Life Advocacy Briefing

November 2, 2009

Push has Come to Shove / Rule Fight / Implications / Unpopular Move
‘An Abortionist’s Dream’ / Upset in the Making? / The Pelosi Proposal

Push has Come to Shove

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA) UNVEILED last Thursday yet another version of her party’s massive scheme to take over America’s medical system.

Media sources forecast the prospect of a vote in the House of Representatives as early as this week.

Whatever you have said, whatever you have done, however you have stood to say “no” to this massive legislation, now is the time to stand again and speak again and intervene all over again to say “Stop It! Vote No on HR-3962! Vote against the Rule.” [See ‘Rule Fight’ below.] And to ask your friends to do the same.

House Members may be contacted via electronic mail at as well as through the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121 as well as through their district offices. District office contact information is available at the House’s Internet website or at the public library reference desk.

Those who leave to others the expression of their own concerns are doomed to share the blame if the President and his followers in Congress succeed in destroying America’s medical care system, forcing taxpayers to underwrite abortion and subjecting Americans to a usefulness test in bureaucratic assessment of whether their lives should be ended. The costs of this legislation – in both financial and in human terms – cannot be underestimated.


Rule Fight

THE MOST CRITICAL VOTE in the House consideration of the Pelosi bill will come before debate on the bill itself.

House procedures call for the Rules Committee to propose a Rule governing consideration for each individual legislative proposal. Numerous reports indicate the Speaker is seeking to push through the Rules Committee a Rule for HR-3962 which will preclude any amendments, a tactic known as a “closed Rule.”

This move will prevent the House from working its will to modify the proposal, forcing an up-or-down vote on the legislation as drafted.

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) has organized “about 40” of their Democratic colleagues to insist on a Rule which would permit Mr. Stupak and Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) to offer their Hyde-style abortion funding ban amendment. The pro-life Democrats have vowed to vote against the Rule if it does not allow for consideration of Stupak/Pitts/Hyde. Given that Republicans are likely to be united against the Rule for HR-3962 – especially if it is a closed Rule – the vote on the Rule is pivotal.

Whether these 40 – or even Mr. Stupak – will vote against the bill itself, should they not prevail on the Rule vote, is still an open question, even though without the needed amendment, the bill would threaten the lives of countless future children, force taxpayers to underwrite unfettered abortion and establish a rationing system further demeaning the right to Life in America. (Mr. Stupak, seen as the pro-life hero in the ObamaCare scenario, has disappointed Life advocates by indicating he would vote for final passage even if his efforts fail.) So it behooves pro-life citizens and officials to stand now against adoption of the Rule as well as against the Pelosi bill itself.

Seeking to add pressure on the apparently impervious Speaker, Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) organized a letter to Mrs. Pelosi in late September. He secured the signatures of 29 House Democrats “respectfully request[ing] inclusion of the Hyde Amendment in HR-3200 [now HR-3269] as it comes to the Floor.” Citing Pres. Obama’s Sept. 9 statement to Congress that “‘no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions,’” the letter notes: “If eliminating federal funding of abortion is sincerely the goal, then a simple solution would be to include the Hyde Amendment to the version of HR-3200 that comes to the Floor – the intent and effect of which is understood by all Members.”

Here are the 29 Democrats to thank for their boldness and political courage in sending such a letter to Speaker Pelosi: Representatives Parker Griffith (AL); Marion Berry & Mike Ross (AR); Jim Marshall (GA); Jerry Costello & Dan Lipinski (IL); Leonard Boswell (IA); Charlie Melancon (LA); Dale Kildee & Bart Stupak (MI); Jim Oberstar & Collin Peterson (MN); Travis Childers & Gene Taylor (MS); Heath Shuler (NC); John Boccieri, Steve Driehaus, Marcy Kaptur & Charlie Wilson (OH); Dan Boren (OK); Jason Altmire, Christopher Carney, Tim Holden & John Murtha (PA); Lincoln Davis & John Tanner (TN); Henry Cuellar (TX); and Alan Mollahan & Nick Rahall (WV). Please urge them to stand firm.



AT THE CLOSE OF THIS LIFE ADVOCACY BRIEFING, YOU CAN FIND a memo from a key Capitol Hill aide outlining abortion-related implications in the near-2,000-page Pelosi proposal. In addition to the provisions noted in that outline, we would add three cautions:

First – Effectively federalizing the healthcare workforce without explicitly providing employment protections for those workers who assert conscientious objection to certain “procedures” which society has deemed related to the practice of medicine is outrageous and portends danger for pro-life medical professionals.

Second – Inherent in the bureaucratization of medical care is the depersonalization of the doctor/patient relationship.

Third – Given that the President and his party leaders in Congress claim to be seeking both extension of coverage to uninsured people and saving costs – mutually exclusive goals – care rationing is inevitable. That problem is inherent in these proposals and is the basis for Sarah Palin’s concern about “death panels,” and it is a problem which can be fixed only by defeat of the legislation.


Unpopular Move


The survey of 800 female registered voters was taken Oct. 19-25 for the Independent Women’s Forum by WomanTrend, a division of respected pollster Kellyanne Conway’s “the polling company, inc.” The survey’s margin of error is a respectable +/-3.5%.

“Two-thirds of women objected to government paying for abortions in the healthcare bill,” reports the poll analysis, “including majorities of women of all ages, races, regions, marital and parental statuses, and political parties (55% of self-identified Democrats, 66% of Independents and 84% of Republicans). Even 39% of ‘pro-choicers’ qualified their views with their unwillingness to pay for it.”

Other remarkable results include a strong preference for Congress to get “healthcare legislation” right rather than rushing to judgment. “Women nationwide were presented with two differing opinions,” states the analysis, “and asked to align with one; 67% of women agree with the following statement, ‘I would prefer that United States Senators and Members of Congress not support poorly crafted or rushed healthcare legislation. It is more important to get it done right than to get it done fast.’ Only 28% align with the opposite view (‘Something is better than nothing; I would prefer to see my United States Senators and Member of Congress support less-than-perfect healthcare reform. We cannot wait any longer for healthcare reform.’).”

Among the most significant findings, politically: “71% would be less likely to support a ‘candidate for Congress knowing he or she favored moving people from their private healthcare plans to government-run healthcare plans,” which HR-3962 is, realistically, set up to do. The analysis continues, “51% would be less likely to support a candidate ‘knowing he or she supports this new $829-billion healthcare bill.’”

The full, fascinating, survey analysis can be viewed on the Internet at


‘An Abortionist’s Dream’

CRANKY PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTIONIST LeROY CARHART was on hand to cheer the Pelosi “healthcare” bill Thursday, according to Concerned Women for America’s president Wendy Wright, quoted in a CWA news release.

After spotting the notorious Nebraska abortionist at Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s news conference, reports CWA, Miss Wright said, “Nancy Pelosi’s bill has gained the support of the nation’s most notorious partial-birth abortionist, who is under investigation for alleged unsafe medical practices.”

It’s no wonder Mr. Carhart showed up at the Capitol, holding a sign backing the Pelosi plan. As Operation Rescue president Troy Newman notes in an OR news release, “If [Speaker] Pelosi’s healthcare bill is passed, our tax dollars will go straight into [Mr.] Carhart’s pockets to fund abortions, especially late-term abortions done on viable babies.”

“[Rep.] Pelosi’s bill can now be rightly called an abortionist’s dream. Under her bill,” said Miss Wright in the release, “government money will pay for abortions, even the kind that [Mr.] Carhart commits – late-term abortions against viable babies that put women’s health at risk.”

Mr. Carhart achieved nationwide notoriety as the plaintiff in the lawsuit brought by the abortion industry against federal legislation to outlaw partial-birth abortion, in which a so-called doctor partially delivers a second- or late-term prenatal boy or girl in the breech position, stabs the child in the base of the skull with surgical scissors to perform the execution and then suctions out the baby’s brain. Last summer, when the late Wichita abortionist George Tiller was murdered, it was LeRoy Carhart who immediately sought to reopen Mr. Tiller’s shop in order to take over his lucrative late-term abortion business.


Upset in the Making?

A POLITICAL REVOLUTION COULD BE IN THE MAKING in tomorrow’s special election in the 23rd Congressional District of New York.

After GOP leaders nominated a left-wing state lawmaker to succeed resigned Rep. John McHugh (R), a local Republican named Doug Hoffman opted to run on the Conservative Party line, drawing attention from disgruntled conservative Republicans both within and outside the 23rd District.

When former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed Mr. Hoffman, she touched off an avalanche of Hoffman endorsements from prominent conservative Republicans, including South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, former Senators Sen. Rick Santorum (PA) and Fred Thompson (TN), former US House GOP Leader Dick Armey (TX), Minnesota’s Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Focus on the Family Action’s Dr. James Dobson, reports Peter J. Smith for  Mr. Smith adds that Mr. Hoffman is being backed also by New York Right to Life, the National Organization for Marriage, the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List and Concerned Women for America. Eagle Forum has also endorsed him, and the conservative Club for Growth is actively engaged in supporting Mr. Hoffman and exposing the radicalism of his GOP opponent. Among prominent Republicans, only former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who cited his “bias to be for the nominee of the local party,” has publicly backed the rabidly feminist GOP nominee.

Polling late last week showed a possibility of actual victory for the Conservative Party candidate, though many believe the Democrat – who has been able to maintain a lower profile than either of his opponents – is actually the likelier winner in this traditionally Republican district. A consensus of polling over the past several weeks shows the GOP candidate the least likely to win. We should know the outcome by Wednesday morning.

We’ll know the outcomes, too, in the pivotal New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial elections and in a special election in California’s 10th Congressional District, vacated by former Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D).


The Pelosi Proposal

Outline of Life-related provisions in the “healthcare” bill draft released last Thursday, authored by a key Capitol Hill aide

With regard to pro-life issues, the new bill, HR-3962, is very similar to the prior bill, HR-3200 as it was amended in the Energy & Commerce Committee. The bill can be viewed online [at] and is searchable. Although it will take some time to fully review the nearly 2,000-page document, you may be interested in the following important pro-life points.

Abortion Funding: HR-3962 replicates the Capps Amendment passed in the Energy & Commerce Committee. Therefore, it remains true that the bill clearly does not incorporate the Hyde Amendment. Instead it accomplishes the opposite of the Hyde Amendment. While “Hyde” prohibits funding for abortion through government programs, the newly created public option will be authorized to pay for abortions. Similarly, while the Hyde Amendment prohibits funding for coverage that includes abortion, HR-3962 establishes an accounting gimmick to justify subsidizing private plans that cover abortion.

School-based Health Clinics: A new provision prohibits use of school-based health clinic grants for abortion and defines school-based health clinics as clinics that do not perform abortions. There is no language regarding abortion referral or facilitating an abortion at another location.

Indian Health: Division D of HR-3962 reauthorizes the Indian Health Service (IHS) without a permanent ban on abortion funding. The Senate passed a ban on abortion funding (Vitter Amendment) in the last Congress, but the House did not consider the bill – reportedly due to concern that an abortion funding ban might be successfully attached in the House. The language in HR-3962 links IHS funding for abortion to the Health & Human Services Appropriations bill for the given year. This arrangement replicates what is currently in law but does not reflect the Vitter Amendment. Therefore, the current bill will only restrict IHS abortion funding if the Hyde Amendment is in effect.  [“Hyde” is not in permanent law so must be renewed annually.]

Assisted Suicide: Section 240 of HR-3962 requires insurance companies to provide information related to “end-of-life planning” to individuals seeking enrollment in insurance offered on the health insurance exchange. Although the section has several provisions that say the materials provided shall not include assisted suicide, euthanasia and mercy killing, pro-life leaders may be concerned because these terms are not defined, and broader protective language adopted in the Energy & Commerce Committee has been removed. Broader language was necessary because Oregon and Washington have laws permitting what is commonly thought of as assisted suicide, but those same state laws specifically say that what is done in their state[s] is not assisted suicide. This creates a huge loophole that means HR-3962 will require the distribution of end-of-life materials that will likely include information about assisted suicide options in states such as Oregon and Washington.

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