Life Advocacy Briefing

May 6, 2013

20-Week D.C. Abortion Ban Filed / Documenting the Gosnell Murder Trial
Tremors / Progress in the States / “She’s Reborn!”
Co-Sponsors to DC Abortion Ban / Growing Hope? / Time for a Change

20-Week D.C. Abortion Ban Filed

IN LIGHT OF THE NATION’s GROWING SHOCK over the Gosnell trial in Philadelphia, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) has filed HR-1797 to ban abortions in the District of Columbia on babies aged 20 gestational weeks or older. Twenty weeks is considered by many medical experts to be the age at which developing babies are capable of experiencing pain; indeed, many experts believe pain inflicted on a prenatal baby is especially excruciating.

The Constitution gives Congress oversight of government policies in DC as the seat of the national government; no “interstate commerce” connection is required for such legislation as would be for a  proposal to recriminalize abortions after 20 weeks nationally. The Franks bill has been referred to the Committee on Judiciary and to the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform.

Some 99 Members had joined Rep. Franks as co-sponsors at the time of our publication. We publish their names near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing and ask each reader to contact the Member from his or her district either to say thanks or to urge more co-sponsors to join and ultimately to vote “yes.” The Capitol switchboard is at 1-202/224-3121.


Documenting the Gosnell Murder Trial

FOX NEWS CHANNEL DEVOTED THE WEEKEND (beginning the evening of May 3) to an hour-long special on the trial of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia. The documentary is titled “See No Evil – The Kermit Gosnell Murders.”

Though the special was first scheduled to debut Sunday evening, the channel announced early last week it would move the initial airing to Friday evening at 9 p.m. EDT, permitting re-airings throughout the weekend.

Among those urging pro-life citizens to view the special was Priests for Life national director Fr. Frank Pavone, who declared in an e-mail message: “The more people who watch this, the more the true face of abortion is exposed, and the stronger our case that when secular media cover these topics, people respond!”



THOUGH THE JURY WAS STILL OUT as of this writing, we are still able to observe – with or without a guilty verdict: The Gosnell murder trial in Philadelphia is building a change in America’s attitudes toward abortion.

Certainly the shocking testimony coming from the courtroom – together with even more details left over from the extensive, detailed grand jury report of two years ago – was behind the Florida legislature’s unanimous passage last week of a Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, even more so than the shameful testimony of the Planned Parenthood lobbyist whose opposition to preserving abortion victims’ lives made national news. Only outraged public opinion could have broken veteran abortion-fostering politicians away from their career-long voting habit. Note: We said it passed unanimously.

We are reminded of the days when the public first became aware of the horrific abortion technique dubbed “partial-birth abortion” by the National Right to Life Committee. The determined, brutal slaying of innocent nearly-born babies so shocked Americans that many began a dramatic shift to pro-life views. More Americans are now finding that a national statute outlawing partial-birth abortion – even after a Supreme Court ruling upholding it – is not enough to protect their consciences. In fact, the only difference between partial-birth abortion and what Kermit Gosnell reportedly and commonly did was that the Philadelphia abortionist waited to decapitate the infants until they were fully born.

Though national news media sought to avoid coverage of the trial, after moderate Democrat columnist Kirsten Powers scolded them in a scorching piece in USA Today, many reluctantly began to admit their lack of coverage related to their own views rather than a supposed lack of newsworthiness in what some have even called “the murder trial of the century.”

Ms. Powers’s fellow blogger, Megan McArdle at The Daily Beast liberal blog, reports Cassy Fiano for LiveAction News, “explains why she’s chosen to keep quiet until now: ‘But I understand why my readers suspect me – and other pro-choice mainstream journalists – of being selective, of not wanting to cover the story because it showcased the ugliest possibilities of abortion rights. The truth is that most of us tend to be less interested in sick-making stories – if the sick-making was done by “our side.” Of course,’” she added, according to Ms. Fiano, “‘I’m not saying that I identify with criminal abortionists who kill infants and grievously wound their patients. But I am pro-choice. What Gosnell did was not some inevitable result of legal abortion,’” she insisted, as quoted by LiveAction News. “‘But while legal abortion was not sufficient to create the horrors in Philadelphia, it was necessary. Gosnell was able to harm so many women and babies because he operated in the open.’” Hello! That observation has meaning, even if its author cannot grasp it!

Bucks County (Pennsylvania) columnist J.D. Mullane – one of the few reporters who actually attended the trial – told Fox News Channel’s Mike Huckabee the testimony moved even hear-no-evil/see-no-evil colleagues of his acquaintance.

“It’s very difficult,” he said. “I can tell you that there’s one journalist sitting in that courtroom, who writes for a local publication, who has told me that he’s very liberal, very pro-choice, but after sitting through the testimony of the Gosnell trial, he’s reconsidered. He’s changed his mind,” said Mr. Mullane. “And that’s the power of the Gosnell trial.

“You know, for 40 years, abortion in this country has been waged in the court of public opinion. This is a court of law, and the testimony that comes out of there is under oath. None of the evidence is doctored; it’s for real. It’s a capital case. And the testimony of one witness,” he observed, “is far heavier than all the editorials and op-eds championing pro-choice that have ever appeared in, say, the New York Times.”


Progress in the States

GENUINE PROMOTION OF WOMEN’S HEALTH continues to gain momentum with applied regulation and new legislation affecting the future of abortion business in Ohio, Mississippi, and Indiana.

The Ohio Dept. of Health has effectively closed down the Capital Care Network abortuary in Cuyahoga Falls, citing multiple health and safety violations in preparation for yanking the owners’ license to operate a health care facility. The Department’s mid-February inspection turned up staff training deficiencies, safety and sanitation violations, and improper procedures relating to testing, among other failures. Additional licenses supportive of their activities were apparently allowed to lapse as well. According to, another shop operated by Capital Care in Toledo was closed in March.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has signed a bill that further tightens state restrictions on telemed abortions, one of Planned Parenthood’s favorite tools. The new statute requires a physician to be present during administration of the early-abortion drugs; it also requires a follow-up physical examination two weeks following consumption of the drugs. Mississippi abortionists had been employing tactics to get around the state’s earlier legislation to prevent remote-exam abortions.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence also signed a bill related to non-surgical abortions, requiring the Planned Parenthood office in Lafayette to meet the same building and equipment standards as surgical clinics in the state. The statute is written more broadly, but only one facility qualifies for the regulation. The governor stated in signing the bill, “Abortion-inducing drugs can be very dangerous and must be prescribed under conditions that ensure proper medical care. This new law helps accomplish that goal,” he said, according to the Indianapolis Star.


“She’s Reborn!”

A BRAVE FATHER IS CELEBRATING the apparent success of an ethical stemcell treatment for his two-year-old daughter following surgery in a central Illinois hospital. The surgery involved implantation of a new trachea grown in a lab from stem cells extracted from the marrow in Hannah Warren’s hip bone, making the little girl the world’s youngest patient to benefit from the experimental treatment, according to Lindsey Tanner, writing for HuffPost Healthy Living.

Hannah’s doctors announced last week that the windpipe is working, and they expect she will eventually be able to go home for the first time and live a normal life. Ms. Tanner interviewed Hannah’s dad Darryl Warren by telephone and captures his enthusiasm with, “‘We feel like she’s reborn….This is her only chance, but she’s got a fantastic one and an unbelievable one.’”

Life Advocacy applauds all physicians who work ethically on behalf of patients needing cutting-edge technologies without falling prey to the temptation to chase after funding for bogus, unethical use of human embryos for faulty, unproductive experiments.


Co-Sponsors to DC Abortion Ban

GOP Representatives Aderholt, Bachus, Bonner, Roby & Rogers/AL; Gosar, Salmon & Schweikert/AZ; Crawford & Griffin/AR; Calvert/CA; Buchanan, DeSantis, Miller, Nugent, Posey, Ros-Lehtinen & Ross/FL; Broun, Kingston, Price & Westmoreland/GA; Simpson/ID; Davis, Hultgren & Schock/IL; Rokita & Young/IN; King/IA; Huelskamp, Jenkins, Pompeo & Yoder/KS; Barr, Guthrie & Massie/KY; Alexander, Boustany, Cassidy, Fleming & Scalise/LA; Harris/MD; Amash, Benishek, Huizenga & Walberg/MI; Harper, Nunnelee & Palazzo/MS; Hartzler, Long & Wagner/MO; Fortenberry & Smith/NE; Garrett & Smith/NJ; Pearce/NM; Holding, Jones & Meadows/NC; Cramer/ND; Johnson, Jordan, Latta, Stivers & Tiberi/OH; Bridenstine, Cole, Lankford & Mullin/OK; Kelly, Marino, Pitts, Rothfus & Shuster/PA; Duncan, Gowdy, Mulvaney & Wilson/SC; Noem/SD; Black, Blackburn, Duncan, Fincher & Roe/TN; Brady, Carter, Conaway, Flores, Gohmert, Hall, Neugebauer, Olson, Stockman & Weber/TX; Stewart/UT; Forbes/VA; McKinley/WV.

Also Democratic Representative Lipinski/IL.


Growing Hope?

May 1, 2013, segment from Gary Bauer’s End of Day Report for his Campaign for Working Families

Public support for ObamaCare has fallen to its lowest level in years, according to a new Kaiser Health poll. Just 35% of Americans approve of the law. Unbelievably, 42% of Americans did not know that ObamaCare was on the books as the law of the land. Seven percent thought the Supreme Court struck it down, and 12% thought Congress had repealed it!

It’s no surprise that support for ObamaCare has tanked. It is hurting economic growth. Moody’s economist Mark Zandi said today, “Nearly every industry has seen slower growth since the beginning of the year. Smaller businesses are experiencing much weaker growth.” Why might that be? Zandi added, “The data seems to be suggesting healthcare is having an impact.”

It’s beyond “suggesting.” As we have often documented, major companies have explicitly stated that they are cutting back on hours and investment because of ObamaCare. And the worst is yet to come. As this column suggests, tens of millions of Americans have yet to experience the coming price shock that will accompany ObamaCare’s formal rollout.

Even liberal Democrats are calling it “beyond comprehension” and warning of a “train wreck.”

[Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: Such information encourages us to encourage pro-life front-liners and pro-life lay citizens to study up on ObamaCare, help fellow citizens grasp what is coming and advocate political changes that will facilitate repeal of medical care nationalization before full implementation. We further encourage pro-life Members of Congress to step up efforts now to block funding and to take every opportunity to cripple and repeal this socialistic scheme, its tax increases and its impairment of religious liberty and conscience.]


Time for a Change

May 1, 2013, Breakpoint commentary by Eric Metaxas, copyright

The testimony coming out of the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell paints an indelible picture of human depravity. Gosnell is charged with killing a 41-year-old woman patient as well as four babies who had been born alive after their abortions failed.

As the liberal commentator Roger L. Simon has written, “The trial of Dr. Gosnell is a potential time bomb exploding in the conventional liberal narrative on abortion itself.”

The grisly details of the case have been strangely clarifying. By confronting what happened in Gosnell’s chamber of horrors, as well as what havoc legal abortion-on-demand has wreaked on the culture, even people who would not identify themselves as pro-life are saying it’s time for a change.

One is James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal, who has written a comprehensive indictment of the status quo, which he calls “a grave evil that ought to be abolished. It is murderous, if not categorically then at least in its extreme manifestations. Maintaining it,” he goes on to say, “requires an assault on language and logic that has taken on a totalitarian character. And it is politically poisonous.”

Taranto finds himself part of what he calls “the mushy middle.” On the one hand, he sees a time and a place for legalized abortions. On the other hand, he finds the arguments in Roe v. Wade completely unconvincing. “A funny thing happens,” he writes, “when you dissent from Roe v. Wade. You come to see that there’s not much else by way of intellectual content to the case for abortion on demand.”

While his “moral intuition is that an early-term abortion, or the use of abortifacient to prevent implantation, is different from a late-term abortion or infanticide,” he acknowledges that this intuition “is irreconcilable with the scientific fact that the difference between zygote and an infant – or, for that matter, an adult – is one of degree. All are human beings at different stages of development.”

And though he doesn’t want to draw the line between abortion and homicide at conception – resulting in no line at all – he understands that as a result he is on the slippery slope toward infanticide, the crime with which Gosnell is charged.

“The abortion lobby,” writes Taranto, “opposes restrictions on late-term abortions. But surely at least they agree that infanticide – the killing of a child after birth – is murder. Or do they?”

He then cites testimony given in the Florida House by a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood. When asked what should be done with an infant born alive from a “botched abortion,” the lobbyist replied, “That decision should be between the patient and the healthcare provider.”

In addition, Taranto notes that the Journal of Medical Ethics published a paper that argued for legalized “after-birth abortion,” which is to say, infanticide.

Taranto says that the Supreme Court, which had hoped a consensus would develop after its 1973 decision legalizing abortion, has instead further polarized the country – locking us in bitter, never-ending conflict. While he says a Human Life Amendment for the Constitution is impossible politically, Taranto nonetheless advocates overturning Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, thus sending the issue back to the states to fashion a compromise. …

Meanwhile, as people who believe in the sanctity and dignity of all human life – from conception to natural death – we must do all we can to end abortion, understanding that it will take more than changed laws. It will take changed hearts and minds.

So let’s get to work, friends. For, as Paul Ryan recently said, “We don’t want a country where abortion is simply outlawed. We want a country where it isn’t even considered.”