Are There “Benefits” to Abortion?

By Matt Tuman

Lost in the presidential race this year was what happened this summer in the Illinois state legislator. Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law Senate Bill 1564, which made abortion the preference for unintended pregnancies in Illinois. The bill stipulates that all doctors, hospitals and pregnancy centers not only provide information on abortion and where it is available, but also discuss the ‘benefits’ of abortion. If the doctor or center is morally or religiously opposed to abortion, they still must either refer the patient to another provider, transfer them to another provider or provide them with information on locations that will offer abortion.

This law amounts to total hypocrisy on the pro-choice community. Their major argument is that the government should not be involved in women’s health decisions and that those decisions should be left between the woman and her doctor. However, with the passage of this law they take that decision making process away by forcing what the doctor has to say even if he has moral or religious objections to it.

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Working inside the bubble of Washington, you grow used to the idea that sound-bites, raising money for the next election or strategizing on how to win the majority back from your opponent are the most important things. If you stop and listening to the work of amazing women around the nation, you will realize that, while our work here in Washington is important, there are people on the ground who are providing support, love, and assistance to women facing unplanned pregnancies or healing from abortion. These women are heroes to me.

They are on the ground, working tirelessly to give women a choice and a chance to be a mother or a birth mother. They provide options, not just while the women are pregnant, but they make sure that they have the tools and the skills to take care of their babies or help prepare the mothers for the greatest gift of adoption. They don’t demonize the abortion industry or dehumanize the women or prenatal child. In fact, some receive referrals from abortion clinics for women who don’t want an abortion.

The common thing among all these women is that they do not talk about pressure or hate or shame. Their stories all speak of support, love, and empowerment. Women are strong and we can face any “obstacle” particularly if our sisterhood is along for the ride to lift us up instead of knocking us down. And, these sisters are doing just that!

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Making All Lives Matter

by Julie Locascio

Bitter political and social conflicts may not be new, but we may be seeing unprecedented levels of vitriol because of the ability of anonymous angry people to take their attitudes to extreme positions online. Even people posting in their own name find new courage to level cruel broadsides because they can find an enthusiastic echo chamber to “like” and pass along everything they say. So where do people of modest temperament find space to reflect on and calmly discuss public policy? For many of us, it is not in our preferred political party.

In a world of “competing” hashtags saying #blacklivesmatter, #bluelivesmatter, #migrantlivesmatter, #womenslivesmatter, #babieslivesmatter, etc., some of us keep wondering why any of these things need to be said. The answer, sadly, is that political parties in our country do not embrace a consistent ethic of life where #alllivesmatter. And the reason for that is that candidates who embrace a consistent ethic of life are attacked so viciously in the primaries that they rarely get a chance to present their platforms in a general election.

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Abortion and Key Provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Art (PPACA)

The effect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on abortion has been the subject of much controversy, and pro-life members of Congress who voted for PPACA have received strong criticism as well as strong praise.  This memorandum has three purposes.  First, it provides a brief reminder that PPACA contains many provisions reflecting pro-life values and having pro-life effects.  Second, it assesses the two major criticisms of PPACA concerning abortion raised by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  Although the USCCB has been the most detailed and thoughtful critic of the statute on abortion-related matters, this memorandum concludes that there are convincing answers to the USCCB’s criticisms and thus it was eminently reasonable for pro-life legislators to support PPACA.

Finally, the memorandum concludes that it also makes perfect sense for a pro-life legislator to support further efforts to clarify restrictions on abortion funding and protections of religious conscience in the context of a stand-alone bill.  Unlike the context of the PPACA vote, enactment of stand-alone clarifications will not destroy health-reform legislation and its many positive pro-life features and effects.  But support for such further clarification should in no way be seized on as an admission that PPACA’s provisions against abortion funding were inadequate.

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How to pass federal paid family leave and limit abortions

DFLA’s Charles Camosy writes:

Family leave programs and child-care support are energetically backed by liberals. Hillary Clinton just wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post pledging to provide incentives to improve the situation. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has introduced federal legislation mandating paid family leave. If conservatives are wise, they will join in the effort. This is especially true for those who are antiabortion: They should want mothers to have the resources to help them keep their babies….

Democrats who want to see such bills pass need to come up with a carrot to get moderate Republicans on board. A nearly perfect one exists: the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which was passed by the House last year but filibustered by Senate Democrats.

The bill would ban elective abortions past the 20th week of pregnancy. The United States is extreme in allowing such abortions in the first place; it is one of only seven countries in the world that permit abortions beyond 20 weeks. Though there is legitimate debate among biologists about when a fetus can feel pain, the Pain-Capable Act’s 20-week ban is common-sense legislation that would catch up our abortion policy with France, Britain, Germany and most of the rest of the civilized world.


Alabama Pro-life Democrats Support Bill to Prohibit Late-Term Abortions

By Matthew Tyson

On May 12th, 2016, Governor Robert Bentley of Alabama signed a bill that would prohibit abortions performed through “Dilation or Evacuation”—other wise known in the bill as “dismemberment abortion.” This would essentially prohibit second trimester abortions of viable infants in Alabama.

SB 363, or the Alabama Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, has the full support of Democrats for Life of America, and we would like to send our sincerest gratitude to the 5 Democratic legislators that voted in favor of the bill: House minority leader Craig Ford (D, Gadsden) and Rep. Elaine Beech (D, Chatom), as well as Senators Priscilla Dunn (D, Bessemer), Linda Coleman-Madison (D, Birmingham), and Vivian Figures (D, Mobile).

Though a win for the whole life community to provide protection to preborn infants, the bill attracted the expected negative criticism from abortion rights supporters.

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Did the Bishops Make a Mistake Opposing Affordable Healthcare?

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2009, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ultimately opposed final passage.  The bishops’ decision to oppose the very lifesaving legislation that they had advocated for several decades provided coverage and legitimacy for Republicans to target the pro-life Democrats.  The results of the 2010 midterm elections were devastating.

One of the key players at the USCCB, Richard Doerflinger, the associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, recently announced his retirement after 36 years with the Conference.  In an article in the National Catholic Register, Doerflinger noted one regret over his tenure: the decision by pro-life advocates to target pro-life Democrats.  We acknowledge Doerflinger’s admission of this mistake, and we hope and trust that pro-lifers will work together in the future—including with pro-life Democrats—to meet the mounting challenges in our nation from the increasingly aggressive efforts to promote abortion.

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