Life Advocacy Briefing

June 17, 2013

Calls Needed Now! / Quoteworthy / Fighting the “Rape” Loophole
“Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely” / Time to Act
Back-door Funding for Planned Parenthood / Welcome, Rep. Smith
New Tool Exposing Planned Parenthood / The Agenda Behind Plan B

Calls Needed Now!

THE U.S. HOUSE IS EXPECTED TO VOTE THIS WEEK on the Pain Capable Baby Protection Act, establishing a federal crime in aborting babies who have gestated at least 20 weeks, the age at which, by developing medical consensus, babies are known to experience pain. (Indeed, between 20 weeks and birth, preborn babies are seen to react to pain as exceptionally excruciating.)

HR-1797, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) along with – at this writing – 180 co-sponsors, was advanced by the Committee on the Judiciary last Wednesday by a vote of 20 to 12. The panel, at the urging of the sponsor, amended the bill to broaden its application from the District of Columbia, as originally proposed, to the nation.

The chief of staff to Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) told CQ/Roll Call, reports Emma Dumain, a CQRC blogger, “that the [House] is on track to consider” the legislation this week.

National Right to Life Committee’s legislative director Douglas Johnson describes the proposal as “the most significant piece of pro-life legislation to come before the House since the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which the US Supreme Court upheld in 2007.” He notes that, “Because of publicity surrounding the trial of Kermit Gosnell and subsequent revelations about other abortionists, many Americans are becoming aware for the first time that abortions are frequently performed late in pregnancy on babies who are capable of being born alive and on babies who will experience great pain while being killed.”

Readers are urged to contact their own Members of Congress via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121 to thank those who are co-sponsoring the measure and to urge a “yes” vote. Co-sponsors who added their names to HR-1797 since we last reported include GOP Representatives Brooks/AL; LaMalfa, McClintock & Nunes/CA; Bilirakis, Crenshaw, Diaz-Balart, Mica, Radel & Yoho/FL; Gingrey & Scott/GA; Roskam/IL; Brooks, Bucshon, Messer & Walorski/IN; Bentivolio & Miller/MI; Graves & Jason Smith (new Member)/MO; Collins, King & Reed/NY; Gibbs, Joyce & Renacci/OH; Perry/PA; Rice & Sanford/SC; Culberson & McCaul/TX; Goodlatte, Griffith, Wittman & Wolf/VA and Petri/WI. Previous editions of Life Advocacy Briefing have listed the other, earlier, enlistees.

“‘We are better than dismembering babies who can feel every excruciating moment,’” declared Rep. Franks in Ms. Dumain’s CQRC report.

In typical media fashion, CQRC uses the blog post to criticize the House GOP Leadership for bringing the matter forward, suggesting voting for the measure will be uncomfortable and even risky for “some moderate Republicans in vulnerable districts for whom the vote could be politically damaging either way.” (And then goes on to quote two “moderate” Republicans who objected to having had to vote on a similar bill in the previous Congress; those two House Members lost the 2012 election, CQRC acknowledges, suggesting one pro-life vote had something to do with it when it  is certainly possible that the two Members in question were too squishy for their own good; clearly the 2011 redrawing of Congressional district maps affected both those Members’ prospects.)

The bill is being brought to a vote now, of course, because babies’ lives are being lost every day to the noxious abortion industry and because the conviction of baby murderer Kermit Gosnell has alarmed the public about the inhumane practices particularly of late-term abortionists. A “no” vote will be indefensible not only to pro-life citizens but to many more less involved voters who are simply appalled by the very notion that late-term abortion is still legal.



Princeton Prof. Robert George, writing in First Things about late-term abortion in the wake of the Gosnell verdicts: “If we are to condemn snipping the neck of a child delivered at, say, 24 or 26 weeks to kill him or her, how can we defend dismembering or poisoning a child in the womb at 26, 30 or even 34 weeks? … Something as morally arbitrary as a human being’s location – his or her being in or out of the womb – cannot determine whether killing him or her is an unconscionable act of premeditated homicide or the exercise of a fundamental liberty.”


Fighting the “Rape” Loophole

WE DON’t MEAN TO BE CRITICAL, but we do wish to be constructive in recommending to our friends in public office: Do not allow the abortion cartel to challenge you with “rape” loopholes.

We raise this now because of an exchange in the House Judiciary Committee last Wednesday when considering HR-1797 and because we anticipate the same sort of ambush tactic in House deliberation this week.

It is distressing to see advocates of the willful killing of unborn boys and girls – led in this case by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) – putting a good, decent advocate for Life – in this case, Rep. Trent Franks – into an awkward position for no good reason.

The exchange was reported on an Emma Dumain blog published by CQ/Roll Call (CQRC), noting the response of Rep. Franks to an amendment offered by Rep. Conyers to exempt babies conceived in rape from the protections of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (a post-20-week ban).

Though we are admirers of Rep. Franks, we wish he had taken a better approach in resisting the amendment; instead of pointing out the rarity of post-20-week abortions in rape-induced pregnancies (which still relates to the situation of the aborting mother), we wish pro-life sponsors and spokesmen would remain focused on protection of the child (the point, after all, of the legislation).

In this case, for example, a better response would have been to say, “However this baby was conceived, this late-term developing baby is still a human being and, during an abortion, loses his or her life while suffering excruciating pain.” Such a response, it seems to us, would have put Rep. Conyers and his merciless colleagues into their proper place rather than giving them an opportunity to sneer at the sponsor and his bill.

The CQRC blogger, in her personal bias, builds an entire column around what should be embarrassment for the GOP in the Franks response to the Conyers amendment. We are annoyed by her bias and her obvious enjoyment at what she perceives as “no-comment”-style discomfort on the part of the GOP Leadership. But we would advise pro-life spokesmen of either party to refuse to take the sneering bait and instead stay focused on the mercy and justice of their own position.


“Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely”

WITH I.R.S. ABUSES OF PATRIOT GROUPS MAKING HEADLINES, pro-life citizens need to be concerned about the tax agency’s treatment of pro-life groups, illustrated by its encounter with Ania Joseph, president of Pro-Life Revolution, a group that ministers to women in crisis pregnancies.

The organization finally received its tax-exempt status last week, nearly two-and-a-half years after submitting its application, and has now released an audio recording of Ms. Joseph’s conversation with IRS Exempt Organization Specialist Sherry Wan, quoted extensively in a story by John Jalsevac for

The recording includes a lengthy lecture by the I.R.S. agent “telling [Ms. Joseph] that her group cannot ‘force’ their religion and beliefs on others…. ‘You can’t take all kinds of confrontation activities and also put something on a website and ask people to take action against the abortion clinic,’ she said. ‘That’s not, that’s not really educational.’”

Ms. Joseph’s protests against Agent Wan’s interpretation of freedom of religion were met with condescension, as the tape recorded Ms. Wan saying, “‘There are really complicated, really subtle, you know, issues here. And they are also very complicated.’”

Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley of Alliance Defending Freedom, the legal organization that has been representing Pro-Life Revolution, asserts in the LifeSiteNews story, “‘We cannot allow the IRS to ruthlessly dictate against legitimate non-profits simply because it does not approve of the organization’s mission. It must be held accountable,’” Mr. Stanley said. Amen.


Time to Act

PEOPLE OF FAITH & CONSCIENCE ARE FACING A LOOMING CRISIS as the Aug. 1 deadline approaches for the ObamaCare contraception/abortifacient regulation to take effect. Faith-based groups have enjoyed a one-year reprieve in enforcement of the requirement that employers must cover contraception, sterilization, and abortion drugs free of charge, according to Ashley E. McGuire in the Weekly Standard, who writes, “Employers not complying with this Health & Human Services (HHS) mandate will be fined up to $100 per employee, per day.”

The Internal Revenue Service – of all agencies! – has been designated as the enforcers, charged with collecting fines that could mount to millions of dollars each year for some companies.

The Administration’s pretense of conscience protection doesn’t pass the laugh test, with more than 30 private businesses taking their pro-life policies to court; the majority have won preliminary injunctions.

But time is running out on this confrontation, and the judicial process could well prove inadequate. We at Life Advocacy join Tony Perkins of Family Research Council in urging Congressional action. “Unless Congress acts, several charities will have to choose between ending their health care programs or closing their doors altogether,” Mr. Perkins writes in his June 4 Washington Update. “Neither option would be necessary if Congress attached the ‘Health Care Conscience Rights Act’ (HR-940) to the next piece of must-pass legislation.”

Readers are urged to call home-district Members of Congress via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121 with an appeal to advocate and vote for HR-940 now to protect freedom of conscience.


Back-door Funding for Planned Parenthood

TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, PLANNED PARENTHOOD STANDS TO BENEFIT directly from implementation of ObamaCare. Despite the sleight-of-hand executive order issued in March, 2010, in which President Obama promised no funding for abortion in his healthcare takeover to garner votes of pro-life Congressional Democrats (notably former Rep. Bart Stupak), Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has sent a letter to insurance companies operating through state exchanges requiring them to cover the “services” of Planned Parenthood clinics.

“Planned Parenthood, which she deems as an ‘essential community provider,’ is part of the long list of local organizations that insurers are required to partner with,” reports Tony Perkins in his June 10 Washington Update. The list also, according to Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner, includes “lesbian and gay centers, family planning clinics and ‘holistic’ centers.”

“‘We’ve never covered these sorts of thing,’ a Wisconsin provider told [Mr.] Bedard,” writes Mr. Perkins. “He, like most healthcare representatives, is probably horrified at the prospect of collaborating with an organization which (when it isn’t lobbying for infanticide) is on trial for government fraud and botched abortions,” as Planned Parenthood is.


Welcome, Rep. Smith

ANOTHER MR. SMITH HAS JOINED THE U.S. HOUSE of REPRESENTATIVES. Republican Jason Smith has won the Missouri special election to succeed Rep. JoAnn Emerson, who resigned early this year to become president and CEO of a rural interest group.

Rep.-elect Smith is leaving a post as a State Representative, having been elected there seven years ago at the age of 25. He leaves a leadership position as Speaker Pro Tem in Jefferson City and has “consistently affirmed life in his voting record,” according to Missouri Right to Life, whose federal political action committee backed his election to Congress and comments, writes Dave Andrusko in National Right to Life News, that Mr. Smith “has a solid commitment to helping the unborn, their mothers and their families. Protecting the sanctity of life is not just a political position to Jason,” declares Missouri Right to Life; “it’s part of his core values.”


New Tool Exposing Planned Parenthood

ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM HAS OPENED a new segment of the ADF Internet website to expose Planned Parenthood’s practices and deceptions and its abortion business model. It can be visited at the Alliance Defending Freedom website. Among its features is a resource page, reports Live Action’s Kristi Burton Brown, “where [the visitor] can find up-to-date videos, publications, news and images concerning Planned Parenthood.” Some of the material is graphic, because that is Planned Parenthood’s approach to breaking down the innocence of our young people.

ADF’s theory in launching the new educational portal is, “The secret to Planned Parenthood’s success is just that: a secret. And for good reason. If people knew that this billion-dollar international corporation profited from promoting risky sexual behavior to young people, enforcing abortion quotas to increase profits, putting women’s health at risk and wasting and abusing taxpayer dollars, Planned Parenthood would be bankrupt,” notes ADF. “Sadly, it’s anything but.”At least not financially.


The Agenda Behind Plan B

June 5, 2013, commentary by Manny Alvarez, MD, from

I am totally convinced that our current federal government loves confusion. When you have a single agenda – and many ways to spin it – the American public never gets a clear answer, and that is exactly what has happened with the Plan B emergency contraception controversy.

A US appeals court ruled on Wednesday [June 5] that the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) must make certain forms of the emergency contraception pill available to children of all ages, without a prescription. This is exactly what I have been warning the American public about.

One has to remember that the FDA first approved this form of over-the-counter contraception for women of all ages back in 2011. When that initial FDA ruling came out, there was a loud public outcry, and restrictions were quickly put in place barring women under the age of 17 from purchasing these pills.

But of course, that was just one spin on the story. In April, a New York judge ruled that restricting access to Plan B was inappropriate, forcing the FDA to reconsider their initial finding that emergency contraception should be available to children of all ages.

And then, we got a third spin on the story, as the FDA tried to lower the age limit for access to emergency contraception to 15 in May. There was another outcry and more criticism, because we know perfectly well that a 15-year-old may not have a clear understanding of how to utilize emergency contraception.

Now, we see that an appeals court is forcing the FDA to do what they wanted to do in the first place. How convenient.

And the final ruling is still unclear, after the court decided on Wednesday that while the two-pill version of emergency contraception can now be sold over the counter to women of all ages, the one-pill version will still only be sold to women age 17 or older. The court did not explain its reasoning.

While there is still a lot of confusion about the ruling, it seems as though the FDA will ultimately get its way.

So what’s the message here? The polarizing healthcare agenda of this federal government is like a train without a stop, and parents need to be aware of this.

… [T]his is a medication. Yes, I know that it is safe, but it does have side effects. Side effects to Plan B can include but are not limited to: migraines, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and blood clots.

If this drug is available to young children, it might lead to problems including the misuse of the medication and the risk that children will utilize this as a regular form of contraception.

Furthermore, it will exclude parents from the decision-making process. And in my opinion, parents can be very valuable in counseling children about proper behavior and doing the right thing.

This is taking parents and caregivers out of the equation and inhibiting their ability to help their children live a healthy and happy life. America, we are being bamboozled. Wake up and pay attention.