February 2, 2009
Here’s some interesting highlights from the blogosphere today.
February 2, 2009
Here’s what we are reading this morning.
- “Mormons take lead on ‘social’ bills,” Jared Miller, Casper Star-Tribune (January 31, 2009)
- “Sweden set to legalise same-sex marriage by May,” A. Rienstra, IceNews (February 2, 2009)
- “Tracking predators: a job that never ends,” Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun (February 1, 2009)
- “State of the States: Importance of Religion,” Frank Newport, Gallup (January 28, 2009)
- “Two children should be limit, says green guru,” Sarah-Kate Templeton, The London Times (February 1, 2009)
- “Abortion issue sparks protest,” Joanna Klass, The Badger Herald (February 2, 2009)
- “Funding services for the disabled could deter abortions,” Salt Lake Tribune (January 30, 2009)
- “Pope: Euthanasia ‘false solution’ to suffering,” Nicole Winfield, Associated Press (February 1, 2009)
- “Finding Bible’s truths takes more than lifelong study of religion,” Michael A. Lawrence, The News-Leader (MO) (February 2, 2009)
- “Many faithful Steeler fans stay devoted to religion,” Craig Smith, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (February 1, 2009)
Family Research Council
February 2, 2009
In responding (as I was asked to) to Steven Waldman’s posting on Beliefnet.com it is easy to know where to start. It would be at the original title, “Why Pro-lifers Hate Family Planning,” which can be described mildly as inflammatory. It has since been changed to “Why Many Pro-lifers Oppose Family Planning,” which, at best, is less rabble-rousing. Taken with the rest of the post one could easily draw the conclusion that supporting family planning can only be defined as supporting taxpayer funding of condoms. But what of abstinence? Or natural family planning? While many religions are opposed to condoms, there are a few who are not, however still religious organizations are pretty active on family planning - be it pregnancy care centers, churches with abstinence and pre-marital and marital counseling, abstinence programs, etc. Most religious conservatives, in my opinion, are more unified in opposing federal involvement. With sheckles come shackles.
The rest of the post does seem to try to draw a balance, though I do disagree with the premise “that there is evidence that government financed family planning does reduce abortions” - which seems to have at its base a quote from Planned Parenthood’s research arm, the Guttmacher Institute. However Guttmacher’s own numbers seem to dispute their quote. Many major cities have been seeing an increase of both pregnancy and abortion, despite also having liberal rules and regulations on family planning. Take New York City, which has liberalized sex education and even has its own brand of condom. In New York State 1/3 of the pregnancies result in induced abortion. Additionally the state rate of abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age is almost double the national rate. It does not stop there, in New York City, rates for teenage pregnancy far exceed the national averages and the city “remains the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with youths, the poor, and minorities increasingly - and unevenly - affected by the disease.”
Finally Mr. Waldman points out that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest promoter of abortion, “also provides prenatal care that prevents infant death and birth control that stops unintended pregnancies.” While how much of this counseling and care is actually done by Planned Parenthood is disputed, what of the other groups that do not promote abortion, like pregnancy care centers, that because of their opposition to abortion, do not accept federal funds under the Title X program that distributes them? These pro-life pregnancy care centers, if they accepted Title X funds, would be forced by the federal government to include referring for abortions as part of their pre-natal care - thanks to a regulation passed by President Clinton and never rescinded by President George W. Bush. Additionally pregnancy care centers, unlike Planned Parenthood, do not spend tens of millions of dollars to elect pro-abortion politicians or overturn popular incremental pro-life laws like parental consent.
How much more could these pregnancy care centers do if they received the millions in subsidies that U.S. taxpayers are currently giving to Planned Parenthood? The question isn’t why do pro-lifers hate family planning but more why does Planned Parenthood hate family planning that creates families?
Family Research Council
February 1, 2009
During the campaign there was a lot of talk from the Obama campaign that he would usher in a new era of open and honest government. In fact on the ethics page of his website there is this little tidbit:
Sunlight Before Signing: Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them. As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.
Then how does he explain the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which Heritage correctly describes as a payoff to trial lawyers? According to the Congressional website THOMAS the Lilly Ledbetter Act was passed by the Senate on January 22, then passed by the House of Representatives on January 27 and signed into law by President Obama two days later.
I searched the White House website and there was no five day “waiting period” before President Obama signed the legislation into law, and certainly no explanation that this trial lawyers’ dream of a bill is “emergency” legislation.
There is a section of the White House website on the bill that asks for comments - but I am told by people in the White House it did not go up till two hours AFTER the bill was signed!