Life Advocacy Briefing

November 19, 2012

Giving Thanks / Calls Needed Now to Block Lameduck Ratifications / Not Giving In
A Life in the Balance / Ethical Stemcell Advance for Heart Attack Victims
Start Cutting Here! / Positions Taken by States on ObamaCare Insurance Exchanges

Giving Thanks

IN CELEBRATION OF THANKSGIVING – and to give a break to our support crew – we will not be publishing Life Advocacy Briefing next week. Expect us to return the following week with news you can use in the cause of Life. Best wishes to our readers for this special American day.


Calls Needed Now to Block Lameduck Ratifications

WE HAVE ENTERED A SEASON OF DANGER, as Congress prepares to meet in a lameduck session. The party divide between the two houses of Congress limits potential damage in a session unaccountable to voters, but we must be concerned about the possibility of the Senate taking up treaties, which can be ratified without referral to the more conservative House of Representatives.

Readers are asked to call their two United States Senators now (1-202/224-3121) to ask that they oppose any and all treaties brought forward before the new Congress is seated in January.

Among the troublesome treaties which could be dusted off for ratification are two long-dormant UN instruments: the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and Hillary Clinton’s favorite, the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Either would install abortion into international law whose US ratification would subject our citizens to its enforcement.

And a new instrument of UN mischief – the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – stalled in the Senate last summer but, already cleared by committee, could arise at any moment for ratification. Its provisions, too, could be used to advance unfettered abortion and presents a danger also via euthanasia. We wrote extensively about this instrument in Life Advocacy Briefing earlier this year.

We are particularly concerned about treaties in this lameduck session because of the pending departure of one of the Senate’s leading internationalists, Richard Lugar (R-IN), defeated in last spring’s primary and since then held up as a globalist icon. Compounding that emotional appeal for a Lugar legacy is the expected nomination of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) as Secretary of Defense in the second Obama term, adding urgency to Sen. Kerry’s determination to seal the US into these and other dangerous treaties. The two likely-departing Senators together run the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. In seeking to stop these treaties, we will be pressing against a possible tide of sentimentality; we must not let down our guard.


Not Giving In

VOTERS NIXED OBAMACARE where it was on the ballot Nov. 6. Reports Twila Brase, who heads the Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF), “Ballot initiatives to assert state control over health care passed” in three states during the general election. [Updates from CCHF are available by electronic mail or by visiting the group’s Internet website.]

The anti-ObamaCare propositions “passed with 77% support in Wyoming, 62% in Missouri and 59% in Alabama,” writes Ms. Brase.

According to a memo from Eagle Forum, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who is chairman of the Republican Governors Assn., has rejected the establishment of a state-based exchange and declared shortly after the election, “‘I don’t believe the federal government can possibly deliver its commitment to fully fund the program, and I don’t want to be part of contributing trillions of dollars to the national debt.’”

What is more, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) last Tuesday followed the example of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R), on whose action we reported last week, and announced he would not establish a state/federal ObamaCare exchange in his state and, reports Ms. Brase, “suggested a ‘significant number’ of governors would also refuse.” The tactic is believed to be an effective bulwark against implementation of the government medical care takeover, as the ObamaCare law did not authorize the federal government to take unilateral action in states which refuse to cooperate.

“Meanwhile, 30 more anti-ObamaCare lawsuits are waiting in the wings,” declares Ms. Brase, who added, “So let’s not be discouraged. Let’s work hard to help states stop nationalized health care.”

Eagle Forum is one organization that is alerting Americans to focus on governors and their role, potentially, in blocking implementation. The organization, headed by Phyllis Schlafly, sent an “alert” to its members last Wednesday reporting the Obama Regime’s extension to Dec. 14 of the Nov. 16 deadline for states to notify the federal government whether or not they will establish state-level insurance exchanges. The organization speculated the motive for the extension was “hoping more governors would cooperate with ObamaCare.” Their response? “We need you to call your governor today to urge him or her to resist ObamaCare by refusing to set up a state-run exchange.” [We publish at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing a chart reporting the status of exchanges in most states.]

The Eagle Forum memo noted Ms. Brase’s September speech to its annual conference in St. Louis, stating, to quote from the memo, “states that wish to stand up to ObamaCare have three options. They can 1) refuse to respond to the Health & Human Services request for an update regarding their health insurance exchange intentions; 2) respond that they will not implement an exchange, as there is nothing statutory compelling them to do so, or, 3) allow the HHS to implement an exchange and be as passive as possible, offering no assistance as the HHS pursues implementation in their state.

“As [Ms.] Brase noted,” reads the Eagle Forum memo, “‘States should not tie themselves to an annualized operational expense estimated to be between $10 and $100 million per year, when the expense does nothing to help and everything to hurt citizens.’ [Ms.] Brase concluded,” quoted Eagle Forum, “‘States must assert their own sovereignty and stand up for the health, privacy and pocketbooks of their citizens.’”


A Life in the Balance

A FRIGHTENING SCENARIO IN A NEVADA COURT has been settled justly but has brought to light the need for legislation in various states limiting the power of judges to intervene with life-or-death rulings in families’ medical decisions.

Judge Egan Walker announced at the opening of a Reno hearing last Wednesday that the court would no longer be considering an order forcing an abortion on a 32-year-old expectant mother who suffers “mental disabilities,” reports Kirsten Andersen of

Fortunately for her baby, for herself and for her parents, who had strenuously advocated for her wishes, the mother’s court-appointed attorney and her state-appointed guardian ad litem had finally – after weeks of heart-wrenching litigation – “been able to determine that she did in fact want to carry the baby. As a result,” reports Ms. Andersen, “it was decided that abortion is no longer one of the courses of action being considered,” and the judge “plans to use the remaining scheduled evidentiary hearings to gather additional information to help her caretakers make the best decisions for her as she carries her pregnancy to term.”

Previous hearings featured a clash between two physicians, one called by the court as an “obstetric expert,” Ms. Andersen notes, who “recommended abortion and sterilization for the mentally impaired young mother, saying,” reports Ms. Andersen, “that regardless of her parents’ wishes to the contrary, the best thing for her would be to ‘end this pregnancy and tie her tubes.’”

The second doctor “testified on behalf of [the expectant mother’s] parents,” writes Ms. Andersen, “who want to allow her to carry the child to term and place him or her for adoption. He told the court,” reports LifeSiteNews, “that the standard medical protocol for a high-risk epileptic pregnancy is careful monitoring and management of medication, not abortion. ‘I’ve managed very many patients with similar type epilepsy,’ Dr. [Stacy] Mellum said, ‘and they’ve done very well with no complications.’”

The baby’s grandparents indicated, according to LifeSiteNews, that “they have at least six qualified couples lined up who are willing to adopt [the unborn] child. But Judge Walker has argued,” Ms. Andersen writes in a story from last Monday, “that as court-appointed guardians, the [grandparents] are ‘agents of the court’ and subject to his authority, which means he can overrule their medical decisions.” Though the family’s attorney challenged that authority in the state supreme court, Judge Walker was allowed by the higher court to proceed. Thank God he changed his apparent posture in time for this little one’s rescue.

The family’s attorney, while indicating “he still believes Judge Walker overstepped his bounds in calling the hearings in the first place,” writes Ms. Andersen, told LifeSiteNews, his clients are “‘very excited. This is a big win for [the parents], a big win for [the expectant mom] and really a win for the judiciary.’ [He] complimented the court for its willingness to change direction,” reports Ms. Andersen. “‘They were able to take a deep breath,’ he said, ‘consider what was being presented to them and allow what [the mom] and [her parents] have been asking for the last three weeks.’”

The attorney “said he is working with lawyers, state lawmakers, pro-life advocates and advocates for the disabled to draft legislation to limit the court’s ability to intervene in cases like [this],” reports Ms. Andersen. “‘I’m really disturbed,’ he told LifeSiteNews. ‘One of the things that I’ve come away [with] is just the extraordinary power that judges wield in these guardianship proceedings.’ He complains,” Ms. Andersen writes, “that Nevada’s law lacks clarity with regard to when a judge can overrule the medical decisions of a ward’s legally appointed guardians and hopes to see legislation passed that will ‘raise the bar,’ perhaps by limiting such interventions to life-threatening situations.” 

Ethical Stemcell Advance for Heart Attack Victims

AN ENCOURAGING DEVELOPMENT IN STEMCELL RESEARCH was reported Nov. 5 by the Associated Press (AP). The report was based on a presentation at a heart conference in California.

Researchers in Miami and Baltimore discussed results of a promising, though limited, study in which adult “stem cells donated by strangers proved as safe and effective,” reports AP, “as patients’ own cells for helping restore heart tissue, allowing the heart to pump more effectively.”

Though only 30 patients were studied, the results were consistent enough that, reports AP, “Doctors are excited because [the study] suggests that stem cells could be banked for off-the-shelf use in patients after heart attacks the way blood is saved now.”


Start Cutting Here!

Nov. 14, 2012, Washington Update commentary by Tony Perkins, president, Family Research Council, excerpted

… [I]t seems the country’s biggest abortion provider has also been running one of the country’s biggest scams: a Medicaid racket that’s ripped off millions of taxpayer dollars. Today, it appears that at least six states have been targeted by Cecile Richards’s scheme, which reportedly conned the government with hundreds of thousands of bogus reimbursement claims.

One of those states – Texas – will be hearing its first arguments on the issue this week in US District Court, thanks to former Planned Parenthood director-turned-whistleblower Abby Johnson. With the help of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), she plans to expose at least 87,000 instances of fraud during her time as a clinic manager in southeast Texas. [According to] her testimony and supporting documents, Planned Parenthood routinely submitted ineligible claims on everything from pap smears to STD and pregnancy tests. In fact, Johnson says her bosses at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast were under so much financial pressure that they would repeatedly tell staff, “We must turn every call and visit into a revenue-generating client.” A ring of at least ten clinics were falsifying patient charts, which they would “fix” and “cover up” before the auditors and inspectors came.

… In states like Iowa, the plot was so sophisticated that clinics were getting $26.32 reimbursement checks for a $2.98 package of birth control. State and local governments have poured more than a billion dollars into Richards’s group – and this is how she repays them? Twenty-eight million in stolen funds in Iowa, $6 million in Texas, $180 million in California and similar allegations in New York, New Jersey and Illinois.

… If both parties are serious about cutting spending (and nothing they’ve done recently suggests they are), then it’s time to put an end to this relentless cycle of exploitation. The war on women was a hoax. The war on taxpayers is not.


Positions Taken by States on ObamaCare Insurance Exchanges

Information prepared by Life Advocacy Briefing from, an Internet website maintained by Kaiser Family Foundation

  • Alabama: Nov. 13, Gov. Robert Bentley announces his state will decline to cooperate
  • Alaska: July 17, Gov. Sean Parnell announces his state will allow the feds to operate an exchange in the state but without state involvement
  • California: December, 2010, Bills to establish a state exchange are signed into law by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Colorado: June, 2011, Gov. John Hickenlooper signs a bill into law creating an exchange
  • Connecticut: July, 2011, Gov. Daniel Malloy signs an exchange bill into law
  • District of Columbia: December, 2011, City Council gives final approval to an exchange law
  • Florida: July, 2012, Gov. Rick Scott announces his state will not move forward with a state-based exchange, though Florida is setting up its own “marketplace for small businesses” under an initiative passed in 2008, before ObamaCare was passed
  • Hawaii: July, 2011, Gov. Neil Abercrombie signs an ObamaCare exchange measure into law
  • Indiana: January, 2011, Gov. Mitch Daniels issues an executive order establishing a state exchange, stating “Indiana currently believes a state-created exchange protects Hoosiers from undue federal regulation”
  • Kansas: Nov. 9, Gov. Sam Brownback announces his state will not move toward a state-based exchange or a state-federal partnership exchange
  • Kentucky: July 17, Gov. Steven Beshear issues an executive order creating a state health benefit exchange
  • Louisiana: March, 2011, Gov. Bobby Jindal announces his state will not create a state-run exchange
  • Maine: April 18, Gov. Paul LePage notifies the Dept. of Health & Human Services his state will not seek a federal grant for establishing an exchange and will not pursue a state-based exchange
  • Maryland: April, 2011, Gov. Martin O’Malley signs legislation creating an exchange
  • Massachusetts: April, 2006, then-Gov. Mitt Romney signs “comprehensive health reform” law “designed to provide near-universal health coverage for state residents
  • Minnesota: October, 2011, Gov. Mark Dayton issues an executive order for planning health care delivery improvement, including an Exchange Advisory Task Force
  • Missouri: Nov. 8, Gov. Jay Nixon announces Missouri will not run a state-level exchange following passage Nov. 6 of a ballot measure barring him from moving toward an exchange
  • Montana: April, 2011, the state’s legislature creates a study committee concerning “the implications, options and repercussions of a state-based health insurance exchange”
  • Nevada: June, 2011, Gov. Brian Sandoval signs state exchange legislation into law
  • New Hampshire: June 18, Gov. John Lynch signs a bill prohibiting the state from participating in or enabling a state-based health insurance exchange
  • New York: April 12, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issues an executive order establishing a state exchange
  • Ohio: Nov. 13, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor announces the state will let the federal government run its exchange (Gov. Kasich’s position was unstated in the Kaiser Foundation chart)
  • Oregon: June, 2011, Gov. John Kitzhaber signs a state exchange into law
  • Rhode Island: Sept., 2011, Gov. Lincoln Chafee issues an executive order establishing an exchange
  • South Carolina: July 2, Gov. Nikki Haley releases a letter she has sent to Sen. Jim DeMint opposing her state’s implementation of a state-based exchange
  • South Dakota: Sept. 26, Gov. Dennis Daugaard announces his state will not operate an exchange
  • Texas: July 9, Gov. Rick Perry informs the federal HHS Dept. that his state will not move toward a state-based exchange
  • Utah: 2008 and 2009, the state enacts two bills directing the Office of Consumer Health Services to create a state health exchange “which allows small employers to participate in a defined contribution arrangement”
  • Vermont: May, 2011, Gov. Pete Shumlin signs an exchange bill into law
  • Virginia: Nov. 8, Gov. Bob McDonnell announces Virginia will not move to set up an exchange
  • Washington State: May, 2011, Gov. Christine Gregoire signs an exchange bill into law
  • Wyoming: April, 2011, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signs an exchange bill into law; Nov. 14, a Wyoming news outlet reports the state will cede control of the state exchange to the federal government