Life Advocacy Briefing

January 30, 2012

First Life, Now Liberty / Reaction from the Catholic Bishops / March for Life
Occupying the High Ground / And Counting / Good News from Illinois / Stemcell Research
President’s Statement Celebrating Roe/Doe Anniversary / March for Life Speech Transcripts

First Life, Now Liberty

IN THEIR OWN TWISTED, DARK CELEBRATION of the Roe v. Wade/Doe v. Bolton anniversary, the Obama Regime announced Friday, Jan. 20, its new position on forcing employers – including religious institutions (other than churches themselves) – to cover contraception – including those which cause early abortions – for employees under their health plans.

Its new position is to delay the slam of government’s heavy hand until after the November election. Champagne, anyone?

Religious organizations – and some pro-life groups – had sought “a broader exemption,” reports Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar for Associated Press (AP), reprinted by, “that would allow them to continue [the] practice” of leaving contraceptive drugs and devices out of their group insurance coverage.

“The new rule” mandating contraception coverage “is part of a package of improved preventive services for women” under ObamaCare, reports AP. “Birth control is on a list of services that most workplace health plans will have to cover free of charge to employees.”

Religious institutions, by the generous and noble gesture of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, will not have to comply with the Obama Regime’s fiat until Aug. 1, 2013. Other employers – regardless of their own consciences – are required to offer “free” contraception coverage by August 2012.

US House Members are known to be seeking to derail the contraception mandate, and Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Jean Schmidt (R-OH) specifically denounced the Regime’s trampling of conscience – and the Jan. 20 announcement in particular – during their remarks to the March for Life rally. (See the transcripts of these two speeches, along with Speaker Boehner’s, at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing. Note especially Rep. Schmidt’s characterization of the conscience-trampling rule as an encroachment on the unalienable right to Liberty.)


Reaction from the Catholic Bishops

TWO LEADERS AMONG THE U.S. CATHOLIC BISHOPS spoke out against the Obama Regime’s contraceptive coverage edict during the National Prayer Vigil for Life, a US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) event Jan. 22-23 relating to the annual March for Life.

“From a human point of view, we may be tempted to surrender,” said Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, USCCB president, “when our government places conception, pregnancy and birth under the ‘Center for Disease Control,’ when chemically blocking conception or aborting the baby in the womb is considered a ‘right’ to be subsidized by others who abhor it. … When the ability of feeding, housing and healing the struggling of the world is curtailed and impeded if one does not also help women abort their babies,” added the Archbishop of New York, “one can hardly be faulted for being tempted to … just consider all as lost.”

The USSCB’s chairman for Pro-Life Activities, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, declared, “Never before in our US history has the federal government forced citizens to directly purchase what violates our beliefs. At issue here,” he said, “is the survival of a cornerstone constitutionally protected freedom that ensures respect for conscience and religious liberty.”

Citing an address to US bishops visiting Rome on Jan. 19, Cardinal DiNardo quoted Pope Benedict XVI: “‘It is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats,’” said the Pope, as quoted by Cardinal DiNardo, “‘needs to be appreciated at every level of ecclesial life.’”

Cardinal DiNardo tied the Pope’s declaration to the trampling by the Obama Regime on the conscience rights of faith-filled individuals and ministries. “His calls for courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public life and debate,” said Cardinal DiNardo, “have targeted the issues we face in our pro-life efforts, to defend those who defend human life and to defend their religious liberty.”


March for Life

THE MARCH FOR LIFE WAS HUGE last Monday, despite cold rain (described by one participant as heavy drizzle), a testament to the determination of the American people to reclaim the American way of life from those who have sought to subvert us.

Leading the parade of 37 House Members speaking at the March rally was House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), followed by the co-chairmen of the House Pro-Life Caucus, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL).

Next were members of the House GOP Leadership, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California, Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas and Policy Chairman Tom Price of Georgia.

Other speakers were GOP Representatives Steve King (IA), Jim Sensenbrenner (WI), Todd Akin (MO), John Fleming (LA), Trent Franks (AZ), Scott Garrett (NJ), Jean Schmidt (OH), Ann Marie Buerkle (NY), Andy Harris (MD), Jeff Fortenberry (NE), Mike Kelly (PA), Mike Pompeo (KS), Jeff Landry (LA), Sean Duffy (WI), G.T. Thompson (PA), Randy Hultgren (IL) and Louie Gohmert (TX).

Also GOP Representatives Tim Huelskamp (KS), Bobby Schilling (IL), Joe Barton (TX), Jim Jordan & Steve Chabot (both OH), Roscoe Bartlett (MD), Chuck Fleischmann (TN), Vicky Hartzler (MO), James Lankford (KS), Tim Walberg (MI), Bill Johnson (OH), Phil Roe (TN) and Allen West (FL).

We begin today to publish transcripts from Congressional speeches at the March in coming editions of Life Advocacy Briefing. We hope next year to be able to publish speeches by Senators and call upon the pro-life US Senators to participate in this vital annual event.

It was nice that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) released a statement Monday afternoon, but why no Senators at the March? Here is the text of Sen. McConnell’s statement: “Each year since 1974, lawmakers in Washington have been reminded of the dignity of every human life by the peaceful crowds that gather here from across the country to join the March for Life. We welcome their important witness to this fundamental truth of any just society and look forward to the day when it is reflected in our laws. The defense of human life in all its stages is a cause that both major parties should embrace, but until they do, there will be an even greater urgency for leadership in Washington that does.” Amen, Senator.


Occupying the High Ground

A YOUTH RALLY FOLLOWING MONDAY’s MARCH FOR LIFE was infiltrated, reports Ben Johnson for, by “around 15 to 20 pro-abortion protesters situated in threes throughout the auditorium, [who] stood and began shouting pro-abortion chants.”

Participants were asked by rally organizers simply to pray rather than react. Chants such as “Occupy anti-choice” and “As long as you harass women, you will be harassed” were joined by such familiar rhymes as “Pro-life, that’s a lie; you don’t care if women die,” demonstrating a marriage of sorts between the modern-day grifters’ movement and the tired old abortion furies.

Amidst a delay in the arrival of security personnel, organizers struck up “the first set of music,” reports Mr. Johnson, drawing “cheers [from] the massive crowd [which] drowned out the protesters.”

The incident could be seen as a microcosm of the forces in the larger abortion war; about 1,200 pro-life young Americans versus some 20 protesters. As organizer Jim Nolan commented to LifeSiteNews, “‘Get used to it; this country is pro-life.’”


And Counting

IF YOU’RE THINKING IT’S BEEN TOO LONG since the pro-life movement has published an updated abortion death toll, you may be in for a shock with the new toll compiled by National Right to Life Committee (NRL) education department.

Basing its estimate on annual counts of abortions reported to the Centers for Disease Control, usually via state governments, and to the abortion industry’s own Guttmacher Institute, NRL estimates 54,559,615 abortions since Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the companion case also handed down Jan. 22, 1973, which clarified that the late-term abortion ban supposedly allowed by Roe would be unenforceable.

Putting that horrific number into perspective, Dave Andrusko, editor of National Right to Life News, opined the toll is “so huge that we can’t really come to grips with it. But what it means is that there are over 3,300 abortions every day – 137 per hour – or about one dead baby every 30 seconds.”

That counts only the death toll in America and does not take into account the horrific carnage around the world, fostered in part by the depopulation fanatics in the State Department’s permanent staff and especially the Obama Regime.


Good News from Illinois

TWO ILLINOIS ABORTUARIES HAVE BEEN CLOSED DOWN following state inspections of the operations in Rockford and in Chicago-suburban Lincolnwood.

The state’s “increased scrutiny of Illinois abortion clinics,” writes Carla K. Johnson for Associated Press (AP), came “in the wake of revelations about a ‘house of horrors’ in Philadelphia.” The owner of that abortuary, Kermit Gosnell, is awaiting trial on multiple counts of murder; several of his staff members have pleaded guilty to similar charges and have reportedly agreed to testify against Mr. Gosnell.

The owner of the Lincolnwood facility “told AP her clinic was safe and she felt victimized by the surprise inspection after 15 years.” The owner reportedly agreed to close the shop and “surrender its license rather than pay a $36,000 fine,” reports Ms. Johnson. “The fine was for violations including the clinic’s failure to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a patient who died after a procedure.” And the owner complained of feeling “victimized.”

The AP reporter learned in pursuing her story that one abortuary in Chicago “has not been inspected in 16 years. Another in the suburb of Wood Dale was last inspected nearly 15 years ago.”

But perhaps worst of all, Planned Parenthood “clinics” are not covered by licensure in Illinois. So once the state catches up on its backlog, it will only have scratched the surface of the industry.


Stemcell Research

READERS INTERESTED in a review of stemcell debates and respective efficacy are invited to examine the current edition of The New Atlantis, journal of the Ethics & Public Policy Center. Find it on the Internet here.


President’s Statement Celebrating Roe/Doe Anniversary

Jan. 22, 2012, statement by Barack Obama, excerpted by Patrick Craine in; editor’s caution: Read while tightly rolling between thumb and finger a single grain of salt

I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right.

As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters.

While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships and promote adoption.


March for Life Speech Transcripts

Today we begin our series of Congressional speeches at the March for Life, Jan. 23, 2012; transcribed by Life Advocacy from recorded-live video

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH): Nellie, thank you, and let me say thanks to all of you for braving the elements today. I’m truly honored to be with all of you, and I come here today as the Speaker of the whole House of Representatives and the leader of the bipartisan pro-life majority in the United States House of Representatives. With your help, this bipartisan majority is standing up for Life and working to restore the damage with regard to Roe.

We are heeding the voice of the people, who overwhelmingly oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. The House has passed bipartisan legislation to codify the Hyde amendment across our entire government, and we’ll continue to press the Senate for a vote.

You know, it’s an honor for me to serve with men and women committed to protecting the sanctity of life. We may disagree in a lot of other areas – and sometimes starkly – but we are one and the same when it comes to this issue, because human life is not a political or economic commodity, and defending life is not a matter of party – it’s about standing on principle.

In that spirit, I think it’s important we take a moment to reflect on the first principles that bring us all here today. We’re blessed to gather on this national mall, hallowed ground, kept hallowed by the footsteps and echoes of the past. Here, one-half century ago, John F. Kennedy let the world know Americans would pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship to keep freedom alive and well. Like many of you, my family of Kennedy Democrats was moved by these words.

I’m from what you might call a big family. I’ve got 11 brothers and sisters. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for our mother to have 12 of us, but I’m glad we’re all here. And respect for life at every stage was instilled in us early on. My heart still grows restless at the story in scriptures that says, whatever you do to the least of My people, you do unto Me. No life is an island, and we’re all taught that. We’re all taught to extend a helping hand, especially to those in need.

So I’ve never considered being pro-life a label or a political position. It’s just who I am. And it’s not just that I am pro-life. It’s that we as a people are pro-life. If you’re like me, and you’ve climbed the steps on the other side of the tidal basin, you’re awed by Jefferson’s immortal words: God who gave us life gave us liberty. These two founding principles, life and liberty, are intertwined. Together they form the core of our national character; they comprise the standard by which the world looks to us. And when we affirm the dignity of life, we reaffirm our commitment to liberty and freedom. When we don’t affirm life, when life is cheapened, weakened, here or abroad, freedom is diminished. Here on this Mall, many solemn vows have been made in the long fight for freedom. You know, America is an idea. And our duty is to preserve its blessings, the first and dearest of which is life.

That’s why Nellie Gray marches on, that’s why all of you march on. So let us rise to Nellie’s example and raise our voices together in defense of Life. Let us pray that more of our countrymen, whether you belong to one political party or no political party, will join this noble cause.

God go with all of you today, and God bless these United States of America.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI): Good afternoon. I’m Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, the former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. One of the principles upon which our country was founded was freedom. Last Friday, the Obama administration took away a freedom by going against conscience protection. What this means is that people who are healthcare professionals or people who work in religious-sponsored hospitals will have a choice. The choice is their faith or their job. That’s not freedom. That has to be reversed, and we all will march on, talk to our elected officials at all levels of government, to make sure that is reversed this year. Thank you.

Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH): Good afternoon, pro-lifers! Pro-Americans! I’m Congresswoman Jean Schmidt from the great State of Ohio. And I’m here to challenge you to help me make sure that we are – and continue to be – the greatest nation in the world, a nation under God and God’s plan for us. On Friday, as you recently heard by my good friend Mr. Sensenbrenner, this Administration attacked one of the basic cores of what makes America great. Not only has our right to Life been under continuous attack for the last 39 years, but now our right to be the person that we want to be, the right to liberty. Ladies and gentlemen, young folks in this audience, that is the cornerstone in the foundation that makes us unique, unparalleled across the world. By removing the conscience clause, this Administration is now forcing us to choose between our right to be the person we want to be – to have a religious expression – and a job. I have to repeat that. We will now have to choose between our core beliefs – our religious beliefs – and in some cases, our job. The erosion is frightening. You and I have the voice to change it. I ask you to join me in that voice. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.