Life Advocacy Briefing

August 22, 2011

Appellate Court Strikes Down Key ObamaCare Mandate
/ Protection from ObamaCare on Ohio Ballot /
Conscientious Judges / Even with a Hostile Governor / Even with a Hostile Governor, II
Pushing Against the Tide
/ New Stats Show RU-486 Risk
Do the Math / Putting Perspective to the Numbers

Appellate Court Strikes Down Key ObamaCare Mandate

A PANEL OF THE 11th CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS HAS INVALIDATED the key ObamaCare provision requiring every American to purchase health insurance. The ruling came in a two-to-one vote on the Atlanta-based panel in a lawsuit brought by 26 state governments.

The Justice Dept. can now appeal to the full 11th Circuit or ask the Supreme Court to hear the case directly. Other courts have upheld the “individual mandate,” and the conflict among the Circuits could virtually force the high court to take up the matter.

The court ruled, reports Greg Bluestein for the Associated Press (AP), “that Congress overstepped its authority when lawmakers passed the so-called individual mandate, the first such decision by a federal appeals court.”  Mr. Bluestein goes on to call the decision “a stinging blow to [Mr.] Obama’s signature legislative achievement. … Many experts agree,” he writes, “the requirement that Americans carry health insurance – or face tax penalties – is the foundation for other parts of the law and key to paying for it. …

“In the Atlanta ruling, Chief Judge Joel Dubina and Circuit Judge Frank Hull found in a 207-page opinion,” reports AP, “that lawmakers cannot require people to ‘enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die.’”

Though the appellate panel refused to go along with US District Judge Roger Vinson in his opinion that the individual mandate is so fundamental to ObamaCare as to invalidate the entire statute, Mr. Bluestein describes reaction to the appellate ruling from officials in the plaintiff states as “swift and celebratory.

“Michigan Atty. Gen. Bill Schuette,” reports Mr. Bluestein, “called the decision a ‘huge victory in the fight to protect the freedom of American citizens from the long arm of the federal government.’ Alabama Atty. Gen. Luther Strange,” writes Mr. Bluestein, “called it a ‘monumental case’ for individual liberty. And Texas Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott declared,” reports AP: “‘ObamaCare is closer to an end.’”


Protection from ObamaCare on Ohio Ballot

OHIO VOTERS WILL GO TO THE POLLS this November to cast votes on referendum propositions including, thanks to a ruling by the state Supreme Court, an opportunity, reports the Associated Press (AP), “to reject parts of insurance changes” enacted in Pres. Obama’s healthcare takeover.

“The proposed amendment to Ohio’s constitution,” reports AP, “would keep people from being required to buy health insurance or face penalties. The federal [ObamaCare] mandate would go into effect in 2014,” reports AP, “when new competitive insurance exchanges are scheduled to open.”

The state high court ruling dealt with the sufficiency of petition signatures by which ObamaCare opponents have brought the proposition to the ballot. Petitioners filed some “427,000 valid signatures,” reports AP, “well over the roughly 385,000 needed to get the amendment on the Nov. 8 ballot. …

“Ohioans for Healthcare Freedom campaign manager Jeff Longstreth,” reports AP, “said [the ballot measure] will allow ‘voters to have a choice this fall [whether] healthcare decisions should be made by patients and doctors or politicians in Washington, DC.’”


Conscientious Judges

A STATE APPEALS COURT IN ARIZONA earlier this month “sided with state leaders,” reports Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in his Aug. 12 Washington Update (WU) , “in [Arizona’s] two-year battle with Planned Parenthood.” As a result, Planned Parenthood late last week announced it was yanking abortion out of its roster of “services” in seven of its Arizona facilities.

The appellate ruling was unanimous, reports Mr. Perkins, in a multi-faceted lawsuit which, to begin with, challenged a long-settled policy in most states: Planned Parenthood had argued, writes Mr. Perkins, “that requiring the [abortion] procedure to be performed by a ‘licensed physician’ was ‘an undue burden.’”

The lawsuit sought permission for nurse practitioners to commit abortions without supervision of a licensed doctor on the basis that such nurses are, writes Mr. Perkins, “the only staff available in rural areas. Even the US Supreme Court,” wrote Judge Peter Swann, who authored the opinion quoted in WU, “has allowed these restrictions ‘to ensure the safety of the abortion procedure.’”

At the same time, the appeals court upheld the Arizona parental consent law and the state’s 24-hour waiting period statute, which requires in-person doctor consultations, a blow to Planned Parenthood’s attempt to streamline its chemical abortions with the use of a webcam remote interview scheme called “telemed abortion.” Wrote Judge Swann, quoted by Mr. Perkins, “‘Courts have long recognized that eye-to-eye, face-to-face interaction is superior to videoconference.’”

The court also rejected Planned Parenthood’s attempt to undermine Arizona’s conscience protection provisions. From the WU-quoted opinion: “‘A woman’s right to abortion or contraception does not compel a private person or entity to facilitate either.’”


Even with a Hostile Governor

THE UNDERCOVER VIDEO PROBE OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD several months ago drew attention, apparently, even from state lawmakers in Illinois, whose legislature has not even considered pro-life proposals for the past several years.

Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn (D) early this month signed a new law, passed unanimously in both houses, adding abortuary staff members to the list of persons required to report suspected child sexual abuse under the state’s child protection law.

“‘No one can turn a blind eye to a child who is being abused,’” said State Rep. David Reis (R), who introduced the legislation in response to tapes released by Live Action showing Planned Parenthood employees in New Jersey aiding molesters in perpetuating their opportunity for abuse.

“‘The new law addresses a scenario where a staff worker at a clinic offering contraceptives suspects child abuse and fails to act,’ said [Rep.] Reis,” quoted in the Carmi Times. “‘This kind of silence perpetuates the vicious cycle of violence against innocent children,’” he said.

“‘Under the new law,’” said Mr. Reis, quoted in the Carmi Times, “‘volunteers to medical professionals working in an abortion clinic or office will be informed of child abuse reporting laws and know what steps to take if child neglect [or abuse] is suspected.’” The law, according to the Times, includes as mandated reporters “medical professionals such as a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse, medical technician, social worker or licensed professional counselor working in a clinic or location providing abortions, abortion referrals or contraceptives.

“Non-medical personnel in such facilities,” reports the Times, “shall be provided written training materials regarding child abuse and neglect under the law. Additionally,” reports the newspaper, “volunteers and staff shall be instructed to notify a facility’s mandated reporter if a child is suspected of being abused.”

Unanimous backing for this new law came despite a pro-abortion orientation on the part of both the governor and majorities in both legislative houses. Shame brought upon Planned Parenthood by the undercover video exposure forced the abortion behemoth to drop initial opposition to the measure when others in the abortion lobby abandoned their leader and endorsed the proposal.


Even with a Hostile Governor, II

MISSOURI CITIZENS HAVE ELECTED SUCH A SOLIDLY PRO-LIFE LEGISLATURE, Gov. Jay Nixon (D) has allowed the state’s new ban on late-term abortion to take effect without attempting to block it.

The abortion collaborator – who burnished his pro-abortion credentials as the state’s attorney general – knew a veto would be futile.

“‘[Gov. Nixon is] still pro-abortion,’” commented Pam Fichter of Missouri Right to Life, quoted by Charlie Butts in a story, “‘but he was dealing with the political reality that he was just outnumbered.’”  Ms. Fichter declared in the OneNewsNow report, “‘We have a very solid, bipartisan pro-life majority in both houses in the Missouri legislature, and they were all on board on this vote.’”


Pushing Against the Tide

THOUGH FAR TOO MANY POLITICIANS in recent years have claimed – and been credited with – a pro-life commitment while discriminating against some children because of the circumstances of their conception, one of the GOP candidates for President confronted the “rape/incest” loophole head-on in an Iowa debate sponsored Aug. 11 by Fox News Channel.

“Former US Sen. Rick Santorum elicited cheers from a crowd in Ames, Iowa, during the first primary debate there,” writes Kathleen Gilbert for, “for not backing down in defense of the right to life of children conceived in rape.”

Here is the transcript, released by Fox News, of the pertinent exchange between Sen. Santorum and Washington Examiner chief correspondent Byron York:

  • Mr. York: Our next question is for Sen. Santorum. In June you said, quote, “I believe that any doctor who performs an abortion should be criminally charged for doing so.” You would allow no exceptions for cases of rape and incest. Polls have long shown that large majorities of Americans support at least some exceptions for abortion. Are your views too much even for many conservatives to support?
  • Sen. Santorum: You know, the Supreme Court of the United States on a recent case said that a man who committed rape could not be killed, could not be subject to the death penalty. Yet the child conceived as a result of that rape could be. That to me sounds like a country that doesn’t have its morals correct. That child did nothing wrong. That child is … [Here he is interrupted by applause.] That child is an innocent victim. To be victimized twice would be a horrible thing. It is an innocent human life. It is genetically human from the moment of conception. And it is a human life. And we in America should be big enough to try to … help women in those terrible situations who’ve been traumatized already. To put them through another trauma of an abortion I think is – is too much to ask. And so I would – I would absolutely stand and say that one violence is enough.


New Stats Show RU-486 Risk

A RECENT GOVERNMENT REPORT OFFERS TROUBLING EVIDENCE, reports Charlie Butts for, that the abortion drug RU-486 is even more dangerous to aborting mothers than originally believed by the Food & Drug Administration when FDA regulators rushed the drug to market in the waning days of the Clinton Regime.

“Penny Nance, [president] of Concerned Women for America (CWA),” reports Mr. Butts, “says her organization ‘is deeply disturbed that the FDA is now reporting in a very quiet, underhanded way that this drug is very dangerous. The new report,’” she said in the OneNewsNow story, “‘shows that about 2,200 have been injured by this drug, and 14 women have died.’”

Mrs. Nance “issued a call to action,” writes Mr. Butts, “to contact the FDA and also Members of Congress to let them know that they need to put pressure on the FDA to reconsider their decision to allow RU-486 to be sold in the US.”


Do the Math

WE’ll CONFESS: WE HAVEN’t INDEPENDENTLY UNDERTAKEN to do the math, but we are intrigued by a report from a pro-life organization called “Invisible Infants” which claims to have computed the economic impact of decriminalized abortion and concludes that the US’s open abortion policy is “the source of our housing crisis. (We’ve killed all the buyers.) It’s the source of economic slowdown. (We’ve killed all the innovators and workers.)” And, adds the group in a news release, the impact “cascades out for years.”

Inviting readers to visit the group’s website at, spokesman Marco Ciavolino notes in his news release, “We have systematically removed more than 60 million individuals from our country – people who never had a chance to grow, innovate, produce, provide, buy, sell, love, grow.”

Indeed, it occurs to us that abortion may well be more devastating to America than it is or would be to many other nations on earth, for the very reason that individuals are so pivotal in our capitalistic system. Every life is indeed precious, and in America, every life has unbounded potential; consequently the loss of each life, too, is boundless.

But in case you think this site is about nothing but the hard facts of economic impact, be sure to listen to the moving audio dramatizing “the abortion choice,” as society terms it, from the point of view of a gestating little girl.


Putting Perspective to the Numbers

Aug. 18, 2011, BreakPoint commentary by Chuck Colson, copyright

During the Clinton years, 56% of Americans described themselves as pro-choice, while only 33% of us self-identified as pro-life. But in just a decade-and-a-half, the numbers have completely shifted.

According to the most recent Gallup polling, pro-lifers edge out those in favor of legal abortion by 47 to 45 percent. Half of all Americans agree that abortion is morally wrong.

And the news gets even better. Following a ground-breaking Nebraska law last year that bars late-term abortions because of the risk of fetal pain, five other states have passed measures outlawing nearly all abortions after five months of pregnancy. Legislatures in Kansas, Alabama, Idaho, Indiana and Oklahoma this year have enacted abortion bans after 20 or 21 weeks. The law allows for exceptions when the mother’s life is at risk or she faces severe physical impairment.

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, but liberal activists are shocked. AP reports that late-term abortion laws “have emboldened anti-abortion activists, angered abortion providers and will likely make decisions all the more wrenching for women affected by the late-term bans.”

Not one word about protecting the lives of babies or supporting the choice of pregnant women to save their own children.

Who is really on the side of women in this whole distorted debate? Well, most Americans aren’t buying the line of the abortion industry. According to Gallup, “majorities of Democrats as well as most Republicans favor informed consent, parental consent, 24-hour waiting periods and a ban on ‘partial-birth abortion.’” The respected polling agency says that 87% of respondents favor informing a pregnant woman of the risks of having an abortion.

Folks, in these contentious times, it’s hard to get 87% of the people to agree that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west!

Responding to this pro-life groundswell, state legislatures in 2011 have passed more than 80 bills aimed at restricting access to abortion. That’s up from 23 such laws enacted last year. These measures would variously ban abortions after the first detectable heartbeat, specify which drugs and equipment abortion clinics must provide, require doctors to conduct a pre-abortion sonogram and describe the unborn child’s features to the woman, or require waiting periods before an abortion.

Here is some more good news. According to the pro-choice [sic] Guttmacher Institute, 46 states now allow medical professionals to opt out [of] abortions. Forty-three allow at least some institutions to opt out. Thirty-six require parental notification or consent for minors. Twenty-four require waiting periods, 19 require counseling and 16 outlaw “partial-birth” abortions.

This whole movement shows us that we are able – if we’re patient and persevering – to change culture, and it should encourage us in the battle over so-called gay “marriage.” The battle for life continues, however, so long as 1.2 million abortions are being performed annually.

We celebrate our gains; let’s keep the momentum going. A pro-life party is appropriate – but not a vacation.