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Monthly Archives: February 2012

What’s Really Despicable: Rick Ungar, Obamacare, and Rick Santorum

at Catholic Online

Forbes’ contributor Rick Ungar had some very harsh words for Rick and Karen Santorum last week. In his column, “Rick Santorum’s Despicable and Hurtful Health Care Lie”, he blasted the Santorums for “scaring the hell out of parents whose children face illness and disability in their lives” and said Rick was a “despicable human being.”

Mr. Ungar believes the idea that disabled children might be denied care under Obama’s health care law is so far-fetched as to be absurd, and thus the Santorum’s concerns are the most egregious sort of fear-mongering imaginable. But the Santorums are hardly the only ones to see the writing on the wall, even if the language of the bill is less clear. When insurers in 34 states suddenly stopped offering child-only policies as a direct result of Obamacare in 2010, some states had to respond with legislation requiring them to continue selling such policies.

But just how far can all these requirements go and what happens when cost/profit meets disability/life expectancy? Which medicines and procedures will insurers be required to cover, and for what time frame, and for whom under what circumstances? These decisions will have to be made, and they’ll be made by people whose motivation will likely be dollar signs and not patient care. When the government is in charge of health care, and new committees are created to make decisions about care vs. cost, it is only the most duped among us who will be confident in a bureaucrat’s willingness to grant expensive medical care to the less-abled, the elderly, and even to children like Bella Santorum.

Amidst all of Ungar’s scathing insults was the following gem, just too good to pass up:

“However, when Rick Santorum tells us that the law would deny the right to life and the care needed to sustain that life to children like his own daughter, because such a child would be deemed to not be of ‘sufficient use to society’, he accuses the President, every member of Congress who supported the law, and every other supporter, such as myself, of being unfit to walk to this earth.

Anyone is welcomed to disagree with my judgment as to whether the Affordable Care Act is a good or a bad law… But if you are going to accuse me of being willing to allow a child—or anyone else— to die because I would somehow deem her to be inconsequential to society, you’d really better be prepared to not only say that to my face but take the punishment that I promise you will follow.” (emphasis mine)

Them’s fightin’ words, Mr. Ungar, and I’m delighted to hear you say it. We need more passionate pro-life citizens in America.

Naturally, I understand you to mean that you find it despicable to deny a child the right to life. I understand you to mean that you find it despicable to say that just because a child isn’t “wanted” or wasn’t “planned” that the child is inconsequential to society and can be destroyed by whatever means necessary. Certainly what you mean is that every child’s life is precious and the adults have no right to say which children can live and which must die by our “choice.”

Because surely you realize, Mr. Ungar, that children are killed every single day in our country precisely because they are deemed inconsequential to society. Worse, actually. They’re considered enemies of freedom and prosperity. Worse still, they aren’t even considered human. Their murders are sanctioned by the law and police power of the State, and millions of people — not you, of course — consider it a good thing, a moral thing, a necessary thing.

Let me make it clear, Mr. Ungar: If you are of the opinion that abortion is a legitimate and moral “choice” that should be protected by the laws of our nation, that is despicable. If you are willing to allow the child in the womb to be killed and call it a “right”, that is despicable. What you’re doing in that case is exactly what you falsely accuse Rick Santorum of doing, except it’s far, far worse. You are denying the child in the womb her humanity. You are calling the child an “it”; far less than merely inconsequential to society, you’ve made her a slave to someone else’s power and self-interest; a “thing” to be eliminated in service to someone else and society at large.

I’m prepared to say that to your face, and President Obama’s, Nancy Pelosi’s, and anyone else’s. Do not boast about your appreciation of the value of human life and your unimpeachable virtue in protecting children if you continue to sanction the deliberate destruction of babies in the womb and call it freedom and “choice.” I’m not impressed by your indignation. There is nothing more despicable than denying the humanity of the child in the womb.

It’s also unwise to try to school the Santorums on the realities of medical care for disabled children. Rick and Karen could spend hours telling us of all the times doctors told them to just let Bella die, and how one doctor actually sent them home with a prescription for a lethal dose of morphine without telling them the dose was lethal; or the doctors who refused to even call Bella by her name. They could recount the numerous times they’ve had to fight and demand that Bella receive the medical care any “normal” child would get. No doubt parents all over America could tell similar stories of the callousness, indifference, and inhumane treatment their disabled children have endured at the hands of those who are supposed to help them.

Mr. Ungar may believe that all this will magically change with the government fully in control of medical care, but like the Santorums, I don’t buy it for a second. The same government that denies the humanity of the child in the womb will deny the dignity and worth of the disabled, the elderly, and anyone else whose “quality of life” is deemed too low to merit expensive care. With a limited pool of resources and bureaucrats interested in the bottom line — not the dignity of the human person — people will certainly be assessed according to their worth using a cost/benefit scale.

(While we’re on the subject of allowing people to die because they’re not useful to society, what about Terri Schaivo, Mr. Ungar? Actually, in her case, we didn’t allow her to die — we killed her. The people in charge of her “care” actually starved her to death. Surely you’d agree with me that killing Terri that way was utterly despicable. She was a human being, right? I mean, she wasn’t a baby, so there can’t be any question about her humanness. But she was disabled, so maybe I’m wrong there. Do we consider the disabled to be a little less human than the rest of us? No — that would be despicable.)

As it is, most children like Bella don’t make it out of the womb. The majority of babies found to have Trisomy 18 or Down Syndrome are aborted, often at the arm-twisting of medical professionals who make doom-and-gloom proclamations that the genetic condition is “incompatible with life” — the very words spoken to the Santorums about Bella.

Rick Santorum is absolutely correct to point out that more prenatal testing, as Obama’s mandate prescribes, will lead to even more babies being killed in the womb when their “defects” are discovered. A few prenatal tests can save the system a boatload of cash by eliminating expensive, disabled children. Back up a step further and it’ll save even more money, says the White House: “Covering contraception is cost neutral since it saves money by keeping women healthy and preventing spending on other health services.”

“Other health services”? That’s code for pregnancy, prenatal care, and childbirth. Like I’ve said before, caring for a pregnant woman is expensive. Contraception is much cheaper. Besides, according to Obama’s top science advisor, John Holdren, the United States government has a “responsibility to halt the growth of the American population.”

Sorry, Mr. Ungar, but it’s clear to everyone with eyes to see that Obamacare, with all its mandates and edicts, will not serve the dignity of the human person or respect life. We’ll never have health care that honors human life until we as a society honor human life from conception to natural death. We fancy ourselves entitled to kill the tiniest children. We afford ourselves the power to decide who is human and who is not, who is worthy to live and who is not, so we can dispose of the ones we deem not. That’s what is really despicable.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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I Choose No Contraception, so Why am I Paying for It?

at Catholic Online

So I picked up my thyroid medication this month as usual, and as usual, I paid about $25 for it. My insurance doesn’t cover the cost so it’s all on me. No big deal. Many folks have to pay a lot more for the medicine they need, so I’m not complaining.

But in light of President Obama’s horrendous contraception mandate I have to ask: Why must contraception be free? Why is contraception so special?

My thyroid medication isn’t free, nor is the medication I take to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Last I heard, people weren’t getting their heart medication for free, nor were medicines for cancer being given out free of charge. Last time my kid had an ear infection or strep throat, I didn’t get the antibiotic and cough syrup for free. The long line at the pharmacy is full of folks paying for prescriptions they need to stay healthy or prevent future serious illness.

These medicines are treating actual diseases; real illnesses. Fertility is not a disease. Pregnancy is not a disease or an illness. Women do not need the Pill. In fact, the laundry list of health risks and problems caused by artificial hormones is extensive, so it’s not even accurate to say that the Pill is good for women. (Or the rest of the world if you consider the hormones being passed into our soil and water, etc., but that’s another story.)

This mandate doesn’t even jive with the feminist doctrine that it’s “a woman’s right to choose.” Isn’t that what’s been beaten into our heads for 40 years? Isn’t that the applause line the politicians throw out like candy to women? That “a woman’s right to choose” is sacrosanct and inviolate?

Well, if that’s true, then why must I be required to pay for other women’s choices? I choose not to have anything to do with contraception. That’s my choice. I don’t need it, don’t want it, and don’t think it’s healthy or moral. If Jane wants to take the Pill or use the patch or an IUD or whatever else, fine, she can have it. But it’s her choice so she can pay for it herself. She has no right to expect free pills and patches. Taking a note from both Catholic doctrine and military philosophy, Freedom Isn’t Free. If Jane wants to be free to choose, then she must accept responsibility for her choices. Why does her personal, private choice regarding “her body” get to require my participation and demand my resources?

Why does “choice” go out the window when it comes to contraception? Because where sex and babies are concerned, “choice” is a facade. It’s a laughable misnomer at best. Decades of treating our babies like parasites and unwanted intruders and blobs of cells that we can eliminate at will has left us with an ingrained animosity towards female fertility, pregnancy, and babies. As a society we have come to see the natural gifts of the female body and the miraculous gift of new life as a threat to our freedom, our happiness, and our prosperity. The concept of women’s health care has become so lopsided and warped that it only seems to be defined as preventing pregnancy and killing fetuses.

Smell the hypocrisy? Out of one side of their mouths, the pro-abortion community is demanding free contraceptives, abortion pills, and sterilization procedures be provided to everyone, even by government mandate. Out of the other side of their mouths these same people say the government has no business telling a woman what she can or cannot do with her body. It’s no longer simply “My Body, My Choice.” Now it’s “My Body, My Choice = My Contraception, Your Cost, No Choice for You.” (Apparently the government doesn’t have to stay out of your bedroom if they’re giving you free birth control and abortifacient pills.)

Let’s cut the bull: this “free” contraception will not be free. Drug companies will not begin manufacturing and giving the Pill away for nothing. The insurance companies will not benevolently absorb the cost. They will pass the cost on to their paying customers — individuals and employers — even if those paying customers are not asking for contraception or in fact, are morally opposed to contraception.

Planned Parenthood says that the birth control pill costs between $15 and $50 dollars per month depending on the specific pill and the insurance coverage. One has to wonder, if unlimited access to free birth control is so important to PP and women’s health care, why haven’t they been giving the stuff away themselves all these years? One has to wonder, just what is all that Title X “family planning” money being spent on, if it’s not supplying women with birth control?

Indeed, far from giving it away, PP has enjoyed steady profits from selling contraceptive pills to all those needy women they care so much about. Recall the suit against Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles in 2008 in which a former PP official alleged massive fraud related to overcharging for birth control pills. While other public medical facilities billed the state for between $8 and $9 dollars per cycle of pills, Planned Parenthood billed the state $12 dollars, which was several times more than what PP paid for the drugs originally. The whistleblower estimated that PP overcharged the state of California by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Planned Parenthood actually complained to CA state senator Hannah-Beth Jackson that unless they were permitted to charge more for the pills, they would suffer financial problems so severe that it would threaten their survival. So Jackson sponsored legislation to allow Planned Parenthood to charge more for birth control pills going forward. Special treatment for PP, anyone? Even amid charges of fraud to the tune of $180 million dollars, PP is protected and placated at every turn by our government, all in the name of “women’s health care.”

So according to PP’s own statement, we know they just can’t survive without the revenue from the sale (and overcharging) of contraception. And Obama’s mandate says that women simply must not have to pay a penny for contraception any longer. Well, somebody somewhere is going to pay! What in the world makes anyone believe that suddenly insurers will generously take the burden of cost upon themselves?

So many things about this mandate trouble me: the trampling of our Constitutional right to religious freedom; the overreach of the Federal Government into the marketplace and people’s lives; the audacity of a President who believes he can hand down edicts from on high requiring citizens to buy whatever he says they must; the tyranny of a President who demands that an entire religion of people violate their faith and conscience and bow to him rather than God.

But something else troubles me greatly — the cementing into our society by means of government mandate this animosity towards pregnancy, childbirth, babies, and women who do not subscribe to the dictates of modern “feminism.” From the top-down, our Federal government is creating a medical system in which fertility will be seen as a disease, a liability, and something to be tightly-controlled. No longer will pregnancy be welcomed (in fact, many insurers already don’t welcome pregnancy and maternity coverage), but it will become actively discouraged and even punished by medical insurers and physicians who don’t want to risk the cost and involvement. It’ll be so much easier and cheaper just to hand out contraception, abortifacients, and sterilize people.

Caring for a pregnant woman is expensive. Caring for children is even more expensive. Preventing their existence is cheap. Destroying them in the womb is a money-saving act in the long run. This kind of thinking is what this mandate is really all about. This kind of thinking is both the seed and the fruit of the culture of death. This kind of thinking will kill us.

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Poor, Poor Planned Parenthood: Media and Politicians Run to the Rescue

at Catholic Online

 

Poor, poor Planned Parenthood. Is there any other organization in America that is more coddled, more sheltered, more pandered to than PP? They are a billion-dollar spoiled brat, but unfortunately, no one has the guts to put them in the corner and take away their toys. (This spoiled brat, like a Transformer, morphs into a giant monster bully that will demolish anyone who gets in the way.)

The Susan G. Komen Foundation attempted to discontinue some of their grant funding to Planned Parenthood this week, and boy, did they get smacked down for it! Liberal, pro-abortion politicians came to Planned Parenthood’s rescue within seconds. 26 U.S. Senators sent a letter to Komen’s founder, Nancy Brinker, pressuring Komen to restore the funding immediately. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined in the chastisement and promised to “offset” the “loss” to PP by giving them $250,000. The Lance Armstrong Foundation then released a statement saying they would be giving Planned Parenthood $100,000.

The media pressure on Komen was furious and brutal. Every major news network headlined the deprivation of Planned Parenthood of this precious funding as though women all over America had been sentenced to death by Komen. Komen, who is supposed to champion breast health, they said, had all but guaranteed that women were going to be denied vital care that would cost them their lives. Oh, the drama! The travesty!

Of course, the message being drummed out by the media and the pro-abortion politicians was that Komen had succumbed to political pressure from those mean, woman-hating pro-lifers who just want women to get sick and die (preferably on the floor of the U.S. House). Yes, this was surely Komen showing how cowardly they were, and how they didn’t really care about women’s health at all. Anyone who would DARE deny money to the almighty Planned Parenthood is a pathetic excuse for a women’s advocate.

How ‘bout a reality check, hm?

Fact #1: Planned Parenthood is currently under investigation by Congress over their use of all those federal dollars we taxpayers are obligated to provide them. And let’s not be obtuse here, folks – funds are fungible. Funds that pay the electric bill for the abortion mill are funding abortion. Planned Parenthood EXISTS to do abortions. Period. If they had to cease killing babies tomorrow, they’d close up shop the day after that. They are not a benevolent medical organization interested in women’s health. They are not philanthropists. They are interested only in profits, and abortion means BIG profits. Those “blobs of tissue” may be small, but getting rid of them is a multi-million dollar bonanza. Breast cancer screenings? Not a money-maker. (Hence the cry for grants from generous folks like Komen.)

Fact #2: Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms. There is not a single PP clinic in the U.S. that can give a woman a mammogram. Planned Parenthood does not offer any direct cancer treatment services. PP does a physical breast exam, and then they are merely a referral center. They send women to hospitals and health care facilities that do provide mammograms. And for this, they demand the generous support of charitable contributions.

Fact #3: Planned Parenthood performed less than 5% of the breast exams that Komen grants funded in 2011. Clearly, Komen has not abandoned women to suffer without needed care. Quite the contrary. Brinker explained that Komen’s goal is to direct their funding toward providers who – imagine this now – actually provide mammograms and cancer treatment!!

And last but certainly not least: It was not the Komen Foundation that issued a statement about their decision to discontinue funding PP, but Planned Parenthood who leaked the news to the media first in order to stir up the necessary outrage toward Komen. And the mainstream media was only too eager to oblige. Poor, poor Planned Parenthood! One ABC News story set it up this way: “Witch Hunt or Policy Shift?” With “reporting” like that, how can anyone question the allegiance of the media to PP?

So began the smear campaign against Komen, accusing them of politicizing women’s health. Have you noticed that a decision to not fund Planned Parenthood is always about politicizing women’s health, but mandated funding of PP is never political, just noble and necessary? In the world where Planned Parenthood is sainted and adored, any citizen who doesn’t bow and pay homage (literally, pay) is punished and if necessary, crushed for their transgression.

That’s the lesson of this Komen story: Planned Parenthood has friends in high and useful places, and if you dare cross them, you.will.be.destroyed.

In the most ironic statement of the month, Cecile Richards griped that Komen’s decision was the result of bullying by the pro-life community:

“It’s hard to understand how an organization with whom we share a mission of saving women’s lives could have bowed to this kind of bullying,” Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told the Associated Press.

Then Planned Parenthood does what it does best: they charged their political allies and the mainstream media with the task of bullying Komen into submission once again. Between Mayor Bloomberg’s largesse and the LiveStrong donation, as well as other private donations, PP had more than made up for any loss of funding. Yet that wasn’t satisfactory. Komen had to be humiliated and reprimanded. It wasn’t just about the money – it was about unquestioning loyalty and obedience to Planned Parenthood.

And on Friday, Komen seemed to change their minds and reinstate the funding for PP. The media and pro-abortion blogosphere labeled the move a mea culpa – Komen’s “apology” to Planned Parenthood. Apology for what exactly?

Did Komen cave? That depends on who you ask right now. (Komen’s statement can be read here.) They said that grants already awarded to PP will be honored and paid, and that PP may still be eligible for future grants, but they have not promised that PP will get anything in the future. Are they trying to weather a nasty media storm for now, and refuse PP any grant money down the road? It’s anybody’s guess.

The media has stubbornly ignored the countless women, like me, who have gone out of their way for years now NOT to buy products that support Komen precisely because they donate to Planned Parenthood. Komen reported a huge surge in their donations this week, along with a flood of positive emails, all in response to their decision to stop funding PP. Now, once again, Komen has put themselves back on the “do not donate” list for pro-lifers. Many in the pro-life community feel that Komen has lost its last shred of credibility.

But that credibility was lacking all along, really. Komen refuses to acknowledge the link between abortion and breast cancer. The link between oral contraceptives and breast cancer is also a bugaboo that Komen has to overlook when it comes to Planned Parenthood. In more ways than one, PP puts women at greater risk of breast cancer, and for years Komen has played the blind, deaf fool just handing over the cash.

I was happy to write a letter to the Komen Foundation this week to thank them for their decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood. It was a step in the right direction, and I wanted them to know the move was appreciated. It’s disappointing, but not very surprising, that they may have changed their minds, thanks to the slanderous pounding they got from Planned Parenthood’s bully machine.

Bottom line: Planned Parenthood kills over 300,000 babies in America every year. They receive over $350 million taxpayer dollars every year. In 2011, PP ordered every one of their 99 affiliates around the country to have at least one clinic performing abortions, because abortion is where the profit is. PP is a billion-dollar industry because of abortion. They have shown themselves time and time again to be more than willing to cover up child rape and sexual abuse, and to thwart and outright defy the law when it suits their purposes. They are invested in promoting promiscuous and dangerous sexual behavior among teenagers because they need a steady stream of new clients.

And they have President Obama, at least half of Congress, and the mainstream media under their bloody thumb. The beast bared its teeth this week, and everyone scrambled to make sure the thing got fed.

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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