Life Advocacy Briefing

January 19, 2009


Focusing on FOCA / Focus on S-21, Too / Staff Cuts at PP? / Farewell to a Champion / Witnessing for Life / Illegal Practice / Another Kook Suit from ACLU / Duty-bound to Warn / The March of Death: A Culture Commits Suicide

Focusing on FOCA

AMONG THE EVENTS DRAWING PRO-LIFE CITIZENS TO WASHINGTON this week is a lobby day being hosted by Concerned Women for America (CWA), which will focus on FOCA, opposing the abortion lobby’s proposed Freedom of Choice Act.

CWA members will hand out information on opposing FOCA during the rally kicking off the March for Life on Thursday, Jan. 22. The nation’s largest women’s organization will lobby Members of Congress personally and by telephone the next day and are inviting fellow citizens to join in their concerted effort. More information is available via the organization’s Internet website at


Focus on S-21, Too

WHEN YOU CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMAN AND SENATORS to seek their opposition to the abortion lobby’s radical Freedom of Choice Act, (Capitol switchboard, 1-202/224-3121) we at Life Advocacy urge you to add a second message requesting opposition also to S-21, which its sponsor, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), calls “The Prevention First Act.”

This bill “would direct hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to the abortion industry, a business,” notes Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in his Washington Update, “that already receives over $286 million each year from federal taxpayers.

“It should come as no surprise,” writes Mr. Perkins, “that Planned Parenthood, the largest supporter of unrestricted abortion, praised the bill. And why not? The abortion merchant will likely be the largest beneficiary of [Sen.] Reid’s abortion bailout.

“Among other things, the legislation would use taxpayer funds to mislead people about the potential of the ‘morning-after pill’ (known as Plan B) to act as an abortifacient,” writes Mr. Perkins, adding, “It also encourages the use of Plan B for victims of sexual assault, yet has no reporting requirement in place for young girls who may have been victims of abuse and/or rape.” The assumption in this bill, as in so much of the abortion lobby’s propaganda, is that all the young victim “needs” to “solve” any problem is to do away with her own progeny.

“The bill does nothing to support parental involvement – let alone consent – for dispensing the morning-after pill and other ‘contraception’ to minors,” declares Mr. Perkins.

“In addition to funding Plan B,” he writes, “the measure would also subsidize birth control for college and low-income women; expand Title X (Ten), the main federal family planning program that requires abortion referrals; expand Planned Parenthood targeting of low-income women through Medicaid; target teens with ‘comprehensive’ sex education; and,” he notes, “spread emergency contraception.”

The Reid measure is just the beginning of the abortion lobby’s plans for you and your family and your wallet. All this from a man who has claimed to be “pro-life” and who will no doubt claim his massive infusion of funding to America’s principal abortionist is intended to “prevent” abortions.


Staff Cuts at PP?

PERHAPS SEN. REID WILL INVOKE THE NAME ‘BERNIE MADOFF’ when he presents his bill (S-21) to boost taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. After all, the abortion behemoth is suffering these days, reports Alan Bavley in the Kansas City Star, from “the financial tsunami of Bernard Madoff’s alleged Ponzi scheme. …

“One of the institutions hurt in the Madoff scandal,” writes Mr. Bavley, “was the Florida-based Picower Foundation, which had been funding the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

“With the loss of the Picower money and a general decline in funding related to the recession,” Mr. Bavley reveals, “the national Planned Parenthood organization is laying off about 30 people, 20% of its staff.”  Mr. Bavley credits Crain’s Business for the revelation.

The Planned Parenthood cutback reportedly trims “staff [who] had been providing training and consulting to local affiliates, said Peter Brownlie, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri,” reports the Kansas City Star.

A journalist named Ahmad Safi, writing in the St. Joseph (MO) News-Press, reports Planned Parenthood’s “major contributor … [had] lost $1 billion in the Bernard Madoff investment scandal.”


Farewell to a Champion

IN A WIDE-RANGING INTERVIEW with President George W. Bush, columnist Cal Thomas turned the conversation to the issues embraced by “values voters,” finding the cause of Life to come most readily to the President’s lips.

“The President disagrees with his former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, who has said,” writes Mr. Thomas, “Republicans should abandon the social issues if they want to win again.

“‘I have … been a strong … defender of the culture of Life,’” responded Pres. Bush. “‘And I believe that’s an important part of our party’s future. I will be the first to concede that laws change only after hearts change.’ And yet,” writes Mr. Thomas, “he clearly believes that a GOP committed to conservative social values can help change hearts and thus laws. …

“Saying he has been ‘strengthened by prayer’ – his own and those of others – the President added,” writes Mr. Thomas, “‘Some days are happy, some days are not so happy; every day is joyous.’”

We will miss you, Pres. Bush, both your actions and your spoken advocacy for the principle that all our children should be welcomed in life and protected in law. In deed after deed, you have been true to your word.


Witnessing for Life

FOLLOWING THURSDAY’s MARCH FOR LIFE in Washington, more than 25,000 are expected to participate next Saturday, Jan. 24, in the fifth annual “Walk for Life West Coast.”

West Coast pro-life citizens will walk along the San Francisco waterfront as “an outreach to women,” reports, “particularly women who have experienced abortion or who are struggling with an unwanted pregnancy.”

Among those taking the walk this Saturday will be Karen Shablin, a former member of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), who is now a speaker for Feminists for Life. “‘I can’t undo my mistakes over the years,’” Ms. Shablin said in the LifeSiteNews story. She cited among her “mistakes” – “‘having an abortion, advocating abortion. But,’” she said, “‘I can help others to learn from my mistakes. Every life counts.’”


Illegal Practice

AN UNDERCOVER PROBE OF GEORGE TILLER’s NOTORIOUS ABORTUARY in Wichita has shown his “Women’s Health Care Services” (WHCS) shop “underestimates the fetal age and viability of pre-born babies,” charges Operation Rescue, “in order to avoid having to comply with Kansas law.” The undercover investigation, OR explains, “confirms the testimony of District Atty. Phill Kline, who stated in court [early in January] that evidence showed that [Mr.] Tiller was doing late-term abortions on healthy women with viable babies.

“[Mr.] Kline told the court that he saw evidence that Planned Parenthood referred women in such situations to [Mr.] Tiller for illegal abortions,” reports OR. Both Mr. Tiller and Planned Parenthood are under official probes and protracted prosecutions in Kansas.

“A pregnant OR volunteer named Shaye offered to participate in the undercover investigation of WHCS in October 2008,” reports OR in a news release. She later filed a sworn statement “that a WHCS employee conducted her sonogram and determined that her baby was 24 weeks, 6 days gestation, past the threshold of viability” beyond which Kansas law requires the attestation of a second, unaffiliated physician as to the abortion’s “necessity.”

“The Tiller employee,” notes OR, “then tore off those ultrasound photos and threw them into the trash. She took new measurements,” OR reports, “then told Shaye her baby was only 23 weeks gestation. In order to confirm the actual fetal age of Shaye’s baby,” OR reports, “she received two more sonograms on that same day, both of which indicated the baby was beyond 24 weeks gestation … undeniably past the threshold of viability.”

To make matters even more clear, “Shaye had made WHCS aware that both she and her baby were healthy and that the pregnancy was without complications,” reports OR. “Shaye did not receive the abortion,” notes OR, “only because she did not show up for the abortion appointment.”


Another Kook Suit from ACLU

IN A DRAMATIC DISPLAY OF THEIR WEIRD, TWISTED THINKING, the misnamed American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the US Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) for granting taxpayer dollars to an anti-human trafficking initiative by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The supposed basis of the lawsuit? “Their services,” explains Kathleen Gilbert, writing for, “do not extend to contraception and abortion.”

Go ahead and read that again. The grant was to an initiative by USCCB to protect the victims of human trafficking. The purpose of the grant was to advance the cause of protecting the victims of human trafficking. But the grantee did not use the grant money, notes Ms. Gilbert, “to fund subcontractors providing condoms, the abortifacient morning-after pill or abortions.”

What that has to do with protecting the victims of human trafficking is unclear – unless one considers the specious claim of the abortion lobby and its fellow travelers (like the ACLU) that the only thing victims need is Planned Parenthood’s services, regardless of what has rendered them victims. (See our commentary on S-21.)

The lawsuit was filed in Boston and “claims,” writes Ms. Gilbert, “that the USCCB is imposing its beliefs on taxpayers and victims of human trafficking.” Right.


Duty-bound to Warn

AN AUSTRIAN CHEMIST IS ENDURING ONE OF LIFE’s GREATEST IRONIES: having lived long enough to see the fallout from one of his own greatest achievements.

Carl Djerassi wrote a commentary in the December issue of Austria’s Der Standard, reports Kathleen Gilbert for, predicting an “impending demographic disaster from plummeting birth rates,” acknowledging his own contribution to the depopulation trend by his 1951 contribution to development of the earliest form of contraceptive pill.

In his commentary, writes Ms. Gilbert, “he described couples who regularly contracept as ‘wanting to enjoy their schnitzels while leaving the rest of the world to get on with it,” warning of the demographic consequences of “the severance of sexuality and reproduction made possible by widespread use of the pill.”

At the time he helped invent the synthetic hormone progestin norethindrone, reports Ms. Gilbert, he “had said that ‘not in our wildest dreams’ had he expected the chemical to be used for contraception. Now, he writes, ‘My contribution is to help these people wake up,’ referring,” writes Ms. Gilbert, “to Austrian couples who freely contracept. …

“[Mr.] Djerassi explained that Austria, which is now home to more seniors over 65 than children under 15, would soon enter ‘an impossible situation,’” writes Ms. Gilbert, “as the lopsided population would result in a working class too small to support the needs of elderly pensioners.”

The same situation is developing in the US because of decriminalized abortion and widespread contraception, though more slowly because of more open immigration.


The March of Death: A Culture Commits Suicide

Jan. 13, 2009, BreakPoint with Charles Colson, copyright Prison Fellowship Ministries

Those who have embraced the culture of death had much to celebrate during 2008. By “culture of death,” I’m referring to those movements which would advance euthanasia, assisted suicide, abortion, fetal experimentation and even population control.

Let’s take a quick look at the year gone by. I think you’ll see what I mean.

In the US, voters in Washington state approved the grotesquely named “Death with Dignity Act,” which will allow physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to their terminally ill patients. Washington joins Oregon as the only states (for now) that have legalized assisted suicide. Two down, 48 to go.

Of course, there was other significant news in the other Washington, Washington, DC, where the new administration began to set up shop in the White House – an administration that promised during the campaign to enact the “Freedom of Choice Act.”

FOCA will, in essence, eliminate most restrictions on abortion. Parental notification, informed consent, conscientious objection on behalf of healthcare providers, restrictions on late-term abortions, could well be things of the past. Not for nothing did the Catholic Bishops describe FOCA as “the most radical and extreme abortion legislation ever considered in the United States.”

And, of course, the new administration will do all that it can to promote the use of human embryos for stem cell research.

On the other side of the pond, legislators in the small nation of Luxembourg decided that the “right to death” was so important that they stripped Grand Duke Henri of his constitutional right to veto legislation. Why? Because he dared to oppose a new euthanasia law. Well, I guess that’s better than what Europeans used to do when they didn’t like their monarch.

But it’s not enough that individuals can now legally find ways to kill themselves. No, now people can share their final moments with millions of onlookers. Britain’s Sky Network aired a documentary that showed the final minutes of the life of Craig Ewert, an American who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Ewert paid the Swiss assisted suicide group Dignitas 3,000 Pounds to help him die. He had to travel to the little Alpine nation because Switzerland is the only country that opens the maw of death – excuse me – that opens its arms to foreigners who want to kill themselves.

And then there’s the horrible case of the 19-year-old Florida man who committed suicide while some 1,500 viewers watched online. The video spread all over the Web like wildfire.

Is this where we’ve really come to? When in the course of human events have so many made death their reason for living? As Scripture says, God has set before us life and death. And our culture is choosing death.

As we begin 2009, the Church must renew its commitment to protecting the life and true dignity of every human – from natural conception until natural death.

But despite the euphemisms of euthanasia law and suicide organizations, true human dignity is not found in death (except in cases of great self-sacrifice). It is found in Life! And in Him Who is the Author of all life.


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