Life Advocacy Briefing

May 13, 2013

Senate Gosnell Resolution Asks: What Now? / House Panels Also Respond to Gosnell Trial
Delaware Now Able to Respond / More Gosnell Response / It Gets Personal
Fox News Gosnell Special Aired / Shouldn’t We Be Appalled by All Abortions?
Text of Senate Resolution 133

Senate Gosnell Resolution Asks: What Now?

SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT) FILED A RESOLUTION last Wednesday “expressing the sense of the Senate,” reads its title, “that Congress and the states should investigate and correct abusive, unsanitary and illegal abortion practices.” S-Res-133 has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions. Its text appears at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.

Politico quotes Sen. Lee’s characterization of the Gosnell trial as a “‘wake-up call to all Americans. … The lack of oversight at abortion facilities puts women’s lives at risk and leads to the kind of unconscionable practices we have seen recently… .’”

Our readers are urged to contact their home-state Senators and thank them for co-sponsoring, if they have done so; ask them to co-sponsor, if they have not; and ask them to insist that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) bring the Gosnell resolution to the floor of the Senate for a vote. Senators may be reached via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121.

On introduction, Sen. Lee was joined on his resolution by GOP Senators John Boozman (AR), Marco Rubio (FL), Saxby Chambliss & Johnny Isakson (GA), Dan Coats (IN), Mitch McConnell & Rand Paul (KY), David Vitter (LA), Thad Cochran (MS), Roy Blunt (MO), Deb Fischer & Mike Johanns (NE), Kelly Ayotte (NH), Richard Burr (NC), James Inhofe (OK), Pat Toomey (PA), Lindsey Graham & Tim Scott (SC), John Thune (SD) and John Cornyn & Ted Cruz (TX).


House Panels Also Respond to Gosnell Trial

TWO HOUSE COMMITTEES HAVE SENT LETTERS TO STATE OFFICIALS seeking to assess policies and actions by the states in regulating the abortion industry.

The House Committee on Energy & Commerce, chaired by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), announced last week the panel has sent a letter to public health officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, inquiring about their abortion regulatory practices.

The House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to every state’s attorney general with similar inquiries. That committee is chaired by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).

“The letters reveal plans for sweeping investigations,” writes pro-life blogger Jill Stanek, “of not only abortion clinics and doctors but of state statutes and regulations and the state agencies that are supposed to administer those statutes and regulations. The letters further ask state attorneys general and departments of public health,” continues Mrs. Stanek, “to outline procedures for discovering and investigating newborn homicides as a result of botched abortions; this, of course, in light of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which was signed into law in 2002.”

Mrs. Stanek’s work as a pro-life blogger and speaker followed her emergence as a whistleblower when, as a labor-and-delivery nurse, she discovered her own prestigious Chicago-area hospital was abandoning babies born alive in failed late-term abortions. Indeed, her vigorous public speaking, writing and testimony spurred passage of the Born-Alive law in several states as well as in Congress. Her daily reporting can be read via the Internet at


Delaware Now Able to Respond

RESPONDING TO CONGRESSIONAL INQUIRIES NO LONGER NEED BE PAINFUL for the healthcare regulators in Delaware. The state has the new distinction of being “the first state to be free from surgical abortions for any significant period of time since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision decriminalized abortion,” according to Operation Rescue (OR).

Delaware’s new status results from the temporary halt of surgical abortions by Planned Parenthood of Delaware at its Dover shop, having already closed its Wilmington abortuary “for cleaning and re-staffing.”

OR shares credit with an ABC Action News investigation that turned up conditions in Wilmington all too similar to the horror stories coming out of Philadelphia this spring. The ABC Action News report “documented the Wilmington clinic’s conditions, in which two former nurses spoke of ‘ridiculously unsafe’ conditions and a ‘meat-market’ style of abortions,” according to John Jalsevac writing for

The news out of Delaware undermines Planned Parenthood’s efforts to distance themselves from Philadelphia’s “house of horrors.” Mr. Gosnell might be an independent entrepreneur, but Planned Parenthood has its own dirty laundry, not the least of which is that its very existence is for the purpose of killing innocent unborn children.


More Gosnell Response

NINETEEN HOUSE MEMBERS CALLED ON COLLEAGUES, the media and the executive branch to respond to the Gosnell trial and to the horrors spawned by US abortion policy during a lengthy “special order” presentation of speeches on the floor of the House, aired over C-Span; the near-ten-minute speech by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) is now posted on the YouTube Internet website.

Those speaking were GOP Representatives Paul Gosar (AZ), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen & Dennis Ross (FL), Todd Rokita & Marlin Stutzman (IN), Tim Huelskamp (KS), Steve Scalise (LA), Kerry Bentvolio & Tim Walberg (MI), Michele Bachmann (MN), Jeff Fortenberry (NE), Chris Smith (NJ), Bill Johnson (OH), James Lankford (OK), Scott Perry & Keith Rothfus (PA), Diane Black & Phil Roe (TN) and Rep. Duffy. Our thanks to Representatives Smith and Stutzman for organizing this outcry.


It Gets Personal

AMONG THE POSITIVE FALLOUT OF THE GOSNELL TRIAL and Congressional response: Rep. Stutzman has penned what John Jalsevac of calls “a powerful article for the Washington Times,” disclosing his personal experience with abortion. Shortly after speaking in the special order described here, Rep. Stutzman, whose mother bore him at age 17, “‘began wondering,’” he wrote in the Times column quoted by Mr. Jalsevac, “‘if my mother had ever thought about ending her unplanned pregnancy. …

“‘I gave her a call,’” wrote the Congressman. “‘When she answered, I talked to her about my speech on the House floor and then asked gently, “Mom, did you ever think about?” There was a tense pause, and then, through tears she said, “Marlin, I’m so sorry!”’” The only thing that stood between then-baby Stutzman and a life-ending abortion was his mother’s “‘fear of driving 40 miles alone,’” he revealed in the column quoted by LifeSiteNews. “‘I had to think,’” he wrote, “‘What if a “Gosnell” clinic was only four miles away instead of 40?’”


Fox News Gosnell Special Aired

FOR THOSE WHO MISSED the Fox News Channel’s documentary on the Gosnell Trial and evidence (“See No Evil”) aired a week ago, a man named Bernard Hess has posted it on the Internet. We recommend our readers watch the hour-long program, which is broken into segments on YouTube. We further recommend that it not be shared with children but that it be shared with local, state and federal policymakers and with healthcare providers.


Shouldn’t We Be Appalled by All Abortions?

May 7, 2013, commentary by MSNBC commentator S.E. Cupp, reprinted from, quoted from Real Clear Politics Video.

You might think that the stunning lack of oversight in this case – multiple government agencies failed to put an end to his illegal practices over the years – would prompt calls for new legislation to make it harder for criminals like [Kermit] Gosnell to do what he did for as long as he did. But Planned Parenthood has opposed the idea. It insists that no new regulations can stop a physician who has decided to disregard the law.

That doesn’t stop gun control advocates from pushing for new laws every time a monster shoots up a school or a movie theater. But when it comes to abortion, there’s a difference. For one, lawful gun use doesn’t accidentally or intentionally also result in a mass shooting. Legal abortion can result in the death of a mother, the death of babies born alive and the deaths of late-term fetuses. [Not to mention the death of early-term babies: Life Advocacy Briefing note.] For example, according to the CDC, in 2008, at least 12 women died as a result of complications. Are those numbers insignificant?

There are also countless stories of born-alive abortions that occur in clinics across the country. Florida Rep. Cary Pigman, a doctor, recently testified that in 2010, 1,270 infants died after being born alive during abortions. Why oppose bills that require appropriate medical care for babies who survive abortions? …

For pro-life folks, the Gosnell case is horrifying because abortion is horrifying, at any number of weeks, in any kind of environment, whether it’s done by the book or unlawfully.

But for the other side, the very details of the Gosnell case that we might assume to be the most repellent are sometimes consequences of legal abortion. If we hate them here, shouldn’t we want to reduce or stop them elsewhere?

It isn’t intellectually honest to say that these consequences are horrors when perpetrated by a monster like Gosnell but acceptable when the result of well-meaning and well-trained physicians.


Text of Senate Resolution 133

Expressing the sense of the Senate that Congress and the States should investigate and correct abusive, unsanitary, and illegal abortion practices.

Whereas the Declaration of Independence sets forth the principle that all people are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;

Whereas the dedication of the people of the United States to this principle, though at times tragically marred by institutions such as slavery and practices such as segregation and the denial of the right to vote, has summoned the people of the United States time and again to fight for human dignity and the common good;

Whereas the people of the United States believe that every human life is precious from its very beginning, and that every individual, regardless of age, health, or condition of dependency, deserves the respect and protection of society;

Whereas the people of the United States believe that early and consistent prenatal care for all mothers, with due regard both for the well-being of expectant mothers and for the children they carry, is a primary goal of any sound health care policy in the United States;

Whereas no woman should ever be abandoned, by policy or practice, to the depredations of an unlicensed, unregulated, or uninspected clinic operating outside of the law with no regard for the mothers or children ostensibly under its care;

Whereas the Report of the Grand Jury in the Court of Common Pleas of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, certified on January 14, 2011, contains the results of a thorough investigation of the policies and practices of Dr. Kermit Gosnell and the Women’s Medical Society of Philadelphia, which found multiple violations of law and public policy relating to abortion clinics, and recommended to the Pennsylvania Department of Health that these abortion clinics “be explicitly regulated as ambulatory surgical facilities, so that they are inspected annually and held to the same standards as all other outpatient procedure centers”;

Whereas the Report of the Grand Jury documented a pattern, over a period of 2 decades, at the Women’s Medical Society of Philadelphia of untrained and uncertified personnel performing abortions, non-medical personnel administering medications, grossly unsanitary and dangerous conditions, violations of law regarding storage of human remains, and, above all, instances of willful murder of infants born alive by severing their spinal cords;

Whereas the violations of law and human dignity documented at the Women’s Medical Society of Philadelphia involved women referred to the facility by abortion facilities in a number of surrounding States, including Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Delaware;

Whereas abortion clinics in a number of States, particularly Michigan and Maryland, and including 2 clinics at which Dr. Kermit Gosnell performed or initiated abortions and 2 Planned Parenthood facilities in Delaware, have been closed temporarily or permanently due to unsanitary conditions, and the Planned Parenthood facilities in Delaware have been described by former employees as resembling a “meat market”;

Whereas the imposition of criminal and civil penalties on individuals and corporations involved in the deplorable practices described in this preamble is appropriate, but is not the only necessary response to such practices;

Whereas it is essential that the Federal Government and State and local governments take action to prevent dangerous conditions at abortion clinics;
Whereas government accountability means that officials whose duty it is to protect the safety and well-being of mothers accessing health care clinics must have their actions made public and their failures redressed;

Whereas the extent of, and purported justification for, legal and illegal abortions in the United States performed late in the second trimester of pregnancy and into and throughout the third trimester of pregnancy are not routinely reported by all States or by the Centers for Disease Control, and are therefore unknown;

Whereas women and children in the United States deserve better than the 56,145,920 abortions that have been performed in the United States since the Supreme Court rulings in Roe v. Wade, 410 US 113, and Doe v. Bolton, 410 US 179, in 1973; and

Whereas there is substantial medical evidence that an unborn child is capable of experiencing pain at 20 weeks after fertilization, or earlier: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that –

(1)  Congress and States should gather information about and correct–

(A)  abusive, unsantitary, and illegal abortion practices; and

(B)  the interstate referral of women and girls to facilities engaged in dangerous or illegal second- and third-trimester procedures;

(2)  Congress has the responsibility to –

(A)  investigate and conduct hearings on —

(i)  abortions performed near, at, or after viability in the United States; and

(ii)  public policies regarding such abortions; and

(B)  evaluate the extent to which such abortions involve violations of the natural right to life of infants who are born alive or are capable of being born alive, and therefore are entitled to equal protection under the law;

(3)  there is a compelling governmental interest in protecting the lives of unborn children beginning at least from the stage at which substantial medical evidence indicates that they are capable of feeling pain, which is separate from and independent of the compelling governmental interest in protecting the lives of unborn children beginning at the stage of viability, and neither governmental interest is intended to replace the other; and

(4)  governmental review of public policies and outcomes relating to the issues described in paragraphs (1) through (4) is long overdue and is an urgent priority that must be addressed for the sake of women, children, families, and future generations.