Life Advocacy Briefing

March 1, 2010

Imminent? / Overreaching Tactic? / Obama Tries to Trump
Forcing Secy. Clinton to Face Facts / Leading on Abortion Policy


THE PRESIDENT COMMENTED TO A REPORTER after last Thursday’s ObamaCare confab that he’d give the massive proposal a month to work out final details, but that may have been a feint.

The web-based news source “confirmed even before the healthcare summit concluded,” reports Kathleen Gilbert for, “that the majority party had already settled on a plan to begin ramming the President’s abortion-expanding bill through the Senate without Republican support.

“Party strategists cited by the Capitol Hill news service,” writes Ms. Gilbert, “confirmed that initial steps to push the health bill through with reconciliation, a tactic that allows the bill to pass with only a simple majority in the Senate, will likely begin on Monday.” That is, today.

“According to one official,” reports LifeSiteNews, “the point of the six-hour televised healthcare summit ‘is to alter the political atmospherics, and it will take a day or two to sense if it succeeded.’”

The “political atmospherics” can be altered in another way than intended if Americans redouble their pressure on their lawmakers and help them to see the light by feeling the heat. House Members and Senators may be contacted via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121 or via electronic mail at or Early and often.


Overreaching Tactic?

PRES. OBAMA STAGED HIS ‘HEALTHCARE SUMMIT’ LAST THURSDAY, playing host all day at Blair House to Congressional leaders from both houses and both parties, as well as their designees from among their respective delegations.

It was no doubt intended for the President to get back on top of this controversy, but, judging by the reactions and analyses of numerous pundits, that did not happen. A sampling:

CNN commentator David Gergen on Feb. 25: “The folks in the White House just must be kicking themselves right now. They thought that coming out of Baltimore, when the President went in [to the House GOP “retreat”] and was mesmerizing and commanding in front of the House Republicans, that he could do that again here today. That would revive health care [sic] and would change the public opinion about their healthcare bill and they can go on to victory. Just the opposite has happened.”

Charles Krauthammer on Fox News singled out Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), calling Sen. Alexander’s contributions “dazzling” and characterizing Rep. Ryan as “rapier sharp in rebutting all of the smoke and mirrors that the Democrats had presented.”

CNN’s James Carville added Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to the stand-out list. “First, in general,” he said on CNN’s “The Situation Room” on Feb. 25, “you’d have to say, by the most part, most of these people [GOP lawmakers at the summit] were pretty knowledgeable. They had done their homework. … I thought that Sen. Alexander and Sen. Coburn did great … .”

The Member who put abortion front-and-center into the discusssion was none other than House Republican Leader John Boehner (OH) himself. We publish a news release from his press office on ObamaCare’s abortion coverage at the close of this LifeAdvocacy Briefing. Included is a quotation directly from his summit statement on the issue.

Pres. Obama “declined to address the abortion topic,” reports Kathleen Gilbert for, “and dismissed [Mr.] Boehner’s general statements as ‘just not true.’ He also,” she writes, “accused [Rep.] Boehner of stalling the ‘conversation’ on the bill by simply rehashing standard ‘talking points.’

“‘John, you know,’ [Mr.] Obama said to [Leader] Boehner, ‘the challenge I have here – and this has happened periodically – is every so often we have a pretty good conversation trying to get on some specifics, and then we go back to, you know, the standard talking points that the Democrats and Republicans have had for the last year. And that,’” he said, reported by Ms. Gilbert, “‘doesn’t drive us to an agreement on issues.’”

Americans United for Life (AUL) president Charmaine Yoest “called it remarkable,” writes Ms. Gilbert, “that [Pres.] Obama refused even to address the abortion issue. ‘This has been his approach to the abortion issue throughout this debate: to evade the question or misrepresent the facts to the American people,’ she said. ‘There is a very simple reason for this: Abortion is the bill killer.’”


Obama Tries to Trump

JUST DAYS BEFORE THE ‘SUMMIT’ – and undercutting any pretense of interest in GOP input – the White House posted an outline of yet another starting point, constituting 11 pages of amendments to the Senate-passed bill. Though the massive takeover of the medical profession and insurance business is considered the President’s signature proposal, last week’s outline was the first version to bear the White House stamp; Mr. Obama has intentionally advanced his proposal throughout his Capitol Hill lieutenants, creating a legislative tangle with no clear direction from the man who claims the scheme as a major personal initiative.

We found in the statement of Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America (CWA), a good summary of the White House’s outline: “[Mr.] Obama’s plan is a re-hash,” she said in a news release, “of the Senate and House bills with a higher price tag and will force Americans to pay for abortions. It would put the US government in the abortion business,” she said, “reduce health care for patients, raise costs and create more bloated agencies.

“It puts each American’s health under the control of a federal commission,” Miss Wright warned, “that will decide what care we can receive. Americans who choose something other than a government-approved plan will be forced to pay a fine.”

Miss Wright accused the President of “pay[ing] off his friends with sweetheart deals, like $11 billion for ‘Community Health Centers’ that may be run by abortion provider Planned Parenthood. Cecile Richards, PP’s president,” notes Miss Wright, “visited [Pres.] Obama’s White House numerous times in the past year, starting on the day he was inaugurated, as the Administration was crafting its healthcare plan.

“Americans do not want to pay for someone else’s abortion,” she said, “and we don’t want abortionists getting rich off our tax dollars.” Amen!

Forcing Secy. Clinton to Face Facts

WHILE SELECT MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE & SENATE WERE VISITING with Pres. Obama and a few top bureaucrats in the ObamaCare Summit last Thursday, business continued on Capitol Hill.

When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to present the Fiscal Year 2011 International Affairs Budget, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) challenged the Obama Regime’s inclusion of abortion in the $590 million allocated in the foreign aid budget for “family planning and reproductive health.”

Rep. Fortenberry told the Secretary, “My conscience demands that I raise again the issue of including abortion as reproductive health care and including it as an integral component of our foreign affairs considerations. I believe this actually undermines our good diplomatic initiatives,” Mr. Fortenberry said.

“Abortion is not health care,” the Nebraska lawmaker asserted. “Abortion is so often the result of abandonment,” he said. “Women deserve better, and certainly taxpayers should not be put in a position of paying for it either here in the United States or underwriting it in our international programs. I respectfully request that you reconsider your position.”

Mr. Fortenberry added, “You have redefined abortion as a part of reproductive health care for the first time and overturned the Mexico City Policy which would [have the effect to] again underwrite organizations who would participate in the act of abortion.”

For his part, Rep. Smith, chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus, told Secretary Clinton: “The term ‘safe abortion’ is the ultimate oxymoron. Child dismemberment, forced premature expulsion from the womb by chemicals like misoprostol, deliberate child starvation by RU-486, can never, ever be construed to be benign, compassionate or safe. UN Millennium Development Goal # 4,” he reminded Secretary Clinton, “seeks to reduce child mortality. Abortion is child mortality.”

Rep. Smith went on to express concern for the health of aborting mothers, noting some 102 studies “show significant psychological harm, major depression and elevated suicide risk in women who abort.

“Recently the Times of London,” he said, “reported that, ‘[S]enior … psychiatrists say that new evidence has uncovered a clear link between abortion and mental illness in women with no previous psychological problems.’ They found,” he said, “‘that women who have had abortions have twice the level of psychological problems and three times the level of depression as women who have given birth or have never been pregnant.’”

Rep. Smith cited a comprehensive 2006 New Zealand study which found “that almost 78.6% of the 15- to-18-year-olds who had abortions displayed symptoms of major depression as compared to 31% of their peers. The study also found,” reported Rep. Smith, “that 27% of the 21- to-25-year-old women who had abortions had suicidal ideations compared to 8% of those who did not.”

And then Rep. Smith brought up the link between induced abortion and breast cancer, charging, “At least 28 studies – including three in 2009 – show that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer by some 30 to 40% or more. Yet the abortion industry,” he charged, “has largely succeeded in suppressing these facts.”

Rep. Smith’s full statement can be viewed via the YouTube Internet website at


Leading on Abortion Policy

Rare partisan statement on abortion policy issued Feb. 25, 2010, by the Press Office of US House Republican Leader John Boehner (OH). We thank Leader Boehner for raising the abortion issue in the ObamaCare ‘summit’ and thank him for authorizing his press office to issue such an extensive, definitive statement on the sole issue of abortion subsidization.  

At today’s White House “summit,” House Republican Leader Boehner noted that, for the first time in 30 years, both the Senate healthcare bill and the President’s “new” proposal will allow taxpayer funding of abortion. Boehner said:

“Let me just make one other point. For 30 years, we’ve had a federal law that says that we’re not going to have taxpayer funding of abortions. We have had this debate in the House. It was a very serious debate. But in the House, the House spoke. The House upheld the language we have had in law for 30 years that there will be no taxpayer funding of abortions. This bill that we have before us – and there was no reference to the issue in your outline, Mr. President – … for the first time in 30 years allows for the taxpayer funding of abortion.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) responded and claimed this isn’t true, but the American people disagree, as do a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives – most notably Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), who called the President’s proposal “unacceptable.”

Here are the facts: Pres. Obama’s “new” healthcare proposal would still levy a new “abortion premium” fee and use government funds to subsidize elective abortion. Just like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) 2,074-page healthcare ‘manager’s amendment,’ that passed the Senate in December, and just like the original 2,032-page, government-run healthcare plan from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the President’s “new” proposal levies an abortion premium and does not fix the problem of government funds being used to subsidize elective abortions.

Under the President’s proposal – released Monday and modeled after Sen. Reid’s plan that passed the Senate, according to ABC News – there is no prohibition on abortion coverage in federally subsidized plans participating in the Exchange. Instead the proposal includes layers of accounting gimmicks that demand that plans participating in the Exchange or the new government-run plan that will be managed by the Office of Personnel Management must establish “allocation accounts” when elective abortion is a covered benefit (p. 2073-2074). Everyone enrolled in these plans must pay a monthly abortion premium (p. 2072, lines 18-21), and these funds will be used to pay for the elective abortion services. The Obama proposal directs insurance companies to assess the cost of elective abortion coverage (p. 2074-2075) and charge a minimum of $1 per enrollee per month (p. 2075, lines 8-10).

In short, the President’s proposal continues to defy the will of the American people and contradict longstanding federal policy by providing federal subsidies to private health plans that cover elective abortions. The proposal does include a “state opt-out” provision if a state passes a law to prohibit insurance coverage of abortion, but it’s a sham because it does nothing to prevent one state’s tax dollars from paying for elective abortions in other states.

A majority of Americans believe that healthcare plans should not be mandated to provide elective abortion coverage, and a majority of Americans do not believe government healthcare plans should include abortion coverage. Currently, federal appropriations bills include language known as the Hyde Amendment that prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions under the Medicare and Medicaid programs, while another provision, known as the Smith Amendment, prohibits federal funding of abortion under the Federal Employees’ Health Benefits Plan. Under the President’s proposal, the new healthcare plan that will mirror the federal employees’ plan and be managed by the Office of Personnel Management will NOT be subject to the Smith Amendment.

Pres. Obama’s healthcare proposal is an affront to the American people and drastically moves away from current policy. The American people deserve more from their government than being forced to pay for abortion. The pro-life Stupak/Pitts Amendment passed the House by a vote of 240 to 194, enjoying the overwhelming support of 176 Republicans and 64 Democrats. The Stupak/Pitts Amendment codifies current law by prohibiting federal funding of elective abortions under any government-run plan or plans available under the Exchange. The President’s plan ignores the will of a bipartisan majority of the House and indeed the American people.

Healthcare reform should not be used as an opportunity to use federal funds to pay for elective abortions. Health reform should be an opportunity to protect human life – not end it – and the American people agree. House Republicans have offered a commonsense, responsible solution that would reduce healthcare costs and expand access while protecting the dignity of all human life. The Republican plan, available at, would codify the Hyde Amendment and prohibit all authorized and appropriated federal funds from being used to pay for abortion. And under the Republican plan, any health plan that includes abortion coverage may not receive federal funds.

Permission granted to quote with attribution. Reproduction rights granted only by express authorization.