Life Advocacy Briefing

May 3, 2010

State Victories / Amending ObamaCare to Protect Life
/ Making Abortion More Plentiful – on Our Money / Vigilance Called For /
Cautionary Tale in the Age of ObamaCare / Facing a Challenging Reality
Human Pretzels / Quoteworthy / Why Abortion Does Not Solve Child Rape

State Victories

ARIZONA GOV. JAN BREWER (R) SIGNED A BILL last week to bar abortion coverage in the local healthcare “exchanges” set up to fund medical services under ObamaCare.

And in Oklahoma, both houses of the state legislature voted by overwhelming margins last week to override the veto by Gov. Brad Henry (D) of legislation to require abortion seekers to view ultrasound images of their intended victims before aborting their babies.


Amending ObamaCare to Protect Life

REP. JOSEPH PITTS (R-PA) LAST WEEK FILED HR-5111, the Protect Life Act, to explicitly prohibit taxpayer abortion coverage in the now-passed ObamaCare law and to add conscience protections to the massive measure and to provide that private insurance companies cannot be forced to cover abortion.

We urge our readers to contact their own US Representatives to ask them to co-sponsor the Pitts Protect Life Act. At our press deadline, the following House Members had signed on as co-sponsors and should be thanked: GOP Representatives Robert Aderholt, Spencer Bachus & Parker Griffith (AL); Trent Franks (AZ); John Boozman (AR); Darrell Issa & Daniel Lungren (CA); Mike Coffman & Doug Lamborn (CO); Gus Bilirakis & Vern Buchanan (FL); Phil Gingrey (GA); Donald Manzullo (IL); Mike Pence (IN); Todd Tiahrt (KS); John Fleming & Steve Scalise (LA); Roscoe Bartlett (MD); Peter Hoekstra & Thaddeus McCotter (MI); Michele Bachmann (MN); Todd Akin (MO); Jeff Fortenberry (NE); Scott Garrett & Christopher Smith (NJ); Virginia Foxx & Patrick McHenry (NC); John Boehner, Jim Jordan, Robert Latta & Jean Schmidt (OH); John Sullivan (OK); Gresham Barrett, Henry Brown, Bob Inglis & Joe Wilson (SC); Marsha Blackburn, Phil Roe & Zach Wamp (TN); Kevin Brady, Michael Conaway, Louie Gohmert, Jeb Hensarling, Kenny Marchant, Randy Neugebauer & Pete Sessions (TX); Jason Chaffetz (UT); Eric Cantor & Randy Forbes (VA); and Paul Ryan (WI).

Also, Democratic Representatives Jim Marshall (GA), Daniel Lipinski (IL), Travis Childers & Gene Taylor (MS), Mike McIntyre (NC), Tim Holden (PA) and Lincoln Davis (TN). All the Democrats co-sponsoring the bill so far also voted in March against House passage of ObamaCare.

Members may be contacted via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121 and/or at their district offices; local contact information for most Members is available via the House Internet website at or via the reference section of local public libraries.


Making Abortion More Plentiful – on Our Money

LEGISLATION HAS BEEN FILED in the US House to eliminate the long-standing Helms Amendment, which bars US foreign aid recipients from using our money for abortion, and instead, reports Terrence McKeegan for Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-Fam), “greatly expand international funding for abortion, contraception and sex education.”

The Global Sexual & Reproductive Health Act of 2010, HR-5121, is sponsored by Rep. Yvette Clarke (NY) and the following co-sponsors: Representatives Raul Grijalva (AZ); Lois Capps, Judy Chu, Susan Davis, Barbara Lee, Fortney Stark, Diane Watson & Lynn Woolsey (CA); Alcee Hastings & Kendrick Meek (FL); Janice Schakowsky (IL); Dennis Moore (KS); Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI); Keith Ellison (MN); William Lacy Clay (MO); Carolyn Maloney & Louise Slaughter (NY); Steve Cohen (TN); and Tammy Baldwin (WI). All are Democrats; only three serve on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, to which the legislation has been referred.


Vigilance Called For

STATE LEGISLATORS IN NEW YORK ARE BEING ASKED TO CONSIDER overturning the protection of “donor consent” in the arena of organ donation.

“Assemblyman Richard Brodsky has introduced a new bill in Albany,” reports Kathleen Gilbert for, “that aims to enroll all New Yorkers as organ donors unless they take action to opt out.”

We do not customarily report on state legislation until it is well along toward passage, which we hope this bill will never be. But having observed such policy changes abroad and growing pressure for more organ and tissue donation here in the US, we report this one in its earliest stages by way of warning. We caution our readers also to watch for such changes by regulation rather than legislation; depending on how relevant state laws are written, in some jurisdictions a statewide official or even a bureaucrat could have the power to make such a change.


Cautionary Tale in the Age of ObamaCare

C.N.N. WARNED PARENTS LAST WEEK that genetic testing of newborns is mandated by the US government and consequently is universal in America.

Citing a couple who were advised by their month-old daughter’s pediatrician that the baby “carried a gene that put her at risk for cystic fibrosis,” reports CNN at, the news network continues, “the Mankato, Minnesota, couple wondered how the doctor knew about Isabel’s genes in the first place. After all,” CNN reports, “they’d never consented to genetic testing.

“It’s simple, the pediatrician answered,” reports CNN. “Newborn babies in the United States are routinely screened for a panel of genetic diseases. Since the testing is mandated by the government, it’s often done without the parents’ consent, according to Brad Therrell, director of the National Newborn Screening & Genetics Resource Center.”

The news network adds that babies’ DNA is “stored indefinitely” in many states; stored, that is, in government labs.

“‘We were appalled when we found out,’ says [Isabel’s mother], who’s a registered nurse,” quoted by CNN. “‘Why do they need to store my baby’s DNA indefinitely? Something on there could affect her ability to get a job later on, or get health insurance.’”

Minnesota’s website claims that “samples are kept so that tests can be repeated if necessary,” reports CNN, “and in case the DNA is ever needed to help parents identify a missing or deceased child. The samples,” reports CNN, “are also used for medical research” – apparently without parents’ consent.

Newborn genetic testing goes back to the 1960s, reports CNN, “with testing for diseases and conditions that, if undetected, could kill a child or cause severe problems, such as mental retardation. … Over the years, many other tests were added to the list. Now,” notes CNN, “states mandate that newborns be tested for [as many as] 54 different conditions, and the DNA samples are stored in state labs for anywhere from three months to indefinitely, depending on the state. …

“The specimens don’t always stay in the state labs,” adds CNN. “They’re often given to outside researchers – sometimes with the baby’s name attached.” The story quotes a Minnesota researcher who claimed “if a researcher wants a sample with a baby’s name attached, consent first must be obtained from the parents.” But they do not consent to the testing and storage of their child’s DNA.

Isabel’s mother said she worries, reports CNN, “whether some someone could gain access to her baby’s DNA sample with Isabel’s name attached. ‘I know the government says my baby’s data will be kept private,’” she said in the CNN report. “‘But I’m not so sure. I feel like my trust has been taken.’ … [She] says she first lost trust,” emphasizes CNN, “when she learned that Isabel had received genetic testing in the first place without consent from her or her husband. ‘I don’t have a problem with the testing,’” she said in the CNN report, “‘but I wish they’d asked us first.’”


Facing a Challenging Reality

THREE BOOKS HAVE RECENTLY COME TO OUR ATTENTION which we think our readers would find of interest. Any can be purchased through the Internet website or requested in bookstores.

Waiting for Eli: A Father’s Journey from Fear to Faith by Chad Judice would be of particular interest to readers who are Roman Catholics. It tells, from the baby’s dad’s point of view, the heartrending and heartlifting story of a couple waiting for their handicapped son’s first breath.

Angie Smith’s I Will Carry You is the autobiographical account of a couple’s rejection of advice to abort their handicapped little girl, who lived a cherished two-and-a-half hours after birth.

And from Julie Makimaa and the Elliot Institute comesVictims and Victors: Speaking Out About their Pregnancies, Abortions & Children Resulting from Sexual Assault, “based on a survey of 192 women,” writes, “who became pregnant through rape or incest and either had an abortion or continued the pregnancy.” The book includes “personal stories,” reports LifeSite, “from 20 women who recalled their experiences and explained how the outcome of their pregnancy affected them.”


Human Pretzels

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO’s MANAGING EDITOR HAS ISSUED A NEW POLICY on word choice for NPR staff as it relates to abortion.

No longer may on-air news readers use the term “pro-abortion rights,” directs managing editor David Sweeney, quoted from a memo released by the taxpayer-funded network, though it is “acceptable to use the phrase ‘anti-abortion.’ …

“On the air,” he writes, “we should use ‘abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)’ and ‘abortion rights opponent(s) or derivations thereof (for example: ‘advocates of abortion rights’).”

We find this intriguing, as radio speech customarily is designed to be clear and brief in order to be easily grasped by ears of the listeners. Yet NPR is twisting its on-air speech into convoluted phrases, allegedly to “ensur[e] the words we speak and write are as clear, consistent and neutral as possible.” Wouldn’t “pro-life” vs. “pro-abortion” – or even “anti-abortion” vs. “pro-abortion” – better achieve that stated goal?



North Dakota activist Daniel Woodard, head of the state’s Stop Decapitation Network promoting a ballot initiative to bar physicians from decapitating living preborn boys and girls and crushing their skulls, quoted by “The barbarians of old were not even as savage as some abortion ‘doctors.’”


Why Abortion Does Not Solve Child Rape

April 26, 2010, commentary by Colin Mason and Steven W. Mosher for Population Research Institute (PRI)

There is no tragedy that the abortion movement does not seek to turn to its own advantage.

Consider the case of a young girl in Quintana Roo, Mexico, who was raped by her supposed stepfather and impregnated at the tender age of 10. After the girl’s mother belatedly notified the authorities, she is now, at nearly 18 weeks of pregnancy, receiving proper medical care. The offending rapist has since been arrested.

We should all decry the horrific sexual abuse that led to this pregnancy. But the abortion movement, led by radical feminists, wants to go further. They claim that the girl should be given an abortion, even though the Mexican state in which she lives, Quintana Roo, forbids all abortions after 90 days of gestation. The underlying problem here, they insist, is that Mexican girls are not properly informed of their “right” to an abortion in case of rape before 90 days gestation, and that they are not allowed to receive one after that point. According to them, Mexico’s abortion laws must be relaxed.

According to CNN, which in its story on this child rape only interviewed abortion advocates: “This girl is much more than an isolated case,” said Adriana Ortiz-Ortega, a researcher at Mexico’s National Autonomous University who has written two books on abortion in Mexico, “and there is much more influence now from conservative groups that are trying to prevent the legalization of abortion.”

Child protective services officials in Quintana Roo said in a statement last week that the girl and the fetus were in good health.

But Quintana Roo state legislator Maria Hadad said the girl’s doctors aren’t telling the whole story. She said continuing the pregnancy could cause severe mental and physical health problems for the girl. “It’s not just a high-risk pregnancy. It’s a pregnancy that puts the girl at risk,” Hadad told Mexican broadcaster Channel 10 in Chetumal, Mexico.

This girl has surely been horrifically damaged by what has been done to her, but will subjecting her to an abortion – as Maria Hadad advocates – somehow begin to “repair” this damage? Obviously not, as any person who is truly concerned about the welfare of the girl would conclude. It would only add tragedy to tragedy. And why would Hadad attack the girl’s doctors, going so far as to suggest that they may be involved in a cover-up? The reason is that Hadad and others like her are not the least bit concerned about the girl as a person. The victim is only a political tool, whose pain can be commoditized to advocate the legalization of abortion on demand. That there is another tiny person involved does not even enter into their calculations.

The political gamesmanship around this case distracts the public from the underlying problem: the family background and pedophilia that allowed a young girl to not only be raped, but also impregnated by her supposed “stepfather.”

According to Christine DeVollmer, president of the Latin American Alliance for the Family, a girl this young was unlikely to become pregnant from a single instance of rape. It is common, DeVollmer said, for “everybody to live in the same little house and sleep in the same bed. And of course all kinds of things happen there, unfortunately including to children. As the bodies of these little girls are stimulated, they begin to ovulate and become pregnant at some point.” As far as the so-called “stepfather” is concerned, this is often just a man who lives in the home with the mother and her children “without any serious commitment.”

According to DeVollmer, the legalization of abortion will only serve to further enable child rape, since “the visible consequences (of rape) will be taken away. It would be more objective, engaging and caring to prevent or correct these very common and dangerous situations of promiscuity to young girls before it’s too late. How can politicians rend their garments over these pregnancies and at the same time turn a blind eye to the sexual abuse that goes on daily in broken homes? If nothing is done to stop the abuse, it can only end in pregnancy.”

Carlos Polo, head of PRI’s Latin American office, noted to Catholic News Agency that the abortion lobbyists are using such tragedies to advance abortion on demand. These activists are “absolute vultures,” who seize upon such cases for their propaganda value, arguing that [the] only way to save the lives of women and girls in such circumstances is to “legalize so-called ‘therapeutic abortion.” Polo said to PRI that “they care nothing about the girl herself and abandon her as soon as they are done using her.”

The proper approach to such tragedies involves a consistent ethic of Life. The crime of abortion cannot cancel out the crime of rape, as the radical feminists in effect argue. The rape can never be undone, nor can the girl ever return to her prior innocent state.

Yet the innocent human life inside her womb – however sad the circumstance under which [he or she] was conceived – can be preserved and protected, as well as the girl herself.

Only a consistent ethic of Life will insist on the right of prepubescent girls not to be sexually abused; at the same time, it will trumpet the right of a tiny unborn human to live. Any other position betrays them both.

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