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

Opinion

ObamaCare key to Planned Parenthood expansion

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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Pro-life group asks: Pray for abortionists who sell baby body parts

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February 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - This Lent, a pro-life group would like you to pray for an abortionist - specifically, an abortionist who facilitates the sale of unborn babies' body parts.

The Pro-Life Action League is asking for people to pray for three people in particular throughout the 40 days of Lent. All three were caught on video by the Center for Medical Progress.

Dr. Deborah Nucatola appeared in the first video released last July, sipping red wine and stabbing her salad as she discussed the dismemberment of aborted children, including where to “crush” their bodies for a "less crunchy" technique.

The second is Dr. Mary Gatter, who appeared in the second undercover video, haggling over the prices Planned Parenthood expected to receive for the aborted children's organs and tissue. At one point, she joked that she wants the revenue to pay for “a Lamborghini.”

And the third is Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, who was also caught in the first video praising Dr. Nucatola.

Despite the shocking evidence uncovered by CMP, Richards has insisted her organization did not receive any profit for what she dubs its "fetal tissue donation program." She apologized only for Dr. Nucatola's "tone." She has since said that Planned Parenthood will not receive any remuneration for babies' body parts.

"These three architects of Planned Parenthood’s baby parts scheme have devoted their lives to the destruction and exploitation of human life in the name of ‘choice,’" said Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League. "If we won’t pray for them, who will?”

He asked Christians to pray for these three abortion industry profiteers - and for Richards, who is a post-abortive woman - in order to fulfill Jesus Christ's commandment in the Bible, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” (St. Matthew 5:44).

“In God’s eyes, what abortion has done to these three women may be worse than what they’ve done to unborn children, who now rest in our Lord’s loving arms," Scheidler said.

For most Catholics, Lent began yesterday on Ash Wednesday, and lasts 40 days.



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Texas AG faces ethics probe for defending conscience rights of natural marriage supporters

Lisa Bourne

AUSTIN, Texas, February 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The attorney general of the state of Texas is facing an ethics investigation for having affirmed the constitutional religious freedom of state workers to decline to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if it goes against their religious beliefs.

Attorney General Ken Paxton took steps to address the issue of conscience protection in his state before and after last June's Supreme Court's Obergefell decision imposing same-sex "marriage" on all 50 states, first issuing a statement the day prior clarifying that Texas law recognizes the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman and recommending that state officials wait for direction from his office should the High Court move to redefine marriage.

Paxton then issued a statement two days after the ruling, his office allowing county clerks and their employees to retain religious freedoms that may allow accommodation of their religious objections to issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and said as well that justices of the peace and judges would similarly retain religious freedoms.

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A month later, a group of some 200 attorneys filed a complaint asserting that Paxton's position encouraged officials to violate the U.S. Constitution and break their oaths of office, according to ABC News.

The complaint was dismissed at first by the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel of the State Bar of Texas, but it was reinstated February 2 by a state Supreme Court-appointed appeals board, which contended that the complaint alleges a "possible violation" of professional conduct rules.

The appeals board decision to reinstate the case does not mean Paxton violated professional ethics, according to the ABC report, but does require him to respond to the complaint in conjunction with the investigation.

"The complaint has always lacked merit," said Paxton spokeswoman Cynthia Meyer, "and we are confident the legal process for resolving these complaints will bear that out."

Paxton was among several state officials across the U.S. who moved to ensure conscience protection in the immediate aftermath the Obergefell ruling, at times garnering the ire of homosexual activists.

Last July, South Dakota's attorney general granted permission to county clerks with conscientious objections to opt out of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as long as another clerk in the office would issue the license. 

Rowan County, KY clerk Kim Davis was jailed last fall for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because it violated her religious values.

In a highly contentious case, Davis had asked for a religious accommodation allowing her office to issue altered licenses to homosexuals without her name on them, which was eventually granted by Kentucky's Governor Matt Bevin. However, the ACLU sued, seeking to force Davis to issue the old forms with her full name on them. A federal judge rejected the suit earlier this week.

Last year, homosexual activists sent harassing messages, including threats of violence, to Oklahoma State Senator Joseph Silk and his family after the Republican legislator sponsored a bill that would have given the state's business owners the freedom to follow their religious convictions in regard to homosexual "marriage."

Paxton faces penalties varying between a reprimand and disbarment resulting from the ethics complaint. The Texas attorney general is also facing securities fraud charges.



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This pro-abortion billionaire may run for president

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NEW YORK, February 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - He's an upwardly mobile, socially liberal billionaire whose political affiliation has changed numerous times over the years. He's teased numerous presidential campaigns in the past, but this time he's talking like he's serious. And no, he's not who you think he is.

Michael Bloomberg, who served three terms as mayor of New York City, has confirmed to media sources that he is considering running for president as an independent in 2016.

Bloomberg told told the Financial Times this week that he finds American political "discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters," and that he's “looking at all the options."

The 73-year-old tycoon was a registered Democrat before switching parties to run in the less contested Republican primary in 2001. He became a registered independent in 2007.

As mayor, Bloomberg governed as a social liberal who strongly supported abortion and the LGBT political agenda.

In 2011, Bloomberg signed a controversial gag order directed at crisis pregnancy centers. A year later, he endorsed Barack Obama's re-election, saying that abortion-on-demand is part of "the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there."

After leaving office, he received Planned Parenthood's Global Citizen Award at its annual gala on March 27, 2014.

That's the same year Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a $50 million undertaking to expand "reproductive health," including a major partnership with Planned Parenthood-Global to overturn pro-life laws in four nations: Nicaragua, Sengal, Uganda, and Burkina Faso.

Jeb Bush sat on the board of the philanthropy, which also strongly supports Common Core educational standards, at the time.

Mayor Bloomberg played a pivotal role redefining marriage in New York state, giving the four Republican state senators who voted for New York’s same-sex “marriage” bill the maximum campaign contribution allowed by law. One retired and a second lost his primary fight.

His strong emphasis on health regulations, such as attempting to ban soft drinks larger than 16 ounces, did little to enhance his popularity and were deftly parodied by Sarah Palin. (A state court struck down the proposed regulation.)

His $50 million gun control crusade dissipated after his cause failed in state after state.

The financial heft he could bring into the race, as well as his quirky politics, has tempted Bloomberg to enter presidential politics in the past. He considered a presidential run in 2008 and thought more strongly about a third party bid in 2012, after hosting the inaugural convention of the “No Labels” movement in New York City in 2010, but he backed off each time after not seeing a viable path to victory.

With an estimated fortune of $39 billion, he has said he would be willing to spend more than $1 billion on his campaign in 2016 - but he would only enter the race if the Republican Party nominates Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, and the Democratic Party nominates Bernie Sanders.

He called Jeb and Hillary Clinton "two quality” candidates and "the only two who know how to make the trains run." Jeb reciprocated last month, telling CNN that Bloomberg is "a good person, and he’s a patriot and wants the best for the country.”

At least one of his competitors is eager to see Mike run. "I hope he gets into the race," Donald Trump told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Wednesday night. "I'd love to compete against him...I would love to see Michael in the race."

That is likely because polling shows Bloomberg would draw most of his support from the Democratic candidate. "Although he is characterized as the New York counterpunch to Trump, Mayor Mike Bloomberg is more the nemesis of Bernie than he is of Donald," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Bernie Sanders would defeat both Trump and Cruz in a head-to-head match, according to Quinnipiac. But if Bloomberg entered the race, he would win 15 percent of the vote largely from Sanders, giving Trump a one-point victory in the popular vote (and narrowing Cruz's loss to one point).

However, he could throw a major wrench in the Democrats' electoral college total, according to columnist Pat Buchanan.

"Not only would Bloomberg lose the Big Apple, his statewide vote would come mostly from the Democratic nominee, giving Republicans the best opportunity to carry the Empire State since Ronald Reagan coasted to re-election in 1984," wrote Buchanan, who served as White House communications director during Reagan's second term.

“It’s not beyond imagining that he could get in and have an effect on the race,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, told The Hill.

Perhaps sensing this, numerous Democrats - including Senators Claire McCaskill and Jeanne Shaheen - have thrown cold water on a Bloomberg presidential run.

Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, said this week that an independent Bloomberg candidacy "won't be necessary" - because the Democrats already represent social liberals.

"I really think when he takes a good hard look, he will conclude that the issues that are important to him...[have] a natural home among our Democratic candidates," she said. "And so, I think Michael Bloomberg's agenda is well cared-for and advanced among our Democratic candidates, and his candidacy, I think he will find, won't be necessary.""

His entrance into the race would be a true injection of "New York values" - making him the third or fourth New Yorker in the race - alongside fellow billionaire Trump from Queens, the Brooklyn-born Sanders, and onetime New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

Annie Linskey, a reporter for the Boston Globe who once worked for Bloomberg, told Fox News on Monday that there is "about a four" percent chance that Bloomberg will run.



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