Life Advocacy Briefing

February 20, 2012

Major Pro-Life PAC Backs Santorum / Congressional Remedies / Lawsuit Filed, Too / Ricochet
Even Spain is Getting it Right / Greater Service / Everything is at Stake
March for Life Speech Transcripts

Major Pro-Life PAC Backs Santorum

THE SUSAN B. ANTHONY LIST (SBA) pro-life political action committee last week endorsed former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum for the Republican Presidential nomination. The move was the first SBA endorsement in any Presidential contest.

In the Feb. 17 news release announcing the endorsement, the organization declared, “One [GOP Presidential candidate] stands out as a proven leader in this great human and civil rights cause of our time.

“Rick Santorum communicates the vision and has exhibited the strategic and tactical prowess the pro-life movement must have in order to succeed,” the group said. “Women and children deserve his leadership, grounded as it is in affirming the dignity of every person. …

“‘Each one of the candidates in the Republican Presidential field[has] made a commitment to be a pro-life President,’” said SBA board chairman Jane Abraham. “‘However, none of them [has] the record of consistent leadership that Rick Santorum has demonstrated. At this critical moment in the race,’” she added, “‘our board of directors unanimously decided that we must stand with Rick Santorum, the candidate who throughout his career has stood so strongly for Life.’”

Mr. Santorum was Senate sponsor of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, as well as other key pro-life proposals. He served two terms in the US Senate after two terms in the House from a Pittsburgh-area district.


Congressional Remedies

REP. JEFF FORTENBERRY (R-NE) & SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO) ALREADY had bills in process on Jan. 20, when the White House announced the Obama Regime’s refusal to exclude conscientiously objecting employers – aside from churches themselves – from the mandated insurance coverage of sterilization and contraception, including abortifacient drugs.

HR-1179, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, was filed in March, 2011, and assigned to the Health Subcommittee of the Committee on Energy & Commerce. The measure boasts 209 co-sponsors as of last Friday, including several Democratic Members. More than half the co-sponsors have signed on since Jan. 20.

The bill’s companion legislation in the Senate, S-1467, was filed in August last year by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and is pending in the Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions. It is co-sponsored by 37 Senators, 14 of whom added their names since Jan. 20. Only one, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, is a Democrat.

Sen. Blunt additionally has been offering an amendment on the Senate floor to have the issue debated more immediately. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) blocked his initial such effort but has since indicated he would permit debate on the Blunt amendment in order to dispose of it.

Readers are asked to call Senators now (1-202/224-3121) to urge backing for the Blunt Amendment for Conscience Rights.


Lawsuit Filed, Too

PRIESTS FOR LIFE HAS FILED SUIT AGAINST THE OBAMA REGIME, seeking to block implementation of the recently adopted regulation forcing employers to cover sterilization and contraception – including abortifacient drugs – in group health insurance policies.

The suit “seeks injunctive relief,” according to a Priests for Life news release, “from the ‘forced speech’ aspect” of the new regulation. “According to the Health & Human Services (HHS) regulations,” notes the release, “virtually all US employers will not only be forced to pay for 100% of an employee’s prescription for abortion-causing drugs but also be forced to instruct the employee on how to obtain these morally objectionable prescriptions and get them for free. …

“‘No matter what religion someone professes,’” commented Priests for Life director Fr. Frank Pavone in the release, “ ‘requiring them to instruct their employees how to obtain abortion-inducing drugs – whether this instruction is given by them or someone they hire – is an outrage, not to mention an egregious violation of civil rights and constitutional protections. We will not allow the Obama Administration to get away with this.’”

The news release further notes that the “accommodations” offered by the President in response to the uproar over the new rule “have not been translated into policy. At this point,” notes the release, “they are simply a Presidential speech.” Following that speech, HHS put the rule into effect without any modification to reflect Mr. Obama’s supposed assurances.



THOUGH POLICY CHANGES FREQUENTLY BUBBLE UP from the states to Washington, the current controversy over the Obama Regime’s violation of religious liberty and conscience is going the other way.

Among the excuses being offered by Regime spokesmen is that some 30 states have already put in place an insurance coverage mandate for contraception and that those mandates do not have conscience protections for employers.

Insurance regulation is usually handled at the state level, and mandates – in many states – are routine. This one, though, should not have been routine, and in at least one state we are aware of, it was a major controversy at the time it happened.

Now state lawmakers across America are checking their states’ laws and regulations, and some who are finding the obnoxious mandate are proposing legislation to excise it from state policy.

We urge more to do so and perhaps to rethink some of their other mandates at the same time. And we encourage our readers to contact their state legislators about this concern. Whether from Washington or the state capitol, this mandate is a subsidy for Planned Parenthood – which bills insurance companies, not just taxpayers, for its “services” – and a wrong-headed approach to either family or economic policy.


Even Spain is Getting it Right

A PHYSICIAN IN SPAIN LAST WEEK PREVAILED in litigation seeking respect for his right to abstain from committing or participating in abortions on the ground of conscience.

A superior court in Andalusia overruled a lower court last Wednesday which had, reports Matthew Cullinan Hoffman for, “denied conscientious objector protection to Dr. Manuel Resa, a primary care physician who has accused his superior of attempting to force him to participate in abortions.”

Dr. Resa is one of nearly 40 primary care physicians who have been denied a right to object by the Andalusian Health Service.

A news release from the Assn. for the Defense of the Right to Objection ofConscience, notes Mr. Hoffman, called the ruling “‘another step towards the recognition of this right. … This case is significant,’” the association noted in the release, “‘because the court of first instance … [had] believed  that the objection could not prevail over the right to medical attention by those who request abortion.’” But the higher court disagreed.

The appellate ruling follows a late January verdict of the Supreme Tribunal of Spain against a couple, writes Mr. Hoffman, “who claimed that doctors had denied them their ‘right’ to an abortion by failing to inform them about deformities in their unborn child.” The case was not so clear-cut, however, because the Tribunal based its ruling on what it perceived to be lack of severity in the child’s deformities.

Doctors in Spain, reports Mr. Hoffman, have been “engaged in a struggle to establish the right of conscientious objection” since passage of an abortion decriminalization law in 2010 by the then ruling Socialist Workers’ Party.

“Conservatives trounced the Socialists under Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero,” reports AgenceFrance Presse (AFP), “in general elections in November.”

Editor’s Note: UNESCO-funded academics at the University of Barcelona are now seeking to set up a national registry of conscientious doctors, reports Jeanne Smits for, “in order to ‘improve’ women’s access to ‘pregnancy termination’” – read, in order to intimidate them into complying with Spain’s new regime of abortion. Those who already understand that they will answer to God for committing such unspeakable acts will, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer before the Nazis, choose to obey Him rather than such petty tyrants as UN-tied secularists.


Greater Service

THE TOLL-FREE TELEPHONE NUMBER OFFERED DISTRESSED MOMS is no longer to be offered as a joint operation by the Care Net pregnancy center network and Heartbeat International.

“Since commencing services in 2003,” the two organizations noted in a joint news release, Option Line “has served more than 1.5 million people, connecting them directly or referring them to the pregnancy help networks” of the two ministries. But as of last week, each organization will offer its own service.

Heartbeat International will continue to use the name Option Line and offer its intervention service through the toll-free number 1-800/712-HELP (4357). And Heartbeat will operate an Internet website at

Care Net’s toll-free number is now 1-800/395-HELP (4357); its outreach is now operating under the name Pregnancy Decision Line; the website will launch soon at

“This move allows each organization to respond quickly to challenges and opportunities in our own areas of strength,” the group’s asserted in their news release. “We anticipate that even more lives will be saved as both Care Net and Heartbeat International work vigorously to reach those in need.” The two groups pledged continued cooperation and collaboration in serving America’s families.


Everything is at Stake

Feb. 15, 2012, BreakPoint with Chuck Colson, copyright Prison Fellowship Ministries

… You know by now that the Catholic bishops have strongly rejected the President’s so-called “accommodation” to exempt religious organizations from paying for abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization.

Good for the bishops. What the President outlined changed nothing: Religious organizations will still have to provide insurance that covers services that violate their religious beliefs, even if they don’t have to pay for them directly.

Now why does this matter? Why is it really such a big deal? The Administration is hoping you will think this is all about contraception, which not many people, even the majority of Catholics, care that much about. But this is not about contraception. This battle is all about religious freedom – the first and most important of all our freedoms.

As Christians, we know that freedom is the natural condition of human beings because we were created in God’s image. God, Who enjoys perfect freedom, respected Adam and Eve’s freedom in the Garden.

Even the Deist, Thomas Jefferson, author of Virginia’s statute of religious freedom, wrote that “Almighty God hath created the mind free.” Jefferson rejected “all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations.” And he recognized that although “the Holy Author of our religion” had the power to constrain freedom, He chose not to. And to restrict religious freedom was a “departure from” God’s plan.

Our founding fathers – even those who weren’t Christians – believed, as I do, that without freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, all of our other freedoms aren’t worth the paper they are written on. If government can dictate what we may or may not believe, or how we may or may not live out our beliefs, then we are no longer a free people.

I say this not just because I am a Christian; I say it as a student of the American founding. I can plainly read what the founders said. James Madison, the fourth President and “father of the Constitution” believed “that religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence” – and not by the “dictates of other men” or by “civil society.”

It’s shocking that the leaders of our nation so callously disregard our history, our heritage, our rights. We must not remain silent. We must speak out – reintroduce our neighbors and our leaders to the foundational beliefs of the American Experiment. …

Governments do restrict and do deny freedom of religion. But those that do are not called free democracies. They are called authoritarian dictatorships, which is exactly what we will be living under if we lose this fight.


March for Life Speech Transcripts

Continuing our series of Congressional speeches at the March for Life, Jan. 23, 2012; transcribed by Life Advocacy from recorded-live video. Our speakers today are Representatives Steve King, Todd Akin and John Fleming MD

Rep. Steve King (R-IA): Hello, I’m Congressman Steve King of Iowa. Hello, pro-life America! You fill this Mall as far as the eye can see today. This is the 39th year. 53 million American babies aborted. Millions of you come to this Mall every year. Younger and younger every year. And more and more do you march and do you pray for Life. And now I see that over the last year, 24 states have passed 92 pieces of legislation to protect Life. It’s a new milestone. And when you go back home and you talk to your friends and your relatives, tell them there are two things you need to know: Ask Question Number One, is human life sacred in all of its forms? Is it sacred? And what instant does life begin? Conception! God bless you. Keep marching; keep praying. We’re going to come back here to celebrate the end of Roe versus Wade.

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO): Good afternoon, pro-lifers. I’m Congressman Todd Akin from the State of Missouri. This is my twelfth annual chance to join you in rain or shine or warmth or cold. But this will be my last chance to join you as a US Congressman, because in the State of Missouri, we have a pro-abortion Senator that needs to go on vacation. I hope next year to join you as a US Senator, right here, continuing to fight for pro-life. God bless you all. You are standing up for the most fundamental aspect of American culture, that is, that we protect life, because no other rights mean anything if you’re dead. God bless you! March on!

Rep. John Fleming (R-LA): Hello, everybody. I am Congressman John Fleming from the great State of Louisiana. We can feel your energy and your commitment up here on stage. In such terrible weather, we appreciate your turning out today. You know, as a physician who has delivered hundreds of babies, as a father of four and a grandfather of two, I can tell you that the taking of innocent life is never health care. Do I have agreement on that? Do you realize that since Roe v. Wade over 54 million innocent lives have been taken from the womb? And over 1.2 million every year occur. Even 320,000 abortions occur just from Planned Parenthood alone. Yes. Ladies and gentlemen, we don’t know when we’ll be able to change what has occurred from the great Court in this nation. But I can tell you this: We’re doing things every day that [are] reducing abortions around the country, such as requiring a 24-hour notice, such as sonograms and many other things that we can do. And every day we see more people are now pro-life. And more than ever, people say they do not want their tax money to go for abortions. Keep up the great work. Thank you very much.