Pro-life movement continues on after Planned Parenthood funding decision

May 29, 2013

Well, chalk another one up to the federal courts.

This time it’s a not-completely-unexpected decision by the United States Supreme Court to refuse Indiana’s appeal in Planned Parenthood of Indiana v. Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health in which the Seventh Circuit Court ruled Indiana did not have the right to carve the state’s largest abortion business out of the Indiana Medicaid program. Indiana vigorously disagreed with the ruling and sought relief in the highest court, but hopes for that relief have been dashed.

Now the sounds of victory peal from progressive bastions across the nation while a chorus of voices, including no less than Planned Parenthood’s own Cecile Richards, praise the courts while slicing another notch across the backs of American taxpayers who dared to believe they should not be forced to pay for the killing of human beings so helpless they can’t even raise an audible cry for help.

Supreme Court of the United States

Supreme Court of the United States

Indiana, consider yourself thoroughly chastised for daring to touch the apple of the Obama administration’s eye.

One can only imagine the high fives at Health and Human Services (HHS) or at the Department of Justice (DOJ), where maneuverings against Indiana were harsh and relentless in the wake of the defunding measure. Remember the HHS letter informing Indiana that its right to exclude Planned Parenthood from the Indiana Medicaid program was administratively denied? Remember the last-minute brief against Indiana’s law filed by the DOJ? These are actions that set the tone for the denial of appeal, sort of like shots across the bow of a state that bucked against the brave new order of things in Washington.

Now that the federal smack down is over, Planned Parenthood gets back to the business of killing, but who picks up the tab in Indiana? No one seems to be able to place a definitive dollar amount on how much taxpayer funding Planned Parenthood receives (thanks to a bookkeeping system that apparently doesn’t even attempt to differentiate between different types of income – very convenient for obfuscating money trails), but the figure routinely tossed out is somewhere between $2 and $3 million dollars per year. That money will continue to flow thanks to those federal deductions Hoosier workers watch bleeding from their paychecks each week.

But don’t expect a note of thanks from Planned Parenthood. This is entitlement as its most disturbing level.

Opponents of Indiana’s defunding law will be quick to claim that taxpayer dollars are not for abortion, but for other things found, sold or done at Planned Parenthood offices. But no one seriously believes that. The Indiana Attorney General’s office put forth a devastating analysis of a Planned Parenthood bookkeeping system in which funds appear to so easily comingle in one giant pot. Recall that Planned Parenthood was given the option of separating out its abortion business from its other operations and it refused. That refusal speaks volumes about how important Medicaid funding is to supporting the entirety of its business, including abortion.

So it’s end of the line for defunding Planned Parenthood. Or is it?

Lost in the euphoria of progressive celebrations is a distinct silver lining in the Seventh Circuit ruling allowed to stand.  Seems that even the Seventh Circuit, once extracted from the Medicaid specifics and the pressure brought to bear by the Obama administration, could not bring itself to deny Indiana the right to cull out Planned Parenthood from certain federal block grant funds left to be spent by through the autonomous discretion of the state. That’s a loss for Planned Parenthood, pure and simple.

In another silver lining so clearly articulated by Mary Harned of Americans United for Life in 7th Circuit Provides Guidance for Defunding Abortion Providers, the ruling more sharply reveals a coming federal opportunity to redefine and rework the entire Medicaid program into a system that recognizes state authority to manage its own Medicaid system apart from the federal tentacles strangling Indiana’s good faith effort to keep taxpayer dollars from funding the business of abortion. That battle will not happen until a sea of change occurs in Washington, but in a very real sense, the ruling in which Indiana has been speared creates a core impetus for overhauling the entire system.

Maybe the biggest question of all is what this does to the pro-life movement’s momentum. This is a big fight, and we lost it at the top level. Some might even say we should pack it up, take comfort in knowing that we gave it our best shot and call it a day.

That’s not going to happen.

We’ve had our shares of body blows in the past, and this one is no different. We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and come right back at it again. We’re a movement toughened by challenges, accustomed to setbacks and acquainted with disappointment. But we’re also a movement that understands strategy, holds to the tenacious belief in standing for what’s right, and dedicated to rising from the knock downs time and time and time again until the life of every unborn child is protected by the law of the land.

We cannot and will not give up the fight.  After all, this isn’t about us.

Keep on, pro-life movement. We’re not done by a long shot.

– Mike Fichter

Mike Fichter is the President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life

Supreme Court Decision to Not Hear Indiana Versus Planned Parenthood Is a Disappointment for Taxpayers

May 28, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter released the following statement after the Supreme Court decided it would not hear Indiana versus Planned Parenthood, a case over the funding of the largest abortion provider in Indiana.
“The Supreme Court’s decision to not hear Indiana versus Planned Parenthood is incredibly disappointing for taxpayers and states’ rights. Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize the state’s largest abortion business. Even if Planned Parenthood is instructed to use tax dollars for non-abortion activities, they then are free to use other funds for growing their abortion business. The Supreme Court’s decision to not hear this case is also a defeat for all states that wish to pass laws regarding funds in their own states. We believe the court system failed taxpayers by blocking the 2011 law that defunded Indiana abortion providers.”Planned Parenthood of Indiana is Indiana’s largest abortion provider and does more than 5,000 abortions each year.

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.

# # #

Planned Parenthood’s Founder Would Be Thrilled

May 28, 2013

Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger

The eugenics dream of Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, is one-step closer through developments in prenatal testing. Daniel Allott & George Neumayr tackle eugenics abortion and its effect on our culture in the May issue of The American Spectator.

It’s a long article, but worth the read. If prenatal testing is widespread and abortion is encouraged for any child that doesn’t meet a gold standard, how will children born with disabilities be viewed? How will parents be treated that decide to continue a pregnancy after an adverse prenatal diagnosis? Perhaps a level of prejudice has already arrived. Allott and Neumayr write,

“Bob Edwards, the embryologist who created the first test-tube baby through in vitro fertilization, argued in 1999 that eugenic abortion is not only a right but a duty: ‘Soon it will be a sin for parents to have a child that carries the heavy burden of genetic disease. We are entering a world where we have to consider the quality of our children.’”

The authors continue that the political, medical and scientific communities aren’t the only ones discouraging disabled children from being born.

“A 2012 poll found that, by a two-to-one margin, Americans support the use of prenatal testing as well as insurance companies’ duty to cover it. A 2011 Gallup poll found majority support for legal abortion when there is evidence that the baby ‘may be’ physically or mentally impaired. And a 2006 poll found that 70 percent of Americans believe a woman has a right to abortion if a ‘serious defect’ in the baby is found.”

This is an issue all pro-lifers should familiarize themselves with. While prenatal testing has led to abortions for years, advances in prenatal testing will accelerate the rate at which pregnant women undergo testing and opt for abortion when something “undesirable” is found. Abortion increasingly looks like the only choice when doctors and family members encourage ending the pregnancy, and no support resources are shared with the parents.

This issue gives us an opportunity to share the message of life within our own circles of influence, especially with parents facing prenatal testing options. It also reminds us to celebrate all life. Because all life – disability or not – is beautiful.

Read “Eugenic Abortion 2.0” here.

Hannah’s House Celebrates 20 Years

May 17, 2013

Hannah's House

Hannah’s House

This week I had the opportunity to visit Hannah’s House, a maternity home for women in Mishawaka. What a blessing! Opened in 1993 with the support of Bethel College, the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend, Saint Joseph Hospital in Mishawaka and Women’s Care Center, Hannah’s House serves dozens of local women each year. Women move in during pregnancy and move out within months of giving birth. Women are invited to pay $5.00 a day to live there if they have it, but no one is turned away if they can’t pay.

While at Hannah’s House, the residents prepare for a stable life after baby comes. They work on their education or seek employment, learn about managing a home for them and their baby, and develop newborn care and parenting skills. A house mom is onsite 24 hours a day.

Killilea House

Killilea House

During the last 20 years, Hannah’s House has established a positive reputation in the area and inquiries from pregnant moms keep rolling in. Unfortunately, with just one house on a residential street, there is more demand than space available. Thankfully, donors joined together to grow Hannah’s House. A house was donated on the same block as Hannah’s House and funds were raised for operating costs of a home to serve up to 20 more women and 20 more babies each year! The Killilea House, named after founders Bill and Diane Killilea, was dedicated on May 10 and will open its doors soon.

Hannah's House Resident

Hannah’s House Resident

I was impressed by the comfortable atmosphere of Hannah’s House. On my tour, a mom relaxed in a family room-type setting with her beautiful, smiling newborn. Soon she’ll be leaving Hannah’s House to start an independent life for her and her little girl, but now she seemed completely at ease. Hannah’s House didn’t have an institutional feel like one might expect.

Items available for moms to earn

Items available for moms to earn

I was also impressed by the longevity of Hannah’s House. Twenty years of existence says something about the gift they are offering women. And it’s hard to fathom just how many thousands of volunteer hours have gone into operating Hannah’s House throughout the years. During my short visit, two volunteers sorted donated baby and home goods that the moms can earn as they go out on their own.

Hannah’s House is a gem in the Mishawaka area. It’s encouraging to see a community come together to support mothers choosing life for their babies! Happy 20th Anniversary, Hannah’s House!

Statements on Gosnell Murder Verdict from Congressional Representatives

May 14, 2013

Reps Stutzman, Rokita and Messer

Reps Stutzman, Rokita and Messer

We applaud three of our Congressional representatives in Washington for speaking out in light of the Gosnell abortion trial verdict. On Monday, May 13, Pennsylvania abortionist Kermit Gosnell was found guilty of three counts of 1st-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, infanticide and hundreds of other charges. For more information on the case, visit

We are so encouraged to see our elected officials speak out on this important issue. If you see any other statements from our representatives, let us know in the comments.

3rd District – Congressman Marlin Stutzman


Stutzman on Gosnell Verdict: Justice for Three Victims
“Abortion is not Safe and it is not Rare”

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Marlin Stutzman issued the following statement today following the verdict in the trial of Kermit Gosnell:

“Today’s verdict brings justice for three of Gosnell’s countless victims. This trial has stripped away society’s convenient euphemisms and exposed abortion’s ugly truth: abortion is not safe and it is not rare. Now that the jury has delivered its verdict, the American people must come together for an honest conversation about abortion and Congress must exercise its powers of oversight to prevent similar atrocities.”

Video of Congressman Stutzman on Fox News:

4th District – Congressman Todd Rokita


Rokita: Justice Served in Gosnell Trial, But We Must Continue Fight to Protect Unborn

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita today released the following statement after a verdict was announced in the murder trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia. Gosnell was found guilty on three counts of first-degree murder of babies that were born alive and then killed with scissors, along with a fourth count of involuntary manslaughter in the drug-overdose death of a patient and hundreds of other counts related to violations of Pennsylvania’s abortion laws.

“We can take solace today that justice has been served, and that the monstrous crimes committed by Dr. Gosnell will not go unpunished. The conviction of this murderer is an example of our judicial system working to protect the weakest and most vulnerable among us.  This case is a solemn reminder that we must remain vigilant in the cause of protecting life, and I will continue to fight to oppose an abortion regime that is complicit in the murder of unborn and newborn babies,” said Rokita.

Last month, Rokita spoke on the House floor in protest of the lack of mainstream media coverage of the Gosnell trial.  In his remarks, Rokita cited the many illegal late-term abortions performed by the clinic, as well as the many post-birth murders described in testimony during the trial (those remarks can be viewed or read by clicking here).  Along with other members of the House of Representatives, Rokita also sent letters to the heads of ABCCBS, and NBC News demanding that they report on the Gosnell trial, as well as other high-profile abortion controversies.

6th District – Congressman Luke Messer


Jennifer and I share the heartbreak and outrage of so many Americans toward the crimes committed by Dr. Gosnell in Philadelphia.

Our nation’s founding fathers recognized that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. Chief among them is the right to life and the recognition that every life is precious and deserving of dignity.

We must keep working and praying so we will once again be a nation that recognizes the fundamental right to life.

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