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Planned Parenthood Director Quits After Watching Abortion on Ultrasound

November 5, 2009

Here is some great news from Fox News. It should encourage us to pray for those who are thinking about having an abortion, abortion clinics, etc. No doubt many have prayed for this woman and the clinic.

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The former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in southeast Texas says she had a “change of heart” after watching an abortion last month — and she quit her job and joined a pro-life group in praying outside the facility.

Abby Johnson, 29, used to escort women from their cars to the clinic in the eight years she volunteered and worked for Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas. But she says she knew it was time to leave after she watched a fetus “crumple” as it was vacuumed out of a patient’s uterus in September.

‘When I was working at Planned Parenthood I was extremely pro-choice,” Johnson told FoxNews.com. But after seeing the internal workings of the procedure for the first time on an ultrasound monitor, “I would say there was a definite conversion in my heart … a spiritual conversion.”

Johnson said she became disillusioned with her job after her bosses pressured her for months to increase profits by performing more and more abortions, which cost patients between $505 and $695.

“Every meeting that we had was, ‘We don’t have enough money, we don’t have enough money — we’ve got to keep these abortions coming,'” Johnson told FoxNews.com. “It’s a very lucrative business and that’s why they want to increase numbers.”

A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood told FoxNews.com that it offers a range of services at it 850 health centers nationwide, providing pregnancy tests, vaccinations and women’s health services, “including wellness exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings, contraception, and STD testing and treatment.”

“Planned Parenthood’s focus is on prevention,” wrote Diane Quest, the group’s National Media Director. “Nationwide, more than 90% of the health care Planned Parenthood affiliates provide is preventive in nature,” explaining that a “core component the organization’s mission is to help women plan healthy pregnancies and prevent unintended pregnancies.”

But Johnson said her bosses told her to change her “priorities” and focus on abortions, which she said made money for the office at a time when the recession has left them hurting.

“For them there’s not a lot of money in education,” she said. “There’s as not as much money in family planning as there is abortion.”

Without a doctor in residence, she said, her clinic offered abortions only two days a month, but the doctor could perform 30 to 40 procedures on each day he was there. Johnson estimated that each abortion could net the branch about $350, adding up to more than $10,000 a month.

“The majority of the money was going to the facility,” she said.

Johnson said she never got any orders to increase profits in e-mails or letters, and had no way to prove her allegations about practices at the Bryan branch. She told FoxNews.com that pressure came in personal interactions with her regional manager from the larger Houston office.

But she said she got involved with the clinic “to help women and … [do] the right thing,” and the idea of raking in cash seemed to go against what she felt was the mission of the 93-year-old organization.

“Ideally my goal as the facility’s director is that your abortion numbers don’t increase,” because “you’re providing so much family planning and so much education that there is not a demand for abortion services.

“But that was not their goal,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood refused to answer questions about Johnson’s accusations, but released a statement noting that a district court had issued a temporary restraining order against the former branch director and against the Coalition for Life, an anti-abortion group with which Johnson is now affiliated.

“We regret being forced to turn to the courts to protect the safety and confidentiality of our clients and staff, however, in this instance it is absolutely necessary,” said spokeswoman Rochelle Tafolla.

It is unclear what made Planned Parenthood seek the restraining order. Johnson said she did not intend to release any sensitive information about her former patients at the clinic.

A hearing is set for Nov. 10 to determine whether a judge will order an injunction against Johnson and the Coalition for Life, which has led protests outside the clinic and joined her in a prayer vigil there last month.

Johnson hasn’t found a job since she quit on Oct. 6, but she said she’s enjoying the time off to be with her 3-year-old daughter.

“It’s been great just to spend some time at home and get a break,” she said.

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Gallup Poll: Conservatives Outnumber Moderates

October 27, 2009

Newsmax:

A new Gallup poll shows that conservatives outnumber moderates for the first time since 2004.

 

Gallup’s breakdown shows that 40 percent of Americans call their political views conservative, 36 percent moderate and 20 percent liberal. Last year, conservatives were tied with moderates at 37 percent. While Gallup first documented this trend in June, the finding has been sustained through the third quarter.

 

So what put conservatives into the lead? Independents, apparently. Now, 35 percent of them are self-proclaimed conservatives, up from 29 percent last year. Meanwhile, the portion of independents who call themselves moderate dipped to 43 percent from 46 percent.

 

Among Republicans, 72 percent now call themselves conservative, up from 71 percent last year. Among Democrats, 22 percent now call themselves conservative, up from 21 percent in 2008.

 

Gallup also discovered that Americans have turned more conservative on specific issues. For example, perceptions that there is too much government regulation of business rose to 45 percent this year from 38 percent last year.

 

These findings would seem to bode well for Republicans in the 2010 elections. “The question is whether increased conservatism, particularly among independents, will translate into heightened support for Republican candidates,” Gallup points out.

 

“Right now, it appears it may. Although Gallup polling continues to show the Democratic Party leading the Republican Party in Americans’ party identification, that lead has been narrowing since the beginning of the year and now stands at six points, the smallest since 2005.”

 

That trend stems from the increasing number of independents who now lean Republican, Gallup says.

 

A Real Clear Politics compilation of polls by ABC/The Washington Post, Rasmussen Reports, CBS and Gallup shows that on average Democrats have a lead of 45 percent to 39.5 percent over Republicans in next year’s congressional races.

 

That data comes on the heels of an August Gallup poll that shows self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals in America.

 

According to that survey, more than 160,000 respondents in Gallup polls conducted From January to June 2009 have described themselves as either “conservative” (31 percent) or “very conservative” (9 percent) – for a total of 40 percent.

 

At the same time, 16 percent identified themselves as “liberal” while 5 percent described themselves as “very liberal – for a total of 21 percent.

 

According to Gallup, liberals lag behind conservatives on a statewide level, and conservatives have big margins in all but three states.

 

“Conservatives outnumber liberals by statistically significant margins in 47 of the 50 states, with the two groups statistically tied in Hawaii, Vermont, and Massachusetts,” reported a Gallup analysis.

 

“In fact, while all 50 states are, to some degree, more conservative than liberal (with the conservative advantage ranging from 1 to 34 points), Gallup’s 2009 party ID results indicate that Democrats have significant party ID advantages in 30 states and Republicans in only 4,” said the analysis. “Despite the Democratic Party’s political strength – seen in its majority representation in Congress and in state houses across the country – more Americans consider themselves conservative than liberal.”

David Brooks: Obama getting the Nobel is a joke (video)

October 12, 2009
tags: ,

Stop the Abortion Mandate

October 4, 2009

This video shows many pro-life leaders making their opposition to federal funding for abortion known. Any provision that allows for the federal government to fund abortion is completely unacceptable.  We need to vehemently stand against this.

Go to http://stoptheabortionmandate.com/ for more information.

Support for Health Care Plan Hits New Low — 41%

September 28, 2009

Here are the latest poll numbers from Rasmussen on health care reform:

Just 41% of voters nationwide now favor thehealth care reformproposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s down two points from a week ago and the lowest level of support yet measured.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% are opposed to the plan.

Senior citizens are less supportive of the plan than younger voters. In the latest survey, just 33% of seniors favor the plan while 59% are opposed. The intensity gap among seniors is significant. Only 16% of the over-65 crowd Strongly Favors the legislation while 46% are Strongly Opposed.

For the first time ever, a slight plurality of voters now express doubt that the legislation will become law this year. Forty-six percent (46%) say passage is likely while 47% say it is not. Those figures include 18% who say passage is Very Likely and 15% who say it is Not at All Likely. Sixty percent (60%) are less certain.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Democrats say the plan is at least somewhat likely to become law. Sixty-one percent (61%) of Republicans disagree. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 34% say passage is at least somewhat likely while 58% say it is not.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The overall picture remains one of stability. Today’s record low support for the plan of 41% is just a point lower than the results found twice before. With the exception of a slight bounce earlier this month following the president’s nationally televised speech to Congress to promote the plan, support for it has remained in the low-to-mid 40s since early July. During that same time period, opposition has generally stayed in the low-to-mid 50s.

Intensity has been with the opposition from the beginning of the public debate. Currently, among all voters 23% Strongly Favor the legislative effort and 43% are Strongly Opposed.

Also, from the beginning of the debate, the has been a huge partisan divide. Currently 75% of Democrats favor the plan. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Republicans are opposed, as are 72% of the unaffiliated.

Rasmussen Reports will continue to track support for the plan on a weekly basis (see day-by-day numbers).

As Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, wrote recently in the Wall Street Journal: “The most important fundamental is that 68% of American voters have health insurance coverage they rate good or excellent … Most of these voters approach the health care reform debate fearing that they have more to lose than to gain.” A Rasmussen video report shows that 53% of those with insurance believe it’s likely they would have to change coverage if the congressional plan becomes law.

Despite strong efforts by the White House to counter that belief, including many comments by the president himself, there has been no change for months in the number who fear they will be forced out of their current coverage.

Polling released last week shows that 58% of uninsured voters favor passage of the health care plan. However, 35% of the uninsured are opposed. The divide fell largely along partisan and ideological grounds.

If the plan passes, 24% of voters say the quality of care will get better, and 55% say it will get worse. In August, the numbers were 23% better and 50% worse.

Fifty-four percent (54%) say passage of the plan will make the cost of health care go up while 23% say it will make costs go down. In August, 52% thought the plan would lead to higher costs, and just 17% thought it would achieve the stated goal of lowering costs.

While many credit or blame the town hall protests for building opposition to the plan, it appears they were simply a reflection of public opinion rather than a creator of it. This sense is confirmed by the fact that Obama’s approval ratings fell more in June and July before stabilizing in August.

One thing that did change during the month of August is that public perception of the protesters improved. Most voters came to believe that the purpose of the town hall meetings was for members of Congress to listen rather than speak. That’s partly because just 22% believe Congress has a good understanding of the legislation.

While some Democrats have charged that opposition to the president’s plan is based upon racism, just 12% of voters agree.

Voters overwhelmingly believe that every American should be able to buy the same health insurance plan that Congress has. Most favor limits on jury awards for medical malpractice claims and think that tort reform will significantly reduce the cost of health care. Forty-eight percent (48%) want a prohibition on abortion in any government subsidized program while 13% want a mandate requiring abortion coverage.

The health care debate has produced a difficult political environment for Democrats.  Several incumbent Democratic senators currently are behind in their reelection bids including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada, Chris Dodd in Connecticut and Michael Bennet in Colorado. Republicans appear to have a better shot than expected at hanging on to the New Hampshire Senate seat, and GOP incumbents lead in both North Carolina and Iowa. The races for soon-to-be-vacant Senate seats in Missouri and Ohio are neck-and-neck, and longtime incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer polls under 50% against two potential 2010 challengers in California. Appointed Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand holds a very narrow lead over former Governor George Pataki in a hypothetical match-up for New York State’s 2010 Senate race.

Democrats also trail in the 2009 governor’s races in New Jersey and Virginia.Incumbent Democratic governors in Iowa and Ohio face tough challenges next year. In New York’s gubernatorial race, the fate of the Democrats appears to depend on which of two nominees they choose.

The health care debate has become one focal point for voters frustrated by a string of government actions. Voters overwhelmingly opposed the bailout of the financial industry and the bailout and takeover of General Motors.

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.

A Surrender

September 28, 2009

The following is a prophecy from  Kim Clement on September 19, 2009 – Houston, TX. In it God talks about how He has “…watched over you (America) since your 9/11.”  There is also mention of the surrendering of hidden arms, which appeared to mean weapons. I believe that it is vital that we heed the prophecies of trusted prophets like Kim Clement. Here is the prophecy in its entirety.

We command you to surrender the arms.  They will be exposed.  America I have watched over you since your 9/11.  For God says now there will be a surrender.  There shall be a surrender.  They will surrender arms that have been hidden.  The Spirit of the Lord declares What they plan to use against this nation, against Israel, against Europe, the United Kingdom will be surrendered one by one.  And finally the Beast that has been in hiding shall be brought out for the world to see.  They shall say is this the one that terrified the whole world?  Is this the one who frightened the nations of the earth?  Is this it?  So shallow shall it be says the Lord.  But I will draw the beast out from the caves and the fields and America shall once and for all shout as one nation, and in one moment I will wipe out the division that has been brought to this nation by the spirit of python says the Lord.

There shall be a cry.  They shall say this has not been right, let the courts decide.  For God said what courts can decide the guilt of a man.  I will show you which court shall decide.  In one moment this nation shall stand again as they stood in the steps when 9/11 took place and they sang together, and now years later there is division, hatred, scorn, shame, debt.  God said they look upon you not the way they shall see you.  For very soon God said they will look and say the nation has brought themselves together, and now they are one.  They are praying together.  For I have caused the beast to surrender and the surrendering of the arms will stop a potential war in Israel and in America, and God said I will stop it in an instance, for My Word has been declared and so shall it be.

Does the ‘public option’ have to imitate Medicare?

September 24, 2009

The following is a debate between Michael F. Cannon and Larry McNeely from the L.A. Times.

Today’s topic: What about a public plan that isn’t modeled after Medicare? For example, how about co-ops or local plans such as L.A. Care?

Give market forces room to breathe, and costs will decrease
Point: Michael F. Cannon

The dirty little secret, Larry, is that “Obama-care” isn’t about reducing healthcare costs or making coverage more secure. It’s about robbing Peter to pay Paul.

How many young and elderly people can we rob to subsidize coverage for the uninsured? How can we leverage the 50% of health spending that government already controls to push payments below costs among the other 50%? How many special interests should we bribe along the way? (Answer: all of them.)

Supporters from President Obama right down to you assure us that consumers will come out ahead. The only losers, you assure us, will be the insurance industry.

The opposite is true: Democrats in Congress are taxing workers to pay off insurance companies. Democratic Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) just proposed $774 billion in subsidies for private insurers. (Somehow, that’s supposed to be more moderate than House Democrats’ $773 billion in subsidies.)

The outrage at the August town halls came from voters realizing that under Obama-care, they’re not Paul — they’re Peter.

“Almost every political pronouncement now emphasizes cost reduction as a central object of healthcare reform,” writes Stanford health economist Victor Fuchs. “The policy recommendations that follow, however, frequently aim at cost shifting rather than cost reduction.” Cost shifting, Fuchs reminds us, “does nothing to reduce the real cost of care.”

Real reform would reduce costs by letting individual consumers control their healthcare dollars and choose their health plans.

Eliminating the tax preference for job-based coverage would let workers control the $4,000 to $10,000 of their earnings that employers now control and choose secure coverage that stays with them between jobs. Converting Medicare to a voucher program, with larger vouchers for the poor and the sick, would protect seniors from government rationing.

Consumers will spend that money more wisely than employers or government ever could. They will drive costs down because they will personally reap the rewards.

Real reform would further reduce the cost of coverage by letting workers purchase coverage from other states. As Cal State Northridge economist Shirley Svorny suggests, real reform would also make medical services more affordable by eliminating barriers to competition by nurse practitioners and other mid-level clinicians.

Those two steps would not only increase competition and reduce costs, Larry. They would improve many dimensions of quality by helping the Kaiser Permanente model spread to other states. That sounds better than summarily kicking Kaiser out of Medicare Advantage, doesn’t it?

Our healthcare sector is a mess. Countless Americans are suffering and dying — yes, dying — because well-intentioned government interventions are driving costs higher, blocking innovation and leaving us with insecure coverage.

Yet the greatest strength of America’s healthcare sector is that it shows what competition can do when market forces are given room to breathe. What do you say we give market forces a little more breathing room?

But first, let’s stop the kleptocrats and kill this insurance-company bailout.

Michael F. Cannon is director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute and the coauthor of “Healthy Competition: What’s Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It.”

Let readers decide: Cato’s plan, or Obama’s?
Counterpoint: Larry McNeely

Michael, I’d like to thank you for laying out your plan to fix healthcare. There has not been enough of that from reform opponents. The consequences of your proposals, however, might not be clear to all of our readers, so let’s take a closer look at them.

The Cato-Cannon Plan

* By allowing insurers to sell plans across state lines, you would create a race to the bottom that would gut state-level consumer protections, as I argued Wednesday.

* By eliminating Medicare and substituting vouchers for private insurance, you would leave our seniors vulnerable to medical bankruptcy and destroy their well-earned healthcare security.

* By ending all state licensing and monitoring of physicians, as your economist friend Shirley Svorny suggests, not only qualified nurses but also any quack with a scalpel and some drugs would be able to set up a shingle, call himself a doctor and start cutting.

If this is what health reform opponents are selling, America is not going to buy it. On the contrary, government can and should make the healthcare and insurance industries live by a fair set of rules. And that is what health reform is all about.

Our readers can see exactly what the Obama plan means for them right here. But for your sake, Michael, I’ll lay out a few key points:

First and foremost, under the Obama plan, the words “preexisting condition” would be a relic. No one could be denied coverage options when they get sick or because they change jobs.

Small businesses and individuals who cannot afford insurance in today’s market could pool their resources and bargaining power to get better deals from the insurance companies. (See U.S. PIRG’s report on how high healthcare costs are crushing America’s small businesses.) To make sure that no one single company could dominate the coverage options in any state, a publicly sponsored health insurance plan would be offered.

Americans with insurance from larger employers could stay in their current plan, but with one key improvement: The plan would have to be affordable or the employer would have to help pay for the cost of insurance from a new health insurance exchange.

In terms of cost-containment, health reform could actually save consumers, businesses and the government trillions of dollars over the next 10 years by injecting competition into the insurance market with some form of public plan; encouraging preventive care; preserving Medicare by keeping the same benefits but demanding that providers and hospitals cut out the one out of three healthcare dollars that the Congressional Budge Office says don’t improve health outcomes; and placing a tax on insurers that offer the most expensive, gold-plated policies.

The right combination of these policies not only can trim the federal deficit but also reduce overall national healthcare costs and save money for families (see this report from U.S. PIRG for more details). The Bipartisan Policy Center,the Commonwealth Fund and CEOs for Health Reform have all come to a similar conclusion.

So let’s allow our readers to decide. Which plan do they prefer: yours, Michael, or Obama’s?

Larry McNeely is the healthcare reform advocate for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.