Life Advocacy Briefing

February 27, 2012

States Sue Feds Over Insurance Mandate / Lawsuits Abound Against Controversial Mandate
Protestant Leaders Join Bishops in Opposition
Federal Judge Upholds Conscience Rights for Pharmacists
Board Acts to Revoke License of Tiller Accomplice / Quoteworthy
The Wolves Behind the Insurance Mandate / March for Life Speech Transcripts

States Sue Feds Over Insurance Mandate

THE STATES ARE WEIGHING IN on the ObamaCare insurance mandate with alawsuit filed by seven states last Thursday in the US District Court of Nebraska, reports the Associated Press (AP). The suit is being led by Nebraska’s attorney general, Jon Bruning, who is in a tight primary race for the US Senate with popular pro-life former attorney general Don Stenberg.

Joining Nebraska in the states’ lawsuit are the attorneys general from Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas, as well as “three Nebraska-based groups,” reports AP: “Catholic Social Services, Pius X Catholic High School and the Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America.”

The states allege in the suit, reports AP, “that the rule will effectively force religious employers and organizations to drop health insurance coverage, which will raise enrollment in state Medicaid programs and increase patient numbers at state-subsidized hospitals and medical centers.” That, of course, is at the heart of the mandate’s purpose – to shift Americans into universal dependence on government for health care.


Lawsuits Abound Against Controversial Mandate

EACH DAY BRINGS MORE NEWS OF LAWSUITS against the Obama Regime for its violation of religious liberty in the Health & Human Services (HHS) mandate that employers include sterilization and contraception – including abortifacient drugs – in their group health insurance policies.

Last week private colleges began to file suit, led by Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina; Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana; Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, and Ave Maria University in Ave Marie, southwest Florida.

Contrary to typical news coverage of the mandate controversy, the uproar is not limited to Catholic institutions. Though Belmont Abbey is a Catholic school, Louisiana College is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, and Geneva College has Reformed Presbyterian roots. Ave Maria is Catholic.

Lawsuits by Priests for Life and EWTN Global Catholic Television Network were among the first filed after the rule was finalized.

Leading all, though, is Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, Colorado, a nondenominational evangelical school which filed suit in November against the pending regulation. 

Protestant Leaders Join Bishops in Opposition

MORE THAN 2,500 PASTORS & EVANGELICAL LEADERS have signed onto a letter released last week by Family Research Council (FRC), reports Kathleen Gilbert for, “protesting the Obama Administration’s birth control insurance mandate.

“They join every Catholic bishop that heads a diocese in the United States” in opposing the mandate, Ms. Gilbert reports, as well as the 65 canonical bishops of the Orthodox Church.

“‘Every pocket of religious America is linking arms at the front lines of this war on religious freedom,’” declared FRC president Tony Perkins at a news conference releasing the letter, reports Ms. Gilbert.

Mr. Perkins was flanked at the news conference by Pentecostal Bishop Harry Jackson, Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Center for Urban Renewal & Education president and syndicated columnist Star Parker and High Point Church pastor Gary Simons of Arlington, Texas.

The letter quotes the words of Thomas Jefferson in the 1779 Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, a forerunner to the First Amendment, notes Ms. Gilbert, “which states: ‘To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.’ …

“‘No church should be forced to concede their faith to kneel at the altar of government,’” Mr. Perkins said at the news conference, reports LifeSiteNews. “‘And until the Administration rights this wrong, we unite with our allies in diverse faith traditions in demanding what George Washington called “the invaluable rights of free citizens.”’

“The signatories also pointed out,” reports Ms. Gilbert, “that the Administration received over 200,000 messages against the mandate during the comments period. The mandate has nonetheless remained in substantially the same form as when it was first proposed last summer.” 

Federal Judge Upholds Conscience Rights for Pharmacists

U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE RONALD LEIGHTON WEDNESDAY RULED in favor of Washington State pharmacists in a lawsuit seeking to vindicate their conscience rights against a state mandate that they sell Plan B and other “emergency contraceptives,” known to cause early abortions when conception has occurred. Appeals are expected.

The head of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, Joseph Backholm, reacted to the ruling in a report by Charlie Butts for “‘It is a very American idea,’” he said, “‘that the government will not tell small-business owners what they have to sell in their stores. … There is a growing tendency by government,’” he said, “‘to want to not only tell people what they must sell but also tell people what they must purchase. … And the combination of those things coming down on people – really for just partisan and ideological reasons – would be disastrous for all of us.’”


Board Acts to Revoke License of Tiller Accomplice

KANSAS HAS ORDERED REVOCATION OF THE MEDICAL LICENSE of Ann Kristin Neuhaus, pending final action by the licensing board in April, reports Operation Rescue (OR) in a news release, “stating that [her] practice of providing late-term abortion referrals to [the late, notorious] George Tiller was ‘professionally incompetent’ and constituted ‘unprofessional conduct.’”

The investigation of Ms. Neuhaus by the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts was prompted by a 2006 complaint filed by OR, which received formal notification of the board’s ruling last Tuesday.

“Based on the Board’s initial order,” said OR president Troy Newman in the news release, “we have no doubt that George Tiller conducted illegal abortions.”  Mr. Newman charged that Mr. Tiller knew “fully that [Ms.] Neuhaus issued mental health diagnoses,” which could excuse late-term abortions under Kansas law, “to support late-term abortions without having seen the patient or after an inadequate consultation with the patient that did not include a proper mental health evaluation.”
Indeed, the supposed “mental health evaluations” which Ms. Neuhaus seemingly performed for Mr. Tiller were obviously shams intended to abet Mr. Tiller in evading Kansas law. How refreshing that the licensing board, after six years, finally acknowledged that fact and took significant action.

George Tiller specialized in late-term abortions at his shop in Wichita. He was shot and killed in May 2009. Charges were pending against him at the time before the same medical board.

“Had [Mr.] Tiller lived, it is certain that his medical license would also have been revoked,” said Mr. Newman in the release, “since he faced a similar complaint petition based on the same 11 patient files.”

The complaint against Ms. Neuhaus, notes OR, was “based on 11 patient records involving girls between the ages of 10 and 18 who [underwent] post-viability abortions in 2003 at [Mr.] Tiller’s now closed abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas. At that time,” relates OR, “before post-viability abortions could be done, Kansas law required a second consenting opinion that the continuation of a pregnancy would cause ‘substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function’ of the [aborting mother]. [Ms.] Neuhaus provided all of [Mr.] Tiller’s late-term abortion referrals at that time and referred each of the 11 patients for abortions on mental health grounds.”



PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON, in his Farewell Address to the Nation, first published Sept. 19, 1796: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. … And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.” [We thank Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins for reminding us of this worthy quotation at such a time as this, publishing it in his Feb. 20, 2012, Washington Update with the comment, “For the first time in over two centuries, we are ruled by those who reject the warning of George Washington.”]


The Wolves Behind the Insurance Mandate

This report appeared Feb. 22, 2012, in, online news service of American Family News Network. It is attributed to Charlie Butts and Bob Kellogg, who credit Human Life International for the research. We publish it here to assist our readers in evaluating the Obama Regime’s use of an Institute of Medicine recommendation to “justify” its inclusion of contraception and sterilization in ObamaCare’s mandated insurance coverage of “preventive services.”

According to the research from Human Life International (HLI), the panel behind Barack Obama’s contraception, sterilization and “morning-after” pill mandate was dominated by pro-abortion organizations. …

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued its initial recommendation for preventative services, which went on to become the ObamaCare mandate that forces religious employers to pay for abortion-causing drugs and birth control for their employees. But thanks to public records, HLI researcher Arland Nichols was able to find out more about the “ideological commitments” of the panel who wrote the recommendation.

“Instead of receiving objective, scientific research, what we actually got was embarrassingly inadequate research from a lead group of physicians in our country and from our own political system,” Nichols reports.

HLI research reveals that the panel consisted of aggressive, pro-abortion advocates “who hid behind claims that they were being scientifically objective. …

“There were 16 committee members. They were involved in all kinds of organizations like Planned Parenthood, NARAL [and the] National Organization for Women, just to name a few,” the researcher reports. “And I can name some names: Claire Brindis is an example of one. She’s on the board of directors of NARAL Pro-Choice America” [and served on the supposedly objective IOM panel].

The report also reveals that members of the panel by and large are donors to pro-abortion political candidates and organizations.

In response to HLI’s revelation, members of both houses of Congress are backing bills to reverse the Administration’s decision. Cong. Jeff Fortenberry’s legislation, for example, currently has the support of roughly 220 Members of Congress and Senators who want to remedy the controversial Health & Humana Services mandate. … 

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 Trent Franks, Scott Garrett, Ann Marie Buerkle, Andy Harris MD and Jeff Fortenberry.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ): I cannot tell you what an honor it is to be among all of you. This year is a destiny-shaping year for America and for the unborn. I promise you, in the Congress this year, we will hear the Pain-Capable legislation, and we will hear the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act, which will demonstrate to the world both the humanity of the child and the inhumanity of what is done to them. Please hear this much: In this coming election, we are facing one of the greatest challenges in our history. Barack Obama is the most pro-abortion President in the history of this nation. He is the Abortion President, and we must defeat him if the unborn are to be protected. And so I’m going to leave you with this quote that Queen Elizabeth said when she was facing King Philip’s armada; she said, “We see the sails approaching; we hear the sound of the guns over the water. Soon now we will meet them face to face. I am come out among you to live or die amongst you all. While we stand together, no enemy will pass. Let them come with the armies of hell, they will not pass. And when this day is over – and when this day of battle is over – we meet again in heaven or the field of victory.” By the grace of God, I will meet you here at this time next year, on the field of victory.

Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ): Good morning. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us give thanks and rejoice in it. I am Scott Garrett from the great state of New Jersey, and alongside of me is my wife Mary Ellen, who along with our two college-age daughters, are a 100 percent pro-life family. And right behind us is the halls of Congress, where a little over a year ago today, the gavel was taken away from Nancy Pelosi and handed to a pro-life Congress – a Congress that can speak for those who cannot speak, a Congress that can act for those who cannot act, a Congress now that can fight for those that cannot fight, a pro-life Congress. And now, although the struggle, we know, continues, we know that He who first created life, that He too is now still in control of this universe. And so I commend everyone out here who came far away from home, to remember what scripture tells us: That we will continue to run and not grow faint, that we will continue to walk and not grow weary. So we continue to march today for Life. I commend you for all as we begin this walk. We will continue this fight, and we will not grow weary. We will defend Life. God bless everyone.

Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY): Good afternoon, pro-lifers. I am Ann Marie Buerkle from the great State of New York. And let me say hello to all my fellow New Yorkers out there. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your willingness to stand here every year and fight for the right to Life. You are the heroes; we need you. To all of the young people in the audience, thank you for being strong and for being willing to stand up to protect all life. Ladies and gentlemen, every life, regardless of the circumstance, has intrinsic value because it was created by God. We know that. We now need to convince the rest of the country. We stand for Life. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

Rep. Andy Harris MD (R-MD): Good afternoon. I’m Congressman Andy Harris, one of the pro-life physicians in Congress. Thank you all for being here, especially my son Danny, daughter Jessica, somewhere out there. Work hard this year, because we are one election away from restoring America as a pro-life nation. Thank you.

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE): Hi,everyone, I’m Congressman Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska, and I’m pro-life. Thank you all so much for coming here today. But young people, it saddens my heart – I have to say this to you: President Obama is not with you. President Obama is against you. President Obama and his Administration are aggressively pro-abortion and are actively undermining religious freedom and the rights of conscience. So as you march today, please know as well that his Secretary of Health and Human Services has recently said – Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary Sebelius said – “We are at war.” And who is she at war with? With you: people who believe in the sanctity of human life and that women deserve better. Thank you for standing up for your rights – your right to free speech, your right to assembly – and know today that as you march, you’re speaking truth to power. God bless you.