Life Advocacy Briefing

January 28, 2013

March for Life Occupies D.C. / Rallies Across America / Out of Context
Proclaiming a Hard Truth / Defunding Bills Picking Up Co-Sponsors
Victory Sealed in Topeka / Quoteworthy / Quoteworthy, Too
Always Quoteworthy: Mother Teresa / Stunning Slapdown
Co-Sponsors of Bills to Defund Abortionists

March for Life Occupies D.C.

THE MARCH FOR LIFE, WHICH ANNUALLY MARKS the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton with a rally on the National Mall and march through the streets of Washington, DC, was gathering at the time of our publication deadline Friday. Though we cannot, therefore, report on it in this Life Advocacy Briefing, we expect to begin next week our annual tradition of publishing all the Congressional speeches from the March rally. We transcribe the speeches and offer them weekly as a service – and hopefully an inspiration – to our readers.

We are pleased to note today the many reports we read last week estimating likely turnout. These reports can be summarized in this way: Reservations for hotel accommodations related to the March significantly outpaced reservations for the festivities around the Presidential inauguration.


Rallies Across America

THOUSANDS OF PRO-LIFE CITIZENS DID NOT WAIT for the national March for Life in protesting 40 years of decriminalized baby-killing in America. They participated in local rallies across the USA.

“State and local marches drew crowds from the hundreds to more than 10,000,” reports Ben Johnson for, “at capitol buildings, public venues and courthouses in virtually every metropolis and hamlet … .”

Among the local gatherings, a rally in Dallas drew between 8,000 and 10,000, Mr. Johnson notes, reporting a turnout of 5,000 in Lincoln, Nebraska, and another 4,000 at the Louisiana state capitol in Baton Rouge. The turnout at San Diego was estimated at 3,000, and, writes Mr. Johnson, “Thousands more marched through the streets of Little Rock,” and the state capitol was the rally site in Missouri.

Gov. Sam Brownback (R) rallied pro-life citizens in Topeka, celebrating comprehensive advances in legislation signed by the new governor after the wilderness years of Kathleen Sebelius’s reign.

Other rallies marked the anniversary, LifeSiteNews reports, in Nashville, St. Augustine, Knoxville, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cheyenne, Yakima, tiny Putnam County (Ohio) and Chicago-suburban Palatine.

“In Santa Cruz, a pro-abortion rally drew 60 people,” he writes. The tone there was remarkably different.  Mr. Johnson quotes the keynote speaker, public affairs director of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, complaining that the typical $650 fee is too low. ‘We have less and less providers,’” bemoaned keynoter Lupe Rodriguez, quoted by LifeSiteNews, “‘and they’re getting reimbursed [sic] at the rates of the 1980s. This,’” said the Planned Parenthood mouthpiece, “‘is potentially really devastating.’” Aww.


Out of Context

A POWERFUL 2-MINUTE VIDEO has been posted on the Internet by Blackstone Films. We urge our readers to view it, assuming it is still available by the time you read this. Currently, you can find it here.

Viewer warning: The voice you hear – and you will see him, too – is that of the current President of the United States. He is speaking in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut, school tragedy, but lifting his words from the context and reapplying them to the reality of the slaughter of the innocents in the nation’s abortuaries fills one with a profound sense of irony.

A pointed example: The President is heard to say, “Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage? That the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence, visited on our children year after year after year, is somehow the price of freedom?”


Proclaiming a Hard Truth

ONE EMERGING PRO-LIFE LEADER HAD A STINGING MESSAGE for participants in last Thursday’s Law of Life Summit, hosted in Washington, DC, by Ave Maria School of Law.

Rebecca Kiesling, an attorney who is a spokesman for Personhood USA and who recently announced her own new project to counsel pro-life candidates, “was conceived in rape,” reports Patrick B. Craine for, “when her mother was abducted at knifepoint.”

Her message Thursday nailed many in the pro-life movement for embracing situational exceptions in legislation protecting life. She called such loopholes “discrimination,” and rightly so.

“‘Let me tell you,’” she declared, quoted by Mr. Craine, “to those who think that sometimes you just need to compromise: We are not cannon fodder. … You do not get to put us out on the front lines and take a giant step back … .”

We at Life Advocacy stand with Ms. Kiessling. We recognize the value in an incremental approach to limiting abortion on the way to restoring its appropriate status as a heinous crime for which the abortionist should be prosecuted. We do not, however, accept situational “exceptions” as legitimate increments.  Ms. Kiessling is entirely right in proclaiming such loopholes as “discrimination.”

Ms. Kiessling told the Summit participants Thursday that her mother had sought to abort her but that she “was only saved,” writes Mr. Craine, “because, at the time, Michigan had a total ban on abortion. ‘My birth mother did not choose life for me; she chose abortion,’ she explained,” as reported by Mr. Craine. “‘Pro-life leaders chose life for me. Those who, without even knowing of my exact existence, recognized that mine was a life worth saving. And they made sure abortion was illegal in Michigan even in cases of rape,’” she noted. “‘One hundred percent pro-life, no exceptions, no compromise. I owe my life to them. …

“‘I think it’s extreme,’” she said, reported by LifeSiteNews, “‘to tell another living human being that they are garbage, … that they’re not worthy of living and that they didn’t deserve to be protected. [Those who embrace situational exceptions] are the ones who are being extreme,’” she declared, “‘and we need to be prepared to point that out.’”


Defunding Bills Picking Up Co-Sponsors

THE SPONSORS OF THE BILLS TO DEFUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD have been garnering co-sponsors on their proposals. When we first reported by HR-61, chief sponsor Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) was its sole official backer; her bill now has 61 co-sponsors.

HR-217, filed by Mrs. Blackburn’s Tennessee GOP colleague, Rep. Diane Black, now lists 165 co-sponsors, up from an initial 23, whose names we listed in our Jan. 14 edition with a request that our readers urge more Representatives to join the two bills.

While pleased that many have signed on to legislation defunding the nation’s chief purveyor of abortion, we renew our request to readers to contact their own Representative in Congress (1-202/224-3121) either to say thanks or to urge him or her to subscribe to these two measures. Both bills are pending in the House Committee on Energy & Commerce. We list the co-sponsors to the two measures at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing. And we offer our own thanks to these Members of Congress.


Victory Sealed in Topeka

THE STATE OF KANSAS HAS PREVAILED AGAINST THE A.C.L.U. in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union challenging a 2011 law barring private health insurers from covering elective abortions.

Federal District Judge Julie Robinson dismissed the lawsuit last Wednesday “with prejudice,” reports Topeka’s Capital Journal, “meaning it can’t be refiled.”



John Stonestreet in a Jan. 21, 2013, Breakpoint commentary: “We haven’t won the culture just because people don’t “like” abortion. We’ve only won when it’s considered morally wrong. So wrong, in fact, that it’s intolerable in any case, like slavery.”


Quoteworthy, Too

Charmaine Yoest PhD, president of Americans United for Life, in a Jan. 22, 2013, memo to supporters: “Even though so-called ‘choice’ was made legal 40 years ago, the real choice is with us now, when we decide as a generation if the past will dictate the future or if we can harness the power to change it. As we stand at this, a critical moment of decision, we must have the courage to believe that the moral landscape of the present does not dictate our hope for the future. We must decide to create a future where women are protected from exploitation, where all citizens of this country – whether born or unborn – are treated with dignity and where our laws and our way of life undergird the responsibility we have to protect one another. This is the culture of Life. This is our America. This is the post-Roe nation.”


Always Quoteworthy: Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa, at the Feb. 3, 1994, National Prayer Breakfast, in the presence of then-President and Mrs. Bill Clinton and then-Vice President and Mrs. Al Gore, reprinted by historian Bill Federer in his Jan. 22, 2013, American Minute daily memo: “The greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion. … It is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent, … murder by the mother herself. If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill? Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love but to use violence.”


Stunning Slapdown

Jan. 20, 2013, Fox News Channel commentary by veteran journalist Liz Trotta, delivered in a caustic tone

Tuesday marks the fortieth anniversary of the Roe versus Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. For the feminist left in 1973, it was a crowning achievement. Abortion, they concluded, was here to stay, enshrined in the nation’s law. You can be sure their aging saints will be available this week for interviews when the media that loves abortion trots them out for worship and remembrance.

Four decades later, however, there’s a note of whistling past the graveyard in the run-up to the anniversary. Even Time magazine – or what’s left of it – said of the pro-abortion activists on its latest cover: (quote) They’ve been losing ever since.

At the state level, they point out, anti-abortion or pro-life activists and lawyers have succeeded in winning important restrictions on the federal law. Enough to make a rollback of Roe seem within reach.

Shame and stigma – their code words for how single mothers are regarded – are still part of the outmoded talking points. Yet there’s talk of shedding the prochoice label in favor of a more inclusive term. That would cover gay rights and child care – that is, if there’s any children left to take care of.

The abortion debate still revolves around numbers and the motives of those collecting them. Nevertheless, there’s little change in the polls over the years; a majority of Americans say they don’t want Roe overturned and at the same time 47% say abortion is (quote) morally wrong. That’s ambivalence. Support for Roe does not mean abortion supporters think the procedure is free of guilt.

How many abortions have been performed in the forty years since Roe is not disputed. In the United States, more than fifty-five-million babies have been surgically or chemically dissolved – roughly one child per thirty seconds. One is tempted to consider the deserved attention given to the slaughter in Newtown, Connecticut, against the business-as-usual holocaust of the unborn.

The arguments for abortion have not changed, emphasizing a woman’s right to control her own body – as if any of us but God really can. The activists of the 1970s and their younger versions still speak of reproductive rights and public health, myopically concentrating their focus on women, not the murder of children. Perhaps this is why the abortion issue is still an unhealed wound in the moral life of the nation.

It also makes it more difficult to argue for abortion when science and its miracle of ultrasound now allows us and mothers to get a look inside the womb, to see a living, breathing person. The activists have fought this mightily as testament to their raw disregard for both mother and child.

Planned Parenthood – the motherlode of abortion providers – is under attack, while American taxpayers pay for half its budget. $542-million, according to the latest annual report. Planned Parenthood insists it exists to provide for the health of women, but privately even its own members speculate that their real aim is to provide contraception.

There is a strong argument to be made for holding the radical leftists of the abortion movement responsible for the coarsening of our culture. Promiscuity, degradation of women, suicide, abuse of children born, contempt for morality and religion, rampant cynicism and vulgarity. When you hold life cheap, there’s little to protect.

So when the marches start and the parade of abortion’s wonderwomen begins, who will remember the silent wail of fifty-five-million children who died to make it more convenient for their mothers?


Co-Sponsors of Bills to Defund Abortionists

 (Democrats in italics)

Both bills: AL/Bachus, Bonner; AK/Young; AZ/Franks, Salmon, Schweikert; AR/Cotton, Crawford, Griffin, Womack; CO/Gardner, Lamborn; FL/Bilirakis, Mica, Miller, Ross; GA/Broun, Gingrey, Scott, Westmoreland; ID/Labrador; IL/Hultgren, Shimkus; IN/Bucshon, Rokita, Young; IA/King; KS/Huelskamp, Jenkins, Pompeo, Yoder; KY/Guthrie, Rogers ; LA/Boustany, Cassidy, Scalise; MD/Harris; MI/Bentvolio, Huizenga; MS/Harper, Nunnelee, Palazzo; MO/Long, Luetkemeyer, Wagner; NE/Terry; NJ/Garrett; NM/Pearce; NC/Jones, McIntyre, Pittenger; OH/Chabot, Gibbs, Johnson, Stivers; OK/Cole; PA/Kelly, Marino, Thompson; SC/Duncan, Wilson; SD/Noem; TN/Blackburn, Duncan, Fincher, Roe; TX/Barton, Conaway, Culberson, Farenthold, Marchant, McCaul, Neugebauer, Olson, Poe, Stockman; UT/Bishop.

HR-61 (Blackburn): NC/Meadows; OH/Turner; PA/Fitzpatrick, Rothfus; TX/Burgess; WI/ Sensenbrenner.

HR-217 (Black): AL/Aderholt, Brooks, Roby, Rogers; AZ/Gosar; CA/Calvert, Campbell, Hunter, McClintock, Miller; FL/Buchanan, Posey, Radel, Southerland, Webster, Yoho, Young; GA/Collins, Graves, Kingston, Price; ID/Simpson; IL/Davis, Lipinski, Roskam, Schock; IN/Messer, Stutzman, Walorski; KY/Barr, Whitfield; LA/Alexander, Fleming; MI/Amash, Benishek, Miller, Rogers, Walberg; MN/Bachmann, Kline; MO/Graves, Hartzler; MT/Daines; NE/Fortenberry, Smith; NJ/Smith; NY/Reed; NC/Ellmers, Foxx, Holding, Hudson, McHenry; ND/Cramer; OH/Jordan, Latta, Renacci, Tiberi, Wenstrup; OK/Lankford, Mullin; PA/Barletta, Murphy, Pitts, Shuster; SC/Gowdy, Mulvaney; TN/Fleischmann; TX/Brady, Carter, Flores, Gohmert, Hall, Hensarling, Johnson, Weber, Williams; UT/Chaffetz, Stewart; VA/Forbes, Goodlatte, Hurt, Wittman; WA/McMorris-Rodgers; WV/McKinley; WI/Duffy, Petri, Ribble, Ryan.