Life Advocacy Briefing

September 16, 2013

Defund It Now! / Stop this Nominee! / Good Point / Another Challenge
Raising the Standard / Back to the Alley / Gaining Ground
Senate Judiciary Committee Members

Defund It Now!

THE HOUSE G.O.P. LEADERSHIP SPENT MUCH OF LAST WEEK wrestling with some of their Members over their proposal related to defunding ObamaCare in connection with the Continuing Resolution which Congress is expected to pass to fund the government past Sept. 30. We offer no comment on that plan or on the controversy it has raised within the GOP Conference.

We simply urge our readers once again to contact home-district US Representatives and home-state Senators – regardless of party – and ask that they vote to defund ObamaCare implementation before it kicks in on Oct. 1. They can be reached via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121.


Stop this Nominee!

THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HELD AN EXPEDITED HEARING before the August recess on the nomination of left-wing Georgetown Law School professor Cornelia Pillard to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, a circuit which, according to Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice “already has more judges than it needs.” It appears, however, that her confirmation is a crucial goal for the Obama Regime.

The nomination could come to a vote in the committee any day, according to panel observers. Readers are asked to contact committee members, listed at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing, via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121, and ask that they reject the nomination of Cornelia Pillard, urging also that the committee not take up such a controversial nominee during a time when Congress already faces such pressing business.

Readers living in states whose Senators traditionally vote with the pro-life reform agenda are asked to call their Senators, even if they are not on the Judiciary Committee, and press for a “no” vote if the Pillard nomination does come to the Senate calendar.

Among the many problems with Prof. Pillard, National Review Online’s judicial blogger Ed Whelan last week accused her of having lied during her testimony before the committee. Though her own writings show clearly her view that public-school abstinence-only sex education is “unconstitutional,” she said “no”  in responding to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) when he asked her whether that was her view, according to Mr. Whelan, who called her answer “brazenly false.”

Mr. Whelan began his July 19 column on the nominee with this alarming statement: “A former colleague of DC Circuit nominee Cornelia Pillard describes her to me as ‘Reinhardt in a skirt but less moderate.’ Given that 9th Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt has a strong claim to being the most aggressive leftist ever to sit on a federal court of appeals, it’s difficult,” Mr. Whelan opines, “to imagine a more damning assessment.”

Mr. Whelan goes on to quote “a legal academic who is familiar with Pillard’s work on matters concerning sex, abortion and the family, … that Pillard is a ‘complete ideologue’ on those matters, someone who will ‘twist constitutional doctrine to suit the liberal cause du jour.’ The first of Pillard’s law-review articles that I have waded through,” writes Mr. Whelan “– Our Other Reproductive Choices: Equality in Sex Education, Contraceptive Access and Work-Family Policy” – amply supports these evaluations.”

Ms. Pillard “shows all the signs of a pro-abortion extremist,” warns Mr. Whelan. He states, “In her view, ‘reproductive rights,’ including a right to abortion, ‘should be doubly constitutionally protected by the overlapping liberty and equality guarantees.’ A right to abortion,” summarizes Mr. Whelan on her view, “is necessary to help to ‘free women from historically routine conscription into maternity.’”


Good Point

AMID AGONIZING DISCUSSIONS concerning the attack on Syrians – including children – former Reagan domestic policy chief Gary Bauer has nailed Pres. Obama’s hypocrisy in a segment of the Sept. 11 End of Day Report from his Campaign for Working Families, putting in writing what many of us have been thinking.

Citing the President’s televised speech last Tuesday night, Mr. Bauer quotes the Obama depiction of “‘children writhing in pain and going still on a cold hospital floor.’

“Those are powerful images,” Mr. Bauer comments, “meant to stir righteous indignation. Yet I couldn’t take Obama’s imagery at face value without thinking about his record when it comes to the death of innocent children.

“The man who spoke to the nation last [Tuesday] night is the most aggressive proponent of the wholesale destruction of innocent children through abortion-on-demand to ever occupy the Oval Office.

“He praises those who profit from destroying those children. He demands that your tax money be used to subsidize the destruction of those children. He has shamelessly asked God to bless the businesses that destroy those children. And he accuses anyone who questions his morality of ‘waging war against women.’

“Four hundred twenty-six Syrian children tragically died in that horrible chemical attack, which is an atrocity,” writes Mr. Bauer, and we all, of course, agree. But, Mr. Bauer goes on to note, “Today in Obama’s America, more than 3,000 innocent little children will either be dismembered or burned to death with saline or worse in order to ensure they never take the first breath of life outside the womb.”


Another Challenge

THE CRITIQUE BY GARY BAUER FOLLOWS CLOSELY on a similar observation made by American Life League’s Judie Brown on the League’s Internet website at Commenting on the President’s speech at the late-August ceremonies commemorating the Rev. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Mrs. Brown asserts, “The irony in Obama’s rhetoric struck me like a sword to the heart. …

“The use of the word ‘justice’ by a man who embraces all manner of killing the innocent preborn is so contradictory to the meaning of the word that it defies logic and reason. … Thousands of people die every day … in this nation … because of chemical assaults on their young bodies, clinical acts of destruction and surgical procedures that render living human beings dead. It is called abortion, and it is anything but just.”


Raising the Standard

THE IOWA BOARD OF MEDICINE HAS ACTED to rein in Planned Parenthood’s “telemed abortion” cost-saving business plan. After a lengthy hearing on which we reported in a previous Life Advocacy Briefing, the state’s licensing board voted 8 to 2 on Aug. 30 to end the long-distance abortion scheme, which the industry leader has foisted on women since 2008.

“The system allows Planned Parenthood of the Heartland to offer the [abortion-inducing] pills at clinics in 15 remote locations where the organization doesn’t have doctors who can meet with patients in person,” reports Associated Press writer Catherine Lucey. “Instead, a doctor, typically based in Des Moines,” she notes, “meets with patients using an Internet video system before the women receive the drugs.” The AP writer fails to note that such “patients” are sent home to abort without medical supervision and that the remote nature of the “examination” precludes a follow-up exam by the abortionist himself.

Commented board chairman Dr. Greg Hoversten, quoted in the AP report, “‘How can any of us possibly find that a medical abortion performed over the Internet is as safe as one provided by a physician in person?’”

Planned Parenthood’s Iowa president Jill June declared the business was “keeping its options open,” writes Ms. Lucey, and claimed concern that “‘the health and welfare of rural women is too precious.’”

But who is truly protecting the “health and welfare” of women, no matter where they live, even setting aside for the moment the immediate threat to developing little girls and boys?

“The process induces a miscarriage,” notes writer Ben Johnson, “but frequent side effects [of the RU-486 abortion drug cocktail] include incomplete miscarriage, bleeding and fetal deformities.

“‘The complications are greater for medical abortion than surgical’ abortions, Jacqueline Harvey of Reproductive Research Audit told,” writes Mr. Johnson, who reports Ms. Harvey “critiqued a study claiming telemed abortions reduce patient harm [and] found they present ‘an 11% increase in the likelihood of women suffering from complications. … It’s an increased public health risk,’ [Ms.] Harvey said” in the LifeSiteNews story.

The AP story states the following description of the Iowa program is based on information furnished by Planned Parenthood: “Staff members at the remote clinics perform any necessary testing. A doctor, usually in Des Moines, reviews the patient’s records before talking with her over a video-conferencing system. If the doctor decides the woman is a proper candidate for abortion-inducing medication, he remotely triggers a drawer to open in front of the woman with two sets of pills. She takes the first dose at the clinic and the rest of the pills later at home.”

A spokesman for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) “praised the board’s decision,” which could take effect Nov. 6, reports AP. “‘Women deserve high-quality medical care and a standard of care designed to protect their health regardless of the procedure at issue,’” the spokesman said in a statement e-mailed to AP. “‘The board made this decision based on the standard of health care that women deserve.’” Let’s see, who is it that’s “waging a war on women?”


Back to the Alley

SOMEONE OUGHT TO TELL CALIFORNIA GOV. JERRY BROWN (D) to pull back from his own state’s war on women and their health and safety.

The California State Legislature has sent to Mr. Brown’s desk a pernicious bill to allow non-doctors to commit “surgical ‘aspiration’ or suction abortions,” reports Operation Rescue’s (OR’s) Cheryl Sullenger, “of the kind generally used in the first trimester of pregnancy.”

OR notes that the original sponsor of AB-154 was an assemblywoman who formerly served as “administrator of a failed abortion business in San Diego. [Assemblywoman Toni] Adkins has long attempted to dangerously expand abortion services,” writes Ms. Sullenger, “once opening an abortion clinic in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood (using an abortionist that would later lose his medical license after killing a woman during a botched 20-week abortion) that soon closed due to financial mismanagement and lack of business.

“Apparently not one to learn from failure,” writes Ms. Sullenger, “[Ms.] Adkins is now expanding abortion in an ever-decreasing market, through the use of non-physicians.” The bill provides for abortions by nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants.

“Under AB-154,” notes Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in his Sept. 3 Washington Update, “these mothers would be without the watchful care of a medical doctor, who is best equipped and trained to handle the procedure and its complications. As it stands,” writes Mr. Perkins, “abortion centers in a number of states are already woefully under-regulated, a problem that hit home with most Americans during the Kermit Gosnell trial.

“Obviously, Gov. Brown and the state’s liberals are content to move the abortion business to the back alley,” writes Mr. Perkins, “where safety is secondary to profits, exposing the fact that money is the real motive.

“What’s more,” Mr. Perkins continues, “bills like California’s only make it easier for Planned Parenthood and other clinics to offer abortion at a lower cost (albeit it at greater risk), enabling them to prey on more women, particularly low-income moms.

“This is the real war on women,” notes Mr. Perkins. “And it’s time for Americans to wake up and fight back.” Amen!


Gaining Ground

STATE LEGISLATION ACROSS AMERICA IS GETTING THE CREDIT in various news reports for what appears to be a developing shrinkage of the abortion industry.

“At least 58 U.S. abortion clinics – almost one in ten – have shut or stopped providing the procedure since 2011,” reports Bloomberg News, “as access vanishes faster than ever amid a Republican-led push to legislate the industry out of existence.”

The liberal publication notes various street actions it claims abortion opponents have used in an effort to “stop access to abortion” over the years, but adds: “Now, legislatures are proving to be the most effective toll after Republicans made historic gains in the 2010 elections. Their success,” notes Bloomberg, “is creating one of the biggest shifts in reproductive health care since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 legalized abortion in all 50 states.”

Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger brings the focus down to Planned Parenthood in a report published by “Planned Parenthood offices across the nation,” she writes, “have closed this year at a record rate, according to data compiled by OR. At least 24 Planned Parenthood sites have closed so far in 2013.

“This number includes,” Ms. Sullenger writes, “three surgical abortion clinics, three clinics that dispensed abortion pills and 19 offices that referred for abortions.

“‘Abortion numbers are down,’” noted OR president Troy Newman in the LifeSiteNews report, “‘so there is less demand for Planned Parenthood. Couple that with recent scandals involving Planned Parenthood that have resulted in increased disapproval of their abortion business, and it’s easy to see why these clinics are closing on such a large scale.’”

The Bloomberg report, which cites the Planned Parenthood-associated Guttmacher Institute as a source, “show[s] that clinics have closed at a record pace since 2011. During the past three years,” Bloomberg reports, “an average of 19 closed each year. That’s more than double the rate in the decade ending in 2008. …

“‘It’s disheartening beyond words,’ said Renee Chelian, who opened her first clinic in suburban Detroit in 1976,” reports Bloomberg. “She now owns three there that she’s fighting to keep open after the state legislature passed building regulations last year.”

The Bloomberg report notes the closing of some 14 abortuaries in Michigan and “neighboring Ohio … in the past three years, prompting [Ms.] Chelian to add clinic hours and hire another physician to meet increased demand.”

One of the closed facilities, notes Bloomberg, “was American Family Planning, Inc., in Dearborn, less than 30 miles south of her facilities. In June,” reports Bloomberg, “160 activists gathered outside it to ‘pay tribute to the thousands of unborn children aborted there,’ according to Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, based in nearby South Lyon. … ‘May the blood of Christ triumph over all such places of death,’” reads the caption on a photo of the gathering posted on the CPLS website, according to Bloomberg. Amen.


Senate Judiciary Committee Members

Majority Democrats: Chairman Patrick Leahy (VT) and Senators Dianne Feinstein (CA), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Christopher Coons (DE), Mazie Hirono (HI), Richard Durbin (IL), Al Franken & Amy Klobuchar (MN), Charles Schumer (NY) and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI).

Minority Republicans: Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (IA), Jeff Sessions (AL), Jeff Flake (AZ), Lindsey Graham (SC), John Cornyn & Ted Cruz (TX) and Orrin Hatch & Mike Lee (UT).