Life Advocacy Briefing

February 8, 2010

Tipping Point on Johnsen? / Compromising the Military / Ominous Quote – Or Is It Pathetic? / Conflict of Interest? / Anti-People Pork / Speaking for Life

Tipping Point on Johnsen?

IS THE SENATE BALKING on confirming abortion radical Dawn Johnsen to the Justice Dept. Office of Legal Counsel? Enough calls to Senators now, urging a “no” vote on Ms. Johnsen, could seal her fate. (Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121; electronic mail via

The Senate Judiciary Committee was scheduled to consider her renomination to the critical post last week, but panel members adjourned for the week without taking up her name. (Ms. Johnsen was first nominated a year ago; after her stalled nomination expired at year’s end, President Obama resubmitted her on Jan. 20 for another round.) The committee could take up her name this Thursday, but the clutch election of GOP Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts has brought the Left-leaning Senate into greater equilibrium and may have given serious pause to certain Democratic Senators when faced with such a radical choice as Ms. Johnsen.

Pro-life advocates and other patriotic Americans cannot assume, however, that Ms. Johnsen’s appointment will not be confirmed. Senate Democrats are reported to be trying – probably without success – to determine a way to change Senate rules to abolish the filibuster, which would lower the bar for all actions, including confirmations, to a 51-vote majority rather than the 60-vote majority now required under Senate rules to end debate and bring a matter to a vote.

More problematic is the wobbliness of certain Senate Republicans such as Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins (generally) and, in the case of Ms. Johnsen, the favor being shown her appointment, according to, by Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar. The nominee is a citizen of Indiana, and the Hoosier gentleman has been known to betray his party colleagues on such outrageous Indiana appointees as Judge David Hamilton in the waning days of 2009.

It is a House Member who has been raising the most sustained pressure against the Johnsen nomination, and given the extremism of this former legal counsel for the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), all of us who advocate for the cause of Life owe Rep. Steve King (R-IA) a deep debt of gratitude.

Rep. King has sent two letters to Mr. Obama – one last June co-signed by 62 House colleagues and one last month – calling on the occupant of the White House to withdraw Ms.  Johnsen’s appointment. He issued a statement last Thursday, in light of the committee’s postponement, again calling on Pres. Obama to withdraw the offensive nomination and calling her appointment “an insult to pro-life Americans.

“Her personal pro-abortion agenda,” he said, “previous disparaging comments about pro-life Americans and past criticism of Congress’s ban on partial-birth abortion are evidence that she is not interested in finding common ground with those who oppose her narrow philosophy.  Ms. Johnson,” he noted, “has condemned virtually every type of regulation of abortion conceived by a legislature.”

The Iowa Republican urged “all Americans who value life to contact the White House and their Senators to demand that Pres. Obama nominate an Office of Legal Counsel chief who will not detract from his stated goal of reducing abortion and finding common ground on Life issues.”

What’s so bad about Dawn Johnsen? Permit us to remind our readers, quoting from the LifeSite story by Peter J. Smith: “[Ms.] Johnsen once suggested in an amicus brief submitted to the US Supreme Court that pro-life laws compel women to ‘involuntary servitude’ and [that] anything less than unrestricted abortion on demand would be a violation of the 13th Amendment to the federal Constitution, which outlawed slavery. …

“Elsewhere [Mr.] Obama’s nominee stated that even modest abortion restrictions ‘reduce pregnant women to no more than fetal containers.’ [Ms.] Johnsen also described the idea of making abortion rare – not just ‘safe’ and ‘legal’ – as ‘nonsensical.’ She also accused pro-life activists of resorting to tactics not unlike the ‘intimidation carried out by the Ku Klux Klan’ and excoriated [certain] fellow pro-abortion leaders for portraying ‘abortions as tragedies.’”

Wait, there’s more! She served as staff counsel for the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project in the late ’80s, served four years as NARAL’s legal counsel and led a crusade, notes Mr. Smith in LifeSite, to strip the US Catholic Church of tax-exempt status over its pro-life activism.”


Compromising the Military

THE PENTAGON LAST THURSDAY ANNOUNCED the Defense Dept. will now order every US military base worldwide to stock the so-called “morning-after pill” as required “medication,” reports the Associated Press (AP).

“The drug, which contains a high dose of birth control pills,” reports AP, “can be used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex by blocking ovulation or fertilization. Critics of the contraceptive [a/k/a advocates for the cause of Life] say it is the equivalent of an abortion pill,” reports AP, “because it can prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.” Duh.

The Obama Regime policy is a sharp departure from the long-standing resistance of the Defense Dept., under Pres. George W. Bush, to becoming complicit in the killing of human lives at their earliest stages. Pro-life Members of Congress must be especially vigilant for any bid by the White House to lift the ban on induced surgical/medical abortions at US military facilities, a key goal of the abortion cartel.

We join Concerned Women for America (CWA) president Wendy Wright in her retort to the switch in policy. Quoted by LifeSiteNews, Miss Wright said, “‘The military needs to focus on discipline and proper behavior – because lives depend on it – not promoting risky behavior.’”

She further noted, again quoted by LifeSite, “‘The morning-after pill is highly ineffective in preventing pregnancies and completely useless in preventing sexually transmitted diseases. … It’s a political tool for abortion advocates,’” she said. “‘By making this drug required, the next step will be making drugs like RU-486, the abortion pill, mandatory. And doctors or pharmacists who have objections will be purged from the ranks.’”

Indeed, “Defense officials have offered no assurance,” writes Drew Zahn in, “that medical doctors will have the right of conscience in refusing to administer the drugs.”


Ominous Quote – Or Is It Pathetic?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-SanFrancisco), quoted by numerous media concerning the mounting challenge of garnering the votes needed to pass ObamaCare: “We will go through the gate. If the gate is closed, we will go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we will pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we will parachute in. But we are going to get healthcare reform [sic] passed for [sic] the American people.”


Conflict of Interest?

TRUSTEES OF THE FORD FOUNDATION HAVE VOTED TO APPOINT Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PP) president Cecile Richards to the foundation board for a six-year term.

The gigantic philanthropic (and, by Ford’s actions, ironically misanthropic) enterprise has, since its founding in 1936, reports Peter J. Smith for, “promoted popoulation control internationally among its charitable goals and every year contributes tens of millions of dollars to the International Planned Parenthood Federation.”

The Ford Foundation issued a news release quoting its president, Luis Ubinas, describing Ms. Richards as having “‘a rich understanding of the social justice mission that guides our grant making … .’” Others might less charitably characterize that “rich understanding” more as a conflict of interest.

Population Research Institute’s Steven Mosher, in an electronic mail message quoted by Mr. Smith, characterized Miss Richards’s appointment to the Ford board as “‘bring[ing] their secret, anti-natal alliance out into the open. It bodes ill,’” he said, “‘for the world’s children and families.’”


Anti-People Pork

THE PLANNED PARENTHOOD LEAGUE OF MASSACHUSETTS HAS LANDED a federal grant to open a large “office” in Fitchburg, a town of 40,000 in north central Massachusetts. “Around 70 to 80 anti-abortion advocates,” according to the Boston Herald, last week “protested and prayed in front of the proposed site,” for which PP was scheduled last week to present plans to the city council. The newspaper is careful to note that PP “won’t perform abortions at the new office.” But, of course, using our federal taxpayer dollars to open the new office for the abortion enterprise frees up facility dollars for its operations elsewhere and generally enriches the abortion cartel at our expense.


Speaking for Life

Continued rally speeches delivered by Members of the US House and Senate to the massive crowd assembled Jan. 22, 2010, for the March for Life in Washington, DC; transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing from recorded-live video coverage. We hope our readers are being blessed by these speeches and call particular attention today to the heartwarming comments of Rep. Gohmert.

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE): Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, and I’m a proud Cornhusker from Nebraska. Nice to see all you young people from Nebraska who’ve made this long trip, and let me quickly say hello to the good friends from Franciscan University at Steubenville, my alma mater. Great to see you as well. Thank you all so much for your commitment to the cause of justice that brings us here today, the right to Life. Thank you so much for traveling from all parts of this country, and thank you so much for your willingness to say to the Congress and to the White House that we are a people of Life. And, young people, let’s just think for a moment, let’s just imagine for a moment if the President and the Congress really heard you. What would it be like if the President himself came here next year and said, “You know, I’ve listened to you. I’ve thought about this, I believe abortion hurts women and women deserve better. I’m pro-life.” So, Mr. President, I say to you, “You’re invited. Join us. We extend a hand of friendship. Become a person of Life.” And as Washington debates the future of health care policy, we must also continue to say, as my good friend Mike Pence said, “Abortion is not health care.” And no American should be forced to pay for it or have their government complicit within it. Young people, your civic engagement is absolutely critical. You have come here today to petition your government peacefully, to exercise your civil rights and peaceful assembly. To make your voices heard, to speak powerfully on behalf of the voiceless, whether that’s a child in the womb or an elderly person or an expectant mother. With your efforts, let’s join together and let the world know that it is the gift of life that gives us true hope. God bless you. God bless America.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC): Good afternoon. I’m Virginia Foxx from North Carolina. I want to say thank you also for your being here today. And I was thinking about this group of people that come here every year. There’s many people that come to this Mall every year, but you are the most unselfish people to come here because you are dedicated to the cause of Life for everyone in this country and for people you will never know. So thank you for what you’re doing, and know that your actions do make a difference. There are many young people here, and we all want to encourage you to continue to be involved. Find many, many ways to be involved in your country and in making a change. And don’t ever think that what you’re doing doesn’t make a difference. This week we’ve seen a tremendous difference in what happened; more of those things can happen. But we need you to stay engaged. Let us turn our country into a country that honors Life, and you can lead the charge. Thank you and God bless you.

Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ): Good morning. This is my better half. My wife, my love, the mother of my two children Jennifer and Brittany. I am Scott Garrett, Congressman from the great state of New Jersey, and we are all pro-life. And “this is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” I am here for my eighth year as a congressman, and I join you in the race, this race that’s against time, this race for Life. To join you in the fight, the fight to save our children. The fight to save our posterity. Very soon now we will all be going out, and we’ll be marching. As we march, let us all shout out loud that we are pro-life. Let us all shout out loud that abortion is murder. Let us sound the trumpets. Let us sound the trumpets so that all politicians here and across the country can hear our call to them. Just as Joshua sounded a trumpet thousands of years ago and those walls came down, we can sound our trumpet again, and the walls of ignorance will come down. We can sound those trumpets again, and the walls of oppression will come down. We can sound those trumpets again, and the gates of Life will be open to all of us. Let us stay in the fight. Let us stay in the race. Let us keep the faith, thank God, and let’s continue to march. God bless you.

Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX): I’m Louis Gohmert. I’m from the United States of America. How about that? I also happen to be from Texas. Lemme tell ya. In 1983 my wife Kathy and I were going to have a baby. But eight to ten weeks early, she went into labor. The doctors did what they could, but Katie was coming. Back then her odds were not that good to live. When she was born, they gave her 20%, 40, 60, 80, 100% oxygen, and they were losing her, and the doctor came and said, “We need to take her to the top level neonatal care unit.” And so they took her by ambulance to Shreveport. I was torn—stay with my wife in Tyler or go with our baby. Kathy said, “Go, do anything you can to help save our child.” I followed the ambulance. I got there and the neonatologist said, “Oh, it’s so good that you’ve come. Come over here to our isolette.” They set up a stool there. Her breathing was so shallow, so fast, so erratic. Her heartbeat was so fast and erratic. They had the monitors set up, and the doctor said, “She knows your voice. She knows who you are. Her eyes don’t work. She won’t see you, but talk to her. Caress her. Let her know you love her, and it will help her live.” For hours I sat there, and it wasn’t very long as I talked to her and rubbed her little arm that she reached out with her little hand and grabbed the end of my finger. Hours later, the doctor came by as I was still sitting there, and said, “Have you looked at the monitors?” Her breathing had stabilized. Her heart had stabilized. And he said, “That child is drawing from your love, drawing your security, drawing life from you.” How could I leave? I wouldn’t. Friends, there are babies who don’t know you. But thank God you are there as they reach out to draw on your security, draw on your love, so they may have life. Thank you for what you’re doing. Thank you for letting God use you as a vessel. My daughter Katie gave me this scarf and said, “Wear it, Daddy, it’ll keep you warm.” Thank you for being used for Life. It’s going to happen. You’re going to save those children with what you’re doing. Thank you very much.

Rep. Parker Griffith (R-AL): For 40 years, I’ve been a physician, trying to save lives.  Today, when you look at each other and you look around in the faces of the people who are here today, when you put your head on the pillow tonight and you say your prayers, you’ll know that you’ve saved a life as well. All over this country, you’re setting an example for America to stand up and be counted. I’m Dr. Parker Griffith, I’m from Alabama—the fifth district—and I appreciate each and every one of you being here. You’ll save more lives than all of the medical professions combined. Thank you so much.

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