Life Advocacy Briefing

April 29, 2013

Infecting the Military? / Guilt by Association / Gosnell to Get Justice? / What About Carhart?
Bringing in the Pros / Acknowledging Injustice / It’s Happening in the States / Quoteworthy
Howard Phillips, R.I.P. / The Gosnell Horror is What Abortion Is

Infecting the Military?

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY) ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK SHE IS COPYING Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) in her drive to infect our military health facilities with abortion. Though not yet filed in the Senate, her bill will bear the same name as the House version. Dubbed the MARCH Act, the Military Access to Reproductive Care and Health would permit military mothers to privately pay and abort their unborn babies at military hospitals.

Perennial pro-abortion co-sponsor of the Senate MARCH Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) backs the measure, expounding its so-called fairness, saying, “This legislation would bring unjust treatment to an end… . Women serving in foreign countries deserve access to safe and legal healthcare [sic], which in many cases is not available off the military base.”

Especially with the bill’s supporters asserting, according to The Hill, “These women should not have to report their rapes in order to receive abortions in a familiar medical setting,” Life Advocacy wonders just whose “unjust treatment” would end. Surely not the rapists’, and even more so, not the babies’.

Life Advocacy Briefing readers are urged to call their Members of Congress via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121 to oppose HR1389, presently under consideration by the House Subcommittee on Military Personnel.


Guilt by Association

YOU KNOW THE GOSNELL TRIAL IS GETTING EMBARRASSING for the abortion industry and its political defenders when the nation’s top abortion apologist backs out of keynoting a major Planned Parenthood fundraising event, but that is just what happened last week.

Though Pres. Barack Obama (D) was the announced keynoter for the abortion behemoth’s “gala” in the Washington, DC, area late last week, media focus on his complicity with the Gosnell apologist outfit, led chiefly by Fox News Channel, evidently moved the White House to pull him back, rescheduling him to meet merely with a small group of Planned Parenthood supporters Friday morning. (After all, he could not turn his back altogether on one of his favorite fellow travelers.)

But chalk one up for the good guys. The Obama retreat sends a message that even the most virulent fan of legalized abortion cannot stomach being nailed with the overt Gosnell crimes.


Gosnell to Get Justice?

WITH CLOSING ARGUMENTS SCHEDULED FOR TODAY, the jury will soon begin deliberating on the murder charges brought by Pennsylvania against West Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell in what has been termed “the murder trial of the century.”

Last week brought some stunning developments, most of which were not mentioned by the nation’s media apart from the Philadelphia Inquirer and Fox News Channel. Judge Jeffery Minehart surprised all involved when he granted a defense motion to drop nine criminal charges against Mr. Gosnell, leaving the jury to deliberate on merely 380 criminal counts, including five murder charges, down from eight. The shopkeeper of what he called “Women’s Medical Society” faces the possibility of the death penalty for having killed a customer via anesthesia overdose and having murdered four babies who had been born alive while he was aborting them.

One of the most disturbing aspects of this gruesome trial is the realization that, had those very same babies not survived his abortionist hand before their births, our legal system, thanks to the Supreme Court, would not have held him to account for their deaths, any more than the abortion practitioners across this country are tried for the deaths they commit every day.


What about Carhart?

While the Gosnell trial nears its conclusion, Students for Life in America have joined Operation Rescue’s efforts to remember the death of 29-year-old kindergarten teacher Jennifer Morbelli at the hands of Leroy Carhart. The student group’s 6,000-signature petition to the Maryland Board of Physicians has finally been accepted by the Board, which had previously dismissed any public efforts to urge its discipline of the notorious late-term abortion specialist. We reprint a commentary concerning Mr. Carhart at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.


Bringing in the Pros

CONTROVERSY CONTINUES TO RAGE in the implementation of the Obama Regime’s signature legislation, as the launch date has been pushed back for states to establish health insurance exchanges. In its zeal to sell to the public its unpopular takeover of health care, the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) has now added $8 million to the price it’s willing to pay—already some $23 million—to public relations firms, according to, quoting Advertising Age as reporting that “the campaign will aim to ‘convince skeptical—or simply confused—Americans the Affordable Care Act [a.k.a., ObamaCare] is good for them and convince them to enroll in a health plan.’”

The promotion job won’t be easy, as even some of the President’s own fans are criticizing the Administration for its failure to get the exchanges under way. Tony Perkins in his April 4 Washington Update quotes liberal writer Joe Klein: “‘The Administration has had three years to set up these exchanges. It has failed to do so. This is a really bad sign,’” Klein wrote. “‘There will be those who argue that it’s not the Administration’s fault. It’s the fault of the 33 states that have refused to set up their own exchanges. Nonsense. Where was the contingency planning?’”

Meanwhile the drama continues as the contraceptive coverage mandate imbedded in the mammoth law continues to draw lawsuits and Congressional measures in defense of conscience rights of free Americans. The Heritage Foundation cites, in the LifeSiteNews story, more than “‘50 lawsuits against the anti-conscience mandate’” among the measures of public outrage in the one-year-plus since the law went into effect. And last week, Judge Joy Flowers Conti of the Western Pennsylvania federal district court slapped an injunction against HHS to block the birth control mandate from being enforced against a Catholic-owned for-profit lumber company.

With the deadline for the contraceptive coverage mandate looming on Aug. 1, Family Research Council is urging Congressional leaders to attach a conscience-rights protection to a must-pass bill such as this summer’s next debt ceiling crisis legislation. Readers are urged to call their Members of Congress in support of Rep. Diane Black’s HR-940, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act. Members’ offices can be reached by calling the Capitol switchboard at 1-202-224-3121.


Acknowledging Injustice

SOMETHING UNUSUAL HAS HAPPENED with Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott, who, through some 11-plus terms representing a district in Washington State, has voted consistently in favor of commercialized abortion and other liberal causes.

But Rep. McDermott joined forces with House pro-life caucus chairman Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) for “a bipartisan screening,” writes Kirsten Andersen for, “of the film ‘It’s a Girl,’ a documentary about sex-selective abortion and infanticide in [Red] China and India.”

The screening took place last Tuesday in the Capitol Visitors Center auditorium on Capitol Hill.

The film was produced on location in the two Asian countries, “where more girls are eliminated each year than are born annually in the United States,” writes Ms. Andersen, “due to cultures that heavily favor boys. … The United Nations estimates,” reports the LifeSiteNews writer, “as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today, killed before or after birth simply for being female.”

We have no illusions about Rep. McDermott; the contents of his House website, including a photo of him at a clearly identified Planned Parenthood rally, show his continued commitment to decriminalized abortion in the US. But if he is prepared to join Rep. Smith in advocating an end to forced abortion in Red China and sex-selection abortion in both Red China and India, we will welcome his awakening to injustice. And we pray he will recognize the injustice of abortion – all abortion – in our own country as well.


It’s Happening in the States

TIGHTENING REGULATIONS ARE BEARING FRUIT around the country, with Virginia’s first post-Roe abortion mill closing its doors last week after 40 years of baby killing. Hillcrest Clinic in Virginia Beach bowed to the pressure of the state Board of Health’s vote to implement a 2011 statute requiring abortion facilities “‘to meet strict, hospital-style building codes,’” according to John Jalsevac writing for LifeSiteNews. The shop’s owners feared the expense of complying with the new regulations, estimated at close to a half-million dollars, and admitted to a “drop in demand.” In light of the horrors on display in the Pennsylvania courtroom where Kermit Gosnell is on trial, states are passing new regulations. However, it will be the responsibility of the residents of those states to ensure that the new standards are being enforced. After all, Pennsylvanians had passed safeguards many years ago, but those responsible for inspecting licensed mills in the state simply turned their backs on their duty in this regard.

Most of the new pro-life measures in Kansas will take effect in July, though the tax changes won’t be effective until 2014, according to the Associated Press (AP). Tax provisions make a distinction between health care providers and abortionists, with the latter denied the state sales tax break offered for purchases by legitimate health caregivers. Additionally, the cost of an abortion will not be allowable as a deductible medical expense on state income tax filings. New Kansas legislation also bans sex-selection abortions and requires abortionists to inform mothers of the potential risk of developing breast cancer following an abortion.

The Florida Board of Medicine has acted to suspend, for the fifth time, the medical license of yet another notorious late-term specialist. James Scott Pendergraft, IV, was put on suspension after failing to pay more than $120,000 in fines from a previous disciplinary procedure by the Board, resulting from a botched abortion. In another case, according to Cheryl Sullenger’s LifeSiteNews story, “In 2011 Pendergraft was hit with a whopping civil medical malpractice judgment of $36,737,660.16 in compensatory and punitive damages in a case involving a botched 20-week abortion that resulted in the live birth of a child physically damaged by Pendergraft’s incompetent abortion process amid what was described as ‘third world conditions’ with virtually no counseling.” This man has made it his lucrative business to prey on vulnerable women across the Florida peninsula, and it is long past time for Florida authorities to, at the very least, revoke, not just suspend, his license.

The federal courts have taken jurisdiction in Mississippi’s attempt to close its last abortuary, with Judge Dan Jordan issuing a preliminary injunction April 15 to keep the state from revoking the Jackson Women’s Health Organization license, according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. The facility continues to operate, with out-of-state circuit riders, out of compliance with a 2012 law requiring abortionists to be certified in obstetrics and gynecology, with hospital admitting privileges.



Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, just before signing Kansas’s new comprehensive pro-life law, quoted April 20, 2013, by Associated Press: “All human life is sacred. It’s beautiful. … With this, we continue to build this culture of life in our state.”


Howard Phillips, R.I.P.

AMERICAN CONSERVATIVES HAVE LOST A TRUE LEADER with the passing last week of Howard Phillips, founder of The Conservative Caucus and a former GOP nominee for US Senator from Massachusetts.

In addition to his courageous fights against creeping socialism in America, Mr. Phillips championed the cause of Life, publicly testifying in their confirmation hearings against both Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and David Souter, in both cases because of their connections to commercialized abortion.  In a tribute issued last week by Massachusetts Citizens for Life, the group states, “Howie was the only person who correctly identified David Souter’s stealth positions. Howie opposed Souter because ‘I read his senior thesis at Harvard in which he said he was a legal positivist … and that he rejected all higher law theories, such as those spelled out in our Declaration of Independence. In addition,’” said Mr. Phillips, according to MCL, “‘he was a trustee of two hospitals where he successfully changed the policy of those two hospitals from zero abortion to convenience abortion.’”

Mr. Phillips was a personal friend to Life Advocacy’s leadership, an early and on-going supporter of our organization and a subscriber to Life Advocacy Briefing. We are deeply grateful for the commitment and vision which characterized his life, and we have already begun to miss him.


The Gosnell Horror is What Abortion Is

April 12, 2013, commentary by Shannen W. Coffin, reprinted from National Review Online

The horrible truth that the National Abortion Federation or Planned Parenthood or any other abortion apologist wants to hide is that Kermit Gosnell is not an outlier. Earlier this year, a 29-year-old kindergarten teacher died when “something went wrong” with an abortion of her unborn child. The woman was reportedly 33 weeks pregnant. And the doctor who performed this abortion, a full two months after the 24-week viability line, was the celebrated—and I do mean celebrated—Dr. Leroy Carhart.  Dr. Carhart is the chap who bravely fought both the Nebraska and federal ban on “so-called” “partial birth abortion”—you have to use scare quotes, you know. Carhart expanded his practice into Maryland a few years back in order to bring his specialty—killing babies well after the point that they could live separate from their mothers—to a larger, more diverse population than his old midwest practice.

No one in the mainstream media cried for that woman’s death. But a Washington Post columnist did write about the unspeakable invasion of privacy that befell the now-dead woman when pro-life activists expressed public concern about her passing: “The protesters are exploiting this woman’s death and making other women think that their privacy is never truly protected when they seek an abortion.” I guess fighting for the protections of HIPAA for the deceased victims of botched late-term abortions is truly keeping the eye on the ball.

There’s very little difference between what Carhart does on a regular basis and what Kermit Gosnell stands on trial for. In one federal trial on the federal partial-birth-abortion ban, one abortionist testified (under a court-imposed cloak of anonymity) that his regular practice in late-term abortions was to decapitate a partially born child. So the horrors of what Jonah rightly called Gosnell’s “abattoir” should come as no surprise to those who have been paying attention.

As Kirsten Powers noted in her must-read USA Today column, whether Kermit Gosnell “was killing the infants one second after they left the womb instead of partially inside or completely inside the womb—as in a routine late-term abortion—is merely a matter of geography. That one is murder and the other is a legal procedure is morally irreconcilable.” And indeed, it should come as no surprise that moral “ethicists” have argued that if in utero abortion is legal, what on earth could possibly be wrong with “after-birth abortion”? Gosnell’s trial only exposes the callousness that goes along with this line of thinking.

Yet the Constitution is said by abortion apologists to protect this butchery. And while the pro-abortion industry appears embarrassed by the Gosnell trial, they’ve held Carhart up as their hero. Carhart was awarded the 2009 William K. Rashbaum, MD, Abortion Provider Award by Physicians for Reproductive Health—because there’s nothing like dying on the table to advance a woman’s health. Oh, and NARAL Pro-Choice America (which no longer stands for National Abortion Rights Action League, given that some people might think that name icky) gave him its Hero Award in the same year.