Right to Life — that would cut off all federal funds to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and all of its affiliates. 

Please act immediately to convey your strong support for this bill here.

Kansans for Life is pleased that Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran are co-sponsors of S. 1881, which provides that “no Federal funds may be made available to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, or to any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, or clinics.”  The bill also contains a finding that states, “All funds no longer available to Planned Parenthood will continue to be made available to other eligible entities to provide women’s health care services.” 

Pro-lifers must stay informed and share on social networking these horrific revelations at Planned Parenthood. Mainstream media sources have practically blocked this story, read more here.

  • PPFA is the nation’s largest provider of abortions — about one-third of all abortions in the U.S. are performed at PPFA-affiliated facilities.
  • PPFA also receives at least $528 million annually from the federal government or other levels of government.
  • PPFA affiliates and senior physician-executive have been caught on undercover video as trafficking in organs from aborted babies, triggering Congressional and state investigations.

See the latest undercover expose by the Center for Medical Progress here (warning: contains  image of dismembered unborn child). An overview of the video revelations is here.

Kansans for Life applauds pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback for asking for a probe into potential baby body part trafficking in Kansas. See video excerpts of the Governor’s most recent press conference on this breaking scandal here and here.

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Hobby Lobby, I stand with (2)The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld, by a 5-4 majority, the right of business owners to operate their family companies without violating their deeply held religious convictions against abortion.

The decision in the Sebelius (now Burwell) v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. ruling, is here, with legal comment here.

Justice Samuel Alito authored the majority opinion, declaring that the ‘HHS contraception mandate’ (a regulation issued under Obamacare) substantially burdens the Constitutionally-protected free exercise of religion.

The essence of this ruling is that the government may not create an artifice of a health mandate to force citizens to underwrite and promote abortion.

Although regularly termed as litigation against the HHS contraceptive mandate, Hobby Lobby (and other businesses) filed suit specifically in objection to being forced to provide some contraceptives—those that act to abort human embryos—under the HHS mandate.

Specifically, they objected to 2 drugs and 2 IUD devices, labeled as contraceptive, that actually can prevent implantation of the already-formed human embryo into the womb for gestation, also called a ‘post-fertilization abortifacient function’. (Read a thorough analysis of contraceptives from pro-life OB/GYN, Donna Harrison here.)

Furthermore, when evaluating the governmental interference with religion, the Court found that the HHS mandate violates the “least restrictive means” test of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). RFRA demands that interference with religious freedom must be based on a compelling governmental interest, and be executed in the least restrictive means needed. Without ruling whether the goal of insurance provision of contraception is really a compelling governmental interest, the Court ruled that the HHS mandate, as a means of achieving that goal, is out of bounds.

The Court affirmed that freedom of religious expression is not limited to a person in his/her private, individual capacity, but –as set out in RFRA — extends to him/her when acting as a corporation, whether for-profit or non-profit.

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U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)

Kansas’ U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts has taken a leadership role in battling government restrictions on health care and to that end, on Tuesday filed the “Repeal Rationing in Support of Life Act,” see video here.

This is the third in a series of bills, part of a comprehensive effort by Sen. Roberts, to prevent the federal government from limiting access to life-saving medical care for patients at all stages of life.

“Obamacare has made many Americans fearful that cost-cutting and rationing of care will limit their options for health care at a time when they are vulnerable–when they are sick or battling a life threatening condition,” Roberts said. “By introducing this bill, we are fighting against hidden barriers to treatment and life-saving medicine.”

Roberts’ bill targets four rationing provisions of Obamacare for repeal:

1) the “excess benefit” tax coming into effect in 2018, which unfairly limits employee plans from keeping pace with medical inflation;
2) the current exclusion of adequate health insurance plans from the exchanges;
3) limits now curtailing senior citizens’ ability to add their own money in addition to Medicare payment for health insurance including Medicare Advantage; and
4) federal limits on the care doctors are allowed to give their patients.

Roberts’ legislation (see bill details here) is endorsed by the National Right to Life Committee, which has delineated rationing dangers in Obamacare in this NRLC report and in a recent Q & A article here.

Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, stated, “Obamacare authorizes Washington bureaucrats to create one uniform, national standard of care that is designed to limit what private citizens are allowed to spend to save their own lives. We commend Senator Roberts for his bill and his consistent leadership to end Obamacare’s rationing.”

The bill is cosponsored by Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

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Obamacare grants HHS head, Kathleen Sebelius, powers

Obamacare grants HHS head, Kathleen Sebelius, unprecedented powers

We strongly urge you to read– in full– this excellent analysis of the built-in rationing in Obamacare, from Carol Tobias, president of our national affiliate. Learn the facts and help spread the word!
(Note, the Sebelius graphic is KFL’s addition.)

                  Yes, It Is Rationing
Dec. 2, 2013, Washington, D.C. —  “It’s four years overdue, but America is finally beginning to have the debate about Obamacare we were promised. Barack Obama had assured us – another in his long series of broken promises – that the meetings held to devise the plan would be televised on C-SPAN.  Americans would have every opportunity to know what the law is, and how it would affect them.

That never happened.  The law was put together behind closed doors.  Nancy Pelosi later arrogantly told us “we have to pass the law so you can know what’s in it.” Now we’re finding out.

National Right to Life was a lone early voice exposing how the law would cause rationing of life-saving care.  But Obamacare supporters have mocked the claim.  Their standard line has been “the ACA is designed to expand coverage, not reduce it.”

But that’s only one part of the law. Central to this overhaul of our healthcare system is a harsh regime of rationing – denial of care.  And it’s finally being admitted.

Americans don’t yet realize the law will prevent you from spending your own money to get treatments deemed “ineffective” in an Orwellian way by the unelected, largely unaccountable IPAB board.

Last summer, former Vermont governor, Democratic presidential candidate, physician and Obamacare supporter Howard Dean made headlines when he spilled the beans.  The Independent Payment Advisory Board set up by Obamacare, Dean said, was “essentially a health care rationing board.”

Further clarification about the role of this board, known as IPAB, came in a series of interviews and tweets last week by Time magazine Senior Political Analyst Mark Halperin.  Coming from an avowed supporter of universal coverage, as Halperin is, the interviews were very instructive, containing insights every American should know.

Halperin first discussed rationing on a November 25th Newsmax TV program.  “It’s built into the plan.  It’s not like a guess or like a judgment.  That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled.”

Later that day, Halperin clarified in a tweet that his comments were not about so-called “death panels,” as the show’s host had termed it, but about rationing.  This is an important distinction for pro-lifers to understand so we (unlike Obama) are completely clear and honest about what the Affordable Care Act does when we discuss it with others.

“Death Panels” vs. broad government-generated rationing in the ACA

The British National Health Service (NHS) has appeals committees to review “individual funding requests.”  They meet to determine whether treatments in a specific case will or won’t be paid for by the government health care system, NHS.  These have sometimes been termed “death panels” because if a patient needs a treatment to save or extend his life and can’t afford to pay for it himself, a verdict of “no” by the committee means the patient could die – hence, the term “death panel.”

Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will not operate this way.  It won’t review individual cases; in fact, the law is written to preclude this type of direct rationing.  That’s why some Obamacare supporters protest that the law actually bars IPAB from rationing.

But Obamacare actually gives IPAB far more power to ration than if it was acting as judge and jury to individual patients. Broadly speaking, IPAB is given sweeping powers to recommend to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) whether and how whole categories of treatments are to be reimbursed — and is required to use these powers to prevent overall health care spending from being allowed even to keep up with medical inflation. Thus, they can (in fact, it is their job to) limit reimbursement and ration care from thousands or millions of people at a time.

For example, IPAB might decide that a new, promising treatment for breast cancer is not “cost-effective,” given the board’s calculation of the number of lives it might save versus the cost to offer the treatment.  HHS might then issue a “quality measure” binding on health care providers that does not authorize use of the treatment.

Effectively, HHS would have the power to drive most doctors out of business if they ignore its directives to ration.  Women who might have been saved by the new treatment would die if the older, cheaper treatments don’t cure them.

Halperin was open about the law’s intention to ration in a follow-up interview on CNBC last Tuesday.

“Those decisions that are made by that board are going to lead to what I think could be described perfectly reasonably as rationing, “ Halperin said.  “Again, as I said, that’s built into the system.”

“The Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is a big part of the Affordable Care Act that is central to cost control, is something that hasn’t been debated in a real way . . . we need to have that debate in this country.”

Currently, if an insurance company, doctor or hospital denies you a treatment or payment for a treatment, you have several options.  States have insurance commissions to which you have a right to appeal payment denials by insurance companies.  You can go to another doctor or hospital to get care.

Under Obamacare, these avenues will be largely closed off to you and your loved ones.  If the government says you can’t get a treatment, your current ability to appeal to a government body will be curtailed.  And Americans don’t yet realize the law will prevent you from spending your own money to get treatments deemed in an Orwellian way “ineffective” by the unelected, largely unaccountable IPAB board.

That makes it absolutely critical that National Right to Life inform Americans, warn Americans, empower Americans to overturn this law that will be so deadly to so many of their loved ones – and ultimately to many of us.  Please take the time to see one way we’re spreading the truth about Obamacare rationing at www.nrlc.org/medethics/healthcarerationing.

And please help National Right to Life fight this life-and-death battle with a generous donation today.  Perhaps you can afford a substantial gift of $1,000 or $500 – such a contribution will help us get the word out to the public and public officials alike about what this law does to innocent human lives and why it must be overturned.

Your gifts of $100, $50 or $35, combined with those of thousands of other concerned Americans, can have the same effect.  Let’s not let it be said that we didn’t fight back with everything we have to overturn those policies and save these lives!

tobiasThank you – you are literally a Lifesaver!”
Carol Tobias, National Right to Life President

Forward this message to a friend.

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Spina bifida corrected before birth on Samuel Armas, 1999F surgery

1999: Spina bifida surgically corrected on as-yet-unborn baby, Samuel Armas,whose hand grasps the surgeon’s finger. (Photo by Michael Clancy)

Infant pain capability is now so well established and studied that the specialty of pediatric anesthesiology has evolved to help tiny babies tolerate surgical interventions.

Consider how mainstream medicine acknowledges that newborns (including preemies) feel pain: circumcisions are now routinely performed after topical numbing and the World Health Organization recommends pain relief for the mandatory “heel sticks” drawing the child’s blood after delivery.

Medical researchers continue to test and analyze the kinds of pain-techniques that are most beneficial on tiny patients, leading to the increased surgical successes on children before and after birth. (Read about the photo here and here and developments in spina bifida here.)

In fact, science now knows that

between 20-30 weeks gestation, the highest density of pain receptors per square inch of skin develop in the unborn–five times the pain sensitivity that any child or adult will ever be capable of.

However, the developing unborn child has not developed the mechanisms needed to modulate and tone down pain, because that “pain-dampening” development occurs around 40 weeks gestation (term delivery) –and afterword!

Only the abortion industry wants to perpetuate the myth that unborn children are non-feeling and impervious to the experience of being dismembered. One wonders whether abortionists and their staff personally reject anesthesia for their own newborns and preemies that undergo medical procedures?

PAIN-CAPABLE LEGISLATION
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) led the charge to end partial-birth abortions –a gruesome method used on a child exiting the birth canal. In NRLCs overall plan to systematically dismantle the U.S. Supreme Court’s enduring support for abortion, they have crafted legislation presenting evidence that unborn children feel pain.

Kansas is one of the few states banning abortions at 22 weeks gestation (20 weeks post-fertilization) due to the recognized pain-capability of the unborn. While legal injunctions to the Idaho, Georgia and Arizona pain-capable laws have predictably been secured, we hope that state appeals of those decisions will be taken up for review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

HR 1797 is a federal bill, spearheaded by NRLC, that would ban elective abortions at 20 weeks fetal age, due to pain-capability. The measure is co-sponsored by all four members of the Kansas delegation to the U.S. House  and by both Kansas U.S Senators in a companion bill. The House Judiciary Committee could vote on the bill before mid-June, with action by the full House any time thereafter. For more details, go here.

The issue of whether aborted children could experience the pain of abortion had not been a specific consideration in the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling. In that era, surgery for preemies, infants and toddlers relied on taping the child to the surgical table to immobilize the body so that the needed procedure could be performed!

Can our country– where hospitals seek the best way to protect newborns from the pain of a needle prick –continue to allow the horrific dismemberment of pain-feeling children inside abortion clinics?

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