Life Advocacy Briefing

March 4, 2013

Prayers Requested / C.I.A.N.A. Reintroduced in House
G.O.P. Lawmakers Get Behind Hobby Lobby / C.R. Possible Vehicle for Mandate Relief?
Pressure on Planned Parenthood Continues / Four Feeder Shops Shuttered
Iowa Planned Parenthood to Drop Two Sites
Arkansas Legislature Overrides Governor on Fetal Pain / Death Panels Just Won’t Die
Co-sponsors for HR732 / March for Life

Prayers Requested

OUR EDITOR WAS INJURED in an accident last week and is taking some time to rest. We will appreciate your lifting her up in prayer during this season as we seek to continue the work of Life Advocacy. Though we determined to move ahead with this week’s Life Advocacy Briefing, we cannot at this moment forecast whether we will publish next week but do expect to be back soon.


C.I.A.N.A. Reintroduced in House

WHILE SEN. MARCO RUBIO WAS INTRODUCING the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, reported last week by Life Advocacy Briefing, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) was taking the same action in the US House. She has sponsored this legislation faithfully for several Congressional sessions.

CIANA would protect young girls from being transported across state lines for the purpose of aborting their unborn babies. In the House this legislation is tagged HR732 and is co-sponsored by 83 Members, listed near the conclusion of this edition of Life Advocacy Briefing. We encourage our readers to contact their Representatives via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202-224-3121 to thank those who are cosponsoring HR732 and urge others to join.


G.O.P. Lawmakers Get Behind Hobby Lobby

NATIONAL CRAFT CHAIN HOBBY LOBBY HAS ATTRACTED some powerful allies in its resistance of the contraception insurance mandate threatening to shackle the company since the passage of ObamaCare. The Oklahoma-based enterprise is one of several businesses that have applied for a religious exemption from the mandate based on the values of the corporation and the conscience of its owner. In addition to an amicus brief filed on Hobby Lobby’s behalf by nine US Senators and two Representatives, the Oklahoma State Senate Business and Commerce Committee has unanimously passed to the floor a bill that blocks employers from being required to “provide or pay for any benefit or service related to abortion or contraception through the provision of health insurance to his or her employees.”


C.R. Possible Vehicle for Mandate Relief?

WHEN CONGRESS TAKES UP THE OMNIBUS LEGISLATION known as the Continuing Resolution, designed to once again keep the federal government in operation until an actual budget can pass muster, a coalition of pro-life organizations means to see a provision included that would soften the controversial birth control mandate slapped on non-religious entities. Elise Viebeck, writing for The Hill, quotes Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser as saying, “‘There must be no religious “test” by the government as to who, and what type of entities, are entitled to a conscience.’” Mrs. Dannenfelser’s statement continues, according to Ms. Viebeck, “‘Congress must act immediately to ensure the right of citizens to be free from government compulsion of the most fundamental issue.’”

Ms. Viebeck’s story indicates that some 38 national, state, and local organizations are involved in the ad hoc coalition spearheading the new online campaign “‘Call 2 Conscience,’ which allows supporters to contact their Members of Congress with notes supporting broader exemptions to the mandate.” By urging attachment of the exemption legislation to the Continuing Resolution, the coalition hopes to apply leverage on lawmakers who may be hard pressed to vote against the final package, since the CR is the recent method of choice to avoid a government shutdown.


Pressure on Planned Parenthood Continues

A LENGTHY LIST OF CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS have co-signed a letter calling on  the General Accounting Office to launch an investigation of how much taxpayer money is being directed to Planned Parenthood, as well as how these funds are being used.

Targets of the letter’s signers include all affiliates of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Population Council, the Guttmacher Institute, Advocates for Youth, and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, according to Ben Johnson, writing for

The letter’s goal, according to the LifeSite report, is to “determine which organizations are ‘providing optimal health services and best using taxpayer dollars.’” Signers state they are “‘relying on the promise of openness and transparency often mentioned by the current administration’ for updated information.” We hope to develop this story further in the future.


Four Feeder Shops Shuttered

TRIMMING THE STATE FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR WISCONSIN ABORTIONISTS has netted the state’s pro-life lawmakers a victory. Planned Parenthood has closed four shops in the state, citing “Wisconsin’s decision to slash funding” to the abortion behemoth as the cause, reports Ben Johnson for

The four shuttered outlets have not been using surgery to commit abortion, but they have been dispensing the “morning-after pill” and referring customers to Planned Parenthood’s surgical shops.

The closed facilities are in Beaver Dam, 42 miles northeast of Madison; Chippewa Falls, 12 miles north of Eau Claire; Johnson Creek, 35 miles east of Madison; and Shawano, 40 miles northwest of Green Bay. “Planned Parenthood maintains 23 additional clinics,” notes Mr. Johnson, “including three that perform surgical abortions.” But with a ban on telemed abortions signed by Gov. Scott Walker (R) last year, Planned Parenthood “stopped abortifacient drugs [such as RU-486] at all state locations,” reports Mr. Johnson. (Telemed abortions are committed via dispensing the RU-486/Cytotec pill combo in one location while the so-called doctor is located elsewhere, interviewing the customer via remote computer and not truly examining her; it is being used by Planned Parenthood to boost business in rural areas.)

“The state slashed $1 million in Planned Parenthood funding from the state’s budget in 2011,” writes Mr. Johnson, “and deprived the abortion provider of a $130,000 state contract later in the year.” The defunding, reports Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins in his Feb. 19 Washington Update, was first advanced by the newly elected, popular governor as part of “proposed savings of more than $1 billion to balance the state’s budget” in 2011.

“That year saw a lot of over-wrought pro-abortion rhetoric,” recalls Mr. Perkins. “In our nation’s capital, Wisconsin’s Rep. Gwen Moore [D] distastefully warned that cutting federal abortion subsidies would lead to poor children growing up ‘eating Ramen noodles’ and ‘mayonnaise sandwiches.’”

Mr. Perkins notes an FRC ally, Wisconsin Family Action, “recently met with legislators to discuss steering more than $150,000 in additional state and federal funding away from the world’s largest abortion provider. More and more pro-life governors,” he writes, “are finding that cutting funds to the abortion giant Planned Parenthood creates a ‘twofer’ – they can save both lives and money!”

If the consensus goal is to “make abortion rare,” defunding the abortion industry is an obvious place to start.


Iowa Planned Parenthood to Drop Two Sites

WITHOUT COMMENT AS TO THE REASON for the decision, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (formerly PP of Greater Iowa) has announced its plans to close two of its 18 facilities in the cornhusker state, according to Ben Johnson of The Spencer Health Center commits “abortion services,” according to the PP website, whereas Fort Madison Health Center operates as a referral shop. Both dispense the abortifacient morning-after pill and offer “LGBT services.” Johnson indicates the Iowa operations are part of a multi-state franchise spreading into Arkansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Nebraska.


Arkansas Legislature Overrides Governor on Fetal Pain

BOTH HOUSES OF THE ARKANSAS GENERAL ASSEMBLY speedily slapped down Democratic Governor Mike Beebe’s veto of the Pain-Capable Child Protection Act last week. The measure bans abortions at 20 weeks, with exceptions for pregnancies resulting from sex crimes or to save the mother’s life, plus preventing severe maternal injury.

Arguments for the ban were based on the point at which doctors now believe an unborn infant is capable of feeling pain. Although the annual percentage of post-20-week abortions in Arkansas is small, the new law may pave the way for a stricter, less supported measure that would set the bar at 12 weeks if a fetal heartbeat is detected. It is accompanied by a requirement for a determinant fetal ultrasound beginning at 12 weeks to ensure the detection. The latter bill has fewer exceptions and has drawn a veiled promise of a gubernatorial veto but continues to progress through the legislature, passing the Senate last week by a strong margin.

The governor stands on a 40-year-old US Supreme Court decision, calling the fetal pain bill “unconstitutional.” The American Civil Liberties Union anticipates weighing in through the courts.


Death Panels Just Won’t Die

A column by Wesley J. Smith, reprinted from National Right to Life News

Liberals screamed when Sarah Palin warned about “death panels” during the run up to the passage of ObamaCare. But many really want health care rationing based on invidious methods of medical discrimination—as I have repeatedly reported here. I was just watching This Week (with George Stephanopoulos), and Steve Rattner—former adviser to Obama Treasury Department who has written in favor of death panels—alluded to them again. In a discussion on medical spending and cost control, he said (my transcription):

“Here is a small question for the country…Right now most Americans do not see price in deciding whether to use health care….When people go on Medicare, they really don’t see price, they tend to consume more than they otherwise would. Twenty-six percent of all Medicare spending is last year of life. We don’t know how much of that is really efficacious spending. These are really tough moral questions for the country, but we are going to have to deal with them.”

Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal caught the reference: “What we are getting to, though, is the fundamental question: Are you going to let consumers make those choices about end of life decisions, or are you going to have Medicare make a decision about what procedures you can have and how much they will pay, and government make those choices. That’s the moral question.”

Alas, the discussion moved away from the “moral question.”

But be clear, Rattner, and many—I might even say most liberals—want government making these decisions. And once it does, people will be denied treatment based on invidious categories, e.g., age, disability, quality of life, etc. And yes, single payer equals health care rationing!

Regarding rationing, Rattner wrote the following in a piece that appeared in September 2012 in the New York Times:

“No one wants to lose an aging parent. And with price out of the equation, it’s natural for patients and their families to try every treatment, regardless of expense or efficacy. But that imposes an enormous societal cost that few other nations have been willing to bear. Many countries whose health care systems are regularly extolled—including Canada, Australia and New Zealand—have systems for rationing care. Take Britain, which provides universal coverage with spending of proportionately almost half of American levels. Its National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence uses a complex quality-adjusted life year system to put an explicit value (up to about $48,000 per year) on a treatment’s ability to extend life. At the least, the Independent Payment Advisory Board should be allowed to offer changes in services and costs. We may shrink from such stomach-wrenching choices, but they are inescapable.”

That’s the cost of centralized health care—in which decisions are often political—as we have seen ad nauseam out the NHS [National Health Service] in the UK. For example, some cancer patients in the UK are denied life-extending treatment but 42 year-old women can get free (but expensive) IVF to overcome their difficulties conceiving, which is not an illness but a natural part of the aging process.


Co-sponsors for HR732

GOP Representatives: Rogers (AL); Franks & Salmon (AZ); Griffin (AR); Calvert & McClintock (CA); Lamborn (CO); Bilirakis, Crenshaw, Diaz-Balart, Mica, Miller & Yoho (FL); Broun & Westmoreland (GA); Simpson (ID); Davis, Hultgren & Schock (IL); King (IA); Huelskamp & Pompeo (KS); Guthrie & Rogers (KY); Alexander, Boustany, Cassidy, Fleming & Scalise (LA); Benishek, Huizenga & Walberg (MI); Bachmann & Kline (MN); Nunnelee & Palazzo (MS); Graves, Hartzler & Long (MO); Fortenberry & Terry (NE); Garrett & Smith (NJ); Pearce (NM); Collins & King (NY); Jones (NC); Chabot, Johnson, Jordan, Latta, Renacci, Stivers, Tiberi, Turner & Wenstrup (OH); Cole & Mullin (OK); Kelly, Murphy & Shuster (PA); Mulvaney & Wilson (SC); Black, Blackburn, DesJarlais, Fincher & Roe (TN); Brady, Burgess, Carter, Conaway, Hall, Hensarling, Marchant, Neugebauer, Olson & Poe (TX); Griffith & Wittman (VA); Ribble (WI).

Democratic Representatives: Lipinski (IL); Rahall (WV).


March for Life Speech: Sen. Rand Paul

Delivered Jan. 25, 2013, at the March for Life on the National Mall in Washington, DC, transcribed by Life Advocacy; Sen. Paul is a Republican, first elected as U.S. Senator from Kentucky in 2012

Thank you. I have a question. I have a question for those who don’t respect and won’t protect life. Can a nation long endure that does not respect the sanctity of life? Can a nation conceived in liberty carry its head high if it denies protection to the youngest and most vulnerable of its citizens? Can a country founded on God-given rights continue to thrive without understanding that life is a precious gift from our Creator?

I believe that great nations and great civilizations spring from a people who have a moral compass. Our nation is adrift, adrift in a wilderness where right and wrong have become subservient to a hedonism of the moment. I believe our country is in need of a revival. I believe our country is in need of a spiritual cleansing.

As a physician I have looked into the eyes of one-pound babies. I have cradled their small bodies in the palm of one hand. I defy those who are careless, who would disregard life, I defy them to come to the neonatal nursery with me and look at these tiny little miracles and say “we’re not going to protect that.”

We all want change. We march today for change, but change will only come when we begin to change attitudes. We must preach a gospel so full of compassion, a gospel so full of justice that it cannot be resisted. Then and only then will the law again protect the innocent. Thank you, and God bless America.