Roundup: Family Planning Expansion in 2010 Budget

Emily Douglas

Family planning expansion in 2010 budget; Arizona abortion bill considered by House; groups protest Brownback fundraising letter; anti-choicers protest possible Sebelius pick; Phill Kline to face ethics complaint; sex "education" failing kids in Texas; California study examines attitudes on abortion.

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Family Planning Expansion in the 2010 Budget
The Medicaid family planning expansion is back, write Laura Meckler in the Wall Street Journal and Marc Ambinder in the Atlantic.  Meckler writes, "Amid the controversy over the stimulus package, President Barack
Obama agreed to drop the provision, but promised it would be back. Thursday, he made good on that promise. The provision on family
planning is included on a list of proposals to promote efficiency and
accountability — and to raise money for the president’s health-reform
effort. The administration estimates it will save $190 million over 10
years."  Ambinder’s account of how the measure would reduce abortions: "Advocates say it would reduce later-term abortions because lower-income women would have quicker access to doctors."

Arizona Abortion Bill Considered by House

Arizona’s abortion bill, which would address everything from mandatory delay
to parental involvement, has been approved for consideration by the
full House. reports,
"The legislation would require a pre-abortion waiting period and
mandatory disclosures to women seeking abortions. It also would allow
pharmacists and health care providers
to refuse to participate in abortion or emergency contraception on
moral grounds. Other provisions toughen the existing law on parental
rights."  Anti-choice Gov. Jan Brewer has not yet taken a position on
the bill.

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Groups Protest Brownback Fundraising Letter

Sen. Sam Brownback’s office claimed to have had no knowledge of a
fundraising letter with the Senator’s name on it that went out on
behalf of the Catholic Advocate, but religious and political groups are
arguing that the letter still violates ethics standards.

The Capitol Journal reports: "In response, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or
CREW, filed a complaint with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics and
the Boston-based Catholic Democrats urging Brownback to apologize…In the ethics complaint, CREW pointed to a 1978
prohibition on senators using facsimiles of Senate letterhead for
fundraising purposes."  Faithful America has called on Brownback to answer some remaining questions: "All people of faith have reason to be offended by the letter’s divisive
tone. Together with our friends at Catholics United we are calling on
Senator Brownback to 1) clarify to all those who received the letter
that he does not support these attacks on his colleagues’ faith and 2)
ask Deal Hudson to return all the funds raised by this campaign or put
them to good use in this time of economic crisis, by donating them to
Catholic Charities."

LifeNews, Christian Broadcasting Network Claim White House Is Concerned about Anti-Choice Protest Against Sebelius

Writes LifeNews,

White House officials tell CBN News that abortion and the
Tiller-Sebelius connection are causing pause when considering Sebelius
for the Cabinet post.

News White House correspondent David Brody indicates that a senior
Obama administration official confirmed that "concerns voiced by
pro-life groups about potential HHS Secretary Nominee Kathleen Sebelius
have come up in high level White House discussions but it has not
disqualified her from the job."

Former Kansas AG Phill Kline to Face Ethics Complaint
Yet another twist in the ongoing saga of former Kansas
Attorney General Phill Kline and his crusade against Kansas abortion
provider Dr. George Tiller: Kline, along with two deputies, will face
ethics complaints, the AP reports.  "The letter [from a state investigations official] does not say what allegations prompted the
finding, and officials say details won’t be made public until a formal
complaint is filed. But the Kansas Supreme Court, which determines
whether attorneys are punished and can revoke their law licenses, has
suggested Kline could be punished and even disbarred for his handling
of abortion cases."

Sex "Education" Failing Kids in Texas

"Real biology education" means "real sex education," writes columnist John Young in the Waco Tribune,
and Texas needs it. Young talks to Prof. David Wiley, author of the
recent "Just Say Don’t Know" report on sex education in Texas.  "The
most troubling thing is how adults have failed kids," Wiley said in a
phone interview. "This is an adult problem. We have refused to address
this as a public health matter. Instead, we’ve addressed it as a
morality issue."

California Study Examines Attitudes on Abortion
A California study found that while a wide majority of Californians
support preserving Roe v. Wade, a slight increase favor some
restrictions on abortion’s availability, the California Progress Report says
"61% said that the government should not interfere with abortion access
as opposed to 35% who favor more restrictions on abortion…However, that 61% marks a decline of 10 points since January 2000
while the percentage who favor greater abortion restrictions rose from
27% to 35%."  The study found that a greater percentage of Latinos
(52%) supported abortion restrictions than other ethnic groups. 
Support for contraception for teens and for comprehensive sex education
is very strong:

Support for Government-funded programs that provide contraceptives
to teens is still strong at 70 percent but that’s down six points from
December 2005. The partisan divide is even wider on this question. Solid majorities
of Democrats (81%) and independents (71%) back these programs, but
Republicans’ views have shifted. While 54 percent supported these
programs in 2005, only 44 percent do today…Support for
comprehensive sex education is very strong. 78% of California residents
believe that giving teens comprehensive sex education, including
information about abstinence, birth control, and healthy relationships
is very important in preventing pregnancy."


"Traditional Catholics" for Obama

On Beliefnet, Steven Waldman reports on a study that found that "traditional Catholics," in addition to liberal Catholics, went for Obama.

While Obama did clean up with those lefty Catholics, a new survey by Professor John Green of University of Akron, shows that he also made stunning improvements among more traditional white Catholics.

(A "traditional Catholic," according to Green’s methodology,
is one who is more likely than average to attend mass, pray, and read
scripture; more likely to believe in God, the afterlife, scripture and
the devil; and more likely to say religion is very important in their
lives.)  In 2004, white traditional Catholics went 78%-22% for the
Republican, George Bush, over the Democrat, John Kerry. In 2008, they
went 61%-39% for John McCain over Barack Obama. That represents an
amazing 17 point improvement for the Democrat.

Waldman’s explanation?  Obama’s apparent commitment to "abortion reduction" was part of the deal.

Other News to Note

Feb 26: Public News Service: Supporters Say Birth Control Bill About "Prevention Over Politics"

Feb 26: Catholic News Service: Theologians Criticism of the Pope Draws Vatican Response

Feb 26: NRO: I have "shocked" OLC nominee Dawn Johnsen

Feb 26: Daily Gazette: Editorial: Family planning sound investment

Feb 26: Capitol Journal: Senator’s abortion letter draws fire; Groups
assert Brownback broke fundraising rules

Feb 26: Fox Forum: STRAIGHT FROM CPAC: Rep. Chris Smith Talks About Abortion

Feb 26: Deseret News: Senate approves private donations to defend state abortion laws

Feb 26: Jackson Sun: Abstinence is a realistic goal

Feb 26: WOWK: Unplanned Pregnancy Seminar Held in Bridgeport

Feb 26: Tucson Citizen: Women need access, not obstacles, to birth control 

Feb 25:CNA: Pro-life amendments blocked from consideration on House floor  

Feb 26: World Mag: Mexico City, Part II: A group of lawmakers appeal to the Democratic leadership to keep pro-life provisions in future spending bills

Feb 26: FRC Blog: Live Blog from CPAC 2009: New Challenges in the Culture War

Feb 26: NRO: Why Fight FOCA Now? The ‘mythical’ bill that could derail decades of progress in the fight against abortion.

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