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Obama Stumbles Despite Friendly Press « Commentary Magazine

After explaining his “history,” of posturing and hiding unpopular legislation by attaching it to another Bill, President Obama truly stumbles:

“And you know, we don’t get to select which programs we implement or not.”

via Obama Stumbles Despite Friendly Press « Commentary Magazine.

Iguess it depends on the meaning of “select,” because as the article notes,

“Obama chooses which parts of which laws he wants to implement and enforce at will, as if Congress were a supercommittee brainstorming ideas rather than a coequal branch passing laws . . “

NEJM “I want” ethics

In the Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis notes that, “When all that says ‘it is good’ has been debunked, what says ‘I want’ remains.”

Last week, the New England Journal of Medicine published a “Perspectives” column, “Life or Death for the Dead Donor’s Rule?,” in which the authors  illustrate Lewis’ point with their redefinition of non-maleficence to better serve a re-defined autonomy.

They would convince us that there is no harm in hastening the death of a dying patient even by intentionally causing it if he or his surrogates ask. They ignore a 2500 year old First Principle of Medical ethics,focused on the health of the patient in front of us: “Cure when possible, but first do no harm, ”

Autonomy, like all rights, is a negative right: the patient has the right to refuse invasive medical interventions that will harm him or that he does not want. Patients and surrogates, if they can compel the use of medical skills and invasive technology, can only do so for the medical benefit of the patient himself.

Illogically, in these times of reducing costs, the authors would have us consider taking a patient from the ICU to the OR “and then take him back to where life support would be withdrawn.” The return to the ICU is nothing but our own “medical charade.”

 

The Abolition of Man can be read online, here, or you can buy the Kindle version at Amazon.com.

I want to thank Nancy Valko, who runs an email list covering a range of traditional ethics issues, her email alerting me to this editorial.

“Choosing Wisely” doesn’t

Back in September, WingRight promoted a program, “Choosing Wisely,” an initiative by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Well, the other shoe dropped.

For years, I’ve told patients that we need to periodically screen for hypertension and diabetes because most people don’t feel bad when their blood pressure or blood sugar is high. The Center for Disease Control reports that about a fifth of people with high blood pressure and that nearly a third of diabetics are undiagnosed.

But these facts didn’t impress the Society of General Internal Medicine, which released their “Choosing Wisely” list suggesting that doctors not ask non-insulin dependent diabetes patients to check their sugars at home or schedule “routine general health checks for asymptomatic adults,” including the ‘health maintenance’ annual visit”  The SGIM claims that these common medical practices cause more harm than good — or is it that they cost more money than they save?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senate Dems Sauntering Toward #HarryReidsShutdown #DCtime

Harry Reid is sauntering toward a Federal gov’t shutdown at midnight, tonight.

Even though the House passed a compromise Continuing Resolution (no longer defunding Obamacare, simply delaying it) just after midnight yesterday (Sunday) morning, Harry refused to allow the Senate to gather until 2PM, DC time, today (Monday).

Then, he made his motion to table the House CR. The motion passed along strict Party lines, 54-36. Then . . . might as well wait for it . . .  he announced “debate” until 4PM, DC time.

Compromise or computers: ObamaCare delay inevitable

 “But in some situations, you may see a redefinition of what ‘start’ means.” (Wall Street Journal quoting Obamacare consultant.)

President Obama and Democrats everywhere should be grateful to the Republicans for saving them from a huge embarrassment. Instead, the Dems continue to dig in, escalating their claims to have won a mandate on ObamaCare in 2012, in spite of the fact that the Republicans won enough seats in the House of Representatives to secure a strong majority.

House Republicans passed a new Continuing Resolution that compromises on Obamacare, by changing from refusing funding altogether to setting up a one year delay. Included in the Bill is a measure that would ensure that our military is paid in the event of a shutdown. The Bill also repeals the 2.3% tax on medical devices and the mandate that business owners with religious objections buy insurance that includes controversial “free” contraception.

The Wall Street Journal, in addition to reporting the redefinition of “start,” outlines the many ways that the Federal and State exchanges are not ready to launch Obamacare on October 1:

In the District [of Columbia], people who use the online marketplace will not immediately learn if they are eligible for Medicaid or for subsidies.

In Oregon, people will not initially be able to enroll in an insurance plan on the Web site.

In Vermont, the marketplace will not be ready to accept online premium payments until November.

In California, it could take a month for an insurer to receive the application of someone who applies for coverage on the exchange on Oct. 1.

. . . But as the launch nears, more delays are occurring. On Thursday, the administration announced a delay in the online shopping system for small businesses and confirmed that the Spanish-language site for signing up for coverage will be delayed until mid-October. Earlier in the week, officials said Medicaid applications will not be electronically transferred from the federally run exchange to states until November.

“Choosing Wisely: Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question”

Bookmark this page: “Choosing Wisely: Lists.”

Whether you are seeing your doctor for a cold, a routine physical or a “new patient visit,” or when you suspect that he’s offering you the famous notorious “blue pill or red pill,” how do you as a layman know whether a medical test or procedure is needed? Will it lead to a treatment decision or just more tests? Does it help? Or does it actually cause harm?

Or politically, will ObamaCare cost cuts and rationing deny you a procedure, test, or treatment that would be helpful?

The American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation asked the various physician sub-specialty organizations in the US to list tests, treatments and procedures that don’t help or might actually hurt patients. The lists are published on the “Choosing Wisely” website.

Remember, there’s a difference between screening tests that look for something you might have, and diagnostic tests to explain a symptom from your history or chief complaint, a finding on an exam or to determine whether a treatment is working or harming. And there’s certainly a difference between starting a treatment, doing a procedure or ordering a test that leads to more risk than the disease or condition we’re treating just because . . . of money, out-of-date knowledge, or patient desire. Or because we can.

Whatever health care problem or concern you have, take a look at the list from the medical specialty for the pertinent body part or organ system. Which tests and procedure do you need, and which have you had that are on these lists?

I don’t quite agree with all the items on all the lists. After all, patient care is not a recipe from a given cookbook – and besides, patients’ bodies can’t read the books to follow the recipes.

Let’s talk! Ask me questions and/or let me translate the jargon.

Podcast: Stop ObamaCare – Greg Abbott

From the Greg Abbott Campaign website:

Communications Director Matt Hirsch speaks with Dr. Beverly Nuckols on location at The Texas Mailhouse in Austin about the negative impact ObamaCare is having on small businesses and the health care industry, while U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services tries to sell an unworkable, expensive healthcare takeover in Texas.

via Podcast: Stop ObamaCare – Greg Abbott.

(I’m a doctor, not an audio/visual expert. And I certainly can’t afford one. Since I can’t get the podcast to embed, so please go to the site. While you’re there, volunteer, donate, help out!)

Texas or DC: Who do you want regulating your doctor?

Peggy Fikac once again proves that she’s not a reporter, and most certainly not anything like a fair and balanced media representative.

From the Houston Chronicle’s coverage of events in Austin, today:

“Obamacare is the wrong prescription for American health care, and I will never stop fighting against it,” Abbott said, joined by small business people and a doctor who also oppose the law at a company, the Texas Mailhouse.

One reason that Abbott gave for fighting the law came in response to a doctor who asked him from the audience about what Texas could do to keep the federal law from interfering with doctors’ judgment about the best way to treat their patients.

“You’re raising one of the more challenging components of Obamacare, and a hidden component in a way, and that is government is stepping in between the doctor-patient relationship and trying to tell you what you can and cannot do, interfering with both your conscience and your medical oath to take care of your patient,” said Abbott, who is campaigning to succeed Gov. Rick Perry.

That is similar to arguments raised against tighter abortion restrictions approved in special session, including a ban on the procedure at 20 weeks, along with stricter regulations on clinics and abortion-inducing drugs.

 

I am that doctor from the audience. Ms. Fikac is correct that I voiced concern over the Federal interference between the patient and the doctor. She’s flat wrong about Texas regulation of medicine by bring abortionists up to standards being equivalent to the

I prefaced the question by noting that it is the State of Texas that properly regulates Texas Doctors and medicine. At the State level, patients and doctors have more influence on our elected officials and the people they appoint to write regulations and enforce the law than we do on the Federal level.

I also noted that because of the increasing interference over the years by Medicare, I am concerned about the reach that this new set of regulations will have, including ever-invasive micro-reporting of patient’s private medical conditions. (I named the upcoming move to the ICD-10, which will be a nightmare, requiring doctors to make distinctions between medical conditions, out to five (5) decimal places.

As bad as the bureaucracy of the Office of the Inspector General for the Federal Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have been in the past, I don’t look forward to the additional layer of IRS income verification, audits and enforcement.

We could stick closer to home, with the Texas Health and Human Services, the Texas Medical Board, and the Texas Insurance Commission!

Freedom2Care: Now Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is not radical enough to work at Rite Aid

Conscience? More “Trust me, I’ll violate my conscience” news:

Tolerance. Diversity. Broad-mindedness. Those are the words.

Bullying. Discriminating. Compelling. Those are the deeds.

The contradictory words and deeds often come from one and the same individuals–and in a case I learned about today, companies. Turns out the words of tolerance, diversity and broad-mindedness only apply to those who comply with the dogma and submit to the will of the speakers.

Here’s an email I received this morning from a pharmacist member of the Christian Medical Association:

“Subject: Forced to resign over mandate to sell the morning after pill.

“Just to let you know that Rite-Aid corporation came out with a stricter policy on July 5, 2013 that requires all employees to accommodate the sale of the morning-after pill to all comers, of either gender and of any age.”

Read more via Freedom2Care: Now Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is not radical enough to work at Rite Aid.

While I don’t believe that Plan B is an abortifacient, I do believe it’s a powerful drug and that adolescents shouldn’t be able to buy it over the counter. I also find it hard to trust someone who will agree to go against their conscience!

CANCELLED: UN Medical Women International Association Prolife Drs’ Presentations

Prolife OBGYNS – AAPLOG – American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians & Gynecologists » MWIA ConfrontationLast weekend, organizers cancelled officially scheduled scientific presentations at the United Nations sponsored Medical Women International Association (MWIA) meeting in Seoul, Korea.

 

The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists have reported the information and published the women doctors’ planned presentations on their blog.

 

According to the published official press release (available in Word format) by the President of MWIA, Ghana’s Dr. Afua Hesse, she personally “intervened” to cancel “listed speakers at our 29th International Congress of MWIA who would deny women their basic right to choice.” She further claimed that the presentations had “no scientific merit and threaten women’s reproductive rights and therefore do not belong at our triennial meeting.”

 

Dr. Donna J. Harrison, an OB/Gyn and member of AAPLOG, was one of the three presenters who found out that their presentations were cancelled only after arriving at the site. The other two presenters were OBGyn Dr. Mary L Davenport, MD, FACOG and Psychiatrist Dr. Martha Shuping, M.D.  After their session was cancelled, Dr. Anna Choi, Chair of the Public Relations Committee of the MWIA 2013 Organizing Committee, invited the three to speak at a press conference.

Canadian Family Physician Dr. Shelly Ross, Secretary-General to the United Nations for MWIA, physically intervened in an attempt to stop a press conference to which the three were invited. Here’s an excerpt from Dr. Davenport’s letter to AAPLOG members about the confrontation:

“They put the three of us up front like a “panel” discussion, and the reporters started asking us questions about our presentation, allowing us an opportunity to talk about what we came to present. About 20 minutes into the interview, the Secretary General of MIWA, a Canadian woman, burst into the room (I kid you not. …and all of this is on camera), and came up to the table and said “What presentation is this? Donna Harrison said “it’s not a presentation”. So she snarled “Why are you being interviewed? At that point, the answers were left to Anna, our host. Anna said that this was a requested interview by the press.

“The SecGen then said “Who gave you permission to interview these people?” And the reporters said “We are the press, we don’t need anyone’s permission. We have freedom of the press” And the Sec Gen snarled at Anna and said “Did you arrange this? Did you talk to the organizing committee?” And Anna said “I am on the organizing committee. I don’t need to talk to anyone.” And the Sec Gen stood in front of the camera, and refused to move, and said “The interview is over.” Then the reporters said “You can’t do this. We have the freedom of the press. You are interfering with the freedom of the press.” But the Sec Gen would not move and said “The interview is over.””

If you’ve never been to one of these big conferences, I’ll explain how they are set up. The tentative schedule is published months in advance. The separate presentations are grouped with similar- or same-topic presentations per “breakout” session, and many separate sessions may be held at one time. In this case, the final schedule of talks and even the signs (as you can see above) had been printed and posted.

I have viewed the three presentations and found them scientifically sound. They’re in PowerPoint format and easy to read, with great graphics and the first, by Dr. Davenport, is excellent and includes the bibliography of her references.

Every Slice of Drug-Rep Pizza Counts Starting Aug. 1

It’s possible that I can be bought, and no one’s come up with the right amount of money (or pens or pizzas), yet.

Or maybe, just maybe, I’m honest. Of course not!

I’m assumed to be guilty (where’s the opportunity to prove innocence, much less their duty to prove me guilty?) of all sorts of fraud by authors of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act included in the thousands of pages of PPACA – otherwise known as Obamacare:

From now on, companies must keep track of virtually every payment and gift bestowed on each clinician and report them to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which will report them to the world.

This accounting exercise stems from a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that seeks to expose the financial dealings between industry and physicians and discourage conflicts of interest for the latter that might skew education, research, and clinical decision-making. Under the ACA provision, called the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, drug and device makers must report any “transfer of value” of $10 or more made to a physician. Transfers of value under $10 — a cup of coffee, say — aren’t reportable unless they add up to more than $100 in a year. Companies also must disclose whether physicians have any ownership stake in them.

via Every Slice of Drug-Rep Pizza Counts Starting Aug. 1.

Of course lawmakers assume that we’re being bribed – that’s what they do! Why aren’t the limits at least as high as those our Senators and Representatives are allowed? Like Democrat Senator Harry Reid, can we form a “Friends of Dr. Practice” and get more, as long as we don’t accept donations at our office?

BTW,  there’s an app available to help doctors keep up with the bribes.

Protect the right to life – San Antonio Express-News

I wrote this to the San Antonio Express News, in response to an “Other Views” Commentary a couple of weeks ago that claimed our pro-life HB2 violated the “separation of church and state.” It was rife with errors, easily corrected:

1. Abortion isn’t “private.” It is performed by licensed doctors in licensed abortion facilities, under laws regulating the practice of medicine passed by the elected Legislature of the state of Texas.

2. Women’s health and family planning clinics that offer federal and state funded health and cancer screenings and contraception are prohibited by both state and federal law from performing elective abortion. These clinics aren’t licensed abortion facilities and aren’t affected by HB2.

3. After Pennsylvania, Virginia and Missouri passed laws requiring safety standards similar to those in HB2, most abortion facilities in those states remained open.

4. Abortion facilities are allowed 16 months to come up to standard. If abortion facilities close, it will be because business owners decide not to invest in their facilities.

5. HB2, like earlier Texas laws, protects the mother if her life is endangered by continuing the pregnancy.

6. HB2 doesn’t create any criminal charges for the mother, only for physicians who perform illegal abortions after five months.

HB2 does require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges in case their patients have complications requiring hospitalization and abortion facilities to meet building standards known to improve patient safety.

More, including some philosophy, via Protect the right to life – San Antonio Express-News.

Abortion and Informed Consent: American Thinker

#Stand4Life: As only a woman with first-hand experience can tell us:

If a woman tells her doctor she wants to have a double mastectomy, the doctor won’t assume she’s made a sound decision. He or she will want to review her health history, get a detailed family history, find out if the woman has tested positive for the gene that will put her at increased risk, and so forth.

Similarly, when a woman expresses her desire to have an abortion, the health care provider should not assume she’s making a sound decision. It is their duty to make sure she understands her Carbaby’s development, including a way for her to see an image of her baby. And if that’s not possible, at least an image of a baby at the same developmental stage. Pregnant women deserve exposure to as much information as possible. I would argue that there is no more serious matter than the creation of a new life, save the destruction of it. This is no time to withhold vital information and resources.

As a point of comparison, several years ago my routine screening mammogram showed something abnormal. The immediate follow up diagnostic mammogram confirmed an abnormal mass. The radiologist brought me into her office to discuss the images with me. She showed me the area of concern. Explained the difference in color and shadow and what that meant. She also discussed why the image suggested a mass that was hard, and why that added to her concern. She recommended we move forward with an ultrasound and a fine needle aspiration. Throughout the entire discussion she checked in to make sure I understood everything. She invited questions. During the fine needle aspiration, she showed me the image on the monitor as she was guided with the needle to the area in question. When she withdrew the contents of the mass, she showed it to me and explained, to our great relief, that it appeared that I had nothing more than a benign cyst.

Looking back, I now realize that I knew more about the cyst in my breast than the 3-month old baby who once grew inside me. And that is dreadfully wrong. Not because I knew too much about the cyst. But because I knew too little about my baby.

via Articles: Abortion and Informed Consent.

Edited – title for typo – 8/1/13 at 7:45 AM — BBN

San Antonio Christians need not apply

(Or, how I ensure that I never run for office in San Antonio.)

 

For the last few months, the San Antonio City Council has been considering a “Non-discrimination ordinance” in which they pretty much discriminate against the First Amendment rights of free speech or free exercise of religion. If passed, it would prevent anyone in the City of San Antonio from running for office or being appointed to a citizens’ committee – or from holding office if elected – who advocates for traditional marriage or speaks or writes about their religious belief that homosexuality is a sin. It also looks like a great way to slide into a San Francisco-style attempt to give out same sex marriage licenses.

 

    Sec. 2-552. – Appointed Officials, Boards and Commissions.

  (a) Appointments to Boards and Commissions.

    When making appointments to boards and commissions, the City shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age or handicap disability.

    (b) Prior Discriminatory Acts.

    No person shall be appointed to a position if the City Council finds that such person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, or handicap disability.

    (c) Discrimination by Appointed Officials – Malfeasance.

    (1) No appointed official or member of a board or commission shall engage in discrimination or demonstrate a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group of persons, or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age or handicap disability, while serving in such public position.

    (2) Violation of this standard shall be considered malfeasance in office, and the City Council shall be authorized to take action as provided by law to remove the offending person from office.

 

Once the City tramples on the First Amendment, it’s not so hard to take (more) control of what should be private property and the free citizen’s means to make a living.

Property owners in San Antonio are no different from those in most cities. They don’t really own their property. They merely pay rent in the form of taxes and fees for the right to use it until a majority of their neighbors – or their elected representatives – decide to take control of a portion of it. If you don’t believe me, just try to build a home 1 foot higher than City ordinance allows or buy a house across the street from Schlitterbahn in my town of New Braunfels with the intention of renting it by the night or week to tourists.

But the new San Antonio ordinance goes a little farther. It doesn’t just prohibit action – it forces action by creating a new Class C misdemeanor for discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. So, everyone who sells their home, rents their property or makes a living as a wedding photographer would now be forced to rent or sell to, or work for people engaged in activities that goes against their religion.

 

    SECTION 10. Discriminatory practices in the provision of public accommodations and housing shall be a Class C misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punishable in accordance with Chapter 1, Section 1-5 of the City Code. The penalties contained herein are non-exclusive and the City shall have any and all remedies to which it may be entitled in law or in equity. The exercise of any penalty or remedy by City shall not be deemed as a waiver of any other remedy to which the CITY may be entitled.

 

City Council member Diego Bernal has said he plans to take out the section about bias. However, nothing’s official, yet. If you would like to let the Council know how you feel before they consider the ordinance on August 2, you can read the actual ordinance, here.  That link also has the names of Council members and their phone numbers.

Hat tip to the Center for Western Journalism and San Antonio radio station, KSLR.com , for their articles and links.

We Paid for Those Abortions | National Review Online

A question for @GregAbbott_Tx: When will charges be filed?

Planned Parenthood has been found to be guilty of Medicaid fraud including altering medical records and even making taxpayers pay for abortions!  History from California in 2004, New York in 2008, others in New Jersey and Washington state. And now, a settlement for $1.4 Million in 2013 in Texas.

“[W]hat are we to make of a consistent pattern of overbilling and fraud across several states, involving millions upon millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money? Given the impenitent attitude of the Texas affiliates and the Planned Parenthood central command, perhaps it is time to inform Cecile Richards & Co. that orange is the new black.”

via We Paid for Those Abortions | National Review Online.

La. already has Texas abortion limits | The Town Talk | thetowntalk.com

Louisiana has many of the same restrictions on the books, but they passed with few significant fights in the Legislature and none of the massive protests. The state has added nearly any legal limit it can find on abortion — and several that courts have said weren’t legal.

As they have added new statutes, the bills passed with overwhelming and bipartisan support and with Louisiana lawmakers acknowledging that they hope to lower the number of abortions with each restriction.

Unlike in Texas, Louisiana’s debates don’t showcase a deep divide between Republicans and Democrats. A handful of Democrats oppose the abortion restrictions, but often far more of Louisiana’s Democrats vote to support the measures. A few individuals show up to committee hearings to complain about the latest proposed abortion restrictions, but the bills don’t attract widespread outrage.

via La. already has Texas abortion limits | The Town Talk | thetowntalk.com.

Stories about PP closures and what to do if you need a doctor

What is PP doing with the $13 Million grant that the Obama Administration awarded them? Last March, the spokeswoman for the Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas was crowing about the future use of the funds.

One thing it’s not doing is funding services in Bryan/College Station, Huntsville, and Lufkin, Texas.

In the meantime, everyone who is worried about low cost or free birth control and family planning should check into the Texas Women’s Health Program. For the most accurate and largest number of TWHP qualified doctors and clinics in your area, Texas’ Department of Health and Human Services has a search engine available here. More information, here. Use the “Advanced Search,” then choose Plan type:”Traditional Medicaid,” Provider type: “Specialist” (although this will actually bring up family physicians and other primary care docs). If you qualified at PP, you should qualify under this program, even if you don’t qualify for Medicaid. These docs give a 6 month or 12 month prescription, and the State will pay for screening, family planning.

Christian Medical Association on HB2

Here’s my piece for the Christian Medical and Dental Association’s “The Point,” a weekly newsletter on current events. (This isn’t a 250 word discussion — I snuck in 275 words!)

 

“At what point do humans become human enough to have the right not to be killed? How should society balance protection for women who choose to abort their children with the burden imposed by that protection?

“While 62 percent of Texasi and 59 percent of U.S. votersii support a ban after 20 weeks, opponents of the bill stormed the Capitol, disrupted hearings and threatened lawsuits that will likely decide whether the law is enforced. In the middle of the noise, both sides told legislators painful stories about the effect of abortion on their lives.

Texas’ new law bans abortion after 20 weeks, based on the possibility that the fetus can feel pain at the lower limit of viability since the lower brain structures are in place, the thalamo-cortical connections are developing and primitive memory and learning have begun.iii There are exceptions for life and permanent injury for the mother and severe fetal anomalies. The law also requires that abortion facilities meet guidelines required of facilities that do similar procedures like D&Cs. Doctors performing abortions must obtain hospital privileges within 30 miles of the facility and follow FDA guidelines for medical abortions.

“Christian doctors are in a unique position to guide the public conversation toward one of ethics, rather than popular opinion, science or law. We must also demonstrate Christ’s healing love and forgiveness to those who are in pain because of abortion.”

 

Links and more references, here.

Freedom2Care: Protests tell a lot about a low level of health and safety at abortion clinics

. . . [A] Washington Post editorial protests that providing such basic safeguards will mean that “all but one of the clinics probably would close because of the associated costs.”

Such protests tell a lot about a low level of health and safety at those abortion clinics.

via Freedom2Care: Protests tell a lot about a low level of health and safety at abortion clinics.

 

Unfortunately, the Gosnell (and, possibly Texas’ Karpen) case tell us more about the effects of not monitoring State laws that are in existence.

But we do have evidence that the current standards are too low for health and safety. Over the last few months, as Texas’ Legislature considered new laws concerning abortion safety, we heard testimony from women who were required to stand in lines in narrow halls while waiting for their abortion, who were forced to walk out of the facility while hemorrhaging, and who were denied privacy. Most of all, we heard that the much touted claim that abortion is between a woman and “her doctor” is often meaningless, since the doctor doesn’t offer continuing care after the procedure.

Texas DPS director on “Tampon Gate”

Evidently, there were men who tried to enter the Senate Gallery ith tampons. Sounds suspicious to me!

“The possession of these and other items is not a crime, and therefore, there was no basis to arrest and detain visitors who possessed such items; however, they were denied access unless they discarded the items,” McCraw wrote. “The Department never took possession of these items and had no justification to do so.”

No officer questioned by the San Antonio Express-News or the Texas Tribune could confirm they had confiscated feces or urine or that they had any knowledge of such items being in the Capitol.

McCraw explained the basis for which officers did not allow feminine hygiene products including tampons and sanitary napkins into the gallery.

“The arbitrary prohibition of feminine hygiene products, for example, on its face would seem absurd,” McCraw wrote. “However, the Department received reports that some visitors planned to throw feminine hygiene products onto the Senate floor. One woman attempted to enter the Senate gallery with approximately 100 feminine hygiene products and she was denied access, as were two men who possessed approximately 50 feminine hygiene products each.”

He also said names of visitors with “suspicious jars or other items” were not documented because they did not commit a crime by possessing them and ”it would be unreasonable to document names of visitors based on what they might or might not do.”

Howard responded to McCraw’s with “disappointment with the lack of clarity that he provides.”

“At the end of the day, we are still left with unsubstantiated claims, allegations of suspicious jars but no actual evidence,” she said. “The lack of onsite documentation or eyewitnesses — either from officers or members of the public — seems to undercut the assertions laid out in DPS’ original press release and now their response letter. To be frank, it doesn’t pass the smell test. ”

McCraw added to the list of items that were confiscated and discarded by police including ”paint, confetti, glitter, bottles of bubbles, bags of balloons (not inflated), handheld air horns, a bag full of tomatoes” and two bricks, which were being used to prop doors open and were not going to be used as projectiles, he said.

The Express-News has requested records from the Department of Public Safety regarding the July 12 searches and items discarded.

Standing for Life – The Unfinished Story | Twisted Conservative

Those who #Stand4Life should get to know Jason Vaughn; as one of the effective leaders for life in Texas, he’s making history!  Here’s his recount of the events of last week:

Late Friday night we won the battle to reduce abortions in Texas! It was a great night and I am so excited to be a part of history. I’ve said before that the world may never know my name, but perhaps one day I will hear my God say, “Well done my good and faithful servant. You see that man there? I used you to save him from being aborted and I used him to change the world.”

It was a long and tiring week. There were some nights when I fell asleep in my clothes from the day. I had the privilege to work amazing men and women who love the people of Texas and want to see the end of abortion.

For those interested I want to walk you through the week.

Read the rest and see the pictures and videos he uses to document Texas’ #Stand4Life, via Standing for Life – The Unfinished Story | Twisted Conservative.

Rep. Jason Villalba Closing Speech on HB 2 (#Stand4Life )

Texas Alliance for Life has posted the video of the speech given in the Texas House of Representatives by Representative Jason Villalba (District 114, Dallas) in favor of life and HB2. It’s a beautiful testimony to love and humanity, and an answer to all the claims that this Bill is simply a political ploy. Watch for the sonogram picture of the Villalba’s 13 week son and the Representative’s declaration that he will fight for his son and all the babies destroyed by elective abortion.

“Planned Parenthood web ad blurs distinctions” (DMN Fact Check)

So, after telling us all these years that they don’t spend money from tax funds for their abortion business, Planned Parenthood is now saying that their facilities are often in the same buildings as the “separate” affiliates that don’t do abortions and that meeting the standards of an ambulatory care center will shut down both businesses.

Planned Parenthood operates 10 abortion clinics in the state that would be mandated to raise to the new standards. The abortion clinics, by law, are separate entities and must be separately funded from health centers where cancer screenings take place.

Planned Parenthood officials acknowledged that, but said some abortion clinics and health centers are housed within the same buildings. She suggested that if it were too expensive to upgrade the abortion clinics, then it could also force a shut-down of the health care clinics in the same building.

Officials could not say how many of the 10 abortion clinics are adjacent or within the same building as health care centers.

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, responded by email and cited 55 health care centers already have been shuttered in Texas.

That assertion is based on legislative funding cuts from two years ago and is not related to the pending legislation.

And the previously closed health centers are not related to the assertion made in the advertisement.

Health centers that do not provide abortions would not be affected by the legislation.

via Fact check: Planned Parenthood web ad blurs distinctions | Trail Blazers Blog.

Scientific Huffington Post (!) Poll: Ban Abortion After 20 Weeks

20 week ultrasound

#Stand4Life across the US: 59% support a Federal ban on abortion after 20 weeks, even though the question didn’t include an exception for the life of the mother!

Remember that University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll that showed that 63% or 62% (depending on whether the question mentioned pain or not) of registered voters in Texas wanted a ban on abortion after 20 weeks? Well, it seems that most US voters agree.This poll found that 59% of voters would support a ban, while only 30% oppose it.

The Huffington Post, not a conservative website at all, solicited a scientific poll by the same group that did the UT/TT poll, YouGov. These results agree with last month’s Gallup poll revealing that 64% of Americans believe that abortion should be illegal in the second 3 months of pregnancy and 80% would make it illegal in the last 3 months.

The HuffPost isn’t making a big deal out of the poll, focusing on the conflicting views of the public rather than on the results of the poll itself. In fact, from my GoogleNews search, it doesn’t appear that (as of 7 AM today) anyone other than a couple of blogs (at the Washington Post and the Weekly Standard),  National Right to Life, and LifeNews.com are reporting the poll!

Planned Parenthood, big abortion and the battle to save lives in Texas | Fox News

[R]emind me again why pro-abortion activists want healthy five-month pregnant women to abort their healthy child in dirty, unsafe abortion clinics?

via Planned Parenthood, big abortion and the battle to save lives in Texas | Fox News.

#Stand4Life Wendy’s Wasted Voice: Why Fighting the Texas Abortion Bill Was Not ‘Pro-Woman’ « Above the Law: A Legal Web Site – News, Commentary, and Opinions on Law Firms, Lawyers, Law Schools, Law Suits, Judges and Courts + Career Resources

Wendy Davis opposed a bill that gives women seeking abortions the same level of safety as women seeking LASIK on a Friday afternoon. Should I have feel empowered as a Texas woman that I can currently get a D&E for an unplanned pregnancy at a place with lower standards than where I could get a endoscopy for an acid reflux diagnosis? What is so “pro-woman” about lower health and safety standards for abortions?

via Wendy’s Wasted Voice: Why Fighting the Texas Abortion Bill Was Not ‘Pro-Woman’ « Above the Law: A Legal Web Site – News, Commentary, and Opinions on Law Firms, Lawyers, Law Schools, Law Suits, Judges and Courts + Career Resources.

“No Cost” Contraception (Obama Administration fantasy)

The Obama Administration has published its final rule on health insurance coverage of contraception. “Religious employers” are supposed to be happy with the Obama decree that insurance companies will provide contraception “at no cost.”

We all know that there’s no such thing as “no cost.” Everyone will “share” the cost, since everyone will be forced to buy health insurance.

Here’s the letter, thanks to one of the Conscience groups I follow:

From:   Lauren Aronson
             Director, Office of Legislation
             Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
 
Re:       Administration Issues Final Rules on Contraception Coverage and Religious Organizations
 
Today, the Obama administration issued final rules that balance the goal of providing women with coverage for recommended preventive care – including contraceptive services prescribed by a health care provider – with no cost-sharing, with the goal of respecting the concerns of non-profit religious organizations that object to contraceptive coverage.  The final rules reflect public feedback received in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued in February 2013. 
 
Today’s final rules finalize the proposed simpler definition of “religious employer” for purposes of the exemption from the contraceptive coverage requirement in response to concerns raised by some religious organizations.  These employers, primarily houses of worship, may exclude contraceptive coverage from their health plans for their employees and their dependents. 
 
The final rules also lay out the accommodation for other non-profit religious organizations – such as non-profit religious hospitals and institutions of higher education – that object to contraceptive coverage.   Under the accommodation these organizations will not have to contract, arrange, pay for or refer contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds, but such coverage is separately provided to women enrolled in their health plans at no cost.  The approach taken in the final rules is similar to, but simpler than, that taken in the proposed rules, and responds to comments made by many stakeholders.
 
With respect to an insured health plan, including a student health plan, the non-profit religious organization provides notice to its insurer that it objects to contraception coverage.  The insurer then notifies enrollees in the health plan that it is providing them separate no-cost payments for contraceptive services for them for as long as they remain enrolled in the health plan. 
 
Similarly, with respect to self-insured health plans, the non-profit religious organization provides notice to its third party administrator that objects to contraception coverage.  The third party administrator then notifies enrollees in the health plans that it is providing or arranging separate no-cost payments for contraceptive services for them for as long as they remain enrolled in the health plan.  The final rules provide more details on the accommodation for both insurers and third party administrators.

 
To view the Final Rule: http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2013-15866_PI.pdf
 
To view technical guidance on the temporary enforcement safe harbor visit: http://cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Regulations-and-Guidance/Downloads/preventive-services-guidance-6-28-2013.pdf
 
To view the self-certification form for eligible organizations visit: http://cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Forms-Reports-and-Other-Resources/index.html#Prevention
 
If you have any questions, please contact the CMS Office of Legislation. Thank you

@GovernorPerry: “This is a human rights issue.” #TxProlife #TxLege

My children, the Governor’s children, and  all children of human beings are also humans. The question in the mind of some people is, “when are they *human enough* for the advocates of elective abortion on demand?”

The Governor and Texas law affirms that it’s from the moment of fertilization. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with us.

The Governor spoke in support of the right not be killed for every one of our children today, at the National Right to Life National conference in Dallas. You can read his speech at his website, here.

I’m especially proud of the way he praised our pro-life Texans and commended the work we do to support women and girls who find themselves pregnant but are afraid that they aren’t ready, can’t afford the child, or just didn’t want to be pregnant at that time in their lives.

The Governor is taking heat for his comments about Senator Windy   Wendy Davis’ history. This is a woman who should know as well as any of us that an unplanned pregnancy is not the end of plans for the future and should be counted as “unplanned joy.” (That phrase is one of the themes of Feminists for Life.)

Here’s to our Governor Rick Perry!

 

@GovernorPerry: Gov. Perry Calls Special Session to Begin July 1

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today announced a Special Session of the Texas Legislature will begin at 2 p.m. Monday, July 1.

“I am calling the Legislature back into session because too much important work remains undone for the people of Texas. Through their duly elected representatives, the citizens of our state have made crystal clear their priorities for our great state. Texans value life and want to protect women and the unborn. Texans want a transportation system that keeps them moving. Texans want a court system that is fair and just. We will not allow the breakdown of decorum and decency to prevent us from doing what the people of this state hired us to do.

The special session will consider the following issues:

• Legislation relating to the regulation of abortion procedures, providers and facilities.

• Legislation relating to the funding of transportation infrastructure projects.

• Legislation relating to establishing a mandatory sentence of life with parole for a capital felony committed by a 17-year-old offender.

via Office of the Governor Rick Perry – [Press Release] Gov. Perry Calls Special Session to Begin July 1.

Chaos, Mob, not filibuster, subverted Texas Senate #SB5 #TxLege

In the Texas Senate, the filibuster is a method of allowing a minority viewpoint known. The minority Legislator is allowed to speak without time limits and without unwanted interruptions, as long as he or she follows the rules laid out beforehand.

Yes, Senator Windy Wendy Davis began a filibuster. She knew the rules, and she broke them. Her fellow Democrat Senators engaged in stalling tactics, but it was the noise and chaos in the gallery that made the three minutes of difference that killed the Bill.

You can watch the Senate video at this page.The

Senators West, Whitmire,Watson, Ellis, Van de Putte, Zaffirini, and (of course) Senator Davis proved to all of us that they value the elective abortion of human beings above orderly government and Legislators.

I was, unfortunately, not shocked that Senator Leticia Van de Putte encouraged the gallery to disrupt the Senate. It also appears that she lied about the timing of her motion to adjourn. See the roll call vote beginning about 12:19/15:50. Note that she spoke and that the temporary President, Senator Duncan, responded after the roll call began. 12:31

I was surprised that the gallery wasn’t cleared much earlier, even though it might have meant that I would have had to leave. However, until the last hour, the outbreaks were intermittent and quickly calmed down.

My friends and I were very concerned about the reaction of those who so clearly showed no respect for the rest of us and who greatly outnumbered the State Troopers.  Every seat was full, the pro-life crowd was greatly outnumbered and the halls were crammed with more people in orange.  When the standing and shouting became constant, the Lt Governor signaled to the Troopers who began to remove people in an orderly manner.

More Troopers arrived, but they were constantly at risk of physical confrontation, with some of the Orange shirts resisting the request for them to file out. At one point, the Troopers were forced to lock the West doors of the Gallery and the Mob continued to push from the hall and fill the Rotunda.

I certainly didn’t want to be in the middle of a fight with these people and am grateful that the Troopers kept some semblance of order. I don’t believe that there was a way to clear the gallery earlier or with less disruption than we had and am proud of the State Troopers.

 

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