Life Advocacy Briefing

July 19, 2010

Kagan Confirmation Coming? / Oops / Defending the Indefensible?
/ Why Wait? – Repeal ObamaCare Now! / ‘True Believer’ / Louisiana Moves Forward / Straight Scoop on ‘The Pill’ / Verify But Don’t Trust

Kagan Confirmation Coming?

A VOTE ON THE KAGAN SUPREME COURT NOMINATION is likely in the Senate Committee on Judiciary Committee this Tuesday, having been delayed one week by custom at committee Republicans’ request.

GOP Ranking Member Jeff Sessions told CQ Politics last week, “‘Fundamentally the nominee lacks the experience and intellectual rigor you develop from the full-time practice of law or serving as a judge. She’s had neither of those experiences,’” he noted. What is more, he said, “‘Her testimony lacked the clarity, the strict intellectual honesty that I think we should look for in a nomination to the Supreme Court.’”

Following are the GOP Senators who serve on the Judiciary panel: Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (AL) and Senators Tom Coburn (OK), John Cornyn (TX), Lindsey Graham (SC), Chuck Grassley (IA), Orrin Hatch (UT) and Jon Kyl (AZ).

And Judiciary Democrats: Chairman Patrick Leahy (VT) and Senators Ben Cardin (MD), Richard Durbin (IL), Russ Feingold (WI), Dianne Feinstein (CA), Al Franken (MN), Ted Kaufman (DE), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Herb Kohl (WI), Charles Schumer (NY), Arlen Specter (PA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI).

The Capitol switchboard is at 1-202/224-3121, and Senators can also be contacted by electronic mail via the Senate website at



THE NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE COMMITTEE (N.R.L.) HAS BEEN CHECKING into implementation of the high-risk insurance pools the federal government is funding state-by-state and last week broke the news that the $160 million the feds are sending to Pennsylvania for the pool would “cover any abortion that is legal in Pennsylvania,” reports, despite claims by the White House and self-labeled pro-life Congressional Democrats who voted for ObamaCare.

The White House, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) (who led those Democrats in their flip-flop) and a group calling itself “Democrats for Life” insisted that the report wasn’t true, but the fact is that the Obama Regime’s Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) specifically approved an application by Pennsylvania bureaucrats to cover Pennsylvania abortions. Effectively, the only abortions prohibited by Pennsylvania law committed on babies before their 24th week of gestation, reports LifeSite, are those “‘sought solely because of the sex of the unborn child.’” The law otherwise leaves it up to the abortionist to decide whether an abortion is “necessary.”

The overall tab to federal taxpayers nationwide for these insurance pools, reports LifeSite, is some $5 billion to cover as many as 400,000 people when fully implemented.

Commented NRL’s legislative director Douglas Johnson, quoted by LifeSite, “‘This is just the first proof of the phoniness of Pres. Obama’s assurances that federal funds would not subsidize abortion – but it will not be the last.’” Indeed, before the week was out, NRL announced it had found the same federal approval for abortion coverage in New Mexico.

Family Research Council Action’s senior vice president, Tom McClusky, told LifeSite, “‘Never have we so regretted being right on an issue, but this $160 million for an abortion insurance program in Pennsylvania validates the arguments FRC Action made throughout the healthcare debate: Taxpayer dollars will fund abortions. For our efforts to remove the bill’s abortion funding,’” he said, “‘we were called “deceivers” by Pres. Obama and “liars” by his allies. Now we know who the true deceivers and liars really are.’” FRC’s Tony Perkins covered the somewhat confusing ping-pong match of charges and countercharges in his Washington Update last Thursday; we publish Mr. Perkins’s commentary at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.

By week’s end, it appeared the White House was rather feverishly seeking to require its HHS bureaucrats to read its news releases from the day when the President pretended ObamaCare wouldn’t underwrite abortions and stop approving abortion coverage in the state insurance pools – at least for now. No question, though, that last week’s controversy demonstrates the need for statutory law to prevent taxpayer funding of abortions. Leaving the policy to bureaucrats and reassuring news releases just won’t do.


Defending the Indefensible?

THE OBAMACARE ABORTION COVERAGE NEWS BROKE just about the same time as the group calling itself Democrats for Life unveiled a new political action committee (PAC) to protect the so-called pro-life Democratic lawmakers who voted for the massive healthcare legislation despite its lack of an abortion funding bar.

Democrats for Life’s PAC, reports Kathleen Gilbert for, “will support the 15 US House Democrats who professed to oppose the [ObamaCare] bill on pro-life principles but then switched their vote at the eleventh hour, after receving a promise that an Executive Order from the Obama administration would prevent the federal funding of abortion in the bill. … The White House later admitted that the Executive Order served simply to ‘reiterate’ what was already in the bill” – which was nothing much.

In a particularly preposterous move, the Democrats for Life of America (DFLA) are calling their PAC “Whole-Life Heroes.” Some of the 15 vulnerable Democratic Members also were involved – along with overt pro-abortion Democratic colleagues – in phony “middle-ground” legislation pushing taxpayer-furnished artificial contraception as a supposed means of limiting the number of abortions in America; that legislation, fortunately, did not go far in the Congressional process, despite its backing by DFLA.

Commenting in Ms. Gilbert’s story, Nebraska Right-to-Life’s Julie Schmit-Albin “told LifeSite that it has ‘become pretty clear through the last two election cycles that DFLA have become a … provider of political cover for Dems of questionable pro-life record.’” The Nebraska pro-life force withdrew its endorsement of Sen. Ben Nelson (NE) after the veteran Democrat flipped from seemingly principled opposition to support for ObamaCare in the last hours before the bill’s narrow Senate passage last December. DFLA, according to Ms. Gilbert, “continues to stand behind [Sen.] Nelson.”

Among the endangered candidates DFLA is expected to be sheltering with its new PAC are Pennsylvania’s Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, who won her first term in 2008 with just 51% of the vote, and Rep. Chris Carney, who drew just 56% in winning his second term in 2008. The votes of these “pro-life Democrats” for ObamaCare just became less defensible with the unveiling of Pennsylvania’s ObamaCare abortion coverage.


Why Wait? – Repeal ObamaCare Now!

REP. STEVE KING (R-IA) IS SEEKING TO FORCE A NEW VOTE ON OBAMACARE even before the adjournment of the current Congress.

He is circulating a petition “to discharge the Committees on Energy & Commerce, Ways & Means, Education & Labor, the Judiciary, Natural Resources, House Administration and Appropriations from the consideration of the bill HR-4972 to repeal the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act.” The bill to repeal ObamaCare was referred to all those committees on March 25 and has not moved since.

Rep. King has reportedly collected more than half the signatures needed to force an immediate vote – at least on the discharge motion itself. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-SanFrancisco) would have no recourse but to call the motion for a vote if more than half the Representatives in Congress sign the King petition; that’s 218 Members, only a handful more than the number voting against the massive, unpopular healthcare overhaul proposal.

Rep. King told WorldNetDaily’s Bob Unruh, “‘Our discharge petition provides an avenue for repeal that even Speaker Pelosi cannot block. Republicans recognize,’” he said, “‘that a clean, 100-percent repeal bill is the best strategy for uprooting “ObamaCare” lock, stock and barrel … .’”

Both House GOP Leader John Boehner (OH) and Whip Eric Cantor (VA) have signed on to the petition and issued a joint statement endorsing it. But not all Republican Members have yet signed the document or even endorsed repeal of ObamaCare, despite their unanimous votes against it.

Readers are asked to contact their lawmakers (if not listed here) via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121, the House website at or their lawmakers’ district offices (contact information available on the House website or at local library reference desks) and insist that they pledge to repeal ObamaCare and immediately sign the Steve King discharge petition.

Thanks are owed to the 125 Members who had signed the petition as of July 15, reported by WND  ( Representatives Robert Aderholt, Spencer Bachus, Jo Bonner, Parker Griffith, Mike Rogers (AL); Jeff Flake, Trent Franks, John Shadegg (AZ); John Boozman (AR); Brian Bilbray, Ken Calvert, John Campbell, Wally Herger, Duncan Hunter, Darrell Issa, Jerry Lewis, Daniel Lungren, Mary Bono Mack, Tom McClintock, Gary Miller, Dana Rohrabacher & Edward Royce (CA); Mike Coffman, Doug Lamborn (CO); Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Connie Mack, Jeff Miller, Bill Posey, Tom Rooney & C.W. Young (FL); Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, Tom Graves, Jack Kingston, John Linder, Tom Price, Lynn Westmoreland (GA); Charles Djou (HI); Mike Simpson (ID); Judy Biggert, Tim Johnson, Don Manzullo, Peter Roskam, John Shimkus (IL); Dan Burton, Mike Pence (IN); Steve King & Tom Latham (IA); Lynn Jenkins, Jerry Moran & Todd Tiahrt (KS); Geoff Davis, Brett Guthrie & Harold Rogers (KY); Rodney Alexander, Bill Cassidy, John Fleming, Steve Scalise (LA).

Also: Representatives Roscoe Bartlett (MD); Pete Hoekstra, Thaddeus McCotter, Candice Miller & Fred Upton (MI); Michele Bachmann, John Kline & Erik Paulsen (MN); Gregg Harper (MS); Todd Akin, Roy Blunt, Sam Graves & Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO); Denny Rehberg (MT); Lee Terry (NE); Scott Garrett & Chris Smith (NJ); Howard Coble, Virginia Foxx, Patrick McHenry & Sue Myrick (NC); John Boehner, Jim Jordan, Robert Latta & Jean Schmidt (OH); Tom Cole, Mary Fallin & John Sullivan (OK); Joseph Pitts, Todd Platts, Glenn Thompson (PA); Gresham Barrett, Henry Brown, Bob Inglis & Joe Wilson (SC); Marsha Blackburn, John Duncan, David Phil Roe & Zach Wamp (TN); Kevin Brady, Michael Burgess, John Carter, Michael Conaway, John Culberson, Louie Gohmert, Kay Granger, Ralph Hall, Jeb Hensarling, Kenny Marchant, Michael McCaul, Randy Neugebauer, Pete Olson, Ron Paul, Ted Poe, Pete Sessions, Lamar Smith & Mac Thornberry (TX); Rob Bishop & Jason Chaffetz (UT); Eric Cantor, Randy Forbes, Bob Goodlatte & Robert Wittman (VA); Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA); Jim Sensenbrenner (WI); and Cynthia Lummis (WY).


True ‘Believer’

SUPREME COURT ‘JUSTICE’ RUTH B. GINSBURG DECLARED in a July 8 speech to the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, quoted by Kathleen Gilbert for “‘Over a generation of young women have grown up understanding they can control their own reproductive capacity and in fact their life’s destiny. We will never go back to the way it once was.’”

The LifeSite report further quotes the same judge’s comments a year ago to Emily Bazelon of the New York Times: “‘Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. … So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion.’” Maybe so, or maybe no, but ObamaCare clearly is set up for that purpose. If you don’t want to believe us or NRL, just ask the folks in Pennsylvania.


Louisiana Moves Forward

SOME NEWS COMING OUT OF LOUISIANA IS GOOD. For instance: Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has  signed three bills into law to protect distressed mothers and their gestating babies from the abortion industry.

One new law opts out of ObamaCare’s abortion Trojan horse via federally funded insurance coverage within the state; another requires abortionists to offer their customers ultrasound images of their developing babies; the third tightens enforcement of abortuary regulations.

Louisiana is the fourth state to bar abortion from the state high-risk insurance pool set up by ObamaCare and paid for by federal taxpayers. The first three states to opt out were Arizona, Mississippi and Tennessee.


Straight Scoop on ‘The Pill’

THOSE READERS WHO ARE CURIOUS about the actual functionings of oral contraceptives may view a 46-minute documentary at the Internet website

Exhaustively researched, the video was produced by filmmaker Trent Herbert and features Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Christian author Randy Alcorn and Walt Larimore MD, formerly of Focus on the Family.


Verify But Don’t Trust

July 15, 2010, Washington Update by Tony Perkins, president, Family Research Council

Yesterday, while I was on my way home from Honduras, the Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) was trying to cover its tracks on the $160 million taxpayer-funded abortion scheme in the Keystone state [Pennsylvania]. The Obama administration barely had a chance to respond to those allegations before another shoe dropped – this time in New Mexico.

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) had uncovered another money trail under the healthcare law – worth $37 million – in the Southwest.

According to Douglas Johnson of NRLC, “The Dept. of Health & Human Services has been hiding most of these high-risk plans. … Of the four state plans we’ve managed to ferret out, two provided coverage of essentially all abortions.”

Of course, administration officials (the same ones who vowed to keep taxpayers out of the abortion business) deny the report. But House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) isn’t buying it.

“In just the past 24 hours, we’ve learned of two states in which the new federal high-risk insurance programs created under ObamaCare and approved by the Obama administration will use federal funds to pay for abortion, despite promises by the White House and Democratic leaders that no such funding would occur under ObamaCare,” [Mr. Boehner] said.

How many other reports need to surface before Congress admits that the President’s Executive Order wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on?

The White House and HHS know full well that the Executive Order, which the President of Planned Parenthood called a “symbolic gesture,” does nothing to stop abortion funding. Even if it had some legal weight, it does not apply to high-risk pools. That explains why the government approved at least two plans that include abortion.

HHS did backpedal – first denying that it would fund abortions under ObamaCare, then tempering that direct claim with a more modest response that its plans wouldn’t cover abortion other than in cases of rape, incest and the mother’s life. If HHS didn’t want to fund abortion, why did it approve abortion in these plans in the first place? Trust but verify.

Meanwhile, the administration will have to issue guidance to its agency to block the abortion funding. But even that could change in the future, which is why Congress needs to pass a full ban on taxpayer-funded abortion [in a permanent Hyde Amendment], which is soon to be introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).

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