Life Advocacy Briefing

December 17, 2012

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! / Judge Affirms N.Y. Archdiocese’s Right to Fight
Freedom of Choice & Conscience in Michigan / Pro-Life Advances Pending in Michigan
Overreach / Planned Parenthood Demands Deference to Deadly Scheme / Be There!
New Leadership for March / Quoteworthy / D.C. Events Around March for Life

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

LOOKING AT THE CALENDAR, we do not expect to publish Life Advocacy Briefing until Jan. 7, 2013, because of the coming holidays. If news merits, we will do our best to bring it to you, but at this writing we expect this to be our last edition in 2012. We send all our readers heartfelt wishes for blessings at Christmas and into the new year. May our Lord bless us all!


Judge Affirms N.Y. Archdiocese’s Right to Fight

COURTROOM VICTORIES CONTINUE TO PILE UP against ObamaCare and in particular the implementing of the Health & Human Services regulation mandating employer coverage of contraception, abortifacients and sterilization.

One of the most significant rulings barring enforcement of the mandate came earlier this month in New York, where federal district Judge Brian M. Cogan issued a “strongly worded” opinion, reports John Jalsevac for, in refusing to dismiss a suit for relief from the mandate, brought by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.

“The Obama Administration had argued,” writes Mr. Jalsevac, “that the archdiocese’s lawsuit was premature, since the Administration may still make adjustments to the mandate that would stop it from having any effect on the archdiocese.”

But Judge Cogan retorted, quoted by Mr. Jalsevac, “quipping, ‘There is no “Trust us, changes are coming” clause in the Constitution.’ The judge also said,” reports LifeSiteNews, “it would be irresponsible to ignore ‘the speeding train that is coming towards plaintiffs in the hope that it will stop.’”


Freedom of Choice & Conscience in Michigan

IF MICHIGAN’s NEW RIGHT-TO-WORK LAW RESULTS in fewer dues-paying members for the United Auto Workers union (UAW) – as some predict and the union appears to fear – it could adversely affect Planned Parenthood, notes Kirsten Andersen for

“The Right-to-Work law, which is expected to take effect in April,” explains Ms. Andersen, “frees Michigan workers from being forced to join or pay dues to a union in order to get a job. Michigan has long been one of the nation’s most heavily unionized states,” she notes, “and union dues are spent by union officials not just on collective bargaining but on politics and social activism – much of it offensive to the union members they are supposed to represent.”

It turns out that the UAW, for which Michigan workers are a key constituency, is one of those unions which uses member dues for such radical purposes as funding Planned Parenthood.

In fact, the relationship is so close that Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards recently hailed the UAW as “‘shar[ing with Planned Parenthood] a planned vision for this country.’” Her remark, quoted by Ms. Andersen, came during a speech in Washington at the UAW’s National Community Action Program Legislative Conference.

The connection was cited, in the LifeSiteNews story, by Elise Hilton of the Michigan-based Acton Institute, a respected religious liberty think tank, who “said the new [Right-to-Work] law would ‘absolutely’ help defund the progressive agenda.

“‘I don’t think people outside of maybe the leadership of the UAW or Planned Parenthood know about the strong ties between unions and Planned Parenthood,’ [Ms.] Hilton told ‘I don’t think they realize that the president of Planned Parenthood was the keynote speaker for the UAW conference or that the UAW says on their own website that they “strenuously support a woman’s right to choose.”’”

Ms. Andersen goes on to observe that [t]he leadership of the UAW “overlaps” with the abortion lobby as well. “Last year,” she writes, “the UAW appointed Mary Beth Cahill director of its national political efforts. [Ms.] Cahill had previously spent five years running EMILY’s List, a political action committee (PAC) dedicated to electing pro-abortion politicians. UAW president Bob King,” writes Ms. Andersen, “showered [Ms.] Cahill with praise for her efforts, saying, ‘During her five years at EMILY’s List, she helped turn the pro-choice PAC into an unrivaled political powerhouse – the largest in the country at the time.’”

Now that UAW members in Michigan will have a choice, come April, whether or not to pay dues to the behemoth union, many will no doubt examine their consciences concerning this intertwining of the abortion cartel and their union leadership, particularly in view of the political use of their dues. No longer will they have to leave their jobs in order to disentangle themselves and their families from the stain of abortion.


Pro-Life Advances Pending in Michigan

MICHIGAN’s G.O.P. GOV. RICK SNYDER HAS MORE CONTROVERSY ON HIS DESK than the state’s newly passed Right-to-Work legislation.

Two pro-life bills are awaiting the governor’s action in Lansing, report Kathleen Gray and Robin Erb for the Detroit Free Press (DFP), and two more pro-life bills appear to be on their way.

“‘Those … issues were our top issues,’” said Ed Rivet, spokesman for Michigan Right to Life, whom the DFP reporters describe as “thrilled.”

“‘Conscience, insurance and regulation and reform,’ he said, referring to the issues addressed in the bills,” reports DFP. “‘That we’re doing them all simultaneously is pretty remarkable.’” In fact, Mr. Rivet exulted, in the DFP report, “‘This is a bit of reward for 25 years of work.’”

The measures which are currently on the governor’s desk, report the DFP writers, “would limit abortion coverage on policies sold on a statewide [ObamaCare] health insurance exchange unless consumers purchase it as an add-on to their policy.

The House is expected soon to take up a Senate-passed bill which, DFP reports, “calls for more stringent licensing of abortion clinics.” A further bill, which has advanced to the full House for a likely vote, “would allow healthcare providers,” reports the DFP, “to refuse service based on their moral objections, religious reasons or matters of conscience.”

All the proposals are opposed by organized medicine in Michigan, though such provisions as requiring abortuaries to meet the same licensing standards as freestanding surgical facilities appear eminently reasonable and necessary to the well-being of clients. As would pending provisions requiring abortionists to determine an aborting mother has not been coerced and calling for safe, respectful disposal of fetal human remains.



PLANNED PARENTHOOD IS LOSING SOME OF ITS AFFILIATES, and more are going to have to mull leaving the network.

Among Planned Parenthood-affiliated “family planning” centers are a significant number which have neither the capacity nor the desire to commit abortions on the premises; instead, these more limited outposts refer their customers to other “providers” for the actual abortion and just make their money via dispensing of contraception and other “services.”

But that practice is changing, by edict of the behemoth itself. Planned Parenthood, in late 2010, “issued a new requirement,” writes Ben Johnson for, “that all affiliates must provide on-site abortion inside at least one of their locations.” The deadline for the change – 2013 – is fast approaching.

As a result, reports Mr. Johnson, a five-city Planned Parenthood network in New York, which has called itself Planned Parenthood of South Central New York, has changed its name, as of 2013, to Family Planning of South Central New York. The change does not take the regional outfit out of the abortion business, in that FPSCNY “will continue to refer women to facilities that perform abortions,” reports Mr. Johnson. But it no longer considers the Planned Parenthood brand essential to its business.

The decision, said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League, could not have been taken lightly. “‘When an affiliate like this disaffiliates from Planned Parenthood,’” he told LifeSiteNews, “‘it cuts them off from all the volume discounts and special pricing that they get by being a Planned Parenthood affiliate.’”

“‘We see this happening all over the country,’ former Planned Parenthood manager Abby Johnson told LifeSiteNews by e-mail. ‘I have been talking about this abortion mandate since I left’ the abortion industry. [Mrs.] Johnson now heads And Then There Were None,” notes Mr. Jalsevac, “a group that helps former abortion industry workers leave their jobs.”

The first Planned Parenthood affiliate to leave the orbit after the abortion mandate was issued was a Texas group which changed its name in 2011 to Family Planning of the Coastal Bend.

The abortion edict “‘just go[es] to show that Planned Parenthood really is synonymous with abortion,’” Mallory Quigley of the Susan B. Anthony List pro-life PAC told Charlie Butts of, “‘and that they will not stand for any of their affiliates to dissent in any way to their abortion-on-demand ideology. … At Susan B. Anthony List,’” she said, “‘we think that this is … evidence that Planned Parenthood’s chief concern is about making money off of abortion. It’s a huge moneymaker, and the most recent data we have available is that they perform over 329,000 abortions in one year.’”


Planned Parenthood Demands Deference to Deadly Scheme

PLANNED PARENTHOOD HAS FILED SUIT seeking to topple Wisconsin’s new law regulating “telemed” or “webcam” abortions.

The law “requires,” reports Barbara Lyons, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life in a news release, “that a woman seeking an RU-486 abortion be seen ‘in person’ by the individual performing the abortion and that in-person administration of the RU-486 abortion pill take place.”

Planned Parenthood has established the webcam abortion technique in several of its affiliates, chiefly in Iowa. Neighboring Wisconsin has acted pre-emptively to block the profitable scheme from pervading rural communities, which are ideal targets for such a cut-rate practice.

In filing the lawsuit Planned Parenthood has signaled it “would rather expand its abortion empire by having women talk to an abortionist over a web cam,” said Ms. Lyons, than safeguard the health and safety of its customers. “This is not good medicine,” she said, “and not good protection for women.”

Official guidelines for administering the abortion drug unfortunately are not enforceable, but Wisconsin’s law should be, and putting those safeguards into law is what lawmakers across America should do. “The Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG) and the National Abortion Federation (NAF) guidelines for administration of RU-486 abortions,” notes Wisconsin Right to Life, “call for a physical exam as step one prior to obtaining this type of abortion. The guidelines also recommend follow-up after 14 days to the abortion provider to ensure that the abortion is complete. The FDA reports 14 maternal deaths and over 2,300 adverse incidents from use of RU-486 since 2000.” Can there be any doubt that Planned Parenthood’s profit-seeking scheme will boost that toll of death and injury to America’s women?

But the hands-on practice of medicine is costly, and in developing remote-control abortion, Planned Parenthood is seeking both to cut costs and to expand into less populated areas. No one of common sense could view webcam abortion as an appropriate practice of medicine. Hopefully, the court in Wisconsin will exhibit such ordinary thinking and not fall for Planned Parenthood’s assurances.


Be There!

MAKE PLANS NOW to travel in January to the National Mall in Washington, DC, for the annual March for Life, in 2013 observing the 40th anniversary of the tragic Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton edicts decriminalizing abortion in America.

Though the March for Life customarily meets in the heart of the capitol on the Jan. 22 anniversary, next year’s March rally will convene at noon on Jan. 25 because of the proximity of the anniversary to the Presidential inauguration, which occurs Jan. 20 and brings massive crowds to Washington.

Several pro-life organizations will hold conferences and other events in DC around the date of the March. At the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing, we offer details on those about which we are currently aware.


New Leadership for March

MARCH FOR LIFE ORGANIZERS ARE HOPING for record turnouts next year because of the milestone anniversary, because the abortion death toll now exceeds 50 million, and in salute to March for Life founder and 39-year president Nellie Gray, who passed away in 2012. The March for Life board announced in November the appointment of Jeanne Monahan as full-time president succeeding Miss Gray, who led the annual commemoration from the beginning and devoted her own life to the cause of Life.

Ms. Monahan, who has previously served on the board and served as interim president since Miss Gray’s passing, previously was director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council and before that worked in the US Dept. of Health & Human Services. She holds a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and a Master of Theological Studies from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage & Family at Catholic University of America.

Shortly after the appointment, Ms. Monahan announced an emphasis on drawing youth to the March.



Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, commenting in his Dec. 12, 2012, Washington Update on the injustice of adding “rape and incest” to the standing “life-of-the-mother” exception to the military ban on abortion funding: “While the issue is a sensitive one, we believe abortion is never a loving solution for the mother or the child. The circumstances surrounding a pregnancy from rape or incest are extremely difficult, but one brutal act of violence against a woman doesn’t justify the government encouraging a second act of violence against an unborn child.”


D.C. Events Around March for Life

Thursday, Jan. 24 – Friday, Jan. 25 – March for Life Exhibit Hall – lower lobby, Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill

Thursday, Jan. 24 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Law of Life Summit 3 presented by Ave Maria School of Law in cooperation with the March for Life Education & Defense Fund – Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. (Admission free but space limited)

Thursday, Jan. 24 – 2 to 2 p.m. – March for Life Youth Rally in Regency Ballroom of Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill (No charge or reservation required)

Thursday, Jan. 24 – National Prayer Vigil sponsored by US Conference of Catholic Bishops (Place and time TBA)

Friday, Jan. 25 – Noon – March for Life Rally on National Mall, Washington

Friday, Jan. 25 – approx. 1:30 p.m. – March for Life up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court Building (Buses available in various cities)

Saturday, Jan. 26 – 8 a.m. – 5K Run in West Potomac Park, Washington, hosted by National LIFE Runners Team. (Admission free; donation to March for Life encouraged)

Saturday, Jan. 26 – 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. – Students for Life of America National Conference, in North Bethesda (MD) Marriott, co-sponsored by Alliance Defending Freedom, honoring Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life as 2013 Defender of Life (Paid registration required; “early bird” discount available through Dec. 31)

Friday, Jan. 25 – 6 p.m./7 p.m. – Rose Dinner hosted by March for Life (ticket sales underway)