Life Advocacy Briefing

June 24, 2013

House Passes Late-Term Abortion Ban / Debating Justice & Mercy / Paving the Way
White House Weighs In / Opting Out in Pennsylvania / More Rocks Being Turned
More Abortion Industry Closings / Quoteworthy / Sacred Ground / House Voting Record

House Passes Late-Term Abortion Ban

THE U.S. HOUSE VOTED 228 to 196 TUESDAY to ban killing of babies aged at least 20 gestational weeks, the point at which fetology and pain experts believe babies can experience pain.

The measure is sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and 184 other Members. House Members who added their names to HR-1797 as co-sponsors since we last published are GOP Representatives Webster/FL, Graves/GA and Hurt & Rigell/VA.

We were disappointed by reports that the House GOP Leadership secured an amendment from the Rules Committee to excuse late-term abortions targeting babies conceived in reported rape or incest. That was incorporated into HR-1797 when it passed the House.


Debating Justice & Mercy

DEBATE ON PASSAGE OF THE PAIN-CAPABLE ABORTION BAN ACT was managed by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), joined by GOP Representatives Diane Black (TN), Michele Bachmann (MN), Robert Goodlatte (VA), Martha Roby (AL), Ann Wagner & Vicki Hartzler (both MO), Steve Scalise (LA), Kristi Noem (SD), Jeff Fortenberry (NE) and Renee Ellmers (NC).

The opponents, led by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), were Democratic Representatives Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (FL), John Conyers (MI), Jerrold Nadler (NY), Nancy Pelosi (CA), Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX), Judy Chu (CA), Ted Deutch (FL), Hakeem Jeffries (NY), Diana DeGette (CO), Lois Capps (CA) and William Keating (MA).

Opponents conceded that Kermit Gosnell, to quote Rep. Lofgren, is “a monster.” And they brought forward the names and brief case histories of two aborted mothers whose stories were used back in the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban debate; their stories did not deter principled lawmakers from enacting needed, compassionate legislation then, either.

Among many worthy speeches favoring the late-term abortion ban legislation offered last week by Rep Trent Franks (R-AZ), the one by Rep. Michele Bachmann stood out; we publish Rep. Bachmann’s speech near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.


Paving the Way

Debate began with consideration of HRes-266, which provides for the Rule under which HR-1797 was considered. That Rule incorporated also procedures for the proposed Farm Bill, but the debate on the resolution focused solely on the late-term abortion ban. Participants in the debate on the Rule were, for the pro-life side, Representatives Virginia Foxx (NC), John Fleming (LA), Jim Bridenstine (OK), Steve Daines (MT), Dan Benishek (MI) and Chris Smith (NJ); all are Republicans.  Rep. Foxx did a creditable job of managing the debate on the Rule and of speaking, herself, on behalf of reform; we found her closing speech both compelling and touching.

The abortion lobby’s apologists, led in the Rule consideration by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), were Representatives Rosa DeLauro (CT), Barbara Lee (CA), Colleen Hanabusa (HI), Gwen Moore (WI) (who actually cited “imams” among qualified spiritual advisors), Brad Schneider (IL), Susan Davis (CA) and Carolyn Maloney (NY), who accompanied her speech by a pictorial placard depicting the GOP members of the Judiciary Committee, which had advanced HR-1797, to show that they were all male, a jab which the abortion lobby had been brandishing. What the ladies of the Left failed to do in their sexist focus was to represent the millions of women in America whose hearts are touched by learning of the revolting, profit-driven, brutal killings by abortionists of tender developing babies, both boys and girls.

The Rule was ultimately adopted by a vote of 232 to 193, following the recorded roll call on adoption of a procedural motion to call the question. We will be publishing the voting records on these two motions, as well as on HR-1797, during coming weeks, beginning today with the final passage vote on the bill itself.


White House Weighs In

THE PREDICTABLE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE VETO THREAT, issued before HR-1797’s passage, claimed the legislation “shows ‘contempt for … the Constitution,’” quoted by Ben Johnson for, and called the Franks bill to protect 20-week-and-older gestating babies from the abortionist’s knife “‘an assault on a woman’s right to choose,’” without, of course, acknowledging what is being chosen.

The Statement of Administration Policy claimed, reports Mr. Johnson, the measure “‘is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and shows contempt for women’s health and rights, the role doctors play in their patients’ healthcare decisions and the Constitution.’”

National Right to Life’s Doug Johnson had a more accurate view of the bill, quoted in the LifeSiteNews story: “‘Any lawmaker who votes to allow unlimited abortion in the sixth month or later is voting to encourage a continuation of the horrors associated with the likes of Kermit Gosnell.’”


Opting Out in Pennsylvania

WITH THE SIGNATURE OF GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT, Pennsylvania joins the ranks of more than 30 states opting out of abortion coverage in state healthcare insurance exchanges mandated by ObamaCare. The measure bars private insurance companies from offering abortion coverage in their plans but permits coverage of abortions killing babies conceived in the commission of a sex crime.


More Rocks Being Turned

IN THE WAKE OF THE GOSNELL MURDER CONVICTION, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has opened what he calls an investigation of abortion practices in his state, which currently provides no regulations or oversight. In his quest for information, he has turned to two abortuaries concerning their policies.

Abortuary conditions have received heightened public attention in West Virginia this month with the news of a lawsuit filed by 26-year-old Itai Gravely, who claims that Rodney Lee Stephens forced her to undergo an abortion against her will and without anesthesia in April. The forced abortion was committed at the “Women’s Health Center” of Charleston. According to Ben Johnson in a story for, “The next day, doctors at the Charleston Area Medical Center – where Dr. Stephens also practices – discovered the abortionist had left fetal remains, including her baby’s skull, inside her womb.”

Readers may wish to add Ms. Gravely to their prayer lists, as she reports through her attorney that she is now expecting another child. Studies have repeatedly shown that a single abortion dramatically increases the risk of preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies.


More Abortion Industry Closings

PLANNED PARENTHOOD THIS MONTH CLOSED two abortion referral shops in Eastern Pennsylvania and Central New York, bringing down to 722 the number of Planned Parenthood operations, according to pro-life blogger Jill Stanek, “from a high in 1995 of 938. This represents a 23 percent drop,” she writes at, “in the number of Planned Parenthoods in 18 years.”

Operation Rescue is anticipating this month the late June closure of a Fairfax, Virginia, abortion mill “with a history of botched abortions and at least one patient death.” According to OR, this closure brings to 30 the number of shops to close already in 2013, more than double the count for all of 2012.

“With the increased attention on abortion clinic abuses, we are beginning to see a trend toward greater awareness and enforcement,” said OR’s Troy Newman. In addition to regulatory enforcement, Newman says of the 30, “Others closed due to lack of business, which means the pro-life movement is succeeding at changing the public opinion and behavior toward abortion.”

Even those shops that remain open may be losing personnel, thanks to the efforts of former abortion manager Abby Johnson. “When we first launched our ministry in June 2012…we never imagined that we would be hearing from current and former abortionists. We also weren’t expecting that within the first few months, we would have thirtyabortion workers leave the industry.”



National Black Pro-Life Union president Day Gardner, quoted by from remarks to the mid-June Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in the Washington, D.C. area: “If you’re going to run for office – especially for House or Senate – don’t bother running if you’re going to leave your backbone in your state.”


Sacred Ground

House Debate speech by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) in support of HR-1797, transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing from a C-SPAN video

It’s a privilege to be able to stand here today and to speak on behalf of the unborn. [Here she displays life-size photo placards of an expectant mother and of a 20-week preborn baby.] … We’re here because we care about women; we’re here because we care about the unborn. That’s why I support this wonderful bill that’s before our body today.

You see, we had a very recent disturbing account about a late-term abortionist. His name is Kermit Gosnell. His actions have made debates like this more important than ever before, because under the guise of being a medical professional, you see, Dr. Gosnell violently ended the life of viable unborn babies and in turn he seriously hurt or even killed some of the women who he claimed were his patients.

A few days ago, the Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, referred to late-term abortions as sacred ground when voicing opposition to this bill. I found that to be a stunning statement. What could possibly be sacred about late-term abortion? What could possibly be sacred about dismembering this six-month-old little baby with a pair of scissors, as Kermit Gosnell did? What could possibly be sacred about listening to the whimpers and cries of a baby, because you see, we know that babies at this age feel pain when a scissor is put into their body as it comes to an end?

You see, we are the people who make the laws in our society, and therefore we have the duty to protect the inalienable right to life of every individual, both the mom and the unborn baby.

At eight weeks from conception, an unborn child’s heart begins to beat. At twenty weeks, he or she is capable of sensing pain, and babies as young as twenty-one weeks have survived premature birth.

Madam Speaker, as a woman and as a mom of five natural-born children and twenty-three foster children, I am appalled by the savage practice of late-term abortion. There is no such thing as an unwanted child, and that’s why this legislation is so important. It not only protects the unborn, it protects the mom against the lethal practices of abortionists like Gosnell, and women deserve better than abortion. Unborn children deserve their inalienable right to life.

Pregnancy is wonderful. It can be difficult, too. That’s why we need to show patience and compassion toward every woman as they carry a human life. We are indeed treading upon sacred ground, but it’s because we’re dealing with the sanctity of every human life, and out of respect for this mom [gesturing toward the photo placard] and out of respect for this unborn child, I urge my colleagues to vote yes on this commonsense piece of legislation. I thank Mrs. Blackburn [bill debate manager]; I thank Representative Trent Franks of Arizona [bill sponsor], and I yield back [parliamentary expression closing a speech in the House].


House Voting Record

HR-1797 –Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection [Late-term Abortion Ban] Act – Final Passage – June 18, 2013 – Passed 228 to 196 – Pro-Life victory (Democrats in italics; new Member in ALL CAPS)

Voting “yes” / pro-Life: Aderholt, Bachus, Brooks, Roby & Rogers/AL; Young/AK; Franks, Gosar, Salmon & Schweikert/AZ; Cotton, Crawford, Griffin & Womack/AR; Calvert, Cook, Denham, Issa, LaMalfa, McCarthy, McClintock, McKeon, Gary Miller, Nunes, Rohrabacher, Royce & Valadao/CA; Coffman, Gardner, Lamborn & Tipton/CO; Bilirakis, Buchanan, Crenshaw, DeSantis, Diaz-Balart, Mica, Miller, Nugent, Posey, Radel, Rooney, Ros-Lehtinen, Ross, Southerland, Webster, Yoho & Young/FL; Collins, Gingrey, Graves, Kingston, Price, A.Scott & Westmoreland/GA; Labrador & Simpson/ID; R.Davis, Hultgren, Kinzinger, Lipinski, Roskam & Shimkus/IL; Brooks, Bucshon, Messer, Rokita, Stutzman, Walorski & Young/IN; King & Latham/IA; Huelskamp, Jenkins, Pompeo & Yoder/KS; Barr, Guthrie, Massie & Whitfield/KY; Alexander, Boustany, Cassidy, Fleming & Scalise/LA; Harris/MD; Amash, Benishek, Bentivolio, Camp, Huizenga, Miller, Rogers, Upton & Walberg/MI; Bachmann, Kline, Paulsen & Peterson/MN; Harper, Nunnelee, Palazzo/MS; Graves, Hartzler, Long, Luetkemeyer, SMITH, Wagner/MO; Daines/MT; Fortenberry, Smith & Terry/NE; Amodei & Heck/NV; Garrett, Lance, LoBiondo & Smith/NJ; Pearce/NM; Collins, Gibson, Grimm, King & Reed/NY; Coble, Ellmers, Foxx, Holding, Hudson, Jones, McHenry, McIntyre, Meadows & Pittenger/NC; Cramer/ND; Chabot, Gibbs, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Latta, Renacci, Stivers, Tiberi, Turner & Wenstrup/OH; Bridenstine, Cole, Lankford, Lucas & Mullin/OK; Walden/OR; Barletta, Fitzpatrick, Gerlach, Kelly, Marino, Meehan, Murphy, Perry, Pitts, Rothfus, Shuster & Thompson/PA; Duncan, Gowdy, Mulvaney, Rice, Sanford & Wilson/SC; Noem/SD; Black, Blackburn, DesJarlais, Duncan, Fincher, Fleischmann & Roe/TN; Barton, Brady, Burgess, Carter, Conaway, Cuellar, Culberson, Farenthold, Flores, Gohmert, Granger, Hall, Hensarling, S.Johnson, Marchant, McCaul, Neugebauer, Olson, Poe, Sessions, Smith, Stockman, Thornberry, Weber & Williams/TX; Bishop, Chaffetz, Matheson & Stewart/UT; Cantor, Forbes, Goodlatte, Griffith, Hurt, Rigell, Wittman & Wolf/VA; Hastings, Herrera-Beutler, McMorris-Rodgers & Reichert/WA; Capito, McKinley & Rahall/WV; Duffy, Petri, Ribble, Ryan & Sensenbrenner/WI; Lummis/WY.

Voting “no” / anti-Life: Sewell/AL; Barber, Grijalva, Kirkpatrick, Pastor & Sinema/AZ; Bass, Becerra, Bera, Brownley, Capps, Cardenas, Chu, Costa, Davis, Eshoo, Farr, Garamendi, Hahn, Honda, Huffman, Lee, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Matsui, McNerney, Geo. Miller, Napolitano, Negrete-McLeod, Pelosi, Peters, Roybal-Allard, Ruiz, Linda Sanchez, Loretta Sanchez, Schiff, Sherman, Speier, Swalwell, Takano, Thompson, Vargas, Waters & Waxman/CA; DeGette, Himes, Perlmutter & Polis/CO; Courtney, DeLauro, Esty & Larson/CT; Carney/DE; Brown, Castor, Deutch, Frankel, Garcia, Grayson, Hastings, Murphy, Wasserman-Schultz & Wilson/FL; Barrow, Bishop, Broun, Johnson, Lewis, D.Scott & Woodall/GA; Gabbard & Hanabusa/HI; Bustos, D.Davis, Duckworth, Enyart, Foster, Gutierrez, Kelly, Quigley, Rush, Schakowsky & Schneider/IL; Carson & Visclosky/IN; Braley & Loebsack/IA; Richmond/LA; Michaud & Pingree/ME; Cummings, Delaney, Edwards, Hoyer, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes & VanHollen/MD; Capuano, Keating, Kennedy, Lynch, McGovern, Neal, Tierney & Tsongas/MA; Conyers, Dingell, Kildee, Levin & Peters/MI; Ellison, McCollum, Nolan & Walz/MN; Thompson/MS; Clay & Cleaver/MO;Horsford & Titus/NV; Kuster & Shea-Porter/NH; Andrews, Frelinghuysen, Holt, Pallone, Payne, Runyan & Sires/NJ; B.Lujan & Lujan-Grisham/NM; Bishop, Clarke, Crowley, Engel, Hanna, Higgins, Israel, Jeffries, Lowey, Maffei, C.Maloney, S.Maloney, Meeks, Meng, Nadler, Owens, Rangel, Serrano, Slaughter, Tonko & Velazquez/NY; Butterfield, Price & Watt/NC; Beatty, Fudge, Kaptur & Ryan/OH; Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio & Schrader/OR; Brady, Cartwright, Dent, Doyle, Fattah & Schwartz/PA; Cicilline & Langevin/RI; Clyburn/SC; Cohen & Cooper/TN; Castro, Doggett, Gallego, A.Green, G.Green, Hinojosa, Jackson-Lee, E.B.Johnson, O’Rourke, Veasey & Vela/TX; Welch/VT; Connolly, Moran & Scott/VA; DelBene, Heck, Kilmer, McDermott & Smith/WA; Kind, Moore & Pocan/WI.

Not voting: Bonner/AL, Campbell & Hunter/CA, Schock/IL, Rogers & Yarmuth/KY, Markey/MA, Pascrell/NJ, McCarthy/NY, Boehner/OH, Larsen/WA.