Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

California orders churches to fund abortions, or face sanctions

This is from The Federalist.

Excerpt:

California’s Department of Managed Health Care has ordered all insurance plans in the state to immediately begin covering elective abortion. Not Plan B. Not contraceptives. Elective surgical dismemberment abortion.

At the insistence of the American Civil Liberties Union, the DMHC concluded that a 40-year-old state law requiring health plans to cover “basic health services” had been misinterpreted all these decades. Every plan in the state was immediately ordered, effective August 22, to cover elective abortion. California had not even applied this test to its own state employee health plans (which covered only “medically necessary” abortions). But this novel reading was nevertheless quietly imposed on every plan in the state by fiat.

The news has slowly leaked out as insurers grappling with this change have begun quietly informing employers of this sudden change in the terms of their policy. This is how Kaiser Permanente broke the news to one California church that its insurance policy for its pastors and staff would now include elective abortion coverage:

I want to formally share with you that on August 22, 2014, the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) notified Kaiser Permanente and other affected health plans in writing regarding group contracts that exclude ‘voluntary termination of pregnancy.’

This letter made clear that the DMHC considered health care services related to the termination of pregnancies – whether or not a voluntary termination – a medically necessary basic health care service for which all health care services plans must provide coverage under the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act.  You may recall that at the request of some employer groups with religious affiliations, Kaiser Permanente submitted a regulatory filing in May 2012 properly notifying the DMHC of a benefit plan option that excluded coverage of voluntary terminations of pregnancies. The DMHC did not object to this filing, permitting Kaiser Permanente to offer such a coverage contract to large group purchasers that requested it. The DMHC acknowledged that it previously permitted these contract exclusions, but now is requiring health care service plans to provide coverage of all terminations of pregnancies, effective immediately.  To that end, the DMHC requires Kaiser Permanente and similar health care service plans to initiate steps to modify their plan contracts accordingly.

Effective August 22, Kaiser Permanente will comply with this regulatory mandate.

This is the kind of story that really justifies my suspicions about secular people’s ability to be “moral”. It seems to me that even if a person did not believe in God, that they would be respectful of those who do. But when you give up God, it does make a difference to whether you think that other people have these sorts of natural rights. How could you possibly ground natural rights in a materialist universe? And this does have an impact on how they act.

Filed under: News, , , ,

Wisconsin Democrat Mary Burke would veto bill to ban “pain capable” abortions

There is a big race right now to choose the governor of Wisconsin. The Republican candidate is Scott Walker. He is the current governor. The Democrat is a woman named Mary Burke. They are pretty much tied in the polls, but their positions on abortion are quite different.

First, let’s remember that Scott Walker is pro-life – and not just in word, but in deed.

Here’s a story from Fox News.

Excerpt:

Gov. Scott Walker quietly signed a contentious Republican bill Friday that would require women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound and ban doctors who lack admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from performing the procedures.

Opponents contend legislators shouldn’t force women to undergo any medical procedure and the bill will force at least two abortion clinics where providers lack admitting privileges to shut their doors.

The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the bill in mid-June.

[...]Under the bill, any woman seeking an abortion would have to get an ultrasound. The technician would have to point out the fetus’ visible organs and external features to the woman. Abortion providers would have to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles to perform the procedures.

Republican supporters argue the ultrasound requirement is designed to help the woman bond with the fetus and convince her to save it. The admitting privileges mandate is meant to ensure an abortion provider can follow up with a patient at the hospital if an emergency arises, they say.

The bill is part of national GOP push to curtail abortions. North Dakota’s governor, Republican Jack Dalrymple, signed a law this spring that outlaws abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, making North Dakota the most restrictive state in the nation to get an abortion. The state’s lone abortion clinic has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block the law.

Republicans in Arkansas this spring passed a law that bans most abortions after 12 weeks. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and the Center for Reproductive Rights. A federal judge has temporarily blocked that law. A trial has been tentatively scheduled for next year.

Republicans in Alabama passed a law similar to the Wisconsin bill in April requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit contending the law would shut down three of the state’s five clinics because doctors at the clinics haven’t been able to get admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. A federal judge temporarily blocked the law in June.

The Wisconsin bill sparked a fierce debate in both the state Senate and Assembly as minority Democrats tried to push back. Republican leaders in the Senate abruptly halted a floor debate in that house. Senate President Mike Ellis, R-Neenah, flew into a rage as Democrats protested, pounding his gavel so hard he broke the base. Assembly Democrats, for their part, did a slow burn, complaining about the bill for hours. Republicans still rolled the bill through both houses.

The law eventually passed, and it reduced the number of abortions in Wisconsin, as you would expect.

Now let’s see what Mary Burke thinks about saving unborn children.

Life News reports.

Excerpt:

Wisconsin has made huge strides in the protection of unborn babies and mothers in our state. In just 2013 alone, our new lifesaving laws gave mothers more information about their unborn children and helped save 465 babies, who now sleep peacefully in their beds. But we still have far more work to do.

That’s why so many Wisconsinites are concerned by Mary Burke’s recent statement in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel interview about her position on legislation that would protect unborn babies who are capable of feeling pain.

When asked what she would do with legislation that would “ban abortions after 20 weeks” (when unborn babies can feel pain), Burke responded, without a moment of hesitation,

“Yeah, I would veto it.”

Wow,  even if the unborn child can feel pain, she would veto the bill to stop their suffering. You can’t get much more innocent than an unborn child.

Filed under: News, , , ,

Several abortion clinics close after court enforces Texas law HB2

Good news from Life News.

Excerpt:

Two years ago, there were over 40 abortion facilities operating in Texas with very little oversight. Yesterday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that could result in the immediate closure of 13 abortion facilities, leaving only seven open by this weekend.

A spot-check conducted by Operation Rescue early Friday morning of several facilities that are in known non-compliance with the law shows that some have already shut down while others continue to operate.

The ruling blocks a stay issued by a lower court on enforcement of Texas’ HB2, which provides minimum safety standards for abortion businesses, until the State’s appeal of the lower court’s decision that the law is unconstitutional can be heard.

The ruling allowed the full law to be enforced immediately, including portions that were previously blocked by the lower court that pertained to the requirements that abortionists maintain hospital privileges within 30 miles of their abortion facilities and that those facilities meet Ambulatory Surgical Center standards.

“This is a huge victory and gives us every confidence that all the provisions of HB2 will prevail upon appeal,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, who has coauthored the new book, Abortion Free, that outlines how to implement strategy to stop abortion, including those used in Texas will soon be responsible for closing 83% of all abortion centers in that state. Previous closures have already caused abortion numbers in Texas to plummet.

[...]“Documenting and exposing abortion abuses can serve as the foundation for safety regulations that can shut down substandard abortion mills and save lives. As a result of yesterday’s ruling we expect thousands of women will be spared the trauma and tragedy of abortion and that precious baby boys and girls will grace their lives with blessings,” said Newman. “Protecting the lives of women and their babies is what our work is all about.”

When I posted about the ruling a few days ago, some jackass came on and talked about how now women would be able to kill their babies more safely. It never ceases to amaze me how people can claim to be pro-life and yet practically be pro-abortion. Being pro-life means saving as many unborn children as possible. If you don’t like this law, then you are pro-abortion. Period. End of issue. You don’t get to take credit for the pro-life effects of this law if you opposed it.

I think the take-home lesson on people who oppose incremental pro-life measures that reduce abortion is this: not everyone who claims to be pro-life is intelligent enough to support laws that actually do something to protect unborn children.

 

Filed under: News, , , , , , ,

Federal appeals court: Texas can proceed with tough regulations on abortion clinics

Good news on HB2 in Texas from the Associated Press.

Excerpt:

A federal appeals court Thursday allowed Texas to immediately begin enforcing tough new abortion restrictions that will effectively close all but seven abortion facilities in America’s second most-populous state.

A panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans stayed a lower judge’s ruling while it considers the overall constitutionality of key portions of Texas’ sweeping 2013 abortion law, which Republican Gov. Rick Perry and other conservatives say is designed to protect women’s health.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled in August that part of the law requiring Texas clinics to spend millions of dollars on hospital-level upgrades was less about safety than making access to abortion difficult.

Guess who was on the panel? My favorite Supreme Court pick, Edith Hollan Jones.

Life News had this:

When the panel reviewed the bill, they found that the state acted within its prerogative to regulate the medical profession by heeding these patient-centered concerns and requiring abortion practitioners to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The state also found that it would be safer for patients to drive further to receive an abortion at a surgical facility with a credentialed and privileged physician than to seek an abortion at a nearby, substandard clinic. The bottom line is women deserve better than substandard care.

Additionally the opinion written by Judge Edith Jones explained why admitting privileges are necessary. She said, “Requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges would also promote the continuity of care in all cases, reducing the risk of injury caused by miscommunication and misdiagnosis when a patient is transferred from one health care provider to another.”

Judge Jones also noted that Planned Parenthood conceded that at least 210 women in Texas annually must be hospitalized after seeking an abortion.

Abortion is not a safe medical procedure.

Life News says that this law is going to reduce the number of abortion clinics in Texas from 19 to 7. That’s a huge win for unborn children who had no input into their mother’s decision to conceive them. They don’t deserve death sentence just because selfish adults want to be irresponsible.

Filed under: News, , , , , , ,

Being a member of a large family is associated with marital stability

An article from the Sacramento Bee explains why some marriages last longer than others.

Excerpt:

A key reason, said University of Virginia sociologist Brad Wilcox, is that a greater proportion of older adults come from large families, born into an era when big families were the norm in American life – and research shows that having lots of siblings correlates with a lower statistical likelihood of divorce.

“In terms of some social outcomes, kids from large families are more likely to flourish,” said Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project. “They’re less likely to get divorced. It might be the experience early in life of learning to share so much and live with the exceptional stress of having all those different personalities to deal with.”

Ohio State University research suggests that only children are the least likely to marry and most at risk of divorcing, while people with four to seven siblings have markedly lower rates of divorce.

Maybe people from big families grow up knowing that they’re not going to win every battle. Maybe they understand from birth that they’re not alone in life. Or maybe they learn early on to play well with others.

“All those life experiences may have prepared them better for marriage,” Wilcox said.

These long unions stand out in the shifting landscape of marriage. While 78 percent of American adults were married in 1950, according to census data, only about half are married today, and they’re waiting longer to do so. The age of first marriage for men has risen to almost 30, compared to 23 in 1960. Fewer people marry each year, and confidence in marriage is at such a low point that a recent Pew Research Center survey showed that 40 percent of unmarried Americans think the concept of marriage is outdated.

Even for older Californians, the chances of staying married are decreasing. The number of adults ages 60 and older who are divorced has risen steadily in Sacramento County and across the state during the last decade, census figures show. About 19.2 percent of Sacramento County residents past 60 are currently divorced, compared to 14.1 percent in 2005. Statewide, about 15.2 percent of residents 60 and older are divorced, compared to 13.1 percent nine years ago.

Todd Migliaccio, a California State University, Sacramento, sociology professor, has researched marriages that have lasted 30 years or longer to figure out what keeps couples together. The traditional reasons for marriage – financial support, child-rearing, family stability and longstanding gender roles – aren’t necessarily factors that speak to 21st-century couples. So what makes marriage last?

Friendship, his research shows: Marriages that endure no matter what tend to involve couples who genuinely like each other and enjoy each other’s company.

“We’re seeing more and more couples that have lasted where friendship is one of the big factors,” he said. “And if they’re from a close family, that provides a huge social network that contributes to marital longevity.

“Couples have more to draw on and more commitment to the greater good of the family.”

And what about couples who attend church regularly? Does that help?

Yes:

“The important thing is that people are integrating into a religious community as a couple,” said the National Marriage Project’s Wilcox. “People who regularly attend religious services together are more likely to stay together.

“But people who don’t go to church together are more likely to get divorced than the average American.”

So, if you want to help your own children have a better chance at making their marriages work, have more kids, not less.

Filed under: News, , , , , ,

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