Life Advocacy Briefing

August 04, 2008


Keeping Up / Get Ready! / WICked Connection / Controversy over Coercion? / Standing for Life, for Real / Outrageous Choice / Restoring Common Sense & Decency / Tiller Trial Date Set / Focus on FOCA / Making the Case for the Pence Amendment

Keeping Up

LIFE ADVOCACY’s EDITOR is traveling. We will endeavor to bring you Life Advocacy Briefing “from the road” but have no way to know whether this will work out. So expect to see the Briefing, but please forgive and understand if you don’t!


Get Ready!

LIFE ADVOCACY’s WINNING WITH LIFE SEMINAR is designed to equip pro-life candidates, officials and citizens for effective, strategic communication on Life issues. Information and credit card registration for the Aug. 23 session in Tinley Park, Illinois, is available at $40 by calling 1-888/344-LIFE or via electronic mail at [email protected]. Registration may also be accomplished via $40 “donation” at, completing all information requested.

The six-hour presentation features former Illinois State Rep. Penny Pullen, Life Advocacy’s president, and her seminar teammate Kevin Burnette, Texas-based marketing and campaign strategist.


WICked Connection

A RESEARCHER FOR FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL HAS DISCOVERED what FRC president Tony Perkins has termed “a shocking new connection between the federal government and Planned Parenthood.”

Just when pressure is building on Capitol Hill to disqualify abortionists like Planned Parenthood from funding through the federal Title X (Ten) “family planning program,” author Dawn Eden, now an FRC consultant, has discovered, reports Mr. Perkins in his FRC Washington Update, that “‘a hefty chunk of the $5 billion in taxpayer funds for the [Women, Infants & Children] program, designed to help feed and provide health care for low-income pregnant women, new moms and young children go to Margaret Sanger’s organization,’” Planned Parenthood. WIC clients are referred to PP via a link on WIC’s Internet website.

Mr. Perkins calls the connection “just one of the ways that the government is secretly subsidizing Planned Parenthood, which made a tidy $115 million profit last year and is now seeking to open ‘upscale’ shopping mall clinics. …

“We’re all painfully aware of the government’s affinity for America’s biggest abortion merchant,” writes Mr. Perkins. “Already over $300 million taxpayer dollars a year are entrusted to the organization now under investigation for fraud, medical malpractice and criminal cover-ups. Now it appears,” he writes, “that the government is leading the country’s poor pregnant women, who are overwhelmingly black and Latino, to abortion clinics for help. While that may not be the intention of those who direct WIC money and clients to Planned Parenthood, it is surely the message WIC’s clients see when they enter the clinics and see posters telling them that pregnancy will ruin their lives.”

WIC operates out of the US Dept. of Agriculture, whose appropriation bill will now need to become a focus for pro-life concern. Anyone in Congress willing to take it on?


Controversy over Coercion?

THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE LAST WEEK SENT a resolution to the full US House urging Red China to halt the human rights abuses of its citizens in the name of “the Olympic traditions of freedom and openness.”

As the resolution was introduced, it listed human rights abuses against various ethnic groups but did not mention Beijing’s coercive depopulation pogrom.  Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), who co-sponsored the resolution, offered an amendment to urge an end to the brutal one-child policy, calling it “gendercide” and noting, reports, that the program “‘has imposed unspeakable violence, pain and humiliation on hundreds of millions of Chinese women, many of whom suffer lifelong depression as a consequence.”

Mr. Smith succeeded in having his amendment adopted by voice vote, but the Smith proposal was not without controversy. “After Rep. [Mike] Pence [R-IN] relayed personal stories from Time [magazine] and the New York Sun of women who were forcibly aborted,” we’ve been told by a Capitol Hill source, “Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) questioned the reports arguing that they may have been embellished.” His California Democratic colleague Rep. Diane Watson, reports our source, “commented that the amendment would do damage to the intent of the bill and urged opposition.”

Speaking in favor of Rep. Smith’s amendment were Rep. Pence and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE). The amendment turned out to be not so “damaging” after all; amendment intact, the resolution was adopted by the full House Wednesday – in time for the opening of the Olympics in Beijing late this week – on a vote of 419 to 1, with one (Rep. Dennis Kucinich – D-OH) voting “present.”  Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) cast the lone “no” vote. Fourteen other Members did not vote.


Standing for Life, for Real

SOUTH DAKOTA’s BID TO TIGHTEN the state’s informed consent abortion law is shaking the ground under the Sioux Falls Planned Parenthood shop.

Manned by circuit-riding abortionists, the eastern South Dakota operation has been the sole abortion shop in the state for a long time. Now the baby killers who have come into South Dakota from their home shops in Minnesota may be showing an unwillingness to comply with a statute which requires them to inform customers, at least two hours before the scheduled deed, that their targets are distinct human beings.

On Monday, July 21, the first business day after a court gave the state a green light to enforce its duly enacted statute, Planned Parenthood’s customers in Sioux Falls were greeted, reports, “with locked doors and a hand-written note indicating the only abortion clinic in South Dakota was closed.”

Since that time, some reports have indicated the Sioux Falls shop has reopened; others insist it remains deathless. We do not know which reports to believe, but this we know: South Dakota’s new, prescriptive informed-consent law is making the abortion business a lot tougher on an outfit that was not welcome in the state to begin with. It used to be that the number of abortions annually in South Dakota just about equaled the population of Wall, home of one of the state’s top tourist attractions (Wall Drug). With the new law being enforced, the number is likely to drop well below that, perhaps even to zero. Imagine that. And then go for it!


Outrageous Choice

THE UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL HASNAMED a major abortion advocate as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, reports Samantha Singson for Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-Fam), “despite reservations from the United States.

“According to the New York Times, the United States has privately raised concerns,” writes Ms. Singson, about the appointment of South Africa’s Navanethem Pillay to the powerful post.

“[Ms.] Pillay is a founding member,” writes Ms. Singson, “of the international non-governmental organization Equality Now, a group that has spearheaded campaigns for abortion access in Poland and Nepal. [She] remains on the board of the organization, which receives major funding from pro-abortion foundations, including George Soros’s Open Society Institute and the Ford Foundation.”


Restoring Common Sense & Decency

THE COUSIN WHO FIRST PURSUED LITIGATION to restore food and water to 46-year-old Janet Rivera has been named “conservator” for the disabled California woman, replacing the public guardian who had ordered Mrs. Rivera’s feeding tube removed in mid-July.

The Fresno County Superior Court had first ordered the restoration of nutrition and hydration to the comatose woman, pending a hearing last Tuesday, as we reported last week. That hearing resulted in the legal authority of her caring family being restored as well.

Said attorney Brian Chavez-Ochoa, quoted by John Jalsevac for, “‘The court, from the earliest stages of this proceeding, proffered rulings of wisdom and gave substance and value to Janet Rivera’s life. The sanctity of life was honored, and we thank the Lord for the wonderful outcome in this case.’” The lawyer was engaged through Life Legal Defense Foundation and aided by Alliance Defense Fund.


Tiller Trial Date Set

A COUNTY JUDGE IN KANSAS HAS SET MARCH 16 for the trial of Wichita’s notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller.

District Judge Clark Owens last Monday handed down a 35-page decision, reports Associated Press writer Roxana Hegeman, declaring Kansas’s abortion statute constitutional and denying a motion by the Tiller defense team to dismiss the 19 pending misdemeanor charges relating to aborting late-term babies without the required second opinion from an independent “physician.”

The judge’s rulings, reports Ms. Hegeman, “had been pending since a November hearing on the matter.”


Focus on F.O.C.A.

July 23, 2008, commentary from FRC Action, sister organization to Family Research Council

A year ago this week, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) told a Planned Parenthood audience that the first thing he would do as President is sign into law the mislabeled Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA).

As a new insight paper from [FRC] Vice President of Govt. Affairs Tom McClusky shows, if FOCA were to become law, it would overturn hundreds of state laws that have put limits on abortion.

Planned Parenthood, NARAL and other pro-abortion groups agree with Tom’s assessment. The ACLU proclaims, “This [FOCA] bill prohibits such restrictions as parental notification and consent, as well as the requirement that all abortion be performed in a hospital, spousal consent, waiting periods … .”

Recent polls show that most Americans agree there should be more restrictions on abortion and that tax dollars should not go to the life-ending procedure. However, the passage of FOCA would guarantee that more taxpayer dollars pay for abortions.

Its sponsors, including Senators Obama, Hilary Clinton (D-NY) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), argue that they want to make abortion rarer. However, when FOCA-like legislation was passed in Maryland, that state saw its abortion rate skyrocket just as the national abortion rate was dropping.

Passage of FOCA would be a big payoff to the abortion industry at the deadly cost of citizens’ rights.


Making the Case for the Pence Amendment

July 9, 2008, special order speeches in the U.S. House; source: Congressional Record

REP. MIKE PENCE (R-IN): … The largest abortion provider in America is the largest recipient of federal funding under Title X [Ten].

You know, when I’m walking down the street in Anderson, Indiana, or in Muncie, Indiana, people know about my work on this particular issue. With the legislation I authored last summer during the appropriations process that received 189 votes to defund Planned Parenthood, one person after another will grab me by the elbow and will say, “Mike, I did not know. I did not know that we gave a penny to the largest abortion provider in America, let alone the fact that the largest abortion provider in America – namely Planned Parenthood – is the largest recipient of federal funding under Title X.”

I mean the truth is that there has been much debate since 1973 and the decision of Roe v. Wade about the sanctity of life and the fault lines of the law and life, but where there has been national consensus since the very early days of this debate, when a congressman from Illinois name Henry Hyde conceived of the Hyde Amendment, there has been a national consensus behind the notion that, whatever your view of abortion, it is simply morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of Americans who believe abortion is morally wrong and use it to pay for or to subsidize the performance of or the promotion of abortion.

The Hyde Amendment gave birth to what has been the dominant philosophy in our foreign aid funding. It’s called the Mexico City policy. It essentially says that no US foreign aid can go to any organization that performs or that promotes abortion as a means of birth control.

… I really think many Americans think that that’s the law here at home, too; that because the overwhelming majority of Americans think that pro-life Americans should not be forced to pay for abortions or to subsidize organizations that promote abortion, they think it doesn’t happen here, when, in fact, let me say again that the largest abortion provider in America is the largest recipient of federal funding under Title X.

Now, abortion rights advocates – and most especially, Planned Parenthood – would be the first to step forward to say that they don’t use Title X family planning money to perform abortions. In fact, there are very strict federal regulations that are in place that require a separation between Planned Parenthood abortion service clinics and Planned Parenthood Title X clinics for the poor. I suppose, while there have been instances of alleged misfeasance and of the commingling of funds, I’ll leave that completely out of this conversation and will allow for the fact that there is this separation, but I’ve got to tell you, Madam Speaker, that anybody knows that the money that Planned Parenthood receives for its non-abortion activities frees up resources to go into its abortion activities.

The American people also deserve to know that this nonprofit organization received over $336 million in government grants and contracts, I think, in 2006. It had an excess of revenue over expenses of $56 million in 2005, and it had $112 million in 2006, which has given rise to the building spree that was reported on page one of the Wall Street Journal. Well, now Planned Parenthood is planning to go suburban with all new up-scale abortion mills around the country. …

I authored a bill last year in the Labor/HHS legislation that would have denied any federal funding in Title X from flowing to Planned Parenthood of America, and it received 189 votes, including 20 Members of the majority voting for it. If Congress ever got around to considering the Labor/HHS appropriations bill this year, I sincerely believe that that number would grow as public awareness has grown about the simple fact that the largest abortion provider in America, Planned Parenthood, is the largest recipient of federal funding, and that ought not to be.

Whatever a person’s view of abortion is, it is my hope – and frankly, it is my prayer – that this Congress will come together in a bipartisan way and will implement a domestic Mexico City policy and will say to the millions of Americans, to the hundreds of millions of Americans, perhaps, who have moral objections to abortion, we will not take your tax dollars and use it to subsidize the largest abortion provider in the United States of America. That’s all we’re here to talk about today.

I urge my colleagues to reflect deeply on the fundamental fairness of this issue and to support the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act that would bring a change to the law. In the appropriations cycle, if we ever get around to it in this Congress, let’s take decisive action to defund Planned Parenthood, not cut a dime out of Title X and its family planning programs, but let’s say no more federal tax dollars to the largest abortion provider in America.


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