Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D, NRL-ETF Director of Education & Research

ObamaCare key to Planned Parenthood expansion

Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D, NRL-ETF Director of Education & Research
By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D, NRL-ETF Director of Education & Research
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November 13, 2013 (NRLC) - They were in on it from the beginning, so it is hardly surprising to see Planned Parenthood now not just promoting, but standing poised to reap the financial benefits of ObamaCare.

After working and spending a great deal to get Obama elected, Planned Parenthood was one of the privileged groups invited to the President’s “health care summit” at the White House early in Obama’s first term in March of 2009. Though it was unknown what final shape the healthcare plan would take at the time, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards offered her organization as a model of what the Planned Parenthood website termed “a safety-net health care provider and entry point into the health care system for millions of men and women.”

Planned Parenthood fought for and defended the health plan, pushing to get it passed in March of 2010, and then helping to keep in office the politicians needed to keep it from being modified in any significant way that would threaten either the plan or their abortion empire. Obama and his Senate allies responded in kind, defending and promoting the abortion giant and making federal funding of Planned Parenthood the one non-negotiable in high stakes budget talks.

It has been a very profitable relationship for Planned Parenthood.

Today, as ObamaCare begins it rollout, Planned Parenthood stands poised to bring in hordes of new customers, rake in even more money, and further expand its already massive abortion empire.

Lest anyone forget, Planned Parenthood is already America’s largest abortion chain and is flush with cash, much of it taken from the pockets of taxpayers, performing 333,964 abortions in 2011, more than a quarter of all abortions done in the U.S., and bringing in nearly $1.2 billion in revenues for the fiscal year ending 6/30/12.

Planned Parenthood is, of course, doing the standard thing that political groups do, issuing press releases, sending spokespeople out to talk to the press, penning op-ed pieces, but as someone who stands to gain from new legislation, has gone much further.

Go to the website today and you’ll see a box in the main graphic on the front page declaring “OBAMACARE + PLANNED PARENTHOOD HEALTH CENTERS A perfect match!” You can click a link to “GET THE FACTS.” Before leaving the front page, though, just below the place where you can enter information to “Find a Health Center” in your area, there is a box where you are offered the opportunity to “Find a HEALTH PLAN in the marketplace that includes Planned Parenthood.” All you need to do is type in your Zip Code.

Both links on the health plans appear to go to section of the website which will talk up what visitors to Planned Parenthood’s website might identify as popular benefits of the law, such as kids staying on parents’ health care plans until age 26, coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, and subsidies for health insurance.

Some explanation of the new bureaucracy with “exchanges,” “navigators,” different categories of plans, etc. is given, but little to nothing about problems with the ObamaCare website, or the possible cancellation of current policies. There is a cost calculator on at least one of Planned Parenthood’s pages on the health plans connected to a group called “Get Covered America” which is part of “Enroll America,” but it is unclear how the numbers are generated or how reliable they may be.

Over and over, of course, there are links to “find a Planned Parenthood health center near you” or to find plans that include Planned Parenthood.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. As NRL News Today reported on September 5, 2013, three Planned Parenthood affiliates have qualified to serve as “Navigators” under the new health plan, receiving federal funding to the tune of over $655,000 (Read here).

Navigators are employees paid to help people pick a health plan and complete their applications. In the process, they will help consumers figure out if they qualify for subsidies to cover their insurance premium costs or for other government assistance such as Medicaid.

Though Navigators are supposed to “[p]rovide information and services in a fair, accurate, and impartial manner,” that they work through Planned Parenthood will be hard for applicants to miss and it seems difficult to imagine that those Navigators won’t share about all the “wonderful” services that Planned Parenthood offers.

States that operate their own exchanges may fund “in-person assisters” that perform many of the functions done by Navigators. Minnesota is one such state and gave the regional Planned Parenthood affiliate a grant to help enroll residents in the exchange.

Planned Parenthood affiliates in Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Illinois, Florida, Idaho, Nebraska, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Ohio have also been designated as “Certified Application Counselor” (CAC) organizations, meaning that, though they will not be paid by the exchanges, as the Navigators or in-person assisters may be, these affiliates can certify paid staff or volunteers as official counselors to help people through the process according to what the CACs see as the “best interest” of the applicant.

Even if one somehow believed, against all the evidence, that these new health insurance enrollment plans really did serve the “best interests” of the uninsured (and the previously insured now joining their ranks), and even put aside their radical abortion agenda, it would still be difficult to see Planned Parenthood’s motives as pure here.

Let Paul Knepprath, vice president for policy and public affairs for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California make some of Planned Parenthood’s less well advertised motivations plain for you.

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Speaking before a California Building Standards Commission meeting considering higher building standards for health care clinics (i.e., requirements stipulating that only union plumbers can do the work) on November 5, 2013, Knepprath said the following:

The Affordable Care Act is being implemented as we speak, on January 1, people getting coverage.

There’s an expectation of expansion of facilities statewide to take in the new people who have insurance, but also those who will be in expanded Medi-cal program here in California.

Thus, there will be a redevelopment and building of new clinic facilities across the state.

At what pace I don’t know but the issue of an exemption for some of the building standards is a very important one to Planned Parenthood.

The cost associated with meeting the higher standards are significant in some cases and they are important especially for organizations like ours that are serving the very poorest of Californians and trying to get them the health care that they need.

What Knepprath has done here is to explicitly connect the roll out of ObamaCare to the “redevelopment and building of new clinic facilities” to address the influx of new patients brought in by the expansion of insurance coverage.

The more people that Planned Parenthood signs up for ObamaCare, the more patients they expect to have coming to their clinics. And, in California alone, they anticipate such significant numbers that they are already thinking in terms of the “redevelopment and building of new clinic facilities across the state.”

California, as regular readers of NRL News Today know, recently passed legislation to allow nurse practitioners (and other non-physicians) to perform abortions, thereby significantly expanding the pool of potential abortionists in that state.

Now, with a steady stream of new patients and new money flowing in from ObamaCare, one expects that Planned Parenthood is anticipating opening and staffing countless clinics, not only in California, but throughout the U.S.

And given that abortion has long been one of their biggest money-makers and a “service” that Planned Parenthood has been adding to so many of its “health centers” across the country, you can bet that a lot of those new centers will be abortion clinics, funded by dollars generated by the “Affordable Care Act.”

Should you expect any different when you tag the largest abortion chain as a legitimate promoter and provider of “health care?”

Reprinted with permission from NRLC

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

Thank you so much for your support. 

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