Life Advocacy Briefing

September 7, 2009

Back to Work / New Senator Takes Office / Seeking to Block Embryo Killing / Blowing the Whistle on One of the Worst? / Lion of Life Retires / Terri’s Dad Passes On / Rethinking Abortion: Unexpected Witness / The Great Stem Cell Debate / Déjà vu?

Back to Work

THE U.S. HOUSE & SENATE RECONVENE TOMORROW, Sept. 8, after a tumultuous month of, in many cases, facing their constituents and hearing strenuous objections to their incalculable spending, massive deficits, plunge toward socialism and plans to turn America’s medical care system into another bloated, burdensome, intrusive federal “program.”

Now is the time for all good citizens to call their lawmakers again – even if calls have already been made – via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-2131. And to write letters to Representatives at House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515, and to Senators at US Senate, Washington, DC 20510. And to send messages via electronic mail; the Internet websites and can be used for that purpose.

It is critical that our lawmakers hear the voice of the pro-life majority asking them, “Vote ‘no’ on any healthcare proposal that does not explicitly exclude abortion coverage.” Do not let a staff member advise you that “abortion isn’t in the bill.” The point is that all the pending measures give bureaucrats the power to force taxpayers to underwrite the abortion industry without returning to Congress for permission. Abortion must be excluded explicitly or it will most certainly be included.


New Senator Takes Office

AS CONGRESS RETURNS TO WASHINGTON, a new Senator will take his place out of the state of Florida. Replacing Sen. Mel Martinez (R), who resigned this summer, is George LeMieux, appointee of Gov. Charlie Crist.

We do not yet know how Sen. LeMieux plans to vote on the right to Life, though we look back with concern to his unsuccessful bid for state representative in 1998 when, according to the Gainesville Sun, he “favored gay rights, including adoptions.” And we are concerned about his possible role in the Terri Schindler Schiavo case, when his boss, then-Atty. Gen. Crist, “decided to stay out of” the controversy, reminds Sun writer Gary Fineout.

Sen. LeMieux is a caretaker, not planning to run for a full election. His mentor, Gov. Crist, is in that race, and Mr. LeMieux last week told the Sun, “‘I describe myself as a Charlie Crist Republican,’” a description which frankly raises more questions than it answers.

Having so firmly tied himself to Mr. Crist, Sen. LeMieux would do well to follow Sen. Martinez’s pro-life voting record, lest his own votes trouble Mr. Crist among Florida’s GOP primary voters. Particularly on “healthcare reform,” which Mr. Crist endorsed before his voters began to grasp the details of the actual proposals, Sen. LeMieux can help his mentor defeat former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio in their surprisingly close primary contest only by voting “no” on every “healthcare” bill the majority party puts forth. His votes will reflect on Gov. Crist and will be followed closely by every voter in Florida’s huge senior citizen population.


Seeking to Block Embryo Killing

ADVOCATES INTERNATIONAL HAS FILED A LAWSUIT against the US Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) to block Pres. Obama’s new policy of funding experiments destroying – or inciting destruction of – embryonic human beings.

In announcing the litigation, Advocates International counsel Sam Casey said, writes Charlie Butts for, the Internet news service of the American Family Assn., “‘It’s very important to stop the United States from breaking a covenant that it has had ever since World War II that it will not use federal funds to do research upon or kill one human being for the medical benefit or the speculative medical benefit of another.’ …

“Since 1994, Congress has expressly banned the National Institutes of Health from funding research in which human embryos are destroyed, discarded or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death,” reminds Mr. Butts. “That is another law [Mr.] Casey says the NIH is arrogantly violating.”

We offer Charles Colson’s discussion of “The Great Stem-Cell Debate” near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.


Blowing the Whistle on One of the Worst?

FOUR FIRED EMPLOYEES OF THE NOTORIOUS LATE-TERM ABORTIONIST LeRoy Carhart have stepped forward to expose unsafe practices in his Nebraska shop, reports the Omaha World Herald. Their eyewitness accounts coincide with a probe of the Carhart business by the Nebraska Dept. of Health & Human Services (NHHS). Three of the ex-workers have now sworn to affidavits which have been delivered to the state Attorney General.

Mr. Carhart is best known as the plaintiff in the lawsuit by which the abortion industry sought to overturn the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. He is notorious also for having attempted to take over the Wichita, Kansas, late-term abortion business of the late George Tiller after Mr. Tiller was killed in May. The Tiller family instead closed the shop permanently.

World Herald coverage of the paper’s interviews with the former clinic workers draws a troubling picture, all too typical of abortion mills. At least three of the four Carhart staff indicated they had been assigned routinely to start intravenous solution systems and/or to administer medications intravenously even though none of them was a registered nurse or even a certified licensed practical nurse, which is the minimum requirement for such work according to Nebraska law. One had completed no education after high school. Three of the fired staff had felony drug convictions, two before Mr. Carhart hired them.

One of the fired workers reported having seen dried blood on an instrument set out for use in a procedure. The one who was laid off just last month expressed concern for patients because of unsanitary conditions she had observed.


Lion of Life Retires

THE BISHOP OF SCRANTON, PA, ANNOUNCED HIS RETIREMENT at age 63 last week in the face of failing health, and we at Life Advocacy are sorry to see Joseph Martino step down from his role in the Roman Catholic Church.

Bishop Martino has stood out – particularly in recent years – among clergy of all faiths in his inspiring, adamant advocacy for the right to Life and his insistence on fidelity to this cause among all in public life who claim affiliation with the church. He has been sharply critical of Catholic institutions giving platforms to public figures who embrace abortion and homosexual behavior. That his voice will be missed is certain; that his example will inspire new courage among his brothers and those who come behind him is fervently hoped.


Terri’s Dad Passes On

BOB SCHINDLER’s PAIN IS OVER. The devoted father of the late Terri Schindler Schiavo passed away Aug. 29 from the failure of his heart, which, though it has stopped beating, never failed to love with ferocity his brain-injured daughter. May he rest at last in peace.


Rethinking Abortion: Unexpected Witness

Excerpted from Aug. 21, 2009, Christian Post commentary by Albert Mohler Jr., president, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

… Another unexpected witness this week is actress Kourtney Kardashian. Her recently announced unplanned pregnancy became part of Hollywood’s scandal and publicity circus. But what caught the attention of the media this week was her decision to keep the baby and the straightforward logic behind her decision.

Kardashian has not adopted a pro-life position on the abortion question. Indeed, she told People magazine, “I do think every woman should have the right to do what they want, but I don’t think it’s talked through enough.” The actress told of many friends who just assured her that abortion was the easy way out. “Like it’s not a big deal,” the actress recalled.

Interestingly, Kardashian’s decision to keep her baby was at least partially prompted by her experience of reading the testimonies of women who regretted their abortions. “I looked online, and I was sitting on the bed hysterically crying, reading these stories of people who felt so guilty for having an abortion,” she explained.

“I was just sitting there crying, thinking, “I can’t do that.” … And I felt in my body, this is meant to be. God does things for a reason, and I just felt like it was the right thing that was happening to my life.”

As she thought about her decision, Kardashian concluded that “all the reasons why I wouldn’t keep the baby were so selfish.” She also received encouragement from her doctor. “My doctor told me there is nothing you will ever regret about having the baby, but he was like, ‘You may regret not having the baby.’ And I was like: That is so true.”

The Culture of Death looms as a massive threat, but its foundations are crumbling. … The evil of abortion cannot be hidden once it is seen, and a voice for Life cannot be forgotten once it is heard.


The Great Stem Cell Debate

June 30, 2009, BreakPoint commentary by Chuck Colson, copyright Prison Fellowship Ministries

Scientists at Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California, are discovering a potential cure for leukemia and sickle-cell disease. How? By using blood stem cells from the placentas of women who have had Caesarian deliveries.

But researchers at the hospital are frustrated. State agencies have made multi-million-dollar grants available for embryo-destructive research, but money is scarce for its ethically sound counterpart, adult stemcell research.

In the Contra Costa Times, lead Children’s Hospital researcher Frans Kuypers says, “No one has been cured by an embryonic stem cell. We are able to cure folks with [adult] stem cells.”

So why isn’t adult stemcell research receiving more funding? Josephine Quintavalle, director of Comment on Reproductive Ethics, says, “What you get from [the adult stemcell] approach is a patient-specific cure. There’s no middleman, … and there’s no drug company that’s going to get rich as a result of it.”

But, she explains, a lot of the pressure for stemcell research is to find products that they can sell, as opposed to a treatment they can do to cure you.

Quintavalle is just one of many experts from both sides of the debate interviewed in the new documentary Lines that Divide, produced by the Center for Bioethics & Culture.

In the documentary, you’ll hear first-hand testimonies from people whose lives have been saved through adult stemcell research. Like Barry Goudy, who suffered with multiple sclerosis. Since undergoing adult stemcell replacement therapy, he’s been free from MS for five years. “They reboot your immune system,” he explains. “I live a normal life. I coach hockey, I play racketball, I golf.” Without the adult stem cell transplant, Goudy would probably be in a wheelchair.

Twenty-two-year-old Corrina Archuleta also shares her dramatic recovery from a flesh-eating auto-immune disorder. Her family was making her funeral arrangements before adult stem cell therapy saved her life.

The film also covers why even [some] traditionally pro-choice [sic] advocates are speaking out against embryo-destructive stemcell research. In order to extract enough eggs for embryonic stemcell research, a woman’s ovaries are hyper-stimulated so that she will produce a dozen or more eggs at a time. But doctors know that ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome and the drugs themselves have caused blood clotting, stroke and even death. The former chief medical officer of the FDA warns that potential egg donors “need to be aware that this is not a procedure that is without risk.” Even the risk of death.

That’s not what you are seeing in the media. What you do see, however, are celebrities and politicians gushing over the potential for embryo-destructive stemcell research. Even while lives are being saved today by adult stemcell therapy.

We need to be informed in order to help shape the public debate – and encourage our leaders to fund proven, morally unproblematic adult stemcell research.

That’s why I urge you to get a hold of the film Lines that Divide. Visit, and we’ll tell you how.


Déjà vu?

Excerpted from “Beck to the Future III: ‘Quality of Life’ Rationing Links Nazi Doctors and ObamaCare Experts” by Peter J. Smith for, reporting on a series of analyses by television anchor Glenn Beck on his daily Fox News program

… What will government-run health care become for Americans if it embraces a policy of rationing based on [Obama regulation “czar”] Cass Sunstein’s “Quality of Life Adjusted Years” lead or [Obama health advisor] Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel’s “Complete Lives System”? Add to the mix John Holdren, the Science Czar, who wrote a book on totalitarian population control [along with the notorious Paul Ehrlich]. With people like these behind healthcare reform, Beck makes the point that the specter of Sarah Palin’s “death panels” [charge] looks a lot more real. Especially when it comes to rationing health care, which Beck says must surely happen under Obama’s proposals.

“Government officials are going to have to be in the position of deciding how to allocate scarce resources,” says Beck.

Why? The laws of supply and demand still apply in health care. If 50 million are added to the list of insured, that means an added burden on the current supply of primary care physicians and specialists. But with government subsidies and low co-pays, people will also have little incentive to refrain from making unnecessary doctor visits or seeing specialists that they may not need. And that means government, which foots the bill, will have to make those choices.

Germany’s National Socialists and Obama’s healthcare reform experts have a key thing in common, as Beck makes clear: They both embrace the idea of establishing universal healthcare systems on the principle that “quality of life” or usefulness to the collective good of society ultimately matters in the equation of how a human being receives health care.

That is, if they agree that the patient is human in the first place. On that point, John Holdren may have more in common with National Socialists than Americans are comfortable with. In fact, Beck supposes that understanding Holdren may give some insight into the Green movement, saying “how many people in the Green movement think people are a virus?”

… And while everyone agrees that the healthcare system needs improvement, Beck observes that replacing the profit motive of insurance with the power motive of government may not be in everyone’s best interests. The proposed cure could be more lethal than the disease. The lessons learned from one of the darkest chapters of human history may provoke Beck’s viewers to “question with boldness” the trajectory of the United States under Pres. Obama and the czars.

“When you start valuing life differently, then you’ve already started down that path,” says Beck, pointing to the experience of Germany, once regarded as a symbol of the future of world civilization.

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