Family Planning Expansion Not in 2009 Spending Bill, Either
TPM’s Elana Schor finds no sign of the Medicaid family planning expansion in the 2009 spending bill: "The Medicaid family-planning aid that was removed from the stimulus amid Republican attacks…is nowhere to be found in the Health and Human Services title of the 2009 spending measure."
Schor concludes: "One wonders if that absence will draw fire from
women’s health advocates, some of whom believed the family-planning
provision could make a quick comeback after it got dumped earlier this month. When GOP governors such as Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty are using Medicaid family-planning money as an excuse to cut their budgets, how can congressional conservatives get away with slamming the program as taxpayer-funded abortions?"
Over the past few weeks, however, advocates have suggested that the
family planning expansion could be attached to any number of bills, so
while this isn’t encouraging news, it’s not the end of the road, either.
Family Planning a Cost-Effective Government Program, Guttmacher Study Finds
The AP/Google cover
the Guttmacher Institute’s new research report on the impact of family
planning. The takeaway? "Publicly funded family planning prevents
nearly 2 million unintended
pregnancies and more than 800,000 abortions in the United States each
year, saving billions of dollars, according to new research intended to
counter conservative objections to expanding the program," the AP
reports. Kay Steiger covers the report for RH Reality Check here.
Washington Times on North Dakota Personhood Bill
We all know that North Dakota’s House passed a bill to define life as beginning at conception, but the Washington Times coverage of the bill includes useful reporting on the disagreements within the anti-choice movement on the personhood strategy:
Conspicuously absent from the debate
was North Dakota Right to Life, which neither supported nor opposed the
bill. The nation’s largest and best-known pro-life group, Right to Life
has disagreed in some instances with the personhood movement over
tactics and strategy.
Paul Maloney, executive director of North Dakota Right to Life,
said he worried that the bill’s wording may not measure up to legal
scrutiny and added that he was consulting with the organization’s
attorneys before taking a position…
"It’s always a good time to challenge Roe v. Wade. But you have to be
intelligent about it," Mr. Maloney said. "The last thing you want to do
is go with a poorly worded personhood bill, have it defeated and then
destroy your chance of overturning Roe."
Anti-Choicers Protest Possible Sebelius Pick
Christian Broadcasting Network’s Brody File
is ready with the threat: "if President Obama picks Kathleen Sebelius
as HHS Secretary, pro-life groups are going to make a big stink about
it." David Brody quotes from a Concerned Women for America press
release that accuses Sebelius of being "mired in scandals tied to her
relationship with abortionists." ProKanDo’s Julie Burkhart debunked
the accusation last week on RH Reality Check.
New Archbishop Takes Over in New York
The new Archbishop of New York, Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, is an "outspoken opponent of abortion," the AP/Google reports, "comparing the moral
urgency of the issue to ending slavery. The American Life League, an
anti-abortion group that has pressured Catholic bishops to speak out
more forcefully on the issue, called Dolan "one of our pro-life heroes." But Dolan does not deny Communion to pro-choice Catholic lawmakers:
he does not deny Holy Communion to Catholic lawmakers who support
abortion rights, nor does he single them out publicly. He thinks each
parishioner should decide whether he or she should receive the
sacrament. Every other year or so, he has invited Catholic city and
state officeholders for a daylong session on church teaching and public
Other News to Note
Feb 23: Christian News Wire: Obama’s Overreach on Abortion Lends Hope
Feb 23: The Ticker: Professor Brind links abortion to breast cancer
Feb 23: CBC News Canada: Edmonton physician opposes mandatory
referrals for abortion
Feb 23: The Daily Dish: Ending The Culture Wars