Donnelly Supports Planned Parenthood Investigations; Will Have Opportunity to Vote on Defunding

July 31, 2015

Senate Has Historic Opportunity to Defund Planned Parenthood Next Week

WASHINGTON – Reports indicate that the U.S. Senate will vote on a bill to defund Planned Parenthood on Monday. The half a billion dollars currently going to Planned Parenthood would be redirected to other women’s health organizations. Sen. Dan Coats is a cosponsor of the legislation.

On Tuesday, Sen. Donnelly’s staff distributed a statement from him at the Women Betrayed rally outside of his South Bend office. Donnelly said, “I believe all life is sacred. I find the comments made in the videos disgraceful, heartbreaking, and extremely disturbing. I fully support investigations into Planned Parenthood’s practices on this issue.”

In 2011, Donnelly voted in favor of a House amendment that would have stripped Planned Parenthood of its federal funding. Indiana Right to Life urges Donnelly to again protect the sanctity of life by voting to defund Planned Parenthood.

“Half a billion of taxpayer dollars each year should not go to the nation’s largest abortion business,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “We thank Sen. Coats for speaking out about Planned Parenthood’s deplorable actions and cosponsoring legislation to defund the abortion giant. We urge Sen. Donnelly to stand up for the vulnerable among us by ending the flow of taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood. Countless other health organizations, including hundreds in Indiana, are much more deserving of federal funding than Planned Parenthood.”

Monday’s vote follows the release of a fourth Planned Parenthood video by the Center for Medical Progress. In the fourth video, a Planned Parenthood medical director negotiates an aborted baby part deal and suggests ways to avoid legal consequences. It also shows the sorting of an aborted baby boy’s body parts, and how much his tissue could profit the clinic.

Donnelly Women Betrayed Statement graphic

Click here to see a copy of Donnelly’s statement as distributed by his office.

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.

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EXTENDED VERSION – Indy Star Letter to the Editor: Women deserve better than Planned Parenthood

July 27, 2015

We are grateful that the Indianapolis Star newspaper ran “Women deserve better than Planned Parenthood,” as a letter to the editor submitted by our President and CEO, Mike Fichter. This letter ran on Sunday, July 26, when a big Sunday readership was likely to see it.

Because Sunday’s letter to the editor was shortened by the staff of the Indy Star, we want to share Fichter’s full piece with you here. You can fully see for yourself the points Fichter made to support his claims that Planned Parenthood doesn’t care about women. Fichter’s piece, in its entirety:

Planned Parenthood definitely cares. Its slogan, “Care. No Matter What,” tells us as much. But the abortion giant doesn’t care about our society’s women and children. Planned Parenthood cares about its reputation, its sexual agenda and its bottom line.

Last week an undercover video made headlines. We watched in horror as Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, discusses harvesting and selling late-term aborted baby body parts with investigators posing as human tissue buyers for a biologics company.

Nucatola casually describes performing late-term abortion procedures so that the organ desired by the buyer, such as a heart, liver or lungs, is not harmed in the process. She revealed that the charges are $30-$100 per specimen. She cavalierly makes these boasts; all while sipping wine and munching on salad.

The video went viral, thanks in parts to the thousands of Hoosiers who shared their disgust on social media. Planned Parenthood put their best PR staff to work, and quickly claimed their executive was talking about a fetal tissue donation program for research. Planned Parenthood’s president even apologized for Nucatola’s “tone” on the video, but she stopped short of apologizing for the way they crush a baby’s skull or legs in order to get intact organs. The group behind the video pledged it has more videos to come.

For anyone familiar with Planned Parenthood’s practices, you know this isn’t the first time it has been caught on tape. Just last year, Live Action recorded an Indianapolis Planned Parenthood counselor instructing a 15-year-old girl on rough sex practices and finding pornography. As Live Action’s video series revealed, the Indianapolis encounter was not an anomaly.

Planned Parenthood will do anything to protect its bottom line. Abortions are big money. Not only does the organization hate seeing abortion restrictions of any kind, one past employee revealed abortion quotas to make their budgetary goals. On top of abortion revenue, more than a half a billion dollars flow into its coffers each year from taxpayers. Anytime an elected official seeks to defund the abortion giant, Planned Parenthood cries that women’s access to health care will be restricted. We saw firsthand what that fight looked like in 2011 when the Indiana legislature passed a bill defunding Planned Parenthood.

Anyone concerned by Planned Parenthood, especially the recent allegation of baby parts trafficking, should be pleased that Gov. Mike Pence ordered an investigation of Planned Parenthood’s Indiana clinics. Good government has a responsibility to make sure laws are being upheld.

It was just this spring at an Indiana Senate hearing, where a former Indianapolis Planned Parenthood employee testified about her clinic’s disposal practices. She shared that they threw aborted body parts down the garbage disposal and into the sewer system.

Thanks to action by the legislature, emergency disposal rules went into effect July 1. We hope Planned Parenthood has changed its practices from discarding body parts like yesterday’s lunch. This investigation comes at a good time to ensure local clinics haven’t gone from one foul disposal method to another – the selling of body parts, as discussed on the video.

We commend our governor and legislators for caring about the women and children that Planned Parenthood targets. We urge them to keep up their vigilance. We also encourage our federal leaders to defund Planned Parenthood and to pass the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This bill would ban abortions after five months of pregnancy, the size of babies that Nucatola was talking about crushing for their organs.

Abortion advocates say Planned Parenthood must exist to help women, but there are many community clinics and pregnancy resource centers all over the state ready to assist with any challenge. Planned Parenthood wants its big abortion business and big cash flow to continue. Hoosier women deserve better than an organization that cares only about itself.

South Bend Student Awarded Thomas Marzen Memorial Scholarship

July 27, 2015

SOUTH BEND, IND. – David Schena II of South Bend is the 2015 recipient of the Thomas Marzen Memorial Scholarship award. The Thomas Marzen Memorial Scholarship provides up to $1,000 per year to help young Hoosier leaders with proven backgrounds of pro-life involvement in pursuing college studies.

Schena has been highly involved in pro-life activities as a member of the Marian High School Right to Life club where he served in roles ranging from club secretary to club president.  Schena has also been active in coordinating prayer vigils at South Bend’s abortion facility and has participated in the March for Life in Washington and various Right to Life of St. Joseph County events. Schena will enter pre-med studies at Purdue University in the fall.

“The pro-life movement benefits from David’s passion for the vulnerable among us, especially the unborn,” shared Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “Two of David’s teachers affirmed his commitment to life, citing his dedication to praying for the unborn and witnessing outside of South Bend’s abortion facility. We are pleased to award the 2015 Thomas Marzen scholarship to David and wish him the best in his future pro-life activities and educational studies.”

Thomas Marzen, who passed away in 2007, was referred to as a “walking encyclopedia of the pro-life movement” by his colleagues and devoted his life to the pro-life movement. He was active for over three decades as a pro-life attorney and authored many appellate briefs in major cases and law review articles on pro-life issues, one of which was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court. He served as general counsel for Americans United for Life in Chicago and the National Legal Center for the Medically Dependent and Disabled in Indianapolis.

Click here for a photo of Schena.

David Schena II

David Schena II

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.

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Indiana Right to Life Statement on Klopfer’s South Bend Facility Denied License Renewal

July 22, 2015

Klopfer Can Continue Operating While He Appeals

SOUTH BEND, IND. – According to reports, on June 26, the Indiana State Department of Health denied Dr. Ulrich Klopfer’s license renewal to operate his South Bend abortion facility. Klopfer appealed the decision and he is allowed to continue doing abortions at his South Bend facility until an administrative law judge hears the case in November.

Indiana Right to Life’s President and CEO, Mike Fichter, released the following statement:

“We are pleased the Indiana State Department of Health denied a renewed license for Dr. Klopfer’s South Bend facility. We have joined St. Joseph County Right to Life in being troubled by his practices and deplorable conditions for decades. We regret that women’s health and safety will be on the line until November when a judge determines the fate of Dr. Klopfer’s license, but we are optimistic that the judge will shut his facility down.”

In June and January, the Indiana State Department of Health twice filed complaints with an administrative law judge to revoke the abortion facility license for Klopfer’s South Bend facility. A judge is expected to determine the outcome of those complaints in November as well. Klopfer himself is also under scrutiny by the Indiana Medical Licensing Board. In June, the Board denied his motion for summary judgment, meaning the Board will hear evidence related to Klopfer’s alleged violations. In a hearing likely before the end of the year, the Board could strip Klopfer of his medical license or take other disciplinary action against him.

Dr. Ulrich Klopfer

Dr. Ulrich Klopfer

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.

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Pence’s Investigation of Planned Parenthood’s Handling of Baby Body Parts Has Support of Pro-Life Community

July 16, 2015

Investigation Comes After a Video Shows a Planned Parenthood Executive Discussing the Selling of Aborted Baby Body Parts  

Gov. Mike Pence

Gov. Mike Pence

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Right to Life supports Gov. Mike Pence’s announcement of an investigation of Planned Parenthood’s Indiana affiliates after a video surfaced showing a Planned Parenthood executive discussing the selling of aborted body parts. Today, Pence directed the Indiana State Department of Health, in cooperation with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, to investigate and ensure Planned Parenthood’s Indiana affiliates are in compliance with the law. Trafficking aborted baby body parts is illegal under Indiana and federal law.

The video, released by The Center for Medical Progress on Tuesday, shows Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, discussing the procuring and selling of late-term aborted baby body parts with investigators posing as human tissue buyers for a biologics company. Nucatola casually describes performing late-term abortion procedures so that the organ desired by the buyer is not harmed in the process. She revealed that the charges are $30-$100 per specimen.

“The pro-life community is outraged by the video that shows a Planned Parenthood executive casually discussing the harvesting and trafficking of aborted baby body parts,” said Cathie Humbarger, Indiana Right to Life’s Vice President of Policy Enforcement. “We are grateful for Gov. Pence’s leadership. No Hoosier wants aborted baby body parts illegally obtained and sold. We believe this investigation requested by Gov. Pence into Planned Parenthood’s practices is important for the dignity of aborted babies and their mothers.”

Pence also announced he wrote to Indiana’s Congressional delegation regarding the video. According to a news release, he also copied the U.S. Attorneys in the Northern and Southern Districts and county prosecutors where Planned Parenthood does abortions (Marion, Monroe, Tippecanoe and Lake counties). Pence’s news release is available here.

The video of the Planned Parenthood executive discussing the selling of aborted baby body parts is available here.

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