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

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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Pope Francis attacks ‘fundamentalist’ Catholics, dismisses condom ban as unimportant

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By John-Henry Westen

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE, November 30, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- On the plane returning from his journey to Africa today Pope Francis made his clearest remarks in condemnation of ‘fundamentalist’ Catholics.

"Fundamentalism is a sickness that is in all religions," Francis said, as reported by the National Catholic Reporter’s Vatican correspondent, Joshua McElwee, and similarly by other journalists on the plane.  "We Catholics have some -- and not some, many -- who believe in the absolute truth and go ahead dirtying the other with calumny, with disinformation, and doing evil."

"They do evil," said the pope. "I say this because it is my church."

"We have to combat it," he said. "Religious fundamentalism is not religious, because it lacks God. It is idolatry, like the idolatry of money."

Turning to Islam, the pope spoke of his friendship with a Muslim, adding, “You cannot cancel out a religion because there are some groups, or many groups in a certain point of history, of fundamentalists.”

"Like everything, there are religious people with values and those without," he said. "But how many wars … have Christians made? The sacking of Rome was not done by Muslims, eh?"

STORY: Vatican’s liturgy chief contradicts Pope Francis on Communion for non-Catholics

On the same flight a journalist asked about the use of condoms in the fight against AIDS and if it was time for the Church to change its position.

The pope acknowledged that condoms are one method of prevention, saying that the Church was faced with a perplexity of whether to follow the fifth commandment (Thou shalt not kill) “or that sexual relations are open to life.” 

He dismissed this however as ‘not the problem’ and said it reminded him of the question asked Jesus, “Tell me, teacher, is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath? Is it obligatory to heal?’

Catholic News Agency carries the fullest rendition of the pope’s quotes on the matter, relating his words thus:

“Let’s not talk about if one can use this type of patch or that for a small wound, the serious wound is social injustice, environmental injustice,” Pope Francis continued. “I don’t like to go down to reflections on such case studies when people die due to a lack of water, hunger, environment...when all are cured, when there aren’t these illnesses, tragedies, that man makes, whether for social injustice or to earn more money – I think of the trafficking of arms – when these problems are no longer there, I think we can ask the question ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’”

 “Because, if the trafficking of arms continues, wars are the biggest cause of mortality...I would say not to think about whether it’s lawful or not to heal on the Sabbath, I would say to humanity: ‘make justice,’ and when all are cured, when there is no more injustice, we can talk about the Sabbath.”

While in Africa the pope used very strong language to promote the climate change agreement at the Paris climate summit that started today. He said it would be a “catastrophe” if it did not achieve acceptance in Paris in the coming days and added that the decision came down to the choice “either to improve or to destroy the environment.”

Speaking at the United Nations center in Nairobi on November 26, Pope Francis said, “In a few days an important meeting on climate change will be held in Paris, where the international community as such will once again confront these issues. It would be sad, and I dare say even catastrophic, were particular interests to prevail over the common good and lead to manipulating information in order to protect their own plans and projects.”

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Ben Carson on Colorado shooting: pro-lifers need to ‘tone down’ ‘hateful rhetoric’

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By Ben Johnson

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, November 30, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - After a string of verbal gaffes and controversies over the depth of his pro-life convictions, Dr. Ben Carson has implied that the pro-life movement needs to "tone down" its "hateful rhetoric" and "become more mature."

The doctor was asked on CBS's "Face the Nation" about abortion supporters' claims that pro-life speech led to Robert Lewis Dear's shooting inside a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

"There is no question that hateful rhetoric, no matter which side it comes from, Right or Left, is something that is detrimental to our society," Dr. Carson said. "This has been a big problem."

"No question the hateful rhetoric exacerbates the situation," Carson affirmed.

Lamenting that social discourse had become less civil, he said modern political "rhetoric is extremely immature, divisive, and is not helpful."

“I think both sides should tone down their rhetoric and engage in civil discussion," Dr. Carson said.

Pro-life leaders were quick to rebut his charges that they engage in extreme or immature rhetoric. (See related story.)

After briefly leading rival Donald Trump in a series of national polls, Carson's presidential hopes have crumpled amidst a series of misstatements and retractions that have led national commentators to question whether the political novice is ready to be president of the United States. Last Sunday, talk show host Rush Limbaugh told Fox News that Ben Carson is "probably not" fully "equipped to be president."

The statement apparently condemning pro-life rhetoric comes after Carson, a famed neurosurgeon, told a Florida reporter that attempts to save the life of Terri Schiavo were "much ado about nothing."

Dr. Carson told LifeSiteNews exclusively that his remarks had been taken out of context by a Tampa Bay Times reporter. The reporter later posted the full transcript of his question, and Dr. Carson's answer to provide context.

Full transcript of the "Face the Nation" segment:

Dickerson: OK. I would like to ask you about a domestic political event or what some people see has a political element to it, and that's the shooting at a Planned Parenthood location in Colorado Springs.

Some abortion rights supporters have said that the rhetoric has led to that kind of violence. What's your view on that?

Carson: There is no question that hateful rhetoric, no matter which side it comes from, Right or Left, is something that is detrimental to our society.

This has been a big problem. Our strength in this country has traditionally been in our unity. And we are allowing all kinds of circumstances to divide us and make us hateful toward each other. And the rhetoric is extremely immature, divisive, and is not helpful.

When you have outside forces, global Islamic radical jihadists who want to destroy us, why would we be doing that to ourselves? We, at some point, have got to become more mature. No question the hateful rhetoric exacerbates the situation, and we should be doing all we can to engage an intelligence, civil discussion about our differences.

That's how we solve problems. We don't ever solve them with hateful rhetoric.

Dickerson: Should abortion rights -- excuse me -- should those who oppose abortion rights tone down their rhetoric?

Carson: I think both sides should tone down their rhetoric and engage in civil discussion.

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Robert Lewis Dear
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Everything we know about the Planned Parenthood shooter

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By John Jalsevac
Robert Dear's shanty in North Carolina where he spent part of his time.

November 30, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - Planned Parenthood, and supporters of abortion rights, have pointed to Friday's shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility as evidence that the pro-life movement is responsible for encouraging violence through its "hateful rhetoric." Planned Parenthood of Rocky Mountains has declared that the shooter himself "was motivated by opposition to Planned Parenthood and access to abortion," although police have not officially released any information about his motives.

Meanwhile, the picture emerging of the man who allegedly opened fire at a Planned Parenthood facility Friday is one of a deeply disturbed recluse who, though opposed to abortion, had little interest in and no known history of active involvement in the abortion debate, with a long spate of run-ins with the law and a pattern of bizarre behavior that left some of those who encountered him fearful for their safety, and many convinced that he wasn't in his right mind.

On Saturday morning Colorado Springs police identified Robert Lewis Dear, 57, of North Carolina, as the suspect in the shooting that left three dead, and another nine injured. Dear allegedly began shooting outside the Planned Parenthood facility just before noon, Mountain Time, Friday, before retreating into the facility for a five hour stand-off with police.

Planned Parenthood has confirmed that none of its staff were injured in the shooting. Both of the civilians killed were reportedly accompanying friends to appointments.

The New York Daily News reports that an online dating profile that appears to have been posted by Dear in the early 2000s has Dear asking for "discreet" sadomasochistic sex, as well as pot-smoking companions. Other posts on Cannabis.com by someone with a username associated with Dear, include what the Daily News describes as "paranoid Biblical rants."

Heavy.com reports that Dear was arrested and charged in 2002 on "animal cruelty," eavesdropping and "peeping tom" charges. He was acquitted of the animal cruelty charges after a bench trial, while the latter charges were dismissed.

The animal cruelty charge was apparently related to an incident in which Dear allegedly shot a neighbor's dog in the leg with a pellet gun.

USA Today reports that a 2004 police report shows Dear threatened to "do bodily harm" to a neighbor.

He also has numerous previous convictions for various traffic violations. These include seat belt violations, driver’s license violations, operating a vehicle in an unsafe mechanical condition and driving a non-registered vehicle.

ABC reports that Dear spent some of his time living in a cabin in the woods in North Carolina, without running water or electricity. Neighbors say he was a quiet man who seemed "off." They said that when he did speak, he tended to ramble on a disconnected series of topics.

One neighbor, James Russell, said that two topics they never heard Dear speak about were religion and abortion. Russell also said that Dear tended to avoid eye contact. "Nothing with him was very cognitive," said Russell about Dear.

RELATED: Police officer killed at Planned Parenthood was pro-life, Christian pastor

James Howie, who lived close to one of Dear's remote properties in North Carolina, told USA Today that Dear once asked him to do some foundation work on his shack. After accompanying Dear to the job site, Howie declined the job. "I was just glad to get home," he said about the experience, adding that in his view Dear seemed crazy, although not dangerous.

Another neighbor told the Washington Post that Dear "was the kind of person you had to watch out for. He was a very weird individual. It's hard to explain, but he had a weird look in his eye most of the time."

Another neighbor told the Post, "He complained about everything. He said he worked with the government, and everybody was out to get him, and he knew the secrets of the USA. He said, 'Nobody touch me, because I've got enough information to put the whole U.S. of A in danger.' It was very crazy."

Another neighbor said that she and her family "kept out of his way." "He wouldn't really speak to anybody, he wouldn't wave," Mallory Nicoletti, 29, told the Citizen-Times.

John Hood, another neighbor, told NBCNews that Dear rarely spoke with him, but when he did, it was to offer bizarre advice. On one occasion, said Hood, Dear urged him to get a metal roof installed on his house, so the US government couldn't spy on him. Hood also said he erected a fence between their properties, because Dear had a habit of skinny dipping. 

RELATED: This one shot from the latest PP sting video might be the most disturbing thing you see all year

Those living in the North Carolina community where Dear had his shack said they were frustrated by the fact that Dear would leave for days at a time, leaving behind two dogs with no food or water, who would start to get aggressive.

“We’re not isolationists,” one resident said. “You know how whenever someone goes crazy, the neighbors say he was so quiet and normal. That wasn’t the case here. He was weird. Everyone kept an eye on him.”

"He was really tightly wound," said another resident. "You could see that from the stress on his face, from the way he acted.”

Still another went even further, telling the Post, "He was just always saying, ‘I know the U.S. is trying to kill everybody’ and do this and do that. He [said he] was an undercover [agent]. Just craziness. Just pure, right-out craziness all the time.

“I’m kind of glad he’s put away now."

The Gateway Pundit also reports that, bizarrely, Dear was registered to vote as a woman, although it is unclear whether this is simply a clerical error or has any deeper significance. His party was listed as "unaffiliated."

One anonymous source, reportedly with the police, told the Washington Post that in a confusing rant following his arrest Dear did make mention of "baby body parts," suggesting some connection with the recent series of undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood staffers harvesting and selling the body parts of aborted babies.

However, the source added that this was but one topic among many mentioned by Dear in a speech that left investigators unclear as to his specific motivation.

Planned Parenthood has issued a statement saying that based upon eyewitnesses they believe Dear "was motivated by opposition to safe and legal abortion." 

Dear's ex-wife, Pamela Ross, told the New York Times he was a Bible-believing Christian, and that he opposed abortion, but that it "was never really a topic of conversation" in their house.

RELATED: Planned Parenthood shooting suspect surrenders, is in custody: police

Ross and Dear divorced in 2000. The picture that Ross paints of her ex-husband as a physically healthy man who lifted weights, took good care of himself, enjoyed listening to U2 and riding motorcycles, clashes markedly with the accounts of those who lived near him in the years since their parting. 

Ross said she was shocked at the man she saw on TV following his arrest this weekend.

“Something must have happened to him when he moved away, that’s all I know," she said. “Me and our whole family are extremely devastated and heartbroken by the victims of these families, and we have no words that can ever comfort them other than to say we’re sorry for what he did.”

However, Ross admits that she did call police on Dear in 1997, after a case of domestic violence. She didn't press charges at the time.

Dear reportedly brought several "items" with him into the Planned Parenthood facility, which police had said they were concerned could be explosives. Early Saturday morning police tweeted that those items have been "secured" and are "no longer a threat."

Subsequent reports have suggested those items were propane tanks that Dear may have been trying to shoot in order to cause an explosion.

After a five-hour standoff with police, during which Dear repeatedly exchanged gunfire with them, police were able to establish voice contact with the suspect by shouting. At that point they were able to convince him to surrender.

While some reports have indicated that the shooting actually began outside a nearby Chase Bank, and may have been related to a robbery, Springfield police spokeswoman Lt. Catherine Buckley said at a press conference Friday evening that the shooting appears to have begun at the Planned Parenthood. 

While Dear's motive is still unknown, pro-life groups have issued statements condemning the violence, and urging caution in jumping to conclusions.

"Information is very sketchy about the currently active shooting situation in Colorado Springs," said Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life. "The Planned Parenthood was the address given in the initial call to the police, but we still do not know what connection, if any, the shooting has to do with Planned Parenthood or abortion."

"As leaders in the pro-life movement, we call for calm and pray for a peaceful resolution of this situation."

Troy Newman of Operation Rescue and Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, also issued statements.

"Operation Rescue unequivocally deplores and denounces all violence at abortion clinics and has a long history of working through peaceful channels to advocate on behalf of women and their babies," said Newman. "We express deep concern for everyone involved and are praying for the safety of those at the Planned Parenthood office and for law enforcement personnel. We pray this tragic situation can be quickly resolved without further injury to anyone."

"Although we don't know the reasons for the shooting near the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs today, the pro-life movement is praying for the safety of all involved and as a movement we have always unequivocally condemned all forms of violence at abortion clinics. We must continually as a nation stand against violence on all levels," said Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, based in Washington, D.C.


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