Life Advocacy Briefing

September 17, 2012

P.P. Ads Pound Romney / Hobby Lobby Sues for Right to Exercise Faith
Missouri Offers Conscience Protection / Religious Freedom Rallies Set
On the Threat to Religious Liberty / Whistle Blown
Autopsy Report Released at Last / The Last Word at the D.N.C.

P.P. Ads Pound Romney

PLANNED PARENTHOOD ACTION FUND HAS INVESTED $3.2 million in television ads in Ohio and Virginia, reports Alicia Mundy in the Wall Street Journal, “saying Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is bad for women’s health.” The battleground anti-Romney ad buy follows a $1.4 million ad buy endorsing Pres. Obama’s re-election, she reports. The initial round aired in May in Virginia, Iowa and Florida.

“The new anti-Romney ad,” writes Ms. Mundy, says, ‘Mitt Romney would turn back the clock for women,’ and [it] includes clips of the candidate saying that the Supreme Court should overturn the abortion rights decision of Roe v. Wade. It also shows him saying earlier this year: ‘Planned Parenthood – we’re going to get rid of that.’”

A female spokesman for the Romney campaign gave a deflective response, quoted by Ms. Mundy, about the current President’s policies not helping women.


Hobby Lobby Sues for Right to Exercise Faith

POPULAR RETAILER HOBBY LOBBY HAS FILED SUIT against the Obama Administration to block enforcement of the ObamaCare mandate forcing the company to cover “free” contraceptive drugs – including abortifacients – and sterilization in its workforce group insurance policy.

The lawsuit was filed in the western district of Oklahoma, where Hobby Lobby is based, reports Reuters writer Steve Olafson. Hobby Lobby filed the suit on its own behalf and as representing “other companies that have religious convictions against abortion,” writes Mr. Olafson.

“‘These abortion-causing drugs go against our faith,’ said David Green, founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., in a call with reporters,” writes the Reuters reporter. “‘We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.’”

As an employer of 13,240 workers in 41 states, Hobby Lobby, writes Mr. Olafson, “would face a penalty of up to $1.3 million per day” if it did not comply with this ObamaCare mandate, according to an attorney for the company. The deadline for the company’s compliance, should the suit not move forward, is January 1.

A company in Denver, owned by a Catholic family and employing 300, won a temporary injunction against the mandate last month while a federal judge considers the lawsuit brought by Hercules Industries; we have reported on that victory in an earlier Life Advocacy Briefing. Hobby Lobby is, notes Mr. Olafson, “the largest and only non-Catholic company to sue over the health mandate, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a nonprofit, public interest law firm in Washington, DC, that specializes in church-state law and is helping litigate the case” for the huge evangelical firm.


Missouri Offers Conscience Protection

THE MISSOURI LEGISLATURE LAST WEDNESDAY OVERRODE Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of legislation “allow[ing] employers,” writes Elizabeth Crisp in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “to opt out of covering contraceptives in health insurance policies for religious reasons.”

Within hours, of course, a lawsuit was filed to block the law. Listed plaintiffs are the Greater Kansas City Coalition of Labor Union Women and a lady firefighter, “claiming,” writes Ms. Crisp, “that the legislation discriminates by sex and religion and that it goes against federal law.”

The law is, of course, intended to block federal enforcement of the Obama Regime’s unconstitutional contraception mandate within the sovereign state of Missouri.

“‘This bill is about protecting our religious liberties,’ said Rep. Sandy Crawford (R-Buffalo),’” quoted by Ms. Crisp. “‘It is about protecting businesses from the overreach of government.’”

Requiring a two-thirds vote in each house, the override motion easily cleared the Senate and achieved a narrow win in the House.

“More than 2,000 people rallied at the Capitol in March in support of the bill,” notes Ms. Crisp.


Religious Freedom Rallies Set

AMERICANS AROSS THE NATION WILL STAND IN RALLIES for religious freedom on Saturday, October 20.

The outpouring is the third such nationwide rally this year, fostered by Pro-Life Action League, Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and a coalition of other pro-life/freedom groups. The rallies are called in response to the Dept. of Health & Human Services mandate forcing employers to offer free contraception and sterilization coverage to their workers. Since that time, HHS has also mandated every purchaser of a new or changed insurance policy to pay a monthly premium surcharge to pool funds to pay for others’ abortions.

Rally captains have stepped forward and reserved sites in more than 100 cities. Rally locations can be found via the Internet.  Organizers are inviting more leaders to apply, particularly in locations which are not yet on the schedule.


On the Threat to Religious Liberty

CALLING THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT “‘the premier civil rights movement of today,’” New York’s Roman Catholic Archbishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, reports John-Henry Westen for, warned “that threats to religious freedom are ‘abundant’ today” and “chose to single out two such threats.

“‘One comes from those called secularists,’” declared Cardinal Dolan, delivering the John Carroll Society Lecture last Monday night, “‘who will tolerate religion as long as it’s just considered some eccentric private hobby for superstitious, unenlightened folks, limited to an hour on the Sabbath with no claims to any voice in the public square.’ …

“‘The second omen comes from the direct intrusion of the government,’” he said, quoted by Mr. Westen, “‘into the very definition of a church’s minister, ministries, message and meaning. … The wide ecumenical and interreligious outrage over the HHS mandate,’” he declared, “‘is not about its coverage of chemical contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs – in spite of the well-oiled mantra from our opponents – but upon the raw presumption of a bureau of the federal government to define a church’s minister, ministry, message and meaning.’

“The Cardinal said the message to government from people of faith is simple,” writes Mr. Westen: “‘Protect our free exercise [of religion], then leave us alone.’”

Cardinal Dolan, whose benediction for the Democratic National Convention we reprint at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing, “quoted Alexis deTocqueville,” reports Mr. Westen, “to stress the severity of the matter. ‘Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot,’ the 19th century Frenchman wrote. ‘Religion … is more needed in democratic republics than in any others.’”


Whistle Blown

A FORMER EXECUTIVE WITH THE SUSAN G. KOMEN FOUNDATION has released a book exposing the tactics of Planned Parenthood in its fight to block Komen from defunding the abortion cartel earlier this year. We reported on the brouhaha at the time and found it challenging to sort the players and their motivations. Readers will find Planned Bullyhood by Karen Handel credible and useful. In hardcover, the book runs 304 pages and is available now through

Here is the promotion posted by its publisher, Simon & Schuster:

“In 2011, Susan G. Komen for the Cure was growing weary of the ‘pink’ [trademark] being tarnished by its health grants to Planned Parenthood (PPH), whose many controversies were fueling backlash against Komen. They wanted to remove themselves from the pro-life/abortion debate and made what they thought was a rational, reasonable decision: seek neutral ground in the culture war by severing ties with PPH and in turn, eliminate a major headache while opening a new, robust fundraising channel.” These are the publisher’s words, not ours; we find the terminology interesting. It goes on:

“Karen Handel, the organization’s senior vice president of public policy, was tasked with identifying options to disengage. In November, the Komen management and board decided to move forward. Komen and PPH made a ‘gentle ladies’ pact, agreeing to part ways amicably and acknowledging that a media firestorm was in no one’s best interest. Yet six weeks later, PPH unleashed an attack so vicious and so seamlessly executed that it had to have been premeditated and precisely timed.”

And what timing did Planned Parenthood choose? “PPH attacked Komen against the backdrop of the Obama Administration’s clash with the Catholic Church over contraception,” relates the publisher. “After just three days, following hysterical cries that ‘Komen was abandoning women,’ Komen capitulated and reversed course.

“[Ms] Handel, a lifelong pro-life Republican who was raised Catholic,” notes the publisher’s promo, “was immediately made the target. She resigned within days of Komen’s reversal. Liberals called her a right-wing Trojan horse. The pro-life community hailed her as a hero. She insists she is neither.”

The publisher closes its promotion with this tease: “Why did Planned Parenthood break its word? Was Komen simply a pawn in something bigger? In this book, Karen Handel finally speaks.”

Two things stand out to us: First, Planned Parenthood’s bullying is no surprise to anyone who has ever “dared” to seek office as a pro-life candidate. Second, such a book description by a major mainstream publisher offers hope that PP has lost more than it won in grasping Komen’s funding; indeed, the fact that a major mainstream publisher would print and promote such an expose of even one of Planned Parenthood’s many sins is a good sign for America’s future as a pro-life nation.


Autopsy Report Released at Last

SEVEN WEEKS AFTER THE DEATH of Chicago Planned Parenthood abortion customer Tonya Reaves, the Cook County medical examiner’s office has turned over the autopsy report requested, all this time, by Operation Rescue – but only after OR’s lawyers, reports Kathleen Gilbert for, “threatened the coroner with legal action.”

Cause of death of 24-year-old Tonya Reaves, notes Miss Gilbert, was “hemorrhage resulting from cervical dilation and evacuation [D&E abortion] due to an intrauterine pregnancy.”

“The autopsy report bolsters calls,” writes Miss Gilbert, quoting OR, “for criminal charges for ‘depraved indifference’ and negligence on top of criminal malpractice. ‘Planned Parenthood killed her,’” said OR’s president Troy Newman. “‘Now they must be brought to justice in a court of law.’”

Some 11 hours after she underwent the abortion, noted Mr. Newman, quoted by Miss Gilbert, “‘Even a level-one trauma team could not save her life.’” The young woman, who leaves behind a one-year-old son, lay hemorrhaging at the downtown Planned Parenthood shop four and a-half hours before being transported by fire ambulance to a major, nearby Chicago hospital, where personnel, reports Miss Gilbert, were reportedly “left to guess at what had happened to the young woman,” discovering a uterine perforation “hours later, when [her] condition continued to decline following initial treatment for an incomplete abortion.”

Planned Parenthood of Illinois issued a statement at the time indicating, reports Miss Gilbert, “they were ‘shocked and assented upon learning of a tragic development at a nearby hospital,’” seemingly not even acknowledging the “tragedy” had befallen their own customer in their own unlicensed shop.

“‘Planned Parenthood’s website indicates,’” said OR, quoted by LifeSiteNews, “‘that surgical abortions were not supposed to be available at that location, which leads to questions about whether the office was properly equipped for risky second-trimester abortions.’” OR indicated it would file a complaint with the state’s Dept. of Professional Regulation, but since the department does not license the facility, it is unclear what action could be taken by the regulators.


The Last Word at the D.N.C.

Closing prayer by Cardinal Timothy Dolan addressed to the Almighty at the adjournment of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC, Sept. 6, 2012, published on the blog of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. Cardinal Dolan is president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

With a “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence,” let us close this convention by praying for this land that we so cherish and love:

Let us pray.

Almighty God, father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, revealed to us so powerfully in your Son, Jesus Christ, we thank You for showering Your blessings upon this our beloved nation. Bless all here present, and all across this great land, who work hard for the day when a greater portion of Your justice and a more ample measure of Your care for the poor and suffering may prevail in these United States. Help us to see that a society’s greatness is found above all in the respect it shows for the weakest and neediest among us.

We beseech You, almighty God, to shed Your grace on this noble experiment in ordered liberty, which began with the confident assertion of inalienable rights bestowed upon us by You: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Thus do we praise You for the gift of life. Grant us the courage to defend it – life – without which no other rights are secure. We ask Your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected. Strengthen our sick and our elders waiting to see Your holy face at life’s end, that they may be accompanied by true compassion and cherished with the dignity due those who are infirm and fragile.

We praise and thank You for the gift of liberty. May this land of the free never lack those brave enough to defend our basic freedoms. Renew in all our people a profound respect for religious liberty: the first, most cherished freedom bequeathed upon us at our Founding. May our liberty be in harmony with truth; freedom ordered in goodness and justice. Help us live our freedom in faith, hope and love. Make us ever grateful for those who, for over two centuries, have given their lives in freedom’s defense; we commend their noble souls to your eternal care, as even now we beg the protection of Your mighty arm upon our men and women in uniform.

We praise and thank You for granting us the life and the liberty by which we can pursue happiness. Show us anew that happiness is found only in respecting the laws of nature and of nature’s God. Empower us with Your grace so that we might resist the temptation to replace the moral law with idols of our own making or to remake those institutions you have given us for the nurturing of life and community. May we welcome those who yearn to breathe free and to pursue happiness in this land of freedom, adding their gifts to those whose families have lived here for centuries.

We praise and thank you for the American genius of government of the people, by the people and for the people. Oh, God of wisdom, justice and might, we ask your guidance for those govern us: Pres. Barack Obama, Vice Pres. Joseph Biden, Congress, the Supreme Court and all those, including Gov. Mitt Romney and Cong. Paul Ryan, who seek to serve the common good by seeking public office. Make them all worthy to serve you by serving our country. Help them remember that the only just government is the government that serves its citizens rather than itself. With Your grace, may all Americans choose wisely as we consider the future course of public policy.

And finally, Lord, we beseech Your benediction on all of us who depart from here this evening and on all those, in every land, who yearn to conduct their lives in freedom and justice. We beg You to remember, as we pledge to remember, those who are not free, those who suffer for freedom’s cause; those who are poor, out of work, needy, sick or alone; those who are persecuted for their religious convictions, those still ravaged by war.

And most of all, God Almighty, we thank You for the great gift of our beloved country. For we are indeed “one nation under God,” and “in God we trust.”

So, dear God, bless America. You Who live and reign forever and ever. Amen!