Life Advocacy Briefing

February 18, 2013

Thanking the Pope / Bill Filed to Apply ‘Hyde’ to Homeland Security Dept. / Carhart Under Fire
Whitewash in New Mexico? / Closed Abortuary to Stay that Way
Judge Nixes Arizona’s Abortionist Defunding Law / N.R.L. Weighs In on Mandate ‘Compromise
The Bottom Line / March for Life Speech: Rep. Dan Lipinski

Thanking the Pope

WE JOIN THE MANY VOICES thanking Pope Benedict XVI, upon the surprise announcement last week of his retirement, for his clear and firm voice in support of Life and family.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said, according to Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in his Washington Update, “‘People of all nations have been blessed by the sacrifices he has made to sow the seeds of hope, justice and compassion throughout the world in the name of our Lord and Savior.’

“We join our Catholic friends in thanking Pope Benedict for his tireless work,” added Mr. Perkins, “and pray that his successor is just as committed to speaking truth in a confused world.” Amen.


Bill Filed to Apply ‘Hyde’ to Homeland Security Dept.

REP. BILL HUIZENGA (R-MI) HAS FILED LEGISLATION to bar the spending of tax dollars for abortions on detainees of the Dept. of Homeland Security. HR-493 has been assigned to the House Committee on Energy & Commerce and concurrently to the Committee on the Judiciary. It has 17 co-sponsors.

The bill would bar the department from paying for abortions except those needed to save the life of the mother or in cases where the baby was conceived during a sex crime. It also bars the department from requiring staff to help commit abortions “or in any way facilitate” an abortion. Its provisions are meant to mimic the Hyde Amendment but recognizes that that long-standing provision applies only to agencies related to the Department of Health & Human Services.

Huizenga spokesman Brian Patrick explained the proposal to Zane McMillin, reporter for, a western Michigan news outlet. “‘We’re saying,’” he said, “‘if someone were to be detained and were pregnant while being detained, asked for an abortion, we’re asking that taxpayer dollars not be used to fund an abortion.’” He noted the lack of Hyde Amendment application to the Dept. of Homeland Security “‘currently allows’” for an abortion subsidy through the DHS immigration enforcement agency, “‘and we’re acting to close the loophole.’”

Co-sponsoring HR-493 with Rep. Huizenga are Representatives Spencer Bachus & Martha Roby (AL), Trent Franks (AZ), Doug Lamborn (CO), Randy Hultgren (IL), Mike Pompeo (KS), Charles Boustany & John Fleming (LA), Vicky Hartzler & Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO), Stevan Pearce (NM), Walter Jones (NC), Kevin Cramer (ND), Robert Latta (OH), Mike Kelly (PA), Stephen Fincher (TN) and Kenny Marchant (TX). All are Republicans.


Carhart Under Fire

THE MARYLAND ATTORNEY GENERAL’s OFFICE SAYS IT IS INVESTIGATING the newly licensed abortuary of LeRoy Carhart, following up on a letter last November asking the office’s Environmental Crimes Unit to look into illegal dumping of biohazardous waste and private patient information.

But as serious a threat as the probe could be to the late-term shop in Germantown, notorious late-term abortionist Carhart could be in even more trouble, following the death Feb. 7 of a 29-year-old kindergarten teacher from White Plains, New York.

In a special nightmare for the abortion industry, the late mother’s name and background have been released, along with a smiling photo of her, putting a face on the butchery of abortion and making it more difficult for Maryland’s licensing and police authorities to hush up the tragedy.

Jennifer Morbelli had traveled to Germantown on Sunday, Feb. 3, after she and her husband learned their wanted little girl was suffering from fetal anomalies which have not been publicly identified. The little girl, already named Madison, was aged 33 gestational weeks. Tragically, that prenatal diagnosis sent her into Mr. Carhart’s hands.  Mr. Carhart, it should be noted, was the plaintiff in the lawsuits seeking to overturn the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. He is one of four US abortionists known to specialize in late-term killings.

Reports from sidewalk counselors, who daily attend the vicinity of the Carhart shop, indicate that Mrs. Morbelli looked increasingly pale and weak with each of the multiple visits she made to the “clinic” over several days. She was rushed on Feb. 7 to Shady Grove Hospital, where repeated and futile efforts were made to save her life. “Efforts by family and hospital staff to reach Carhart while [Mrs.] Morbelli’s condition worsened were unsuccessful,” reports Kirsten Andersen for He was believed to have left the state, as he routinely splits his week among abortion shops in various states.

Maryland’s chief medical examiner has reportedly performed an autopsy on the young mother’s body, reports Ms. Andersen, “but officials say a complete review could take more than a month.”

Meanwhile, the medical director of the state’s Office of Health Care Quality has “confirmed,” writes Ms. Andersen, “that her office is looking into the matter, [saying] ‘We are aware of this incident, and we do have an ongoing investigation.’”

The state last year enacted abortion clinic regulations, but the bureaucracy licensed the Carhart shop without an inspection. In fact, the list of newly licensed facilities – including the Germantown abortuary – was posted on the state’s website just hours before the Morbelli death.

Now that the world has seen Mr. Carhart’s latest victim and knows her name and background, it will be difficult for even Maryland authorities to whitewash Mr. Carhart’s involvement in the death of Mrs. Morbelli and her daughter.

But we believe the investigations should extend to another corner as well; we believe the personnel in New York who were involved in counseling the Morbellis about the prenatal diagnosis of their vulnerable little girl should also be investigated, and the probe should include identifying whatever personnel referred this distressed family to one of America’s most notorious abortionists.


Whitewash in New Mexico?

THE CARHART SITUATION IS A GOOD ILLUSTRATION of what can happen when authorities hand-slap men and women who earn their living by killing preborn babies.

One of Mr. Carhart’s colleagues, another late-term specialist licensed in New Mexico, has just dodged disciplinary action by that state’s “medical disciplinary” authorities.

“Late-term abortionist Shelley Sella,” reports Operation Rescue (OR), “was cleared last week on charges of gross negligence related to a botched 35-week abortion that resulted in a ruptured uterus.” In that incident, her customer was left alive but unable to bear children.

Now a task force has been appointed by the New Mexico Medical Board to “revamp the complaint process,” OR reports. Current practice permits “any member of the public to bring a complaint against a licensee.”  Ms. Sella’s lawyers continually protested her having to undergo investigation because of complaints brought by OR and by New Mexico’s own Project Defending Life, “which [had] discovered the life-threatening incident after obtaining 911 records,” notes OR.

The plan to revamp the complaint rules “‘is a direct attempt by a radically motivated pro-abortion Medical Board to prevent future investigations into the practices of unregulated abortionists in the state,’ said Tara Shaver of Project Defending Life, who obtained records of 14 medical emergencies at Albuquerque abortion clinics over a two-year time period,” reports OR. “‘Since 2010, the New Mexico Medical Board has done nothing less than try to cover for Albuquerque abortionists who are injuring women at a staggering rate.’”

The OR report complains of “resistance” by the Medical Board’s executive director, “not based on the merits of the complaints but because pro-life supporters were involved in bringing them. Her hostile attitude against such complaints,” OR reports, “have led to allegations of bias and corruption.”

Buttressing the charge of corruption is the fact that New Mexico law limits late-term abortions to hospitals, according to OR, yet Ms. Sella continues to commit late-term abortions in her own facility.

Meanwhile, Shelley Sella is free to continue killing babies and injuring their mothers. She and LeRoy Carhart are among the four US late-term abortionists who were celebrated as “heroes” at the recent Sundance Film Festival.

“Since the New Mexico Medical Board refuses to do its duty to protect the public,” declared OR spokesman Cheryl Sullenger, “we call for a complete overhaul of the Board. We call on Gov. Susana Martinez to clean house at the Board before more women are injured or killed.”


Closed Abortuary to Stay that Way

A CLOSED BIRMINGHAM ABORTUARY will remain closed, Ben Johnson reports for, despite efforts to reopen under (sort of) new management.

The New Woman All Women abortuary closed last spring, some two months after the state had revoked its license. It was owned by Diane Derzis, who happens also to be the owner of the Jackson, Mississippi, abortuary whose pending closure we have previously reported. (Ms. Derzis, incidentally, has now painted her Jackson abortion shop bright pink “as a visual statement,” writes Mr. Johnson, “that its pending closure is part of the ‘war on women.’”)

The Alabama Dept. of Public Health (A.D.P.H.) set a December deadline for longtime Derzis associate Kelley Rainwater to bring the building up to code, further ordering, reports Mr. Johnson, that Ms. Derzis “could play no role in the new venture. …

“On Feb. 8, the A.D.P.H. confirmed,” writes Mr. Johnson, “that [Ms.] Rainwater had failed to comply” with the steps needed to bring the facility to code, “and thus her application was denied.”

What prompted the state to crack down on the Alabama joint? In January, 2012, reports Mr. Johnson, “two victims of a botched abortion on the site were carried to an ambulance’s gurney, because the facility is not accessible for emergency care workers. The ambulance had been turned away an hour earlier, then returned to the scene.” The incident was an example of the common sense involved in enacting and enforcing abortuary regulations. When they are enforced, lives are saved.


Judge Nixes Arizona’s Abortionist Defunding Law

A FEDERAL JUDGE LAST MONDAY BLOCKED ARIZONA from excluding abortionists from Medicaid eligibility. The state is planning to appeal the ruling.

Judge Neil Wake had issued a preliminary injunction against the law in October when the Obama Justice Dept. filed a brief favoring the abortion industry; the lawsuit was initially filed by Planned Parenthood last May, just after Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signed the measure.

“‘A state may not restrict a beneficiary’s right to select any qualified provider for reasons wholly unrelated to the provider’s ability to deliver Medicaid services,’” wrote the judge in his opinion, quoted by John Jalsevac, reporting for


N.R.L. Weighs In on Mandate ‘Compromise’

Feb. 1, 2013, statement by National Right to Life Committee

In proposed revisions to the preventive services mandate issued [Feb. 1], the Obama Administration once again employs changes in packaging in an attempt to conceal continuity in substance. This latest revision continues to compel countless employers to purchase health plans that will pay for drugs and procedures to which they are opposed on moral and religious grounds. For a nonprofit organization that “holds itself out as a religious organization,” the Administration claims that it is relieving the employer of the moral conflict by obligating the insurer to pay for the objected-to drugs and services. This is a subterfuge, since the employees would not be getting the objected-to services if the religious employer was not paying for the health plan.

Moreover, the Administration once again puts forward the rationale that “issuers generally would find that providing such contraceptive coverage is cost-neutral because they would be insuring the same set of individuals under both policies and would experience lower costs from improvements in women’s health and fewer childbirths.” This justification – which essentially argues that contraceptive coverage really costs nothing – could later be employed by the Administration to attempt to mandate coverage of surgical abortions in at least some health plans, on similar grounds that each abortion prevents the higher costs of prenatal care and childbirth.

The proposed revision also continues to apply the mandate to for-profit businesses run by people of faith, without even the cosmetic changes discussed above, and provides no options for individuals seeking plans that accommodate their values on the exchanges.

National Right to Life applauds the ongoing work of Alliance Defending Freedom and others in challenging the Obama Administration’s infringements on the free exercise of religion in the courts. National Right to Life will continue to work with like-minded Members of Congress to seek legislative remedies, as well.


The Bottom Line

Excerpt from Feb. 1, 2013, statement on the Obama Regime mandate ‘compromise’ by Priests for Life director Fr. Frank Pavone

… We at Priests for Life remind the Administration that religious liberty does not just belong to religious groups and individuals; it belongs to all Americans. Objections to contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs aren’t based just on dogmas and Bibles but on adverse health consequences and the fact that human beings – no matter how small – should not be killed.

We see only one acceptable change regarding the mandate: Rescind it completely.


March for Life Speech: Rep. Dan Lipinski

Delivered Jan. 25, 2013, at the March for Life on the National Mall in Washington, DC, transcribed by Life Advocacy; Rep. Lipinski is Democratic co-chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus; he represents the 3rd District of Illinois

Good afternoon, and thank you for being here. At this place, great speeches have been made and millions have marched to secure our God-given inalienable rights. Tragically, however, we mourn the fortieth anniversary of the taking away of our most basic and essential right for our most vulnerable sisters and brothers. But we cannot allow sorrow and setbacks to stop us. We must stand together proudly and courageously for life and rededicate ourselves to prayer and action to protect life.

There are legislative battles to be fought, and I will continue to fight them as a pro-life Democrat, because Life should not be a partisan issue. But we all must also be committed to changing hearts and minds along with caring for mothers and their babies as so many of us do. And all this we will do with boldness and with love.

Every year, I am uplifted by your participation in the March for Life. And with hard work and God’s grace, we will move our nation away from the culture of death to embrace the right to life for all. God bless you, and God bless America.