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Missouri Family E-News

October 4, 2011




Congress Launches Probe of Planned Parenthood


A federal Congressional committee has initiated an investigation into the business practices of the Planned Parenthood of America. 

Congressman Cliff Stearns of Florida, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Investigations, is spearheading the study.  Stearns is calling for an examination of Planned Parenthood's expenditure of Medicaid, family planning, and other federal dollars.

Congressman Stearns is seeking internal audit reports from 1998 to 2010 for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and each of Planned Parenthood's affiliates across the country.

Concerns about the business conduct of Planned Parenthood have expanded beyond the pro-life community in recent months as a result of undercover investigations by a group called LiveAction.  The undercover probe found Planned Parenthood employees willing to coverup instances of statutory rape and sexual trafficking, and willing to accept donations for the abortions of black preborn children.

Americans United for Life (AUL) President Charmaine Yoest says the investigation is long overdue.  "We welcome the news that Congress is investigating the abortion mega-provider Planned Parenthood for financial improprieties and its poor handling of the public trust."

"The Committee's decision to investigate an organization that has been rocked by systemic fraud and abuse shows that Congress takes its responsibility to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars seriously,"  Yoest adds.  AUL recently released its own comprehensive report detailing the misuse of taxpayer dollars by the nation's leading abortion provider.

An audit in 2004 revealed that Planned Parenthood of San Diego had overbilled the State of California by $5.2 million for the purchase of contraceptives.  Another audit in 2009 found that Planned Parenthood the Inland Northwest had overcharged the state of Washington by nearly $630,000.  Similar episodes of alleged financial impropriety have been examined in New Jersey, New York, and Iowa.

Planned Parenthood performs over 330,000 abortions annually.  While the organization claims it is a small part of their "family planning" business, it is estimated that abortion income comprises nearly 40% of Planned Parenthood's overall revenues.

Planned Parenthood and its affiliates receive over $350 million in taxpayer funds each year from government grants and contracts.  Planned Parenthood's CEO, Cecile Richards, enjoys the taxpayer's largesse in the form of an annual salary of nearly $400,000. 

 

Akin Pans Military OK of Same-Sex Ceremonies 

 

 

Missouri Congressman Todd Akin has denounced a decision by the U.S. Department of Defense to allow military chaplains to conduct so-called same-sex "marriages" on military bases.

 

"The Department of Defense has decided to put the White House's liberal agenda ahead of following the law," Akin charges.  The Congressman says the new policy is a blatant violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

 

"DOMA makes it clear that for the purposes of the federal government, marriage is defined as between one man and one woman,"  Akin says.  "The use of federal property or federal employees to perform gay 'marriage' ceremonies is a clear contravention of the law."

 

The Pentagon's action not only stand at odds with the Defense of Marriage Act, but with the sentiment recently expressed by Congress on the subject.  Congress Akin won passage by the House of Representatives of an amendment to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.  That amendment stipulates that the provisions of DOMA apply to the use of Department of Defense facilities and the actions of Department of Defense personnel.  

  

The odious decision by Department of Defense officials to desecrate military chapels with same-sex union ceremonies is the latest effort by the Obama Administration to radically reshape the culture of the U.S. Armed Forces.  Congress responded to pressure from the President late last year by repealing the military's historic ban on active service by avowed homosexuals.

 

Now that they have succeeded in lowering the standards for service in the U.S. Armed Forces, "gay rights" activists want to lower the bar even further.  The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is now pressing for a policy prohibiting "discrimination" based on "gender identity."  Translated:  The Armed Forces would be opened to transgender individuals, whether transsexuals or cross-dressers.

 

Current military policy prohibits service by individuals with a history of "psychosexual conditions, included but not limited to transsexualism, exhibitionism, tranvestism, voyeurism, and other paraphilias."

 

Congress Duncan Hunter of California, a Marine Corps combat veteran, says:  "At some point, the Administration needs to decide where all this ranks among the military's priorities.  I hope the Administration has enough sense to see this for the unneeded distraction that it is."

   


 

Missouri Bishops Take Stand Against Abortion Drug Mandate

Missouri's Catholic bishops are calling on the Obama Administration to abandon plans to mandate health care coverage of abortion-inducing drugs.  The bishops have mailed a joint letter to Director of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius strongly objecting to the Administration's plans to force all health insurance plans to include contraceptive coverage.

The proposed mandate is a component of President Obama's federal health care law, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  A dangerous provision in that law authorized the Secretary of Health and Human Services to define what "preventative health care services" must be included in every public or private health insurance policy.

Sebelius, who is avidly pro-abortion, has proposed a regulation that would require that all health insurance plans cover at no cost every "birth control" drug or device approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  That would mean that all health care policies would have to pay for the abortion-inducing drugs Ella and Plan B.  These drugs are often marketed as so-called "emergency contraceptives" or "morning-after pills", but they also function as abortifacients.

"This mandate violates religious liberty and rights of conscience, and would undermine Missouri law," the bishops wrote in their letter.  "It forces health plans to offer coverage for practices that many people of faith find morally objectionable."

"Requiring Catholic individuals and institutions to pay for and provide abortion drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization procedures contrary to Catholic teaching is an affront to the religious liberty upon which our nation was founded," the bishops continued.  "With these mandates, the federal government seeks to impose a 'reproductive' ideology completely at odds with the religious faith of Catholics and others."

The letter was signed by Archbishop Robert Carlson of the St. Louis Archdiocese, Bishop Robert Finn of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese,  Bishop John Gaydos of the Jefferson City Diocese, and Bishop James Johnston of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese.

The bishops state in their letter that the contraceptive mandate violates a pledge made by President Obama during passage of his federal health care bill.  The President assured Americans that his executive order would guarantee that federal funds would not be used for abortion and that "longstanding federal laws to protect conscience rights will remain intact."

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires that every adult citizen in the United States must purchase health insurance coverage.  The Sebelius mandate of coverage of abortion drugs would result in every American citizen being compelled to underwrite the destruction of human life at its embryonic stage.

Furthermore, the Sebelius mandate would require that Catholic and Christian institutions and ministries include contraceptive and abortion drug coverage in their own employee health insurance plans.  The administration claims that a religious exemption would protect their conscience rights.  Yet the exemption has been so narrowly written that it would appear to only apply to organized churches. 

If the mandate is implemented, many Catholic and Christian institutions (including hospitals, schools, and colleges) would be forced to finance coverage of abortion drugs and contraceptives in violation of their religious beliefs and doctrinal teachings, or eliminate health insurance coverage for their employees altogether.  It is expected that many will have no choice but to adopt the latter course.

The bishops correctly assert in their letter that the Sebelius mandate would nullify existing conscience protection rights enumerated in Missouri law.  State statutes currently provide that all health insurance plans sold in Missouri must offer coverage of contraceptives at no cost or "at the same level of deductible, coinsurance, or co-payment as any other drug."

However, the law expressly states that any enrollee in a health insurance plan in Missouri may opt out of such coverage if "the use or provision of contraceptives is contrary to  his or her moral, ethical, or religious beliefs."  Missouri law also exempts from the contraceptive requirement any health carrier "owned, operated, or controlled in substantial part by an entity" whose moral, ethical, or religious tenets object to the use or provision of contraceptives.

The bishops conclude their letter to Sebelius by urging that the federal regulation be amended to include exemptions similar to those contained in Missouri law.  "Human life is sacred at all stages of development and abortion is therefore a grave evil...The emergency contraception abortion drug...can destroy human life at the earliest stages of development...The federal law should provide conscience protections similar to what Missouri legislators have put in place."

The formal comment period for the contraceptive/abortion drug mandate ended last Friday.  Yet we encourage you to still register your objections to the abusive regulation being implemented by President Obama and Secretary Sebelius.  You can do so by clicking this link:
Family Research Council

 

Joe's Signature