Life Advocacy Briefing

December 8, 2008


Invite a Friend / Shwew! / Elections Matter – and So Do Personnel / Annual Outrage, Stepped Up / Consistent Character / ‘Abortion Reduction’ Bait & Switch

Invite a Friend

NEWS IS COMING FAST in these days of transition to an overtly pro-abortion regime in Washington, making even more critical the equipping of pro-life advocates with timely news you can use in the cause of Life. We encourage our readers to invite friends and pro-life groups to subscribe to Life Advocacy Briefing or to make a gift of such a subscription to those who would appreciate this resource. Oh, and just a publishing note: because of a brief vacation for a key production guy, Life Advocacy Briefing for Dec. 15 (next week) will be issued on the 15th or 16th, rather than on the customary Friday before.



CONGRATULATIONS TO SEN. SAXBY CHAMBLISS (R-GA) on winning his run-off election handily last Tuesday to take up a second term in the US Senate. Opposed by a thorough advocate for commercialized abortion, pro-life Sen. Chambliss brought in Alaska GOP Gov. Sarah Palin for multiple rallies throughout the state on the final day of campaigning. His election thwarts liberal hopes of a 60-seat Democratic Party majority in the upper chamber. The only Senate race still to be decided is the contest in Minnesota, where left-leaning comedian Al Franken (D) persists in a statewide recount to try to overturn the photo-finish victory of pro-life GOP Sen. Norm Coleman.


Elections Matter – and So Do Personnel

THE MAKE-OVER OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH continues apace with a growing roster of abortion-backing social liberals being “announced” for various key posts throughout what is expected to be the Obama regime.

Besides US Rep. Rahm Emanuel (NARAL rating: 100%) as chief of staff, ex-Sen. Tom Daschle as incoming Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS), lefty Eric Holder as Attorney General and feminist Sen. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, President-in-waiting Barack Obama has named abortion advocates to other, somewhat lower profile, posts.

Melody Barnes, named to head the Obama Domestic Policy Council, is a former board member, notes Jill Stanek in her column, both of Planned Parenthood and of Emily’s List, the rabidly pro-abortion political action committee.

Planned Parenthood appears ecstatic at the designation of Susan Rice as Obama Ambassador to the UN. Quoted by Britain’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), “Planned Parenthood said Ms. Rice ‘understands the important role the United Nations plays in promoting and protecting women’s health [sic] around the world, especially in developing countries’ and would support UN Millennium Development Goals, which have been hijacked,” notes SPUC, “to serve anti-Life objectives.”

Heading the Justice Department’s review team, reports SPUC, will be Indiana University law professor Dawn Johnsen, who was legal director for the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) from 1988 to 1993 after two years as staff counsel fellow in the American Civil Liberties Union’s notorious Reproductive Freedom Project; she served in Pres. Bill Clinton’s Justice Dept. from 1993 to 1998. Indiana University’s biographical sketch of her at leaves no doubt as to her devotion to “abortion rights.”

Commerce Secretary-designate Bill Richardson, leaving his post as governor of New Mexico behind, “says he is personally opposed to abortion,” writes Kathleen Gilbert for, “yet the Democrat,” she reports, “has worked against true marriage and pushes so vehemently for unrestricted ‘reproductive rights’ he was named a ‘Champion of Choice’ by NARAL in January of 2007.”

White House Communications Director-designate Ellen Moran is leaving her post as executive director of Emily’s List, “dedicated,” reports LifeSiteNews, “to helping elect solidly pro-abortion Democratic women to political office.”  Ms. Moran, writes LifeSite’s Kathleen Gilbert, “supports taxpayer-funded abortions and opposes any bans on partial-birth abortion.”

Frequently mentioned as Mr. Obama’s likely chief “bioethics” advisor is Dr. R. Alta Charo, whom Ms. Gilbert terms “an avid supporter of embryonic stem-cell research [and] who has called pro-life bioethicists leaders of ‘the endarkenment.’”  Dr. Charo also, according to columnist Jill Stanek, opposes conscience rights for medical providers who conscientiously object to involvement in abortion.

Incoming Interior Secretary is US Rep. Raul Grijalva, a three-term Arizona Democrat who, notes Ms. Gilbert, “sports a 100% pro-choice [sic] rating from NARAL.”

One Obama designation brings a measure of cheer to pro-life advocates. In choosing Janet Napolitano to head the Dept. of Homeland Security, Mr. Obama has removed her from the governor’s office in Arizona, where she has posed a persistent and painful threat to vulnerable expectant mothers and their babies. (Ms. Napolitano “vetoed a partial-birth abortion ban” as governor, reports Ms. Gilbert for LifeSiteNews, “and in 2005 earned praise from NARAL for forcing Arizona pharmacies to distribute the morning-after pill despite moral objections.”) In announcing this appointment, the incoming President has handed the Arizona governor’s office to Secretary of State Jan Brewer (R), who claims a commitment to the right to life.


Annual Outrage, Stepped Up

FOR YEARS, PLANNED PARENTHOOD HAS BEEN OFFENDING decent people and God Himself by raising funds through their death-exulting holiday greeting cards. For this season of giving, the abortion monster has taken a further step into the gutter of its own excess.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana is selling abortions and other “reproductive health services” via the gimmick of gift certificates, issued in increments of $25, good for purchases and fees at any of their shops in the state. Makes you feel “warm” all over, doesn’t it?


Consistent Character

THE SAME INDIANA PLANNED PARENTHOOD’s Bloomington abortion shop has just been exposed “deliberately violating the state’s mandatory reporting laws for sexual abuse,” reports Lila Rose, a student journalist at the University of California at Los Angeles and president of Live Action, a right-to-life advocacy group. Miss Rose specializes in catching PP, on tape or film, violating laws or societal norms.

Footage shot last June and released last week shows Miss Rose “posing,” she notes, “as a 13-year-old girl. In an appointment with a PP nurse, [Miss] Rose says she has been impregnated by a 31-year-old man, a clear case,” she notes in her news release, “of child molestation under Indiana state law.

“On tape, the nurse acknowledges her responsibility to report the abuse but assures [Miss] Rose she will not. The nurse says,” according to the Live Action release, “‘I am supposed to report to Child Protective Services,’ but tells [Miss] Rose, ‘Okay, I didn’t hear the age. I don’t want to know the age.’”

Next she “instructs [Miss] Rose how to obtain a secret abortion by crossing state lines in order to avoid Indiana’s parental consent law. The nurse also coaches [Miss] Rose,” reports the Live Action release, “to cover for the 31-year-old man by saying he is only 14. She says, ‘You’ve seen him around, you know he’s 14, he’s in your grade and whatever. You know what I mean.’”

At our deadline, the video was posted at


‘Abortion Reduction’ Bait & Switch

Nov. 20, 2008, commentary by Matt Bowman, Alliance Defense Fund legal counsel

When abortion supporters propose compromise, the compromise is always that they win and babies lose. So the Washington Post reported on Tuesday that “abortion foes” are shifting to a new strategy – to reduce abortion rather than to outlaw it.

The article is an exercise in wishful thinking. All of the supposedly pro-life people the Post identifies* in this trend are “pro-life” mainly by self-identification. Most of them were never part of concerted efforts to provide equal rights for preborn children. Many are leftist Trojan-horse groups designed and funded to undermine the pro-life movement. And even the few who were once pro-life campaigned for a radical pro-abortion political agenda this year. So this turns out to be a non-story: people who are seeking to undermine the pro-life movement are “shifting” to a new strategy, one that seeks to undermine the pro-life movement. Surprise!

The actual pro-life movement has become galvanized by the recent elections. That movement, by definition, seeks equal rights for preborn children in fact and in law. They know that the election was lost because of the economy and the war, not because of an imagined new acceptance of abortion. And they are newly united to protect what legal gains they have secured and to persist in stopping discrimination against the preborn. Traditional segments of the movement have become emboldened like never before, and groups who often disagree have a new common purpose in opposing the truly apocalyptic “Freedom of Choice Act.”

Ever since 1973, apologists for legal abortion have proposed the same “compromise:” keep abortion legal. The Supreme Court itself repeatedly declared, in Roe v. Wade and subsequent cases, that their solution (abortion on demand) is the ideal compromise and everyone in society should just stop fighting about it. The core of their supposed solution is to continue to treat preborn children like garbage but to claim to respect pro-life people, sort of. Not surprisingly, this compromise did not lead to a truce in the abortion wars.

The new compromise is more of the same, with one notable exception: it has new packaging. The old compromise failed in part because it came from people who admitted that they support abortion. This time around, they proposed the same thing but called themselves pro-life. They adopted names and titles identifying themselves as Christian, Catholic or pro-life, and they drafted liberal Christians as well as a few individuals who were once pro-life but who, whatever they now believe, currently act in every way possible to prevent legal protection for preborn children. Some even admit to having abandoned the idea that abortion is murder and the preborn should be protected, and they even suggest that the choice to kill children is required by some warped concept of religious freedom.

Their strategy has been successful. With the economy looming large, many Christians were too quick to accept the benign mask donned by abortion extremists. In reality, studies show that legal restrictions significantly reduce abortion (and common sense confirms this). Meanwhile, the impact of increased government funding for pregnant women is unclear, and both political parties support it anyway. Yet many Christians overlooked these facts, in part because pro-life people have long been too trusting in what public officials say about themselves – merely claiming they are not for abortion – instead of scrutinizing what people will actually do about abortion. To paraphrase Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics, the pro-life movement really shouldn’t care what public officials believe. It should only judge what they will do to stop or increase the killing. Christians should be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

By a true standard, this new compromise is nothing of the sort. Here is the proposal: Stop restricting abortion in law and instead we will give government funding to low-income pregnant women. It is unclear what the pro-abortion side gives up in this deal. The pro-life cause, on the other hand, not only abandons equal protection in law for preborn children but also repeals legal obstacles to abortion: parental involvement, 24-hour waiting periods, informed consent and bans on taxpayer funding of abortion. As Law Prof. Rick Garnett points out on the Mirror of Justice blog, the current version of compromise seems to include forcing pro-life health professionals to participate in abortion. All children in the womb can be dismembered up to the day of birth in this “compromise.”

Even “abortion reduction” is a bait-and-switch [scheme]. These abortion supporters disdain pro-life Democrats’ “Pregnant Women Support Act,” which would actually fund pregnant women, and they oppose covering preborn children under S-CHIP insurance. Instead, the same brand of allegedly pro-life Congressmen put forward bills that will actually funnel money into Planned Parenthood, the biggest abortion business in the country, rather than just funding abortion alternatives for pregnant women as promised. Some compromise. Under the guise of abortion reduction, government money will fuel the abortion industry itself, including its effort to outlaw pro-life pregnancy centers that truly reduce abortion. Even to suggest such a deal proves that the people proposing it are not pro-life, whatever they call themselves.

This so-called compromise includes another twist of pro-abortion marketing: Pro-life people must give up trying to “criminalize” abortion. This is merely a focus-group-tested talking point designed to demonize pro-life people as wanting to imprison women. In reality, abortion before Roe v. Wade was never regulated by jailing women, and the pro-life movement does not propose it today but instead cares for women as second victims of abortion (which itself could be the starting point for a true compromise). Yet, see how so-called pro-life moderates have slipped a hidden agenda into their rhetoric. They don’t limit their talk to not criminalizing women – they talk of giving up “criminalizing,” period. By which they mean, we should give up criminalizing abortionists, the butchers of mankind, who slaughter thousands of innocent, defenseless children and frequently abuse women in their killing centers. We should give up criminalizing a multi-million-dollar industry that aborts women without informed consent, protects child molesters by hiding minors’ abortions from their parents and targets racial minorities for depopulation. We should give up regulating abortion by law in any way whatsoever.

You never hear the leftist “pro-lifers” point out that they want to let mass-murdering abortionists freely roam the streets of America. It doesn’t fit their supposed pro-life image. But it is the “compromise” they propose. There truly is nothing new under the sun.

*The Washington Post story of Nov. 18 (“Some Abortion Foes Shifting Focus from Ban to Reduction”) identifies the following individuals and groups as constituting these supposedly “pro-life” compromisers: Pepperdine law professor and Obama organizer Douglas W. Kmiec; Longwood, Florida, pastor and National Assn. of Evangelicals (NAE) board member Joel Hunter; National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference president Samuel Rodriguez; Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good; Sojourners, “a progressive evangelical organization” and its president Jim Wallis; “;” Catholics United; NAE lobbyist Richard Cizik; Georgetown theologian Thomas Reese; and Nicholas Cafardi, “former dean of the Duquesne University School of Law and a Catholic canon lawyer … [who] resigned from the board of Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio after writing a column supporting Obama and declaring the abortion battle lost.” Some of the “activists,” reports Post writer Jacqueline Salmon, “are working with Third Way, an abortion rights think tank, to build political support among Democratic lawmakers.”


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