One of the things we deal with on a regular a basis at the Pro-Life Action League is e-mail from detractors that is either hateful, crude, or sometimes simply based on inaccurate information. This week, for instance, we received word from someone who told us, “You don’t want [people without insurance] to get help from us.”
This, I thought, was a curious thing to say, but it does illustrate what is unfortunately a serious misconception about those of us who are adamantly opposed to any sort of health care “reform” that includes the funding of abortion with our tax dollars.
Bishop Nickless on Health Care Reform
One of the best articles on health care reform we’ve come across in recent weeks is written by Bishop Walker Nickless of Sioux City, Iowa. His Excellency does such a fine job of explaining what health care reform should and should not consist of that he deserves to be quoted at length.
Bishop Nickless writes:
The current national debate about health care reform should concern all of us. There is much at stake in this political struggle, and also much confusion and inaccurate information being thrown around. My brother bishops have described some clear “goal-posts” to mark out what is acceptable reform, and what must be rejected. First and most important, the Church will not accept any legislation that mandates coverage, public or private, for abortion, euthanasia, or embryonic stem-cell research. We refuse to be made complicit in these evils, which frankly contradict what “health care” should mean. . . .A so-called reform that imposes these evils on us would be far worse than keeping the health care system we now have.
Second, the Catholic Church does not teach that “health care” as such, without distinction, is a natural right. The “natural right” of health care is the divine bounty of food, water, and air without which all of us quickly die. This bounty comes from God directly. None of us own it, and none of us can morally withhold it from others. The remainder of health care is a political, not a natural, right, because it comes from our human efforts, creativity, and compassion. As a political right, health care should be apportioned according to need, not ability to pay or to benefit from the care. We reject the rationing of care. Those who are sickest should get the most care, regardless of age, status, or wealth. But how to do this is not self-evident. The decisions that we must collectively make about how to administer health care therefore fall under “prudential judgment.”
Read the bishop’s entire column here.
Dubuque Pro-Lifers Launch Ad Campaign against Local Planned Parenthood
From one side of Iowa to the other, our good friend Jill Stanek reports about the latest in Dubuque Right to Life’s grassroots campaign against their unwelcome neighbor, Planned Parenthood:
One year ago Planned Parenthood opened an outlet in Dubuque, IA, despite warnings from the pro-life community it would create “an abortion pipeline to our town,” according to a statement released yesterday by Dubuque Co. Right to Life, as well as provide a haven for child sexual predators and construct a firewall between parents and children.
Yesterday Dubuque Co. RTL announced Phase II of an educational campaign launched when PP opened its doors in Dubuque by near constant prayer vigils (3,000 hours logged by volunteers since last August 21) and educational talks before numerous groups.
Dubuque Right to Life’s Executive Director Steven Brody reports, “Phase II is a year-long multi-media advertising campaign that will utilize yard signs, digital billboards, stationary billboards, newspaper, and radio. The messages will be fact based and specific to draw out PP and expose them on the truth. They will have to answer each of the messages, which are truthful and factual.”
Dubuque County Right to Life has also launched a new website.
Steven has been in touch several times with the League’s Eric Scheidler about tactics for fighting Planned Parenthood on the ground, and we’ve been greatly impressed with him and the rest of the good pro-lifers of Dubuque.
Our hats off to them.
Tennessee Pro-Lifers Foil Planned Parenthood’s Expansion Plans
And, in a related story, a coalition of pro-life groups in Tennessee have been quietly working behind the scenes to prevent Planned Parenthood from moving into a larger space:
. . . Planned Parenthood of Middle and East TN . . . announced Friday that because of a “mutual business decision” between the organization and property owner James Simpson, it would not relocate its West Knoxville clinic to a building of his being renovated on Homberg Drive.
The move had prompted the formation of the Bearden-based Pro-Life Coalition of East TN, which put up a Web site, staged a press conference earlier this week and plans a “celebratory” gathering today . . . in place of a scheduled rally against the move.
The coalition also organized a 3-week campaign of writing and calling the property owner, management company and contractors, urging them not to work with PP.
Coalition spokeswoman Lisa Morris believes those letters and calls stopped the move. But Jeff Teague, president and CEO of PP of Middle and East TN, said, “Let me assure you, that had nothing to do with it.” . . .
Does anyone actually believe that? Neither do we. One of the pro-life groups in the pro-life coalition was the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform Southeast Region. CBR’s Executive Director—the redoubtable Gregg Cunningham—had this to say:
For the past 35 years, pro-life activists have been considered toxic in almost every community. Even pro-life pastors view us with a certain amount of suspicion. We have tried in vain to make ourselves more palatable. It is time we started using our toxicity to our own advantage. We need to let them know that if they support abortion, they get us, and they don’t want us.
Amen to that.