Enduring work: two ministries going strong

Part of a series marking the tenth anniversary of the Leaven for the Loaf blog.

A pair of ambitious pro-life projects launched within weeks of this blog’s first post. I heralded both of them as promising efforts. Where are they ten years later?

Still in business, going strong.

And Then There Were None

A former abortion worker herself, Abby Johnson recognized the practical, legal, emotional, and spiritual assistance a person needs in order to leave the abortion industry. In June 2012, she announced the creation of a nonprofit organization called And Then There Were None (ATTWN) to provide those services.

Today, ten years later, ATTWN has helped more than six hundred abortion workers who chose to leave their jobs – “quitters,” as they call themselves. Some have shared their stories on the ATTWN website, abortionworker.com.

The site highlights a few metrics that raise red flags about the industry’s treatment of workers: 33% of the “quitters” report that they didn’t have the necessary certification or qualifications to perform a task they were assigned; 18% were told to perform something illegal; 18% have attempted suicide. Yet even under such stress, a person who relies on abortion-industry employment in order to support a family can feel stuck. ATTWN offers resources that can open up options.

I interviewed a couple of ATTWN workers a few years ago, and I asked them about their approach to abortion workers: “we love them out,” they told me.

See abortionworker.com to learn more about ATTWN.

Charlotte Lozier Institute

Before the Charlotte Lozier Institute was founded, no single pro-life organization was dedicated to the kind of research on which policymakers could rely. Today, with a large staff of employees and an impressive roster of scholars, CLI sponsors and promotes research on a broad range of life issues and healthcare policy.

Once upon a time, the Guttmacher Institute – a onetime Planned Parenthood project – was the only place where journalists, activists, and legislators could find facts and figures about abortion. That’s no longer the case.

From CLI’s website: “The Charlotte Lozier Institute is committed to bringing the power of science, medicine, and research to bear in life-related policy making, media, and debates  to promote a culture and polity of life. In just over a decade, CLI has established itself as a go-to source for accurate and timely research and information on life issues. With a current network of nearly seventy Associate Scholars from a variety of disciplines, CLI provides pro-life groups and policy makers research-based information of the highest quality on issues including abortion, women’s health, prenatal diagnosis and treatment for the unborn, perinatal hospice, abortion reporting, sex-selection abortion, stem cell research and medicine, and health care policy.”

Go to lozierinstitute.org to check out some of CLI’s published research. Make sure your legislators know about this resource as they consider promoting pro-life policy.

Post featured image: pexels.com

Lozier Institute provides info on abortion coverage in health insurance plans

As enrollment season for 2017 health insurance coverage is underway, the Charlotte Lozier Institute in conjunction with the Family Research Council has updated its Abortion in Obamacare web site with a state-by-state list of health insurance plans that do not cover most abortions.

Link to New Hampshire information.

I have not independently verified their New Hampshire information, but I offer it as something to consider when you make your health insurance choices for next year. It’s not easy to keep our insurance premium dollars from being used to underwrite abortion, and I welcome the Lozier Institute’s efforts to shed light on the subject.

If readers have corrections to this information, send them to info@obamacareabortion.com.

On a related note, I’d like to hear from readers who have opted out of conventional health insurance in favor of medical cost-sharing programs like Medi-Share or CMF-Curo. How have these programs worked out for you?


Weekend reading (and viewing) on life & conscience

A new report from the Charlotte Lozier Institute is just the thing for your weekend reading. “Unconscionable:  Threats to Religious
Freedom and Rights of  Conscience in the Abortion
Debate” is a new report by the Institute’s Timothy Bradley.   “While society continues to debate whether and when abortion should be permitted, a second question concerns whether to force pro-life individuals and institutions to participate in or facilitate abortions.” Indeed.

Bradley describes cases where the conscience rights of pro-life Americans are being challenged, and he includes recommendations for strengthening and enforcing those rights.

And now for something completely different…

Enjoy this video, just because it’s lovely: a two-minute drone’s- eye view of a beautiful church’s interior. h/t Aleteia via Granite Grok.


Three things the Obamacare “Fix” doesn’t fix

Obamacare signups were a mess due to IT problems, and it turns out people could not “keep their policies, period,” so now there’s all manner of fuss and bother going on inside the Beltway to fix the mess. Give states extra time to implement changes, let some people keep their policies for awhile longer: who knows what other “fix” the President and Congress will come up with before the weekend’s over?

It’s all beside the point. I welcome anything that slows the Obamacare juggernaut, but that’s only a start. The basic problem with the Patient “Protection” and “Affordable” Care Act has nothing to do with a poor website launch or premium hikes.

1. The HHS Mandate is still in place.

Whether Obamacare is enacted now or in a delayed manner as currently proposed, it retains all the 15,000+ pages of regulations that were piled onto the two-thousand page bill. That includes the mandate that all health insurance policies cover contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs. Despite the carve-outs devised by the President and HHS so far for certain “religious” employers, many employers who provide health insurance for employees and who have religious objections to paying for contraceptive/abortifacient coverage are still stuck. See the latest from The Becket Fund on lawsuits by employers challenging the Mandate.

The business owners going to court aren’t litigation-happy. They didn’t ask for this fight. They want their religious beliefs respected, and they don’t want the President to pick and choose which people and organizations are “religious” enough to qualify for an Obamacare exemption. The law demands that they knuckle under or else face ruinous fines. The courts are their last resort, as long as the executive and legislative branches are deaf to their appeals.

ACLJ gives an example of how the fines could add up. A business with 100 employees, and an employer-provided health plan that is not Obamacare-compliant, would rack up $3.65 million in fines per year. ACLJ goes on to point out that the fine for not offering health coverage at all would be only $140,000. That seems to give the lie to claims that Obamacare is about providing insurance to people who couldn’t otherwise afford it. There seems to be an even more compelling priority for the feds: protecting the HHS mandate.

2. The federal government is still using Obamacare to promote the false idea that women’s fertility is a disease. 

I keep hearing the President and HHS Secretary Sebelius talk about “inferior” plans. They say that Obamacare-compliant health insurance plans, even if more expensive than my current insurance, will be “a better product.” What makes them “better,” in the eyes of our President? The new plans cover so much more than old ones, thanks to Obamacare.

“Thanks” a lot.

Among the “preventive care” services that every Obamacare health insurance policy must include is contraception for women. This includes drugs that can have abortifacient effects – although HHS’s hired guns assure us that a drug that prevents implantation is not really causing an abortion, which defies biology, but never mind that for now. Contraception for men is not considered “preventive.” While women and adolescent girls will be able to get birth control pills with no co-pay, men still have to pay for condoms. Apparently, suppression of women’s fertility is a serious priority under Obamacare.

Senator Shaheen (D-NH) used to talk about the evils of a health care system that treated being a woman as a “pre-existing condition.” Oddly enough, Shaheen has been fully on board with Obamacare, a law that relies on treating women in precisely that way.

Yesterday, after outrage from people who were losing their policies finally hit some kind of tipping point, the President said he’d allow some delay. People can keep their old plans for a little while longer, maybe. Still, delay is not repeal. Any reprieve is temporary. Yesterday’s speech didn’t settle anything.

3. It’s nearly impossible to avoid funding abortion providers under Obamacare.

Can’t Americans averse to abortion just sit this one out, so to speak? No.

Americans United for Life lists some of the ways we’re all affected as Obamacare goes forward.

  • Allowing the use of federal tax dollars for abortion, abortion coverage and abortion inducing drugs and devices.
  • Including a “Covert Abortion Premium Mandate” within Exchange plans that include abortion coverage.
  • Pretending that the Hyde Amendment protections were enough to prohibit direct payment for abortions.
  • Permitting federally subsidized Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) to provide abortion coverage through the state insurance exchanges.
  • Failing to prohibit all multi-state qualified health plans from providing coverage for abortion.
  • Mandating coverage of drugs and devices known to end unborn life through the guise of “preventive care.”
  • Failing to provide comprehensive First Amendment conscience protections for individuals, employers, and insurance companies that have religious or moral objections to abortion.

(Full AUL post here.)

I see that some Planned Parenthood affiliates are getting government grants to be “navigators,” helping people sign up for Obamacare. Given the web site rollout, that’s one project PP might have been wise to skip.

A report from the Charlotte Lozier Institute explains how the number of publicly-subsidized abortions will increase under the law in its current form. Author Charles A. Donovan gets down into the weeds of the “Affordable” Care Act, where unfortunately so much is hidden – much that could have been exposed had then-Speaker Pelosi in Congress allowed time for her colleagues to read the bill before passing it on a straight-party-line vote in 2009.

A few of Obamacare’s lousy consequences have finally become front-page news for days on end, forcing a Presidential apology and a hasty House vote to let people keep their plans. Turns out the President was full of prunes when he said we could keep our health insurance plans if we liked them. The web site with which we were supposed to sign up for plans has been a wreck. Rates are going up because of all the Obamacare mandates (my son learned last night that his rate is going up 60%, if he decides to keep carrying insurance at all).

To the extent that all these issues force reappraisal of the law, good. Solving these issues will not get at the root of the law’s flaws, though. No matter what Obamacare’s partisans may say, providing health coverage to uninsured Americans cannot possibly be the goal of the law – not while the HHS Mandate stands, while business owners have more incentive to drop than to keep insurance for their workers, and while federally-dictated mandates piled onto insurance policies force increased premiums on all of us. In my area, Obamacare will have the effect of reducing access to health care, too, as the sole health insurance underwriter in the state had to trim its network in order to afford accommodating all of Obamacare’s provisions.

If the President’s health care law is really about protecting the poor and the uninsured, ditch the HHS mandate. Ditch the requirement that every health insurance policy perpetuate the lie that women are broken and need to be fixed. Ditch the attacks on religious liberty.

To the extent that the President defends those fundamental flaws while he scrambles to fix a website, he tells me that health care is not his genuine priority.

Safe-&-legal: let the questions begin in Concord

Chuck Donovan of the Charlotte Lozier Institute has just published a thoughtful essay on the current state of justice for the unborn and the just-born, and who does and does not stand up for the “least of these.” Speaking of justice, he also wonders how women seeking late-term abortions are treated by abortion providers, in view of the grand jury report that preceded the Gosnell trial in Philadelphia.

Let our discourse about this be civil, but let’s not confuse silence with civility. The next time the Executive Council votes on Title X contracts, among the bidders will be Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. Will Councilors be willing to ask a few questions of PPNNE, in view of its acknowledged status as New Hampshire’s leading abortion provider and its stated claim of “care, no matter what”?

  • Does PPNNE have any formal statement about Dr. Kermit Gosnell or his trial?
  • Does PPNNE believe that Dr. Gosnell’s Pennsylvania facility was operating in violation of applicable laws?
  • How does New Hampshire law assure that conditions such as those at Gosnell’s facility cannot occur here in New Hampshire?
  • Why isn’t PPNNE supporting a law to mandate collection of abortion statistics in New Hampshire, in order to monitor women’s health outcomes?
  • What are PP’s specific medical guidelines for the handling of a born-alive child after attempted abortion?

These questions are relevant to New Hampshire women even though Title X is for “family planning,” even though abortion is not part of Title X (and that is arguable, based on abortifacient drugs being dispensed as contraceptives), and even though PPNNE representatives take pride in their facilities. They speak directly to “safe and legal” abortion.

Stay calm, stay on point, remember the women and children whose lives depend on the answers to these questions.  Potential state contractors are in no position to declare that certain questions or topics are off-limits or irrelevant. The contractors, and the Councilors who vet them, owe us some answers.

To coin a phrase, women are watching.