Life Advocacy Briefing

October 25, 2010

Sensitive Subject / Telling the Truth / Heroine Goes Home
/ A Blessing We Could Have Missed / Good Point /
Why It’s Absurd to Deny Abortion Coverage in ObamaCare

Sensitive Subject

A ONE-TERM DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN from Cincinnati, Ohio, Rep. Steve Driehaus, has taken political umbrage to an extreme level. On learning that the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) was planning to post four billboards in his district targeting his vote for ObamaCare, Rep. Driehaus has filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission, which is charged with enforcement of an unconstitutional state law criminalizing supposedly “false” statements about public officials.

Though the Elections Commission staff attorney recommended dismissal of the complaint by a “probable cause” panel of three Commissioners, the group voted 2-to-1 to proceed with an investigation which could result in a hefty fine and up to six months’ imprisonment for SBA president Marjorie Dannenfelser. The Driehaus complaint is an obvious attempt not only to protect Rep. Driehaus from the political implications of his vote for ObamaCare but also to stymie SBA’s campaign to expose at least six House Democrats who voted “yes” on the massive Reid/Obama medical care takeover despite its lack of protections against abortion coverage; all six are in districts whose constituents take their pro-life commitment seriously. In the Driehaus case, he has no doubt drawn even greater attention to his problem than if he had simply attempted to explain his vote.

SBA has now filed suit in federal court to have the Ohio law invalidated for its anti-First-Amendment effect, and last week SBA and its lead attorney James Bopp Jr. asked the court, announced Mr. Bopp in a news release, “to order the Commission and Rep. Driehaus to stop their investigation until the court decides whether Ohio’s ‘false statement’ laws are constitutional.” The law is so suspect that even the state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed an amicus brief urging the court to hold the statute unconstitutional and to issue the preliminary injunction against the probe.

Mr. Bopp in his news release called Rep. Driehaus’s complaint “politically motivated,” saying, Mr. Driehaus “calls himself ‘a pro-life Democrat,’ yet he voted for ObamaCare, a law authorizing funding for abortion. Now,” writes Mr. Bopp, “he is using Ohio’s unconstitutional law to silence his political opponent, because he doesn’t want [SBA] to tell the voters what he did. This is a last-gasp effort from a politician who doesn’t want to be held accountable.”


Telling the Truth

A PRO-LIFE CHALLENGER to Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) is using her campaign to reach DC-area daytime television watchers with the reality of abortion.

Missy Smith does not expect to win but “has stated,” writes Kathleen Gilbert for, “she is running for office ‘with the express purpose of running political ads on TV of graphic pictures of healthy and dead babies.’” Federal law bars television stations from censoring the ads of candidates for federal office.

“‘I killed two of my babies by abortion,’” Ms. Smith says in one of her ads, quoted by LifeSite. “‘I was told it’s not a baby; they lied to me; they exploited me. Then I learned the truth,’” she said, “‘and I suffered for years.

“‘And believe me, I am angry,’” she says in the ad. “‘My heart has been ripped out. Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Norton – they all support the murder of babies and the abuse of women by abortion. It’s time to make child-killing illegal again.’”

The GOP candidate issued a statement last Tuesday, reports Miss Gilbert, in which she declared, “‘This is an unprecedented opportunity in our nation’s capital to show that abortion is murder. When people see the images of these murdered babies, no one can believe the lie that these are not babies. … The abolitionists showed the horror of slavery; we must show the horror of abortion.’”


Heroine Goes Home

A TRUE HERO OF THE PRO-LIFE CAUSE, Mildred Jefferson MD, passed on to her eternal dwelling Oct. 15 at age 84. The pioneering graduate of Harvard Medical School helped found the National Right to Life Committee and served three times as its president.

“‘I became a physician in order to help save lives,’ she said in a 2003 interview in American Feminist magazine. “‘I am at once a physician, a citizen and a woman, and I am not willing to stand aside and allow the concept of expendable human lives to turn this great land of ours into just another exclusive reservation where only the perfect, the privileged and the planned have the right to live.’”

Petite in stature, Dr. Jefferson even in repose stands tall in her legacy to us. From our perspective as her fellow human beings, she fulfilled well the scripture’s model set forth in Micah 6:8: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”


A Blessing We Could Have Missed

INTERNATIONAL SINGING SENSATION SUSAN BOYLE HAS REVEALED her special reason for her determination to excel: When doctors failed to persuade her mother to abort her because of “risky pregnancy,” they did not stop there.

Upon her birth by emergency c-section, she revealed in her recently published autobiography The Woman I Was Born to Be, “doctors did not tell her mother the usual ‘Congratulations, Mrs. Boyle. A healthy baby girl’ [Miss] Boyle wrote,” reports Peter J. Smith for “… Doctors took a dismissive view of her life – especially when they suspected brain damage due to oxygen deprivation.

“‘“It’s probably best to accept Susan will never be anything,”’[Miss] Boyle recounted the doctors telling her mother,” reports LifeSite. “‘“ Susan will never come to anything, so don’t expect too much of her.”’”

When Miss Boyle released her first album in November 2009, after worldwide attention to her startling performance on British TV’s Britain’s Got Talent amateur performance program, “I Dreamed a Dream” sold nine million copies in six weeks, reports Mr. Smith, “making it the number-one selling album for that year. …

“‘What they didn’t know was that I am a bit of a fighter,’” said Miss Boyle, quoted in the LifeSite story, “‘and I’ve been trying all my life to prove them wrong.’”


Good Point

HERE’s A QUOTE TO REMEMBER when the Senate reconvenes in mid-November and takes up the Defense Reauthorization bill, which carries a pernicious barnacle attached by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The Burris Amendment removes the long-standing ban on abortions in US military facilities.  Dr. David Stevens, CEO of the Christian Medical & Dental Assn., notes: “In the military, when you get an order, you follow it. It’s very difficult to opt out of the abortion process in a military setting.” Especially when the Burris Amendment does not even provide for conscience protection.


Why It’s Absurd to Deny Abortion Coverage in ObamaCare

Commentary by Deal Hudson published Oct. 18, 2010, by as a reprint

With the decision of the Ohio Elections Commission to allow a hearing to decide whether the Susan B. Anthony List has falsely represented the voting record of Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-OH), the question is again raised: Was abortion funding authorized by the healthcare legislation signed into law by Pres. Barack Obama?

The complaint arose from the SBA List’s use of billboards declaring that Rep. Driehaus of Ohio’s 1st Congressional District had voted for taxpayer-funded abortions by voting for the  healthcare bill. If Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA, is found guilty, she could go to jail. Supporting Driehaus’s effort to imprison Dannenfelser are James Salt, policy director of Catholics United, and Kristen Day, president of Democrats for Life of America.*

Driehaus, by the way, had made essentially the same characterization of the healthcare legislation as made by Dannenfelser. On March 19, Driehaus was an original co-sponsor of HConRes-254, an “enrollment correction” introduced by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI). That resolution would have removed abortion funding from the Senate version of the healthcare bill.

The language of the final healthcare bill – “Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act” (PPACA) – had not changed when both Stupak and Driehaus voted for it and Obama signed it into law. Now, Driehaus is trying to send Marjorie Dannenfelser to jail for precisely the same view of the healthcare bill as expressed in his support for HConRes-254 – that it [ObamaCare] authorizes federal tax dollars to be spent on abortion. …

The evidence supporting the SBA List is undeniable. In addition to the witness of Driehaus himself (and Stupak), there are the multiple provisions of the legislation itself that authorize the funding of abortions. The best summary is found in the affidavit submitted for last week’s meeting of the Ohio Elections Commission by Douglas Johnson, legislative director of National Right to Life.

As Johnson points out in his affidavit, the provisions of the Senate version of the bill, ultimately signed into law, contained many of the same abortion funding mechanisms that the Stupak/Pitts Amendment of the House bill removed. (There were new, additional problems in the Senate bill.) Stupak, Driehaus and all those who supported the Stupak/Pitts Amendment in the House had full knowledge that those [abortion-funding] provisions had not been removed [when they voted for the Senate bill]. Driehaus and Stupak also knew of a similar amendment, offered by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), which was defeated soundly in the Senate.

Interestingly enough, when the Senate bill passed (without removing the abortion authorizations), Stupak and Driehaus, along with Kristen Day, fought hard against its passage in the House. They worked diligently from the time Congress returned in January until March 19th, when their objections suddenly and inexplicably vanished.

Here, Johnson provides an overview of the abortion funding in the 906 pages of PPACA:

“It contained multiple provisions that authorize new programs or expand authorizations for existing programs that are authorized to cover abortion, either explicitly or implicitly. Some of these provisions are entirely untouched by any limitation on abortion in existing law or in the PPACA itself, and others are subject only to limitations that are temporary or contingent.”

Those who deny this characterization must have been surprised when three states – Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Maryland – began the implementation of Section 1101 (42 USC sec. 18001) creating the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), also known as the “high-risk pool” program. Abortion coverage was explicitly included by these three states in this $5 billion program that provides coverage for up to 400,000 people.

After National Right to Life publicized the abortion coverage, it was determined that the coverage was not excluded either by the President’s executive order or the Hyde Amendment. On July 14, the Dept. of Health & Human Services released a statement: “Abortions will not be covered in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) except in the cases of rape or incest or where the life of the woman would be endangered.”

Nothing in the HHS statement suggested that abortion funding contradicted anything in the executive order, the PPACA or any pre-existing law, including the Hyde Amendment. In other words, the implementation of PCIP by these three states to include abortion funding had been authorized.

Johnson’s affidavit provides three other examples of abortion authorization in the PPACA, and even these are not exhaustive. In addition to the program of pre-existing conditions, there are federal subsidies for private health plans that cover elective abortions, authorization for abortion funding through Community Health Centers and authorization for inclusion of abortion coverage in health plans administered by the federal Office of Personnel Management.

Defenders of the bill say that under the premium subsidy program only private money will be utilized to pay for abortions. This is merely an accounting trick that still violates the Hyde Amendment. But there is a much bigger problem. The bill states that on the same day the Hyde Amendment is no longer attached to HHS appropriations, federal dollars may be used to fund abortions. This is an explicit authorization of abortion funding, which creates a huge incentive for Congress to put an end to the Hyde Amendment.

Johnson argues that any one of these four examples is sufficient to prove the SBA List was not falsely representing Driehaus’s voting record.

The biggest issue with the legislation, according to Johnson, is not the individual provisions authorizing taxpayer funded abortions but “the absence of any bill-wide restriction on federal funding of abortion. “In other words, what’s missing is the very amendment offered to the House bill by Stupak and co-sponsored by Driehaus – the amendment that never became a part of the final legislation.

Those who point to the protections of the Hyde Amendment or the President’s executive order, as does Driehaus, ignore the fact that they were already found inapplicable to abortion coverage in the PCIP. Hyde protections, which must be renewed annually by Congress, are limited to funds appropriated by HHS by the annual appropriations bill, and the healthcare legislation contains many new authorizations and direct appropriations entirely unrelated to the restrictions of the Hyde Amendment.

Let’s be clear. Those who look at the evidence of abortion funding in the healthcare bill and still demur need to ask themselves if they want to remain guilty of the same political partisanship they so often attribute to others.

*Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: The following item from the Oct. 15 E-Notes from Republican National Coalition for Life offers interesting perspective on the Democrats for Life of America: “… A group designed to defend anti-abortion Democrats has been noticeably absent from this election cycle. Democrats for Life of America PAC, according to Federal Elections Commission filings, brought in only $2,431 and spent a paltry $308, making no contributions to federal candidates.  The RNC for Life, on the other hand, has been vigorously endorsing and funding more than sixty 100% pro-life candidates in Congressional races all across the country.”

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