Life Advocacy Briefing

September 2, 2013

Don’t Be Surprised / Another Reason to Defund ObamaCare Now / Go Ahead, Defund It!
Opinion & Reality / Good News / Too Extreme Even for the Media! / ‘Marching’ Year-Round
Documenting the Humanity / Late-Term Ban Goes Local

Don’t Be Surprised

CONGRESS WILL NOT RETURN FROM RECESS until next week; please do not be surprised if we do not publish next week. But please do be assured, we will be arriving in your “in-box” if news warrants.


Another Reason to Defund ObamaCare Now

THE OBAMA REGIME HAS FOUND ANOTHER MEANS to force taxpayers to fund abortions, offering yet another reason Congress – including the US Senate – needs urgently to block ObamaCare implementation through defunding and repeal.

Many citizens learned from major media this month that the White House was forcing Congressional Members and staff to join the rest of the American people in being forced onto ObamaCare coverage. Now Family Research Council (FRC) warns the move could result in abortion subsidies where they have previously been barred.

“The Administration claims,” notes FRC in an Action Alert bulletin, “it will comply with the [long-standing] law prohibiting federal funds from going to abortion coverage, but healthcare experts and Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), the author of the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan [abortion coverage] ban, remain skeptical, since [the] Office of Personnel Management rule does not restrict Members and staff from receiving contributions if they choose plans with abortion coverage.

“If experience is any guide,” opines FRC, “where abortion is not explicitly prohibited, it’s implicitly allowed. If the Administration plans to respect current law, it should be an easy lift to include a ban in the proposed regulations, if for no other reason than to clarify an ambiguity.”

FRC urges public comments be filed on the rule, but frankly, we have seen this Regime adamantly refuse to take public comments into consideration where their precious abortion rite is involved.

So we urge instead that our readers take this as one more basis for contacting House Members and Senators (via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121) and insist that they vote against any Continuing Resolution which does not explicitly defund ObamaCare until it can be rooted out of our law and our spiraling national life.


Go Ahead, Defund It!

THE NATIONAL MEDIA WOULD HAVE OUR REPRESENTATIVES BELIEVE that defunding ObamaCare carries a high political risk, yet public opinion polls show massive public opposition to major, fundamental elements of the massive, oppressive law.

Now comes a report – thanks to a British publication – headed “ObamaCare Poll Shock: 77% want the individual mandate repealed or delayed.”

“A healthcare media company sponsored a scientific poll of more than 2,000 registered voters,” reports David Martosko, Washington reporter for London’s Daily Mail, “and found a stunning 77% want to see ObamaCare’s individual health insurance mandate delayed or scrapped entirely. That includes 49% who want the mandate killed.

“Just 11% agreed with the Obama Administration’s contention,” he continues, “that fully implementing the President’s signature healthcare law will lower their ‘total healthcare costs, such as appointment co-payments, monthly premiums, deductibles and drug co-payments.’”

Margin of error for the poll was stated as “two percentage points.” The online poll was taken by “Survey Sampling International, Inc.” for an outfit called “The Morning Consult.”

One more proof that, as Abraham Lincoln said, “You cannot fool all the people all the time.”


Opinion & Reality

A NEW POLL BY PEW RESEARCH CENTER SHOWS 75% of evangelicals “found abortion immoral,” reports Michael New in And “Catholics were also statistically more likely to consider abortion immoral. This is in contrast to past surveys which indicated that Catholic views on abortion are very similar to those of the broader population.”

The overall “results indicated that 49% of Americans found abortion to be immoral,” reports Mr. New, while “only 15% found abortion morally acceptable and 23% felt it was not a moral issue. …

“Church attendance is a far better predictor of abortion attitudes than religious beliefs,” Mr. New notes. “Seventy percent of those who attend religious services once a week,” he writes, “were inclined to say abortion is immoral.”

Other demographic indicators also hold significance, notes Mr. New. “This Pew poll shows that women are actually more likely than men to consider abortion immoral.”

We do not find that point surprising, not only because it has been found in other surveys but also because, realistically, men benefit most from decriminalized abortion in America. That is among the reasons we at Life Advocacy hold pro-life men in especially high esteem as men of character, fulfilling God’s role for their lives as protectors of women and children. May our Lord bless all pro-life men – in and out of office – with deepening conviction and the courage to defend Life in the public square.


Good News

MORE GOOD NEWS SURFACED LAST WEEK on the promise of ethical adult stemcell transplantation for the relief of serious disease. It came in a report by Michele Munz in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about the release of a 10-year-old girl from St. Louis Children’s Hospital, where she had spent “three months,” writes Ms. Munz, “undergoing and recovering from a risky stemcell transplant.” She went home to Iowa City, Iowa, the paper reports “without any signs of her sickle cell disease,” a painful, severe genetic condition.

The girl is the third person, notes Ms. Munz, “to receive a cord blood transplant to treat sickle cell as part of a nationwide study involving Washington University School of Medicine, where researchers are leading the way in finding easier and safer ways to treat non-cancerous diseases with bone marrow and stemcell transplants.”

The cord blood stem cells received by the girl in question were from an unrelated donor. She was treated by Dr. Shalini Shenoy, “a pioneer,” reports Ms. Munz, “in developing the protocol for transplanting grafts from unrelated donors without using massive amounts of damaging chemotherapy and radiation.” Earlier transplantation experiments for sickle cell cures were limited to transplants from a sibling donor whose tissue matched.  Dr. Shenoy persisted in developing an approach which permits transplantation from a wider range of donors. The use of cord blood cells apparently is one key to the Shenoy protocol.

The Iowa girl, reports the Post-Dispatch, will “be monitored closely” for the next year to assess whether her body might be rejecting the transplanted cells or whether the cells might be attacking her body. “‘If she makes it through this first year,’ [Dr.] Shenoy said” in the report, “‘it’s likely that she is cured.’”


Too Extreme Even for the Media!

LAST WEDNESDAY’s HEARING OF THE IOWA MEDICAL BOARD reconsidering its policy allowing “telemed” abortions turned out rather uncomfortable for Planned Parenthood, as reported by USA Today.

The report opens by terming the remote-control abortion technique “controversial.” Then, in the second paragraph, the mainstream media outlet cited the Board of Medicine’s “suggest[ion]” that “the telemedicine system … amounted to an experiment on Iowa women.

“‘That really bothers me,’” the paper quotes board chairman Dr. Greg Hoversten telling Planned Parenthood “physician” Tom Ross.

Replied the Planned Parenthood abortionist, “‘I sense that, sir, yes.’” The spokesman went on to explain that Planned Parenthood’s Iowa setup “uses proven methods and is just as safe as office visits in which a doctor personally hands the pills to a patient,” a claim which is simply unbelievable.

Planned Parenthood uses telemed abortions to administer baby-killing chemicals to a distressed expectant mother without ever meeting the prescribing “doctor.” It is a lucrative business plan for expanding abortions in a largely rural state.

As USA Today explains, “staff members at local clinics check the women, then the women have an interview with a Des Moines doctor via a closed-circuit video system. If the doctor decides the woman qualifies,” reports USA Today, though having met her only via a computer screen, “he or she enters a computer command that opens a drawer in front of the woman. She withdraws pill bottles from the drawer and takes the first pill as the doctor watches.” In that way, he makes sure she actually takes the pill to kill her baby. “Then she goes home, takes more pills and has what amounts,” reads USA Today, “to an induced miscarriage.”

The system was first introduced by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in 2008, reports the newspaper, and was “examined” by “medical board investigators” two years ago; “board members,” reports USA Today, “later dismissed a complaint from abortion opponents. But since then, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad replaced all 10 board members,” notes USA Today, “and the new board agreed to reopen the matter shortly after abortion opponents filed a petition in June.” [Elections have consequences, this time good!]

Lawmakers in other states have been enacting legislation to outlaw the system, and we are certain policymakers elsewhere are watching the Iowa administrative proceeding, which is one of the reasons we at Life Advocacy find the media coverage so encouraging. It is also a refreshing revelation to the general public as to the callous substandard “care” offered by Planned Parenthood businesses.

“In one especially heated exchange,” reports USA Today, “medical board member and West Des Moines physician Bob Bender grilled Robert Shaw, a pediatrician and Planned Parenthood board chairman, about who physically examines patients before an abortion drug is prescribed via the video system.” Certainly, it is not a licensed physician; that is the point!

“[Dr.] Bender repeatedly asked Shaw whether he had ever relied on a certified medical assistant to perform an initial patient examination – something,” reports USA Today, “another Planned Parenthood representative had suggested sometimes occurred before telemedicine abortions.” The paper then notes the three-semester training qualifications for such personnel – certainly a far cry from the training required to qualify one for a medical practice license.

“Shaw refused to answer the question,” reports USA Today, “arguing that his personal medical experience was irrelevant to questions over the standard of care provided in telemedicine abortions.” This, recall, is the board chairman of the Planned Parenthood outfit which came up with this substandard scheme. Responded Dr. Bender: “‘I will write down that you refuse to answer.’”

A former manager of Planned Parenthood’s shop in a little town called Storm Lake (population 10,600) “told the board that the organization relies on unqualified people to do vaginal ultrasounds on women before they speak to a physician via the video system,” reports USA Today. “She said she has no medical training but was told to take brief training on running the ultrasound machine, then train her staff. She said her supervisor told her, ‘If you are breathing, you can do this. It helps if you’ve run a joystick on a video game,’” she reported the supervisor had said, according to USA Today, “‘because it’s a lot like moving it around to get the right picture.’ [Ms.] Thayer says she was fired after objecting to the idea.”

The Iowa Board of Medicine is likely to decide soon on the petition seeking to overturn the state’s permission for Planned Parenthood to foist such an obviously substandard system on vulnerable mothers and their even more vulnerable babies. We can hope they will do the right thing, but we are pleased, in any case, that the board conducted such an extensive – three-and-a-half-hour – hearing which received such unusual media coverage in a national publication.


‘Marching’ Year-Round

THE LEADERS WHO SUMMON THE ANNUAL MARCH FOR LIFE on the National Mall in Washington, DC, every January are organizing now to support the pro-life cause year-round and in magnified ways, according to a report by blogger Jill Stanek, published at

When founder Nellie Gray passed away one year ago, she was succeeded at the helm by next-generation activist leader Jeanne Monahan, who assured Mrs. Stanek the March for Life will continue to pursue “no exceptions, no compromise,” in accord with Miss Gray’s vision, yet in its activities, to “expand on Nellie’s vision and to capitalize on the innate power” the March holds.

Saying the board now “‘want[s] to make the March for Life a year-round thing,’” Ms. Monahan notes the growing dominance of youth in the annual event. Through reactivation of its 501/c/4 lobbying arm and recruitment of Family Research Council vice president Tom McClusky to head it, March for Life, reports Mrs. Stanek, “wants to create citizen lobbyists, getting young people to call their legislators” to enhance the “whipping” of US Senate and House Members for principled pro-life legislation. The idea is to tap year-round the enthusiastic young people who fill the streets of the capital every January and to enlist them in social-media education and lobbying efforts.

Mr. McClusky “also sees March for Life as a relationship builder between pro-life groups,” writes Mrs. Stanek. “‘My role,’” said Mr. McClusky, “‘would be to help them on the Hill.’” And the group’s leadership told Mrs. Stanek they plan to “foster unity by having all the major groups represented on stage during the [annual January] rally.”


Documenting the Humanity

RESULTS OF A NEW UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI STUDY seem to put the lie to the old mantra of a pre-born baby being a “blob of tissue.”

Researchers at the Cognitive Brain Research Unit have taken the scientific study of newborns demonstrating pre-birth learning beyond behavioral techniques into a physical neurological measurement. Using a control group for comparison, the researchers used a repetitious recording of a nonsense word some 25,000 times in the final trimester of more than a dozen pregnancies, subsequently measuring brain activity of babies in both groups when exposed to the recording after birth, finding a consistent measurable response even in sleeping infants.

The study has produced “direct neural evidence that neural memory traces are formed by auditory learning prior to birth,” according to the researchers quoted by In other words, scientists are proving that babies after birth recognize words they have heard while in their mothers’ wombs. We can also come to the conclusion that that’s a real human baby in there!


Late-Term Ban Goes Local

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, MAY SOON ADOPT the first citizen-led municipal limit on late term abortions. Operation Rescue reports the city clerk in the town that hosts the largest late-term abortion shop in the country has verified more than enough valid signatures to place the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance before the city council. That body has two weeks to adopt or amend it or place it on the ballot for a city-wide vote.

Operation Rescue is encouraging the council to adopt the ordinance, with OR’s Cheryl Sullenger suggesting, “If the city wants to be fiscally responsible, it will save the taxpayers the cost of a special election….It’s time for elected representatives on the council to heed the voice of the people.” Ms. Sullenger cites the wide support for the measure as demonstrated by the large number of signatures –27,000 secured in the 20-day petition drive.