LIFE DIGEST: Planned Parenthood still under scrutiny; baby survives abortion; ...
WASHINGTON (BP)--Pressure on Congress to rein in the country's leading abortion provider continues.
Rep. Mike Pence, R.-Ind., introduced a bill Nov. 8 to bar federal family planning funds for the Planned Parenthood Federation of American and other organizations that perform abortions. The Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act would not eliminate any funds from the government's family planning program but would prevent abortion clinics from receiving such grants.
While Pence's new bill would apply to all abortion providers, its greatest impact would be on PPFA, which is Title X's top beneficiary. In July, he sought specifically to block PPFA from receiving grants through the program, but his amendment to that effect failed in a 231-189 vote.
"[S]hould the largest abortion provider in America also be the largest recipient of federal family planning funding under Title X? I think not," Pence said in a written release.
PPFA, which performed more than 260,000 abortions during the last fiscal year, receives more than $300 million yearly in federal grants.
In October, the Senate defeated an amendment similar to Pence's new legislation in a 52-41 vote.
The ERLC and other pro-life organizations sent an Oct. 24 letter to Congress urging the suspension of funds for PPFA pending the outcome of a criminal case in Kansas. The letter called for the funding moratorium after a Kansas judge found there was "probable cause" to proceed with a 107-count indictment against Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.
TWIN OVERCOMES DOCTORS' PLANS -- Doctors tried to kill Gabriel Jones for the sake of his twin, but, by God's grace, the unborn boy survived.
Gabriel and his brother, Ieuan, are thriving at home in Stoke, England, seven months after their births, according to the Daily Mail, a British newspaper.
Twenty weeks into pregnancy, Mark and Rebecca Jones learned from doctors there were serious health problems with one of their twins: He was half the size of his brother; his heart was three times its normal size; and it appeared he would have a heart attack or stroke while still in the womb.
Doctors urged the Joneses to permit them to end Gabriel's life in order to protect Ieuan, the Daily Mail reported. The parents agreed. The doctors first sought to cut Gabriel's umbilical cord at 25 weeks' gestation, but they were unable to do so because of the cord's strength. Next, they cut the placenta in two, so Gabriel's death would not affect Ieuan. Gabriel refused to die, however.
"When I felt him kicking madly the morning after the operation, I suddenly knew that he was going to hang on," Rebecca Jones said, according to the Daily Mail.
He did. Gabriel survived with his brother for another five weeks, when they both were delivered by cesarean section 31 weeks into the pregnancy. Ieuan weighed 3 pounds, 8 ounces, while Gabriel was only 1 pound, 15 ounces. Now, Ieuan and Gabriel weigh 15 pounds and 12 pounds, 6 ounces, respectively.
"There is such a strong bond between them," their mother told the Daily Mail. "They are always holding hands and if one cries, the other reaches out to comfort him.
"Doctors tried to break their bond in the womb, but they just proved it couldn't be broken."
BAPTIST OFFERS SANCTITY OF LIFE BILL -- A new Southern Baptist member of Congress has offered legislation to guarantee all human life is constitutionally protected from the moment of fertilization.
Rep. Paul Broun, R.-Ga., a member of Prince Avenue Baptist Church in Athens, introduced the Sanctity of Human Life Act Nov. 14. "The right to life is our most important fundamental right, and it should be defended vigorously and absolutely," Broun said in a written statement.
Broun was elected in July to fill a vacancy created by the death of GOP Rep. Charlie Norwood.
Tom Strode is the Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press.