Life Advocacy Briefing

May 10, 2010


Crist Twist / Tennessee Blocks ObamaCare Abortion Subsidy in State /
/ Still Unsafe in Kansas / UW Reverses Plans for Late-Term Abortions /
Another Risk in Aborted Baby Tissue Use? / Premature Collection? / Valuing Life
A Pass-Along for Your Favorite State Lawmakers

Crist Twist

EAGER FOR MEDIA ATTENTION& LIBERAL BACKING, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (I) is hinting he will likely veto major pro-life legislation heading to his desk.

HB-1143 would ward off the effects of ObamaCare on abortion coverage in his state by barring private insurers from including abortion coverage in plans subsidized either by the state or by the federal government within Florida.

Should he veto the legislation, Mr. Crist would become the first – perhaps only – governor to reject a legislature’s effort to protect taxpayers from ObamaCare’s abortion coverage mandate; the federal legislation provides that states may enact such protections for taxpayers within their boundaries.

Gov. Crist has claimed to be “pro-life” during his political career. He has also claimed in the past to be a Republican but has recently bolted the party to run as an “independent” in his state’s US Senate contest; by so doing, he has avoided what appeared to be certain and devastating defeat to former House Speaker Marco Rubio, running for the GOP nomination to the open Senate seat where appointed Sen. George LeMieux (R) is serving out the term of resigned Sen. Mel Martinez.

Mr. Crist continues to call himself “pro-life” but has said, reports Kathleen Gilbert for, “he may strike down the bill out of unwillingness ‘to impose my will on others.’”

The endangered measure would also require abortionists to offer customers an opportunity to see ultrasound images of their victims before the killing begins. Informed consent legislation is among the most widely supported of the various pro-life reform agenda planks, and enhanced informed consent – including the use of ultrasound – is known to be most acutely feared by the abortion lobby.


Tennessee Blocks ObamaCare Abortion Subsidy in State

TENNESSEE HAS OPTED OUT OF THE ABORTION MANDATE in ObamaCare, through legislation passed overwhelmingly in both houses of the legislature.

Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) refused to take action on the bill, which took effect last week without his signature. “A veto from [Mr.] Bredesen,” reports Peter J. Smith for, “would likely have been an act of political futility, as the measure … had passed the State House 70 to 23 and the State Senate 27 to 3.”  Gov. Bredesen, notes Mr. Smith, “is pro-abortion. …

“The law states,” writes Mr. Smith: “‘No healthcare plan required to be established in this state through an exchange pursuant to federal healthcare reform legislation enacted by the 111th Congress shall offer coverage for abortion services.’”

Tennessee’s legislature was the first in the nation to pass such an opt-out, but action by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) in responding to opt-out legislation passed by her state’s legislature put Arizona into the first-in-the-nation spot while the Tennessee measure sat on Gov. Bredesen’s desk.

Lawmakers in both states used a model drafted by Americans United for Life (AUL), reports Mr. Smith. “The AUL model ‘Federal Abortion-Mandate Opt-Out Act’ exploits a provision in the Senate health care bill [now law] that explicitly allows the state-run health insurance exchanges to prevent federal money from subsidizing health insurance companies that offer co-pays for abortion.”


Still Unsafe in Kansas

IN A HEARTBREAKING SHORTFALL, the Kansas State Senate refused Wednesday to override the veto of Gov. Mark Parkinson (D) of a bill to aid authorities in enforcing the state’s easily evaded curb on post-viability abortions.

The House had overridden the veto Monday in its second try. The Senate vote, 26 to 14, was one vote sort of the two-thirds necessary for override. “Abortion rights opponents,” reports the Associated Press (AP), “have said they did not expect to ask the Senate to reconsider its action.

“The bill would have required doctors to report more detailed information to the state,” writes AP, “about the late-term abortions they perform. It would also have allowed patients to sue abortion providers if they or their families had evidence that a late-term procedure violated Kansas law,” which limits late-term abortions to life/health-of-the-mother situations,” a protection routinely circumvented by the late George Tiller, who, until murdered last year, was the nation’s most notorious late-term abortionist.


U.W. Reverses Plans for Late-Term Abortions

A WISCONSIN ATTORNEY has discovered, via correspondence from the state’s Justice Department, that the University of Wisconsin has dropped plans to commit late-term abortions at its Madison Surgery Center (MSC).

The news came in a response from the Justice Department to a request from an Eau Claire lawyer, associated with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), for an official probe into the UW’s plans, which university authorities approved in February a year ago. Assistant State Attorney General Kevin Potter, reports Bob Unruh for (WND), invited ADF to contact the AG’s office again “‘should you obtain information that the MSC is in fact performing such services using state funds or if you believe that a crime is currently being committed.’”

ADF attorneys had sent a letter last year to the university’s health center, reports ADF in a news release, “urging it to cease plans for the program which posed a threat to the religious conscience rights of pro-life employees by potentially requiring them to participate in dismembering preborn children. The letter also pointed out,” adds the news release, “that such a program may constitute an unlawful state funding of abortion.” Some months later, notes ADF, its attorneys sent a further letter to university officials “regarding a memo they had distributed to employees that said employees would sometimes be forced to assist in the dangerous abortions.”

Wisconsin Right to Life executive director Barbara Lyons credited the victory to “many individuals and organizations [that] made this possible by their calls, letters, e-mails and presence outside the Madison Surgery Center. Special thanks and praise,” she said in a WRTL news release, “go to those who work at Madison Surgery Center who refused to participate in any way in providing late-term abortions and individuals who courageously changed their doctors and insurance rather than be treated at the MSC.”

American Life League president Judie Brown offered credit, in the WND story, to ALL affiliate Pro-Life Wisconsin, which, she said, “arranged countless prayer vigils, aired hundreds of pro-life television commercials, started a website and circulated a petition eventually signed by thousands of people.” Referring to those who manned “the trenches at the Madison Surgery Center,” Mrs. Brown declared, in the WND report, “‘Their unbelievable courage and faithfulness, even when late-term abortions at the MSC seemed inevitable, has been and still is such a source of inspiration to us. God has truly blessed their efforts.’”

Pro-life citizens and groups expressed concern last year not only that the abortions would be committed but also that University of Wisconsin scientists would promote killing developed gestating babies in order to harvest their parts. The University of Wisconsin is notorious for its ventures in bio-medical experimentation. Their concerns were not unfounded; Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, in his FRC Washington Update last Thursday, reported, “Through a Freedom of Information Act request, ADF had learned that the abortions were ‘designed to supply the school’s medical researchers with fresh fetal body parts for experimentation.’”


Another Risk in Aborted Baby Tissue Use?

THE USE OF CELLS FROM ABORTED BABIES for production of certain vaccines may be implicated in the rise in autism, according to Theresa Deisher Ph.D., president of Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute (SCPI), whose biography cites her as “an internationally renowned expert in … regenerative medicine.”

SCPI examines the manufacture of vaccines, drugs and cosmetic products with an eye to safety and morality; it proclaims itself a pro-life resource (

“In searching for an ‘environmental factor’ that could be related with autism,” reports Charlie Butts for, “a study by the Environmental Protection Agency pins 1988 as the year that an increase in autism was noted. That is the same year,” he writes, “a second dose of the MMR [Measles, Mumps & Rubella] vaccine, which included cells derived from aborted baby tissue, was being recommended.”

The human body will dispose of foreign DNA when animal sources are used in a vaccine, explained Dr. Dreisher in the OneNewsNow report. “But using cells of unborn babies, according to [Dr.] Dreisher, can have several results. She reports one possibility is that ‘the immune response can lead to an attack on cells, what we call an autoimmune response. There’s some evidence,’” she said in the OneNewsNow report, “‘that autoimmunity may be involved in the etiology of autism.’”

In addition to the MMR vaccine, others cited by Dr. Dreisher in the OneNewsNow report as having been cultivated “with the use of tissue from aborted children” include Meruvax, MMR2 and Chickenpox.


Premature Collection?

A NEW MEDICAL JOURNAL STUDY SHOWS ‘CARDIAC DEATH’ as standard for organ collection could be an insufficient standard vs. the time-honored practice of waiting for brain death.

“At a time when ‘donation after cardiac death’ (DCD) has become an important approach to increasing the number of transplant organ donors,” The Medical News ( comments, “a provocative new study shows changes in brain activity occurring in response to withdrawal of life support.” The Medical News cites the May issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS).

“Some transplanted organs come from living donors, while others come from cadaveric donors shortly after brain death,” notes The Medical News. “Society has become comfortable procuring organs from donors following brain death, because the person is believed to no longer ‘exist’ when the brain stops functioning. Donation after cardiac death,” however, “is a recently revived category of organ donation. These are organ donations from patients with unrecoverable illness,” notes The Medical News, “almost always in conjunction with severe brain injury. The key distinction,” states The Medical News, “is that these patients are not brain dead.”


Valuing Life

Commentary by former US Sen. Rick Santorum, published May 5, 2010, in The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Incompatible with life.” The doctor’s words kept echoing in my head as I held my sobbing wife Karen just four days after the birth of our eighth child, Isabella Maria.

Bella was born with three No. 18 chromosomes, rather than the normal two. The statistics were heartbreaking: About 90% of children with the disorder, known as trisomy 18, die before or during birth, and 90% of those who survive die within the first year.

Bella was baptized that day, and then we spent every waking hour at her bedside, giving her a lifetime’s worth of love and care. However, not only did she not die; she came home in just 10 days.

She was sent home on hospice care, strange as that sounded for a newborn. The hospice doctor visited us the next day and described in graphic detail how Bella would die. In sum, she could die at any time without warning, and the best we could hope for was that she would die of the common cold.

Karen and I discontinued hospice so that we and our amazing doctors, James Baugh and Sunil Kapoor, could get to work focusing on Bella’s health, not her death.

Like so many moms of special kids, Karen is a warrior, caring for Bella night and day and, at times, fighting with healthcare providers and our insurance company to get our daughter the care she needs.

Being the parent of a special child gives one exceptional insight into the negative perception of the disabled among many medical professionals, particularly when they see your child as having an intellectual disability. Sadly, we discovered that not only did we have to search for doctors who had experience with trisomy 18. We also had to search for those who saw Bella not as a fatal diagnosis but as a wanted and loved daughter and sister, as well as a beautiful gift from God.

We knew from experience that Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was such a place. Fourteen years ago, we had another baby who was diagnosed as having no hope, but CHOP’s Dr. Scott Adzick gave him a shot at life. In the end, we lost our son Gabriel, but we will always be grateful to Dr. Adzick for affirming the value of his life.

When Bella was three months old, she needed some minor but vital surgery. Some doctors told us that a child like Bella wouldn’t survive surgery or, even worse, that surgery was “not recommended” because of her genetic condition – in other words, that her life wasn’t worth saving. So we again turned to the Children’s Hospital and found compassion, concern and hope in Dr. Thane Blinman. He told us he had several trisomy 18 patients who did well – and so did Bella.

Next week, we will mark Bella’s second birthday. Over these two years, we have endured two close brushes with death, lots of sleepless nights, more than a month in CHOP’s intensive care unit, and the constant anxiety that the next day could be our little girl’s last.

And yet we have also been inspired – by her fighting spirit and by the miracle of seeing our little flower blossom into a loving, joyful child who is at the center of our family life.

Most children with trisomy 18 diagnosed in the womb are aborted. Most who survive birth are given hospice care until they die. In these cases, doctors advise parents that these disabled children will die young or be a burden to them and society. But couldn’t the same be said of many healthy children?

All children are a gift that comes with no guarantees. While Bella’s life may not be long, and though she requires our constant care, she is worth every tear.

Living with Bella has been a course in character and virtue. She makes us better. And it’s not just our family; she enriches every life she touches. In the end, isn’t that what every parent hopes for his or her child?

Happy birthday, Isabella!


A Pass-Along for Your Favorite State Lawmakers

Excerpt from e-bulletin from Americans United for Life (AUL), available to pro-life legislators at 1-312/568-4700

Don’t you wish that your state could simply “opt out” of the explicit federal abortion funding in Pres. Obama’s disastrous healthcare reform? If you think it sounds crazy, think again.

The war against taxpayer-funded abortion is raging at the state level, and Americans United for Life is on the front lines. When Pres. Obama signed the “healthcare” law, 50 new battlefields opened up overnight. Now, we believe we’ve found the Achilles Heel of the pro-abortion healthcare law: the Federal Abortion-Mandate Opt-Out Act.

This is the provision Planned Parenthood doesn’t want you to know about.

Here’s how it works: The new healthcare law requires all states to operate and maintain health insurance “exchanges.” And, as you know, pro-abortion insurance plans are allowed to participate in these “exchanges” and receive your tax dollars – unless a state chooses not to allow it.

That’s where we come in. AUL is working overtime in 29 states that have either introduced an opt-out bill to prohibit the participation of pro-abortion insurance plans in their “exchanges,” are planning to introduce a bill shortly or are laying the groundwork to introduce a bill as soon as their legislative calendars permit. …

How many lives will be lost with your tax dollars being used to fund abortions? How many unborn children could be “opted out” of abortion because of your willingness to take action?

[One action you can take, as a reader of Life Advocacy Briefing, is to pass this along to the pro-life state legislators you know.]

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