Author archives: Arina Grossu

Health Clinics Offer a Broader Range of Services for Women Than Planned Parenthood

by Arina Grossu

September 2, 2015

The Daily Signal recently published my piece on why women don’t need Planned Parenthood and how they are actually better off if the $528 million in federal and state funds that is currently going to Planned Parenthood, is made available to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs).  These clinics offer more comprehensive women’s health care than Planned Parenthood ever has.  In fact, there is not one unique service that Planned Parenthood offers that women can’t get elsewhere.

For those interested in a more in-depth look at the specific services offered by FQHCs and RHCs, here are the findings. The primary health services that FQHCs and RHCs are listed and defined in the Public Health Service Act including general, preventive, diagnostic, emergency and pharmaceutical health services:

(i) basic health services which, for purposes of this section, shall consist of-
       (I) health services related to family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, or gynecology that are furnished by physicians and where appropriate, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives;
      (II) diagnostic laboratory and radiologic services;
      (III) preventive health services, including-
             (aa) prenatal and perinatal services
             (bb) appropriate cancer screening;
             (cc) well-child services;
             (dd) immunizations against vaccine-preventable diseases;
             (ee) screenings for elevated blood lead levels, communicable diseases, and cholesterol;
             (ff) pediatric eye, ear, and dental screenings to determine the need for vision and hearing correction and dental care;
             (gg) voluntary family planning services; and
             (hh) preventive dental services;
    (IV) emergency medical services; and
    (V) pharmaceutical services as may be appropriate for particular centers;
(ii) referrals to providers of medical services
(iii) patient case management services
(iv) services that enable individuals to use the services of the health center
(v) education of patients and the general population served by the health center regarding the availability and proper use of health services.

In addition, the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual for FQHCs and RHCs lists the following covered services under Medicare for qualifying individuals.  RHC services listed in section 50.1 include:

  • Physicians’ services of diagnosis, therapy, surgery, and consultation.  These include the services of doctors of medicine, osteopathy, dental surgery, dental medicine, podiatry, optometry, or chiropractic who are licensed and practicing.
  • Services of Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Physician Assistants (PAs), and Certified Nurse Midwife Services (CNMs).
  • Certified Psychologist (CP) and certified Social Worker (CSW) services.
  • Visiting nurse services to the homebound.

RHC services covered by Medicare also include certain preventive services such as:

  • Influenza, Pneumococcal, Hepatitis B vaccinations;
  • Hepatitis C screenings;
  • IPPE;Annual Wellness Visit; and
  • Medicare-covered preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

FQHC services listed in section 50.2 include all of the above services listed in section 50.1 above, and specifically:

  • Screening mammography;
  • Screening pap smear and screening pelvic exam;
  • Prostate cancer screening tests;
  • Colorectal cancer screening tests;
  • Diabetes outpatient self-management training (DSMT) services;
  • Diabetes screening tests;
  • Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) services;
  • Bone mass measurement;
  • Screening for glaucoma;
  • Cardiovascular screening blood tests; and
  • Ultrasound screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm

Another Health and Human Services (HHS) flyer on preventive primary health services shows that the following services are covered when furnished by FQHCs to a Medicare patient:

  • Medical social services;
  • Nutritional assessment and referral;
  • Preventive health education;
  • Children’s eye and ear examinations;
  • Well child care, including periodic screening;
  • Immunizations, including tetanus-diphtheria booster and influenza vaccine;
  • Voluntary family planning services;
  • Taking patient history;
  • Blood pressure measurement;
  • Weight measurement;
  • Physical examination targeted to risk;
  • Visual acuity screening;
  • Hearing screening;
  • Cholesterol screening;
  • Stool testing for occult blood;
  • Tuberculosis testing for high risk patients;
  • Dipstick urinalysis; and
  • Risk assessment and initial counseling regarding risks.

For women only:

  • Prenatal and post-partum care;
  • Prenatal services;
  • Clinical breast examination;
  • Referral for mammography; and
  • Thyroid function test.

Planned Parenthood on the other hand, lists in its most recent report only the following categories for services it offers: STI/STD testing and treatment, contraception, cancer screening and prevention, other women’s health services, abortion and other services.

Its services are quite limited—services which are already being offered by FQHCs and RHCs, excepting abortion.

Congress and states must defund Planned Parenthood and the money be made available to these other health clinics which are much more comprehensive in their health care offerings than Planned Parenthood.  Women, families and children deserve better health care than what Planned Parenthood offers.

Protest Planned Parenthood Rallies Take the Nation by Storm

by Arina Grossu

August 25, 2015

Over the weekend, I was very encouraged to see the turnout and the passion at the Protest Planned Parenthood rally in D.C.  Concerned Americans rallied at over half of the nation’s Planned Parenthood facilities. In fact, so far 280 of the 353 cities reported a total of more than 68,000 people rallying in 49 states and six countries at the largest protest of Planned Parenthood since its existence. 

This is historic.  The Washington Post reported on the “thousands” of protesters, but that number will likely be above 100,000 participants once all of the cities have been tallied-up.

The national momentum to investigate and defund Planned Parenthood is growing.  There are now 13 states that have announced investigations and five states that have defunded their state Planned Parenthood.  Yet, we must keep up the pressure.  The rallies gave an opportunity for those who felt horrified and helpless after watching the gruesome videos released by the Center for Medical Progress to do something in their very own communities and stand up for women who are being exploited and for the unborn babies whose organs are being trafficked. 

Planned Parenthood’s other non-abortion services can easily be replaced by the close to 15,000 federally-qualified health centers.  In fact, Planned Parenthood’s annual report reveals that such preventive services as cancer screening and prevention programs and prenatal services, have dropped by half, while its abortion numbers remain up.  And, by the way, Planned Parenthood provides no mammograms. 

Not only can we do without Planned Parenthood, but we are better off defunding it so that over half a billion taxpayer dollars will be available to comprehensive women’s health clinics that actually care for women’s health. 

We must continue to urge Congress and state leaders both to investigate Planned Parenthood for its blatant human rights abuses and defund it.  Please join over 20,000 and sign this FRC petition calling for Congress to remove funds from Planned Parenthood.  What the rallies across the country have shown is that our voices joined together are making an impact.  We need to keep the pressure up in our local communities and states so that this organization does not benefit from one more dime of taxpayer funds and that it will be investigated for its indisputably evil practices.

Incest, Polygamy: Where do We Draw the Line and On What Basis?

by Arina Grossu

July 28, 2015

After the recent legalization of same-sex unions, the internet was in a flurry with the logical consequences of the decision.  If the basis of the decision was about adult consent and autonomy, what about polygamy?

Chief Justice John G. Roberts said it best in his dissent in Obergefell:

Although the majority randomly inserts the adjective ‘two’ in various places, it offers no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not,” Roberts wrote. “Indeed, from the standpoint of history and tradition, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world.”

 

If marriage is not between one man and one woman, why should it be between two people?  Jonathan Turley, the lawyer who won the polygamy marriage case in Utah for Kody Brown and his four “Sister Wives” said “…much of the language of the majority clearly resonates with our arguments against the criminalization of private consensual relations.  It also speaks to the stigma that is borne by families in being excluded in society.  That is an even greater danger when your entire family is declared a criminal enterprise merely because the parents chose to cohabitate as a plural family.”

While polygamy is as “taboo” today as same-sex marriage was in decades past, the legal reasoning for opposing polygamy now has no foundation, says Fredrik deBoer, writing for Politico. With the Supreme Court decision, same-sex union advocates have succeeded in undoing natural marriage, he says. Now there is no reason for “progressive people” to oppose extending marriage rights to any and all sexual romantic relationships that adults choose.

Let’s fast-forward to another taboo topic (and with good reason): incest.  Some argue that incest should be allowed because of the same arguments for autonomy, self-fulfillment and consent that we find in the arguments for same-sex unions and even for polygamy.  Debra Lieberman, assistant professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara said, “We need to start asking if it’s OK to limit someone’s freedom just because we have a ‘yuck’ response to it.”

The author of this article seeks to normalize incest saying,

“When Melissa, an administrative assistant in a law firm who’s in her 20s, met an older woman named Lisa a few years ago, it was love at first sight. The two have been in a relationship ever since but know that marriage is out of the picture. And it’s not because they are lesbian. It’s because they are mother and daughter…
It wasn’t that long ago when homosexuality and sadomasochism were also considered taboo. These days, though, Hollywood’s offerings are packed with homoerotic imagery and commuters are happy to crack open a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey on the morning train to the office. So if pop culture is anything to go by (and when isn’t it?), there are some signs that romantic love between family members is slowly becoming less socially outrageous. Look no further than HBO’s Game of Thrones— which explicitly portrays sex between a brother and sister — or scenes of a mother and son going at it in Boardwalk Empire.”

Normalizing incest would be to irresponsibly promote its painful, horrible consequences—all in the name of autonomy.   This would lead to health and psychological consequences which are clearly not in the best interest of those participating in it or of any children involved.  Even if the two relatives are consenting adults who perceive their lifestyle choice as normal, should it have a stamp of approval and if not, on what basis do we draw the line if “love is love?”

We see how the cookie crumbles. So if marriage is no longer legally between one man and one woman, then on what basis do we draw the line against any kind of consensual “marriage” relationship? What about the “rights” of polygamists or polyamorists like those described in “One Big Happy Polyamorous Family?”  And what about the “rights” of those in incestous relationships?

We have a moral obligation to severely and urgently draw the line. 

Planned Parenthood: Abortion Numbers Up, Other Services Down

by Arina Grossu

June 25, 2015

Americans United for Life (AUL) has released its fourth report in a series of exposés of Planned Parenthood (PPFA).  This report details PPFA’s expansion strategy of building new mega-centers for abortions and how PPFA’s increased focus is on abortion. 

A striking chart shows that from 2006 to 2013, the number of abortions performed by PPFA has gone up while cancer screening and preventative services have gone down by more than 50 percent.   Since 2004, mega-centers have opened in at least 19 cities and with them abortions have gone up nationwide by more than 70,000 abortions annually.

Think of these Planned Parenthood mega-centers as “abortion Wal-Marts.”  Where they open, the smaller abortion centers shut down, and Planned Parenthood gets a bigger piece of the abortion industry pie.  From 2004 to 2011, Planned Parenthood went from performing 20 percent to more than 32 percent of all abortions in the United States.

The abortion market might be in at a decline everywhere else, but at Planned Parenthood, “business” is good.

Yet taxpayer money continues to be handed over to America’s #1 abortion provider.  PPFA rakes in more than $500 million annually from taxpayer funds; this composes more than 40 percent of its overall revenue.

FRC’s Planned Parenthood factsheet also reveals that not only has Planned Parenthood decreased its cancer screening and preventative programs, but it also has decreased adoption referrals.  Comparing 2011 and 2013, the likelihood of a woman getting an abortion rather than an adoption referral at a Planned Parenthood increased from 145 times to 174 times.  From 2011 to 2013, adoption referrals decreased by 18 percent. In addition, from 2009 to 2013, prenatal services steadily decreased and dropped by more than half, and breast exams consistently decreased and dropped by a total of 41 percent.

So what exactly is Planned Parenthood doing besides building mega-centers and ending the lives of developing babies?  Apparently, increasingly little else.

Decline in Abortions

by Arina Grossu

June 11, 2015

The Associated Press reported this week that abortions have decreased nationally by 12 percent since 2010.  This is an encouraging sign showing that hearts and minds are changing on the issue of abortion.  Where’s the momentum coming from?

First, as technological improvements, such as 4D ultrasounds, continue to show the humanity of the unborn child, more mothers reject abortion. In a survey conducted by the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), found that 78 percent of mothers considering abortion who viewed an ultrasound image of their unborn child chose life. 

Second, science also confirms that unborn children feel pain by 20 weeks post-fertilization.  The pro-life movement is the one that is rooted in science and medical facts. As more people learn about the actual development of the unborn baby, it becomes that much more difficult to deny her humanity.  In fact, the House passed and the U.S. Senate tomorrow is introducing a bill to protect unborn pain-capable babies from abortion.

Third, states have enacted more laws in the past four years than in the entire decade previous. These laws save lives.  Surprisingly, abortions are down even in liberal states like New York, Washington and Oregon, which maintained unrestricted access to abortion, the AP reports.

Dr. Michael New expresses some caveats to the good news.  He notes that the survey should have focused on abortion rates instead of abortion numbers and that abortion data from state health departments can be unreliable because of less rigorous reporting standards. Even so, he says that a smaller percentage of women with unintended pregnancies are having abortions. Pulling from Guttmacher Institute data, he explains that the percentage of unintended pregnancies ending in abortion fell from 54 percent in 1994 to 40 percent in 2008.  He also reminds us that since 1990 when abortions in the U.S. peaked, they have declined by approximately 34 percent since then.

There’s good reason for hope in the pro-life movement as technology and science continue show us the humanity of the unborn. As more states enact pro-life legislation and as public opinion continues to shift on the side of life, the momentum is likely to continue.  Let’s be encouraged as we continue to work to dismantle legalized abortion in the U.S. and relegate it to a dark chapter of our history.  Our future rests in the protection of the lives of our unborn brothers and sisters in the womb.  

Ultrasounds Save Lives

by Arina Grossu

March 4, 2015

A survey conducted by the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), a national legal network of prolife pregnancy centers, showed how powerful ultrasounds are in changing the minds of abortion-minded and abortion-vulnerable patients. 

NIFLA stated in a press release:

Four-hundred and ten (410) of NIFLA’s medical membership (less than one-half) reported providing 75,318 ultrasound confirmations of pregnancy in 2013 on patients identified as either abortion-minded or abortion-vulnerable. Of these abortion at risk patients, 58,634 chose to carry to term, indicating that 78% of those mothers who saw an ultrasound image of their unborn child before deciding about abortion chose life.

When asked whether ultrasound confirmation of pregnancy has a positive impact upon a mother considering abortion to choose life 83.5% said “Absolutely,” 15.76% said “More than likely,” and 0.74% said, “Only a small impact.”

Planned Parenthood and abortion advocates will do all they can to conceal the reality that abortion kills babies.  That is why they refer to preborn babies as “tissues” or “products of conception” and oftentimes dissuade women from looking at their ultrasounds.  Technology reveals the truth that they try to hide from women.  When a woman sees her preborn child on an ultrasound, with a beating heart by 22 days post-fertilization, she will most likely choose life—78% of abortion-minded or abortion-vulnerable mothers who saw their ultrasounds did!  It is not a coincidence that 83.5% said that the ultrasound “Absolutely” has a positive impact and another 15.76% said that it “More than likely” did. 

We are seeing a trend in women connecting with their babies before birth.  Four dimensional ultrasounds (4-D) have done wonders in revealing to us the humanity of the child.  One ultrasound company did a 3-D/4-D photo contest asking parents to send in their child’s ultrasounds and photo post-birth, generally in the same pose as their ultrasound. The results are stunning, revealing the striking resemblance of these children’s mannerisms, both in the womb and outside of it.  There is also a new phenomenon of women doing 3-D printing of their ultrasounds for as little as $250.  A writer at the Washington Post admitted that it “could perhaps change the abortion debate.”  When the humanity of the preborn child is revealed with the help of technology, both the child and the mom win.

The Tragic Discovery of Six Infant Bodies in a U-Haul Storage Facility and the Value of Human Life

by Arina Grossu

October 27, 2014

Andrea Giesbrecht of Winnipeg, Canada has been arrested and charged with six counts of concealing the body of achild after the bodies of six infants were found in a U-Haul storage facility. The discovery was made when U-Haul employees went in to clean outthe locker because rental payments had not been made.

Police spokesman Eric Hofley told the media, “Autopsies are pending, but my understanding is we are discussing very young infants, certainly not children. Newborns.” The autopsies are being done to determine the cause of death, their ages, and if Giesbrecht is mother to all of the babies.

CBC reporter Caroline Barghout tweeted that the woman’s lawyer Greg Brodsky, referred to the remains as “bodies or possible fetuses.” While it is proper to find out as much as possible from the autopsies for the purposes of uncovering the truth about what happened, on a moral level the age of the babies ultimately does not change its gruesomeness. The fact of the matter is that six completely helpless human beings were found dead.

If it is discovered that she was mother to all of them and that she was the one who killed them, whether they were pre-term aborted babies or killed post-birth, would that change the fact that it was a gross violation of human dignity?

Her lawyer said that Giesbrecht was first arrested forhomicide but those charges were changed to theoffense of concealing bodies. Why?

I wonder if that has anything to do with the age of the babies. It is hard to reconcile Canada’s permissive abortion laws and the grey zone in its criminal code concerning live-birth abortions with its homicide laws. It is estimated that between 2000 to 2009, 491 aborted fetuses were born alive in Canada and exhibited “evidence of life” following their removal from the womb, such as heartbeat, gasping or crying.

There is no difference in dignity between babies within the womb or outside of it, between “wanted” or “unwanted” babies. Their age or level of development does not dictate their inherent value. Humans have dignity by the very fact that they are human and violence against any innocent human life is a grave injustice. So says reason. So says conscience. So says God.

(Ex)change We Can Believe In?

by Arina Grossu

September 8, 2014

Open enrollment for ObamaCare is right around the corner. With a November 15th start date, Americans deserve to know whether the plans they’re considering on the insurance exchanges cover elective abortion and if so, how much they’re paying for the abortion coverage, and how the abortion surcharge will be billed.

FRC wrote about this debacle in the past with regard to the exchanges and plans offered in D.C. and Maryland. We discovered that it was very difficult to obtain accurate information. Finding a pro-life plan should not be this daunting. Our investigation has revealed that insurance representatives on exchanges in various states have given information that is inaccurate and inconsistent. For example, in Colorado, representatives from ColoradoHealthOp have suggested that some of their plans cover elective abortions, while their online plan resources for those same plans clearly state that they do not cover elective abortion.

In another instance, two different representatives from Humana vouched that none of their plans cover elective abortion, but according to the plan details, they all do. Many states don’t even provide plan information on their websites. Some representatives from Sharp Health Plan in California and Group Health in Washington, have told us that they could not answer questions since we were not members, but how is one to make a decision about becoming a member before knowing the plan details?

Even when plan details are written out, it is not often clear if the plans cover elective abortions. Written plan details such as “interruption of pregnancy,” “pregnancy termination included,” or “abortion services” do not specify if that’s in reference to elective abortions. Such was the case with various companies in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

When asked specifically the ObamaCare abortion surcharge, which requires a person who signs up for a plan that covers elective abortions to pay at least $12 per year, representatives either had no idea about it, told us about deductible costs, or one even referred us to Planned Parenthood to see how much they charge for an abortion. Finding accurate information has proven to be nearly impossible. Congress must pass Rep. Chris Smith’s (R-N.J.) Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2013 to ensure that Americans get clear answers about abortion coverage when they purchase healthcare plans on the ObamaCare exchanges.

** You can read more about this in Arina Grossu’s op-ed, which appeared on National Review Online.

When Unborn Children are Considered Victims of Homicide

by Arina Grossu

July 22, 2014

There are a number of disturbing facts about a homicide story coming out of Michigan, not the least the gory acts of violence surrounding the deaths of a man and a pregnant woman. The story leaves a lot of disturbing questions unanswered about the nature of the encounter that resulted in this tragedy.

It is interesting to note that the reporting ABC affiliate recently called it a “triple homicide.” “Why triple?” you may ask. Michigan law (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 750.322) defines the willful killing of an unborn child by any injury to the mother of the child as manslaughter. It is one of 38 statesto have fetal homicide laws. The rights of this unborn child as a person are accepted and defended.

In a previous article, I outlined the logical inconsistency of abortion laws in light of fetal homicide laws. What’s the difference between this unborn child whose life was taken from him and the 3,000 children who die every day because they are aborted? The only difference is not their level of development or any other factor, but rather the consent of the mother.

This dark and senseless act which claimed the lives of three people and the suicide of the perpetrator not only underlines the present culture of death, but the logical inconsistency in not defining the killing of unborn children as homicide in all states and under all circumstances.

You Were a One-Celled Wonder Once

by Arina Grossu

July 17, 2014

Today my colleague Dr. Prentice who is Senior Fellow for Life Sciences at Family Research Council and Dr. Andy Harris (R-MD) whohas sponsored the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2012 and has been an active voice in bioethics discussions on Capitol Hill presented a lecture on human cloning.

In the FRC lecture, Dr. Prentice discussed the scientific process of cloning and its prevalence, the current studies and results available, timeline of human cloning, its ethics (or lack thereof), and legislative proposals to ban human cloning.

In the question and answer session with Dr. Harris, what struck me the most was his description of the genetically complete human being at all stages of development and why cloning is wrong:

[People make a] distinction between reproductive cloning and non-reproductive [cloning]…Taking the same technique and doing exactly the same way— the only difference is whether you kill the embryo at a certain number of days or not, [as if it] somehow makes it legitimate to have created the embryo. How’s that again? We have to challenge people [who] say, “Well, it’s not for reproduction.” Well what part of cloning is wrong: is it just if you give birth to a clone or you create the clone? … I hope all of you are aware- one cell, you’re exactly the same as you are now, except you’re a lot bigger. Your genetics is exactly the same; you just have a whole lot more cells. But you have a whole lot more cells than when you were a one year old too, and that doesn’t mean [as] a one year old you were not a human being or you were not entitled to protection.”

What a wonder, that when we were one cell, our genetics were exactly the same as today! Were we any less human at one year old than now? No. Were we any less human as a one-celled human than we are now? No. It is mysterious and miraculous that we are the same genetically complete human beings at one cell development as we are as full-fledged adults.

We must do what we can to pass the Human Cloning Prohibition Act and similar measures to defend the littlest of humans, even one-celled humans, from the destructive and careless forces of scientists and laboratories that do not revere and protect the sanctity of all human life

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