Today's News & Views


JUNE 2007
Vol. 34, No. 6

The imprint of the father remains forever in the life of the child

Happy Father's Day

House Joins Senate in Rejecting Limits on
Communications to Grassroots Public

WASHINGTON (May 29, 2007)—A coalition of groups, in which National Right to Life (NRLC) was a key participant, has been successful in blocking a push to enact a new federal law that would have regulated communications to the public about what is going on in Congress.

Since the new Democratic-controlled Congress convened in January, a coalition of liberal special-interest groups has urged Congress to pass a law to regulate “campaigns” of ads, mailings, phone calls, and other methods by which various organizations alert members of the public to legislation under consideration in Congress, and encourage them to express their opinions on a pending legislative matter—activities referred to by some as “grassroots lobbying.”

The groups pushing for such regulation include Common Cause, Democracy 21, Public Citizen, OMB Watch, the League of Women Voters, and others.

NRLC was joined by other groups, including the Family Research Council, the National Rifle Association, the American Center for Law and Justice, Focus on the Family, the Home School Legal Defense Association, the Free Speech Coalition, the American Civil Liberties Union, and many others, in opposing regulation of communications to grassroots citizens.

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Right of Older Americans to Add Own Money to
Get Unrationed Insurance in Medicare Faces Extinction

House Health Subcommittee Chair Pete Stark (D-Ca.), a vehement, longtime opponent of the right of older Americans to spend their own money to save their own lives, said at a May 21 hearing that Medicare private fee-for-service plans are at the “top of the list” of his targets this year.

Abby Block is director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Center for Beneficiary Choices. It is the official government agency that administers the Medicare private fee for service program. She was pushed to agree that price controls, in the form of required bureaucratic approval, should be imposed on the premiums charged by such plans. This would eliminate the central accomplishment the National Right to Life Committee fought so hard to achieve in 1995 through 2003.

Under the private fee-for-service plans option in Medicare, senior citizens can choose health insurance whose value is not limited by what the government may pay toward it. These plans currently can set premiums and reimbursement rates for providers without upward limits set by government regulation.

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Vol. 34, No. 6


From the President

Wanda Franz, Ph.D.

BY Wanda Franz, Ph.D.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act triggered several polls about the public’s opinion on Roe v. Wade. Of course, such polls have been around since 1973. If you carefully look at them, you conclude that while people have become more knowledgeable about—and opposed to—abortion itself, they are still quite ignorant about Roe v. Wade.

The arrival of prenatal ultrasound and the sustained educational campaigns of pro-lifers have refocused the public’s attention on the humanity of the unborn child and the brutal facts behind “choice.” Today, a pollster can ask a question about partial-birth abortions without having to describe the horrific details of the cruel procedure. People know what partial-birth abortions are and they oppose them: 72% think they should be illegal, according to the latest Gallup poll (May 10-13, 2007).

The public’s increasing unease with abortion is also evident in Gallup’s “pro-life/pro-choice” question. In a Gallup poll in September 1995—around the beginning of NRLC’s campaign to ban partial-birth abortions—33% of the public identified themselves as “pro-life,” while many more (56%) labeled themselves as “pro-choice.” In May 2007, Gallup’s numbers were 45% “pro-life” and 49% “pro-choice.” The labels “pro-life” and “pro-choice” are, however, quite imprecise.

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