Life Advocacy Briefing

For the week of November 05, 2007

Correction / Abstinence Education Gets Boost
/ ‘Pro-Life’ Hits Homerun at Abortion Lobby’s Hearing /
/ NARAL Caught in Hallowe’en Trick / Rep. Hyde to Get a Medal /
Cuban Dissident Also to be Honored / Lawsuits Reveal Shameful Practices at PP-Chicago



WE ERRED LAST WEEK in relying on a national radio report at our press time claiming the revised S-CHIP children’s health socialization bill had been passed quickly through both houses of Congress and had already been vetoed by the President. The bill did pass the House, as we reported last week, but it has yet to clear the Senate. Though White House aides have indicated the President is likely to veto it if it continues in the form passed by the House, it is still a ways from arriving at his desk. We regret the error.


Abstinence Education Gets Boost

JUST WHEN THE ABSTINENCE EDUCATION MOVEMENT needed a boost in the halls of Congress, city officials in Washington, DC, have released figures showing dramatic reductions in the rates of teen pregnancies and births to teens in the nation’s capital, “where several [abstinence education] programs thrive,” writes Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in his Oct. 30, 2007, FRC Washington Update.

Continued funding for abstinence education is in jeopardy in this Congress, but, writes Mr. Perkins, “In an area that boasts some of the nation’s most diverse populations, the message of delaying sexual activity has cut across cultural lines and succeeded in slashing teen pregnancies and births by more than half since the late 1990s.

“For a city whose teenage (15 to 19) pregnancy rate in 1996 was 164.5 per 1,000,” writes the FRC president, “the current contrast is stark. Research shows,” he reports, “that the region’s [teen] pregnancy rate now stands at 64.4 per 1,000, a 100-point drop.”


‘Pro-Life’ Hits Homerun at Abortion Lobby’s Hearing

THE ‘MEXICO CITY POLICY’ WAS THE FOCUS OF A HOUSE HEARING last Wednesday, Hallowe’en, the latest step in the abortion lobby’s drive to open the US foreign aid budget to industry outfits like International Planned Parenthood Federation.

The subject regulation, first enunciated by Pres. Ronald Reagan at an international conference in Mexico City, disqualifies “family planning” organizations from US taxpayer subsidies unless they pledge neither to commit abortions nor to lobby or otherwise agitate for changes in host countries’ pro-life laws.

Despite the abortion lobby’s announced determination to do away with “Mexico City” during the 110th Congress now meeting, the hearing Wednesday became a showcase for the cause of Life. “The other side barely showed up,” a key Capitol Hill aide told Life Advocacy Briefing in some surprise.

Pro-life champion Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), however, made full use of the occasion, showing an ultrasound video during his opening statement and challenging abortion lobby witnesses to state whether the 10-week baby displayed was human. The report we received did not indicate that any of them replied.

Rep. Smith, who chairs the bipartisan House Pro-Life Caucus, challenged his colleagues to “recognize that protecting life is at the core of the debate over the Mexico City Policy.

“Human life begins at the moment of conception,” he asserted during his opening statement as a panel member. “Every second thereafter is simply a stage of development. By day 22 after fertilization,” he pointed out, “the heart is beating, and brainwaves can be detected at 44 days. By week five,” he noted, “tiny hands and feet begin to develop and by week seven, the baby is already kicking and swimming in the womb.”

Returning to the fundamental humanity of the preborn child, Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) “reopened the issue with vigor,” the aide told us, “at the very end of the question-and-answer period.” Other “very good questions” were posed by Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) and Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IN). “The pro-life side,” reports the aide, “ma[de] a strong showing.”

Rep. Smith turned the committee’s attention to large-screen televisions displaying the ultrasound video, urging, “Look at the unborn child in the video at 10 weeks, moving, turning and stretching. We now know,” he added, “that in the second trimester, babies have the capacity to feel pain. … Abortion,” he said, “is violence against children, Mr. Chairman. It is extreme child abuse. It is cruelty to children.”

Rep. Smith defended the Mexico City Policy as providing for US aid for family planning without using tax dollars to subsidize “the grisly business of abortion. …

“Future generations will indeed wonder why we didn’t get it,” he said. “Unborn babies, even if they are ‘unwanted,’ have dignity, inherent value and infinite worth,” he argued. “And because they are so vulnerable, governments must protect their human rights.”

Turning to the benefit to be lost if the Mexico City Policy were to be overturned, Rep. Smith said, “Mr. Chairman, today scores of countries throughout the world are literally under siege in a well-coordinated, exceedingly well-funded campaign to overturn the laws and policies of sovereign nations that protect women and children from the violence of abortion on demand, putting women and children at risk. And now they want us, the American taxpayer, to facilitate, enable and legitimize their deadly activities,” charged Rep. Smith.

“The challenge we must meet,” he urged, “is to always at all times affirm, care for and tangibly assist both the mother and the unborn child.”


N.A.R.A.L. Caught in Hallowe’en Trick

THE NATIONAL ABORTION RIGHTS ACTION LEAGUE GOT CAUGHT last week overreaching in a fundraising pitch which went a bit awry.

The outfit, which now calls itself “NARAL Pro-Choice America” (speaking of overreaching!) became the topic of ridicule both in the Washington Post and in The Hill, a Capitol Hill news daily, over a letter e-mailed Oct. 19 by NARAL President Nancy Keenan to alarm her partisans, pumping for funds.

The “ominous appeal,” writes Daphne Retter for The Hill, “warn[ed] [supporters] that, ‘On Oct. 31, Congress will decide whether to put an end to George W. Bush’s devastating global gag rule.’” The rule to which Ms. Keenan referred is the Mexico City Policy, first handed down by Ronald Reagan at an international conference in Mexico City, disqualifying “family planning” organizations from US foreign aid unless they pledge neither to commit abortions nor to lobby or otherwise agitate for changes in host countries’ pro-life laws.

Besides using the abortion lobby’s usual over-the-top designation of the Mexico City reform as a “devastating global gag rule,” Ms. Keenan’s overstatement of the Congressional action scheduled for Oct. 31 (which was nothing more than a hearing in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs) earned NARAL the label “tricky lobbying group” in the Hallowe’en-focused headline of Ms. Retter’s report in The Hill.

In his Washington Post column last Tuesday, Jeffrey Birnbaum focused on a second over-reach in the same Keenan pitch. “She listed five GOP lawmakers who she said were members of the [Foreign Affairs] committee and opposed her organization’s position.

“‘Make your contribution right now,’ she wrote,” as quoted by Mr. Birnbaum. “NARAL,” he continued, “would then send ‘a moral compass’ to the offending lawmakers. Trouble is,” writes Mr. Birnbaum, “that none of the lawmakers are on the committee.” Indeed, two of the five listed Members, Senators Norm Coleman (MN) and John Sununu (NH) are not even in the House.

The five, which also included Rep. John Doolittle (CA) and Michigan Representatives Tim Walberg and Joe Knollenberg, not coincidentally, are, notes Mr. Birnbaum, “on every list of Republicans considered vulnerable in next year’s election.”

Mr. Birnbaum adds a jab about the disclaimer on the Internet donation page cited by Ms. Keenan. “The Website to which the e-mail directs would-be donors,” he writes, “contains the following disclaimer: ‘No funds will be earmarked or reserved for any political purpose.’” Concludes Mr. Birnbaum, “‘None, you say?”


Rep. Hyde to Get A Medal

PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH TODAY WILL CONFER the nation’s highest civilian award, Presidential Medal of Freedom,on retired US Rep. Henry J. Hyde of Illinois. The President’s statement cites Rep. Hyde as having “served America with distinction. During his career in the House of Representatives,” reads the statement, “he was a powerful defender of life and a leading advocate for a strong national defense and for freedom around the world.”

Rep. Hyde presided over consideration of significant pro-life legislation during his distinguished tenure as chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary.

His pro-life advocacy is most well known by his authorship of the Hyde Amendment, the first limit on abortion enacted in Washington after the disastrous 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton edicts of the US Supreme Court. Until the Hyde Amendment was adopted, taxpayers throughout America were forced to help build the abortion industry by paying for the killing of the prenatal babies of indigent mothers. As the Hyde Amendment has had to be renewed annually as a limitation on appropriations, it is the best known pro-life law reform and stands as among the most significant checks on the abortion industry.


Cuban Dissident Also to be Honored

ANOTHER PRO-LIFE HERO HERALDED BY THE PRESIDENT is Oscar Biscet MD, a Cuban dissident, “who is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence” in his homeland, writes Thaddeus Baklinski for, “for pro-life activities and peaceful demonstrations against the Communist regime in Cuba.”

“Oscar Elias Biscet is a champion in the fight against tyranny and oppression,” reads the President’s statement announcing the Presidential Medal of Freedom honorees. “Despite being persecuted and imprisoned for his beliefs, he continues to advocate for a free Cuba in which the rights of all people are respected.”

Dr. Biccet is the founder of an organization which, writes Mr. Baklinski, “promotes the study, defense and denunciation of human rights violations inside Cuba and wherever the rights and liberties of human beings are disregarded.” He “was originally arrested in 1999,” reports LifeSite, “for refusing to perform abortions at the hospital where he worked.” He was released after serving two years of a three-year sentence, reports LifeSite, but “was rearrested shortly after and imprisoned again in 2003 for ‘disorderly conduct’ and ‘counter-revolutionary activities.’”


Lawsuits Reveal Shameful Practices at PP/Chicago Area

DETAILS OF TWO LAWSUITS filed against Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area and its CEO Steve Trombley by ex-employees offer eye-opening “glimpses,” writes (WND) columnist Jill Stanek, into the dangerous practices of PP/CA and into fringe benefits available to its staff and board members.

Mrs. Stanek does not indicate how she learned of the lawsuits filed earlier this year by dismissed PP/CA medical director Murray Pelta and fired PP/CA nurse Nicole Chesis, but the details she reveals do not aid Mr. Trombley or PP/CA in their efforts to regain media approval in the wake of their underhanded planting of America’s largest abortuary in Chicago-suburban Aurora, Illinois.

The Pelta lawsuit “began by alleging a pharmaceutical quid pro quo,” writes Mrs.Stanek: ‘Dr. Pelta and Trombley maintained a positive personal relationship for several years after Trombley’s appointment. Trombley even occasionally asked Dr. Pelta for favors, such as discreet medical prescriptions for Trombley’s personal use.  Dr. Pelta wrote these prescriptions for Trombley and, in accordance with Trombley’s requests, did not record or report the issuance of the prescriptions.’ [Mr.] Pelta’s complaint did not list the prescriptions dispensed,” writes Mrs. Stanek, “but the term ‘personal use’ certainly broadens the speculative range.”

Mrs. Stanek next quotes from the lawsuit the “reason for [the Pelta] termination,” which, she notes, is “a fitting term” for the firing of an abortionist: “‘In January 2007, a pregnant former PP/CA board member and current PP/CA employee asked Dr. Pelta to perform a confidential abortion upon her. She stated that, for various reasons, she wanted to avoid disclosing her pregnancy to other PP/CA board members and employees. Although Dr. Pelta initially advised her to go through proper channels,’” reads the lawsuit, quoted by Mrs. Stanek, “‘she persisted and, in large part because of her position as a former PP/CA board member and current PP/CA employee, Dr. Pelta finally relented.

“‘The woman specifically requested that Dr. Pelta keep the procedure a secret and not make a PP/CA record of the abortion.  Dr. Pelta had maintained such confidentiality for abortion services provided to other PP/CA board members that, at their request, he kept confidential and did not record. In light of these factors, Dr. Pelta agreed to the woman’s request. On or about Jan. 19, 2007,’” states the lawsuit pleading, quoted in the WND column, “‘Dr. Pelta successfully performed the procedure without complications. He did not charge the woman, nor did he receive any benefit for performing the abortion.’ The lawsuit alleges,” writes Mrs. Stanek, that “[Mr.] Trombley fired [Mr.] Pelta after finding out about the abortion a couple weeks later.”

Allegations in Nurse Chesis’s lawsuit add to the distressing picture of PP/CA practices. She was fired April 10, 2007, reports Mrs. Stanek, by Mr. Pelta’s successor as PP/CA medical director Darryn Dunbar. “Mind you,” writes Mrs. Stanek, “these [charges] were alleged by PP employees, not pro-lifers: “‘changing dates on ultrasounds so that patients would have to pay a higher price for abortion services … ; failure to ensure the presence of an anesthesiologist, licensed physician or registered nurse in or around the recover room when sedation patients are present …; unlicensed employees with no medical training were performing improper ultrasounds and were making ultrasound diagnoses …; prescrib[ing] Depo-Provera to a patient with a history of depression … .’” Depo-Provera is a highly concentrated chemical injection intended as a long-term hormonal barrier to conception.

Concludes Mrs. Stanek: “The abortion industry is a house of cards. There is plenty of evidence against it,” she writes, “just waiting to be uncovered. When the stars finally align and honorable law enforcement officers and agencies, judges and legislators converge, it will fall.”

The WND columnist, incidentally, is a major player in setting the house of cards on edge. Before she became one of the most insightful commentators on the abortion industry, Jill Stanek was the labor/delivery nurse who blew the whistle on live-birth abortions, in which hospitals and other abortion-committing entities practice overt medical neglect in order to complete the killing of premature babies who survive abortion procedures. She inspired and championed the campaign which led to enactment of the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which requires medical personnel to afford infant survivors of abortion the same medical care they heroically give to babies born prematurely to mothers who cherish them.


Permission granted to quote with attribution. Reproduction rights granted only by express authorization.