Life Advocacy Briefing

August 30, 2010

Judge’s Ruling Sparks Likely Congressional Battle / Stemcell Bills Awaiting Action
/ Public Not Buying It / Senate Fight Looms on Military Abortions /
Government Health Care on Display / Alaska Voters Have their Say
Cleaning Up their Act / Telemed Abortions Under Review
Kudos / Facing Reality / Raw Material

Judge’s Ruling Sparks Likely Congressional Battle

U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE ROYCE LAMBERTH BLOCKED last Monday the spending of taxpayer dollars under the Obama order forcing taxpayers to underwrite medical experimentation sacrificing embryonic human beings.

The Lamberth ruling invoked the too-long-trampled Dickey/Wicker Amendment, incorporated every year since 1996 in the Health & Human Services (HHS) appropriation bill. That amendment bars Congress from spending tax dollars on experimentation which destroys human embryos. The fact that embryonic babies have already been killed before a given scientist is granted our money does not make his experiments on those babies’ stem cells any less involved in the killing of the embryos.

“The Administration evaded the ban,” writes Steve Chapman in Reason magazine, “by stipulating that Washington could fund such research as long as it didn’t fund the part where the fetus is terminated.

“Judge Lamberth was not buying,” adds Mr. Chapman. “Embryonic stemcell research, he noted, requires the destruction of embryos. The federal prohibition, he said, ‘emcompasses all “research in which” an embryo is destroyed, not just the “piece of research” in which the embryo is destroyed.’ So,” notes Mr. Chapman, “any funding of experiments using such stem cells is forbidden.”

The ruling constitutes a preliminary injunction blocking the funding while litigation in Sherley v. Sebelius, challenging the spending, proceeds toward resolution. The judge indicated he had found a strong likelihood that plaintiffs would eventually prevail.

The ruling prompted the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to announce no new grants for such experimentation would be issued while the court deliberates the lawsuit, and the agency said grants for current experiments would be cut off at renewal (not immediately), unless the injunction is lifted.

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder announced his intention to appeal, his boss having already allocated more than $125 million of our tax dollars for this purpose. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-SanFrancisco) hinted at a fight in Congress this fall to strip Dickey/Wicker out of the now pending HHS spending bill.

With various politicians rushing to stake positions on this sensible ruling, it is critical that pro-life citizens explain to their Congressional Members and candidates that funding “embryonic stemcell research,” as the labcoat lobbyists call their pet boondoggle, is in fact taxpayer-funded abortion at the earliest stage.

Congress does not return to Washington until after Labor Day, so the most helpful calls this week would be to their district offices or their campaign offices. Contact information can be obtained from local library reference desks, the House or Senate Internet website at or or from the Internet websites of the various Members and candidates. Next week, calls are needed to the DC offices via the Capitol website at 1-202/224-3121. Electronic mail may be sent via the websites cited above.


Stemcell Bills Awaiting Action

TWO PRO-LIFE CONGRESSIONAL PROPOSALS would add permanent lawto the Dickey/Wicker Amendment and are worthy of pro-life backing: The Human Cloning Prohibition Act, HR-1050, filed by Representatives Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Zach Wamp (R-TN), which is a total ban on human cloning; and the Patients First Act, HR-877, introduced by Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and Randy Forbes (R-VA), which prioritizes stemcell research toward treating and curing patients by promoting adult stemcell research. Both bills are languishing in House committees.

Also pending in committee is a proposal by Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) to push embryo killing. HR-873 has 113 co-sponsors and should be vigorously opposed by all who claim to cherish innocent human life.


Public Not Buying It

A POLL RELEASED FRIDAY by Rasmussen Reports shows 57% opposition to taxpayer funding of “embryonic stemcell research.” Only 33% of 1,000 respondents in the national telephone survey, taken Aug. 25 and 26, indicated support.

A surprising majority (71%) of the surveyed voters say they have followed “the issue of stemcell research at least somewhat closely,” reports Rasmussen, “with 23% who are following very closely.”

Senate Fight Looms on Military Abortions

AMONG THE FIRST BATTLES LIKELY IN THE SENATE when lawmakers return from recess in September will be the Burris Amendment to the Defense Authorization bill. It is critical that pro-life citizens contact their Senators and ask them to strip the Burris Amendment from the Defense bill and to oppose the bill if the Burris Amendment is retained.

“Burris” – named for the Senate sponsor of the amendment, who incidentally was appointed rather notoriously by Illinois’s then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) to succeed Barack Obama – was attached to the bill in committee. Pro-life Senators are expected to mount a major effort to strip it. The amendment is designed to corrupt the military by making military facilities complicit in abortions.

It is important to recognize that this Defense measure is not the bill by which the troops are funded; it is a policy-setting measure which has been burdened with social policy corruptions such as “Burris.” Delay in advancing this measure will not impede or undercut our heroes; quite the opposite.


Government Health Care on Display

A HOSPITAL IN CANADA HAS WITHDRAWN FOOD & WATER from an apparently semi-conscious man, insisting on dehydrating him to death unless, declared the Ontario death panel, uh, “Consent & Capacity” board, reports Thom Redmond for (WND), “‘the attending physician hears Pastor [Joshua] Mayandy make a capable request for food or water.’” In that event, ruled the panel, the heart attack victim, who suffered brain damage, would be fed and hydrated.

Ontario’s provincial government, noted Euthanasia Prevention Coalition director Alex Schadenberg, quoted in the WND story, “is ‘$20 billion in debt. There are unwritten rules,’” he said. “‘One of them is that long-term care is simply too costly.’”


Alaska Voters Have their Say

ALASKAN VOTERS LAST TUESDAY APPROVED A PARENTAL NOTICE LAW which requires abortionists to notify the parents of a minor aged 17 or younger before committing the abortion that kills their grandchild. The margin, with 97.9% of the precincts reporting, was 55.49% “yes” to 44.51% “no.”

GOP voters in the Alaska primaries may have unseated Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R), whose mixed record on Life issues did not aid her re-election in the pro-life state. Though the contest was still ranked “too close to call” at the time of our deadline, her TEA Party-backed opponent, Joe Miller, was holding onto the lead.


Cleaning Up their Act

VIRGINIA’s ATTORNEY GENERAL ISSUED AN OPINION last week that the commonwealth’s hospital health and safety standards ought to apply to abortuaries. The National Abortion Rights Action League of Virginia, one of the abortion cartel’s trade unions, immediately launched an attack on Atty. Gen. Ken Cuccinelli’s commonsense proposition, demonstrating once again the divide between outfits like NARAL and the true best interests of American women.


Telemed Abortions Under Review

THE IOWA BOARD OF MEDICINE HAS FORMED AN AD HOC COMMITTEE to study the use of telemedicine, in the wake of complaints by Operation Rescue about push-button abortions.

In such abortions, the customer is never examined or treated by a physician but is “seen” by him or her across a computer monitor hookup. After engaging in conversation, the abortionist directs the customer to push a button, releasing an RU-486 abortion pill for the customer to administer to herself.

The shocking tactic is known to be employed by Iowa-based Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.



CONGRATULATIONS to Life Advocacy Briefing subscriber Patricia Bainbridge on receiving a People of Life award earlier this month from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities. For outstanding leadership and devotion to Life, well earned.


Facing Reality

Aug. 26, 2010, Commentary by Bradley Mattes for Life Issues Institute

Judge Royce Lamberth caused a stir by making Monday a particularly bad day for the Obama Administration. For ruling against the President’s attempt to spend federal tax dollars on embryonic stemcell research, the US District Court judge is officially on the liberals’ hit list. They’re calling him a “crazy judge” with “sloppy reasoning,” but you can decide for yourself.

Here’s the background. Shortly after taking office, Pres. Obama issued an executive order funneling millions of tax dollars to embryonic stemcell research. He did so in blatant defiance of the Dickey/Wicker Amendment, which specifically states that no federal funds may be used in research that harms or kills human embryos. Since 1996, Congress has reapproved the amendment yearly, so it’s hard to ignore.

Judge Lamberth rightly noted the conflict and, because federal law trumps executive orders, the court temporarily halted the controversial funding. Meanwhile, the lawsuit that prompted this discussion will proceed through the court system.

The judicial decision sheds light on two important matters. First, it reinforces that Pres. Obama’s famous executive order to exempt abortion from healthcare reform is also meaningless. As we’ve known all along, executive orders cannot override federal law. This case proves it.

Second, we’re seeing the true colors of embryonic stemcell researchers. Even though their work proves time and again to be a colossal failure, they’re indignant that we taxpayers would dare to keep our own money out of their labs. They are driven by greed, not science. While embryonic research offers no clinical successes, other scientists focusing on adult stem cells (cells used from your own skin and body instead of killing a tiny human life) are finding dozens of new treatments. So why does the Obama Administration insist on spending limited funds on fruitless research that ultimately devalues and kills lives?

The Obama Administration is already planning to appeal Judge Lamberth’s decision, but please spread the word: this deadly dead-end research must be stopped. As David Stevens, executive director of the Christian Medical Assn. and one of the plaintiffs in the case, says, “People forget that each one of us was an embryo, and if someone [had killed] us for biological parts, we wouldn’t be around today.” Scientists, of all people, should be quick to acnowledge that premise. Until they do, generations remain in danger of losing their lives.


Raw Material

Aug. 23, 2010, BreakPoint by Chuck Colson, copyright Prison Fellowship Ministries

You’ve probably seen them – most of us have. Ads soliciting women to donate their eggs for in vitro fertilization are everywhere: in newspapers, on the Internet, on college campus bulletin boards.

Most people don’t even think twice about it. An opportunity for young women to earn a little cash and do something nice for an infertile couple, and it’s all supervised by doctors. What could be wrong with that?

Plenty, according to a new documentary. Eggsploitation, a film produced by the Center for Bioethics & Culture, tears down the façade to show the dark side of egg donation.

The makers of Eggsploitation openly acknowledge that much of their evidence is anecdotal – because it had to be. One of their main points, in fact, is that it’s deeply disturbing how little data has been collected about what’s become a multi-billion-dollar industry. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2007 “in the United States alone, over 17,000 reproductive technology cycles were performed using donated eggs.” And yet, in this massive business, no records are kept and no standard follow-up care is provided for the young women undergoing this procedure.

And the procedure itself is far more problematic than those upbeat ads would ever lead you to believe. The women involved are given hormones to force their bodies to produce far more eggs than they normally would – and that, as you might expect, leads to consequences.

The young women interviewed in this film talk about suffering from strokes, brain damage, internal bleeding or infertility after the procedure. Some ended up with cancer, even those who had no family history of the disease. Others nearly died from complications of the surgery done to retrieve the eggs.

But the problems go beyond that. The women involved in egg donation are being exploited, essentially being turned into human commodities. “A woman has become a walking ovary” is how one researcher puts it in the film. The ideal woman for the job, a so-called “elite donor,” is one with a high IQ, a sense of altruism and a need for cash – hence the plethora of ads on college campuses. For all intents and purposes, these women are used and then thrown away.

They are providing genetic material for their own biological children, whom they may never have a chance to know. If they express any concerns or reservations, according to the young women interviewed in the film, they are pressured and even guilt-tripped into continuing.

And it’s only going to get worse because of the mania for embryonic stemcell research. It’s rarely mentioned by the media that all the eggs that help make those embryos have to come from somewhere – that is, from these young women who are not being advised of the risks to their own health.

“I urge every young woman I know not to do this,” says one young donor in the film who has good reason to regret what she did. We need to listen to her and other young women like her, instead of treating them like disposable objects in the fertility racket. Go to our website,, to find out more about how you can see this important film – and share it with every young woman you know.

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