Life Advocacy Briefing

August 6, 2012

D.C. Late-Term Abortion Ban Falls Short / Obama/Sebelius Anti-Religion Mandate Takes Effect
Mandate Enjoined – for One / Romney Reacts / Justice Denied / Cruz-ing to Victory
Pot or Kettle? / House Voting Record

D.C. Late-Term Abortion Ban Falls Short

THE U.S. HOUSE FAILED LAST TUESDAY to muster the two-thirds vote required to pass HR-3803, the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and 222 co-sponsors. Currently, abortions can be committed legally in the nation’s capital district, with no restrictions through the full nine months of a baby’s gestation.

We are frankly mystified why the House Leadership is bringing pro-life legislation forward – this bill and, previously, the Sex Selection Abortion Ban Act, which also failed – under “suspension of the rules,” a procedure which forces sponsors to rally an extraordinary vote to advance these proposals to the Senate. Winning 220 votes, HR-3803 clearly would have passed (needing 218 of a full House) under normal circumstances, even though it was called for a vote on the day of the Georgia primary elections, the most significant factor contributing to a whopping 55 Members not voting. (Of the 55 “absent” on the vote, at least 29 would likely have voted for the measure, by our analysis.)

We publish the disappointing roll call at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing. Please note: we have not yet concluded our publication of roll calls related to ObamaCare repeal; we still have one more procedural vote to publish and expect to do so next week.  


Obama/Sebelius Anti-Religion Mandate Takes Effect

AUGUST 1st HAVING ARRIVED, every employer in America – except established churches and their directly affiliated institutions – is now forced to provide free-of-charge contraceptives, including abortifacients, and sterilization to employees, provided only that they furnish healthcare benefits. Actual coverage kicks in whenever an employer’s health benefits plan initiates or renews.

Here is a comment by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), issued Wednesday in a news release: “This week marks a seismic shift for religious liberty in America, as the Obama Administration’s attack on conscience rights officially takes effect. Business owners will now be forced to provide insurance coverage for items and services with which they fundamentally disagree. While the Obama Administration has given some religious employers an extra year before being forced to violate their own fundamental beliefs, others will have to comply with this mandate as their insurance policies come up for renewal throughout the next year, or face potentially millions of dollars each year in fines for expressing their faith. An assault on people of one faith is an assault on us all.”

Nice words, and we are thankful for them. May we now please see action in the House to block funding for implementation of this evil mandate and of the entire ObamaCare structure?


Mandate Enjoined – for One

A FEDERAL JUDGE IN DENVER ISSUED A TEMPORARY INJUNCTION July 27 against the Obama Regime’s rule forcing employers to cover contraception (including abortifacients) and sterilization in their employees’ health insurance plans, regardless of conscientious objection.

The injunction applies only to the plaintiff in the case, Hercules Industries, a family-owned business. The company will not have to comply with the rule, which took effect Wednesday, while their suit is being heard; a further ruling is expected this fall. The preliminary ruling, which forecasts a reasonable likelihood of eventual victory, was based on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which implements the Constitution’s First Amendment. Judge John Kane did not indicate an opinion on the additional constitutional challenge brought by the plaintiffs; their argument for relief under the cited statute was sufficient at this stage.

Employing 265 people, Hercules Industries will be on the hook for $9,672,500 per year – at $100 per day per employee – in fines to be assessed – if the injunction is lifted – in retaliation for the company’s owners’ exercise of their freedom of conscience and exercise of their religion. If the company chose to drop its worker health benefits plan, forcing employees into government-sponsored health care (the true Obama goal), “it would face a fine on faith,” notes Jennifer Marshall, writing on the Heritage Foundation’s The Foundry blog, “of approximately $2,000 per employee per year, for a total of $530,000 per year,” thus moving America toward socialized medicine for the sake of economic self-preservation.

The Newland family, which owns the company, self-insures their workers, according to Kristi Burton Brown, writing for Live Action News. The family, she reports, “has taken the time to evaluate their own religious beliefs and has come to the conclusion that they are morally unable to provide contraceptives, abortifacients, abortion or sterilization in their employee health care plan. … Despite the Newlands’ sincere religious beliefs,” she writes, “the Dept. of Justice insists that this Catholic family must comply with the contraceptive mandate” or simply give up their business.

The Justice Dept. actually asserted in a formal court filing, quoted by Live Action News: “Hercules Industries has ‘made no showing of a religious belief which requires that [it] engage in the [HVAC] business.’” Such an argument has breathtaking implications for the Creator-endowed freedoms which Americans enjoy.

“‘Our view is that every American should be free to live and do business according to their faith,’” commented Michael Norton, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the plaintiffs; Mr. Norton was quoted from a July 26 interview in a Catholic News Agency (CNA) report by Kevin J. Jones. “‘They should not have to choose,’” Mr. Norton said, “‘between their faith and doing what some bureaucrat or politician thinks ought to be the way they live out their faith.’”

This lawsuit has a long way to go for actual, lasting victory, but we are cheered by its implications, not only because of initial success in court but also because it has been brought by a for-profit company, offering a broadening of the public grasp of the freedom-of-conscience issue. Much as we respect the leadership of the Roman Catholic church hierarchy in resisting the contraception/sterilization mandate, we are concerned that the public understand that the Obama Regime’s violation of the free exercise of religion is not limited to sectarian institutions but is a threat even to individual Americans with sincerely held religious beliefs.

“While the court order is limited to Hercules and does not relieve other family businesses or the many religious non-profits with moral objections from having to comply with the mandate’s burden,” notes the Heritage Foundation’s Jennifer Marshall, “Judge Kane’s analysis offers hope that their pleas for the restoration of their religious liberty will get a fair hearing.” Miss Marshall goes on to quote Judge Kane’s opinion that “the harm to the government from non-enforcement ‘pales in comparison to the possible infringement upon [the Newlands’] constitutional and statutory rights.’”


Romney Reacts

THE LIKELY G.O.P. PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE MITT ROMNEY COMMENTED on the Denver ObamaCare mandate injunction in a statement issued by his campaign: “Freedom of conscience has won an important victory. Today’s injunction preventing the federal government from forcing one family business from having to choose between keeping its doors open and violating its faith is a step in the right direction.

“But it is only a step, not the end of the struggle,” he said. “We must ensure that the same freedom to live according to one’s faith is available to all Americans.”

“If I am elected President,” said Mr. Romney, “I will never cease fighting for freedom of conscience as it is guaranteed under the First Amendment.”


Justice Denied

ONE MORE VICTIM HAS DIED in the Aurora, Colorado, movie massacre.

But the prosecutor announced Sunday the death would not add a criminal count to the already staggering array of charges. Why can there be no justice for this added victim?

The latest victim is a little baby, miscarried by one of the wounded. And to receive justice in Colorado, one has to have been born. Colorado is one of only 14 states lacking an Unborn Victims of Violence law. The other states needing attention are Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Wyoming.

Could the Aurora tragedy offer the impetus to enact such Life-affirming legislation? We urge our readers to press for it in Colorado and the other 13 states listed above.


Cruz-ing to Victory

THE VICTORY OF TED CRUZ in the Texas GOP runoff election for the US Senate last Tuesday was a victory for the cause of Life.

Though both the candidates, former Texas Solicitor General Cruz and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, rate as “pro-life,” Mr. Cruz is noted as a leader for conservative values, while Mr. Dewhurst comes from the GOP’s establishment wing, already well represented in the US Senate.

Endorsements listed by the new nominee to replace establishment favorite Kay Bailey Hutchison in the US Senate this November include such notables as Eagle Forum PAC and Concerned Women for America PAC, as well as conservative leaders Phyllis Schlafly, Tony Perkins, Rick Santorum, Senators Jim DeMint and Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, former Atty. Gen. Ed Meese, Jay Sekulow, Michael Farris and Dr. James Dobson, topping a lengthy list of conservative notables.

But perhaps the most compelling reason for pro-life citizens to cheer the Cruz nomination – which is tantamount to election in Texas – is the answer Mr. Cruz gave to the question “Are you pro-life?” as quoted by the National Abortion Rights Action League in raising an alarm about the conservative candidate: “Absolutely, and I have a proven record of fighting for Life. As the Solicitor General of Texas,” said Mr. Cruz, “I led a coalition of states before the US Supreme Court defending the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, and we won 5-4. I led another coalition of states before the Supreme Court defending the state of New Hampshire’s Parental Notification Act, and we won unanimously. And in Texas, the state legislature passed a bill called the Rider 8, which prohibited taxpayer funds from going to organizations that provide abortions. A federal district court struck that down; we appealed to the US Court of Appeals. I personally argued the case before the US Court of Appeals, and we won, unanimously reinstating that law.”

Welcome, almost-Senator Cruz. Yours will be a welcome voice indeed, especially to succeed the always-queasy Sen. Hutchison.


Pot or Kettle?

Commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in his Aug. 1, 2012, FRCAction Update

While the rest of us are eating chicken,* Congress is acting like one in the shadow of Pres. Obama’s attack on faith. Today, the Health & Human Services mandate, ordering health plans to cover contraceptives, abortion pills and sterilization officially takes effect. And so far, not a single vote has been scheduled to repeal it. Organizations that refuse to comply could be fined enormous amounts of money – as much as $100 per day, per employee, per year. And institutions that actually qualify for the temporary waiver (including some religious nonprofits) are only given a “grace” period of one year – at which point they’re supposed to reconcile how they can violate their conscience to fit Pres. Obama’s demands.

In a sad irony, yesterday marked the release of the State Dept.’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2011. The opening paragraph states: “… Freedom of religion, like all freedoms of thought and expression, are inherent. Our beliefs help define who we are and serve as a foundation for what we contribute to our societies. However, as the 2011 International Religious Freedom Report documents, too many people live under governments that abuse or restrict freedom of religion.”

Today marks the day the United States should officially be listed as one of the nations in that report.  Pres. Obama has made it clear – by his legislation, public remarks, and his lawsuits – that he believes religion and conscience should take a back seat to his pro-abortion, -sterilization and
-contraception agenda. The President might think that violating people’s consciences isn’t a big deal, but to many, it’s the deepest insult of all. If the courts or Congress won’t address this injustice, civil disobedience may be inevitable.

*The commentary appeared on “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” rallying Americans to patronize the fast-food chain in the midst of controversy over the CEO’s endorsement of traditional marriage.


House Voting Record

HR 3803 – DC Late Term Abortion Ban – Failed (needing 2/3) – July 31, 2012 – 220-154 (Democrats in italics)

Voting “yes”/pro-life: Aderholt, Bachus, Bonner, Brooks, Roby, Rogers (AL); Young (AK); Flake, Franks, Gosar, Quayle, Schweikert (AZ); Crawford, Griffin, Ross, Womack (AR); Bilbray, Calvert, Denham, Gallegly, Herger, Hunter, Issa, Lewis, Lungren, McCarthy, McClintock, McKeon, Gary Miller, Nunes, Royce (CA); Coffman, Gardner, Lamborn, Tipton (CO); Adams, Bilirakis, Buchanan, Diaz-Balart, Mica, Miller, Nugent, Posey, Rivera, Rooney, Ros-Lehtinen, Ross, Southerland, Stearns, Webster, West, Young (FL); Kingston, Price, Woodall (GA); Simpson (ID); Costello, Hultgren, Kinzinger, Lipinski, Manzullo, Roskam, Schilling, Schock, Shimkus, Walsh (IL); Bucshon, Burton, Donnelly, Rokita, Stutzman (IN); King, Latham (IA); Huelskamp, Jenkins, Pompeo, Yoder (KS); Davis, Guthrie, Whitfield (KY); Boustany, Fleming, Landry, Scalise (LA); Bartlett, Harris (MD); Amash, Camp, Kildee, Miller, Rogers, Upton (MI); Bachmann, Cravaack, Kline, Paulsen, Peterson (MN); Harper, Nunnelee, Palazzo (MS); Emerson, Graves, Hartzler, Long, Luetkemeyer (MO); Rehberg (MT); Fortenberry, Smith, Terry (NE); Amodei, Heck (NV); Guinta (NH); Frelinghuysen, Garrett, Lance, LoBiondo, Runyan, Smith (NJ); Pearce (NM); Buerkle, Gibson, Grimm, King, Reed, Turner (NY); Coble, Ellmers, Foxx, Jones, Kissell, McHenry, McIntyre, Myrick, Shuler (NC); Berg (ND); Austria, Chabot, Gibbs, Johnson, Latta, Schmidt, Stivers, Tiberi, Turner (OH); Boren, Cole, Lankford, Lucas, Sullivan (OK); Walden (OR); Altmire, Barletta, Critz, Fitzpatrick, Gerlach, Holden, Kelly, Marino, Meehan, Murphy, Pitts, Platts, Shuster, Thompson (PA); Langevin (RI); Duncan, Mulvaney, Scott, Wilson (SC); Black, Blackburn, Duncan, Fincher, Fleischmann, Roe (TN); Barton, Brady, Burgess, Canseco, Carter, Conaway, Cuellar, Culberson, Farenthold, Flores, Gohmert, Granger, Hall, Hensarling, Sam Johnson, Marchant, Neugebauer, Olson, Poe, Sessions, Smith, Thornberry (TX); Bishop, Chaffetz, Matheson (UT); Cantor, Forbes, Goodlatte, Griffith, Hurt, Rigell, Wittman, Wolf (VA); Hastings, Herrera-Beutler, McMorris-Rodgers, Reichert (WA); Capito, McKinley, Rahall (WV); Petri, Ribble, Ryan, Sensenbrenner (WI); Lummis (WY).

Voting “no”/anti-Life: Sewell (AL); Barber, Grijalva (AZ); Baca, Bass, Becerra, Berman, Bono-Mack, Capps, Chu, Costa, Davis, Dreier, Eshoo, Farr, Garamendi, Hahn, Honda, Lee, Lofgren, Matsui, McNerney, George Miller, Napolitano, Pelosi, Richardson, Roybal-Allard, Linda Sanchez, Loretta Sanchez, Schiff, Sherman, Speier, Stark, Thompson, Waters, Waxman, Woolsey (CA); Perlmutter, Polis (CO); Courtney, DeLauro, Himes, Larson, Murphy (CT); Carney (DE); Brown, Castor, Deutch, Hastings, WassermanSchultz, Wilson (FL); Barrow, David Scott (GA); Hanabusa (HI); Biggert, Davis, Dold, Gutierrez, Quigley, Schakowsky (IL); Carson, Visclosky (IN); Boswell, Braley, Loebsack (IA); Yarmuth (KY); Michaud, Pingree (ME); Cummings, Edwards, Hoyer, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes, VanHollen (MD); Capuano, Keating, Lynch, Markey, McGovern, Neal, Olver, Tierney, Tsongas (MA); Clarke, Conyers, Dingell, Levin, Peters (MI); Ellison, McCollum, Walz (MN); Thompson (MS); Clay, Cleaver (MO); Bass (NH); Andrews, Holt, Pallone, Pascrell, Rothman, Sires (NJ); Ackerman, Bishop, Clarke, Crowley, Engel, Hinchey, Hochul, Israel, Lowey, Maloney, McCarthy, Meeks, Nadler, Owens, Rangel, Serrano, Slaughter, Tonko, Velazquez (NY); Butterfield, Miller, Price, Watt (NC); Fudge, Ryan (OH); Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio, Schrader (OR); Brady, Dent, Doyle, Fattah, Schwartz (PA); Cicilline (RI); Clyburn (SC); Cohen, Cooper (TN); Gonzalez, Al Green, Gene Green, Hinojosa, E.B. Johnson, Reyes (TX); Welch (VT); Connolly, Moran, Scott (VA); Larsen, McDermott, Smith (WA); Chandler (WV); Kind (WI).

Voting “Present”: Hayworth (NY) & LaTourette (OH).  

Not Voting: Pastor (AZ); Campbell, Cardoza, Filner, Rohrabacher (CA); DeGette (CO); Crenshaw, Mack (FL); Bishop, Broun, Gingrey, Graves, Johnson, Lewis, Austin Scott, Westmoreland (GA); Hirono (HI); Labrador (ID); Jackson, Johnson, Rush (IL); Pence, Young (IN); Rogers (KY); Alexander, Cassidy, Richmond (LA); Frank (MA); Benishek, Huizenga, Walberg (MI); Akin, Carnahan (MO); Berkley (NV); Heinrich, Lujan (NM); Hanna, Higgins, Towns (NY); Boehner, Jordan, Kaptur, Kucinich, Renacci, Sutton (OH); Gowdy (SC); Noem (SD); DesJarlais (TN); Doggett, Jackson-Lee, McCaul, Paul (TX); Dicks (WA); Baldwin, Duffy, Moore (WI).