Life Advocacy Briefing

September 23, 2013

Stop Cornelia Pillard! / House Voting to Defund ObamaCare / Replacing ObamaCare?
Radicals Rejected / A Chance to Ban Late-term Abortions / Taking the Truth to Students
Noteworthy Quote / House Decides to Act

Stop Cornelia Pillard!

THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CLEARED liberal Georgetown Law School professor Cornelia Pillard for a full Senate vote on her nomination to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, a major goal of the Obama White House. The committee vote was 10 to 8.

We urge our readers to call their two home-state US Senators (via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121) and seek a “no” vote on the Pillard nomination or to block Senate consideration of Ms. Pillard.

The controversial nominee, notes Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in his July 22 Washington Update, “argues that abortion is necessary to help ‘free women from historically routine conscription into maternity.’

“As if her militant feminism wasn’t apparent enough,” Mr. Perkins continues, “she takes the opportunity in some of her writings to slam anyone who opposes the abortion-contraception mandate as ‘reinforc[ing] broader patterns of discrimination against women as a class of presumptive breeders.’ Those ideas,” Mr. Perkins writes, “bleed into Pillard’s extreme pro-abortion views, which suggest that technology is somehow manipulating Americans to consider the personhood of the unborn. In one of her most jaw-dropping statements,” he notes, “the President’s nominee even criticizes the ultrasound.”

Mr. Perkins quotes the nominee again in his Sept. 12 Washington Update, in which he cites her argument that “pro-life laws only ‘enforce women’s incubation of unwanted pregnancies,’ which projects a ‘vision of the woman’s role as mothers and caretakers.’” Shocking.

And we note again, as we did last week in warning of the then-pending committee vote, Ms. Pillard’s expressed opinion that abstinence education is somehow unconstitutional. (Her opinion does not extend to sex education in general.)

We agree with Mr. Perkins in his statement: “America can’t afford to give a lifetime appointment to a radical ideologue!” And we add our own observation that the appellate court to which she has been nominated is a pivotal post, often a key stepping stone to the Supreme Court on matters of federal policy.


House Voting to Defund ObamaCare

HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH) ANNOUNCED THURSDAY the House would vote Friday – after our deadline for this week’s edition – on a Continuing Resolution to extend FY 2013 appropriations into the 2014 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Excluded from the CR, he indicated, would be any spending to implement ObamaCare. We expect to publish the roll call in next week’s Life Advocacy Briefing.

We urge our readers to contact their two home-state US Senators and ask them to support the House-passed measure to defund ObamaCare while maintaining legitimate government services. They may be contacted via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121.

The White House Thursday issued a statement vowing to veto the spending measure in the event it passes the Senate; such a veto would precipitate a temporary shutdown of some government services. A poll released last week by Rasmussen indicated a majority of Americans would consider defunding ObamaCare worth risking a temporary shutdown, as more Americans recognize the dangers in going forward on the massive federal takeover of the American medical care system.

We close this edition of Life Advocacy Briefing with a commentary on the House decision released Wednesday by Family Research Council.


Replacing ObamaCare?

THE HOUSE REPUBLICAN STUDY COMMITTEE last week released a comprehensive package to replace the ObamaCare law, refuting White House claims the GOP had offered no alternative.

The proposal comes from a group of nearly 190 House Members, chaired by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). It would restore and reform the medical insurance market, going back to a system of privately arranged coverage of medical expenses. Under the Study Committee plan, Americans would be “able to purchase what they prefer,” explained Rep. Scalise in a report by Neil Munro in the Daily Caller.

Details can be reviewed on the Internet website of the group at


Radicals Rejected

WHEN COLORADO VOTERS OUSTED TWO STATE SENATORS in a special recall election Sept. 10, the principal issue provoking the voter-initiated action was the vocal embrace of tighter gun control by the two veteran lawmakers. But the Denver Post acknowledged after the stunning vote that the abortion issue had also been injected into the campaign – as usual – by Planned Parenthood and its allies. The paper’s story, by reporter Lynn Bartels, was headlined, “Use of Abotion Rights in Colorado Recall Failed to Gain Traction.” How distressing for the abortion industry and its fellow travelers in the political world.

The vote took out the Senate president, Sen. John Morse, who had long been elected from a district in the Colorado Springs/Manitou Springs area, and Sen. Angela Giron from Pueblo. They are being replaced by Republicans whose names were on the ballot as alternatives in the recall.

“Opponents of an effort to recall [the] two … for supporting stricter gun laws borrowed a page from an earlier playbook,” writes Ms. Bartels, “arguing reproductive rights were in peril if the lawmakers were kicked out of office. But the message – so effective in keeping Republican Ken Buck from becoming a US Senator in 2010 – failed to protect” the Senate president and his embattled colleague.

An outfit called “Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado,” reports Ms. Bartels, “billed [Senators] Morse and Giron as ‘fierce advocates of women’s health’ and urged constituents to keep them in office.”

The liberal publication Mother Jones, hoping, no doubt, to claim an I-told-you-so once the recalls would have been defeated, declared the day before the recalls, as quoted by Ms. Bartels, “‘What started out as a genuine grassroots effort born out of anger over the gun vote has grown into something much bigger – a national proxy war on not just gun control but also reproductive rights.’”

Thanks, Mother Jones. We’ll take that interpretation! Voters are uncomfortable with extremists, including those who advocate against commonsense abortion law reform and against justice and mercy for women and children. And this time, they figured out just who was radical.


A Chance to Ban Late-term Abortions

ALBUQUERQUE VOTERS WILL VOTE IN NOVEMBER on a proposed ordinance banning abortions in the city on gestating babies old enough to experience pain – that is, vulnerable little boys and girls who have developed at least 20 weeks; that’s five months. Though a poll published Sept. 9 by the Albuquerque Journal showed 54% supporting the ban, the campaign for justice and mercy will no doubt be fierce.

The referendum was set by the city council last week in response to petition signatures from nearly 27,000 Albuquerque voters, a stunning achievement for pro-life activists in a drive lasting just 20 days. The number of valid signatures needed was just 12,000.

Though the law requires the council either to enact a petition-proposed ordinance or to submit it to referendum, four of the nine voting officials voted against the referendum, claiming erroneously that similar laws had been ruled unconstitutional by “‘every court that’s reviewed this type of law,’” reports Operation Rescue (OR).

“‘We’re following the (City) Charter,’” Council President Dan Lewis retorted, quoted in the OR report. “‘It’s not really our purview … to decide whether this is constitutional or not.’”

OR notes the objection did not match the facts. “Only one lower court in Arizona out of 11 states that have passed a similar abortion ban has found the law unconstitutional,” reports OR. What is more, “That decision is on appeal,” OR continues, “and is far from the final word.”

Banning late-term abortions holds special significance for those Albuquerqeans who take pride in their city and hope to attract business and new residents who value a town’s culture. Albuquerque, you see, has become notorious as a late-term abortion destination as home to Southwestern Women’s Options, which is proud of featuring two former employees of Wichita’s late, notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller. From SWO’s website: “We are honored to have Dr. Susan Robinson and Dr. Shelley Sella, both of whom worked with Dr. Tiller, join our staff in 2010 to perform abortions in all trimesters.” The website further notes the two “specialize in third-trimester abortion care.”

What a blot on Albuquerque! What an opportunity now to clean up the city.


Taking the Truth to Students

STUDENTS FOR LIFE OF AMERICA (S.F.L.A.) “HAS LAUNCHED an 18,041-mile tour,” the group announced in a news release, to expose the truth to college students about Planned Parenthood.

“The tour will visit 41 universities and 20 states,” the group announced, “over the next eight weeks.”

Information about the tour – including a list of the campuses to be visited – can be seen on the Internet at, which also exhibits an excellent 3-1/4-minute cartoon-style video aimed at young minds. The “ground-breaking video,” notes the SFLA release, “detail[s] Planned Parenthood’s unhealthy business cycle for youth” and notes that some “79% of Planned Parenthood facilities are within five miles of a college campus, proving college-aged women and men prime targets for the organization.”

Featured on the tour will be a visual display “made up of 915 pink crosses to represent the 915 preborn children that die each day inside of Planned Parenthood,” notes the SFLA release. “In addition, the display has five billboards that cite Planned Parenthood’s own annual report numbers and testimony from former employees to call into question their ‘caring’ image.”

Said SFLA president Kristan Hawkins in the release, “Our goal is simple: We want to educate this generation about Planned Parenthood’s real motives and business model in order to turn them against the abortion Goliath and towards pro-life pregnancy resource centers, where they can go for honest, real help.”


Noteworthy Quote

Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Michael J. Norton in an ADF statement, quoted in a report by National Review Online’s Alec Torres concerning a Sept. 17 federal appeals court order exempting the two families which co-own Cherry Creek Mortgage Co. from the ObamaCare abortifacient mandate: “People of faith in this nation, including business owners, have the constitutionally protected freedom to live and do business according to their faith. The Obama Administration should not be attempting to deprive Americans of this cherished liberty. Former US Sen. Bill Armstrong, together with the other members of his family and the May family, who own Cherry Creek Mortgage Co. have long desired to honor God in all they do. Today’s court order allows them to continue to do that while this case proceeds so that they are not forced to act contrary to their religious convictions.”


House Decides to Act

Sept. 18, 2013, Washington Update by Tony Perkins, president, Family Research Council

The House wasn’t planning to be in session next week, but after today’s announcement it’s a good thing they’ve changed their minds. Members will need all the time they can get to launch the most aggressive strike against ObamaCare yet. To the cheers of conservative activists everywhere, Republican Members of the House emerged from a closed-door meeting this morning with the news everyone was waiting for: the GOP is ready to fight.

After weighing dozens of options, House leaders are going “all in” on the push to defund the worst mistake of Obama’s presidency. “It’s time,” said Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), “to protect American families from this unworkable law.” For now, “protecting America” means backing Rep. Tom Graves’s (R-GA) plan, which would hitch the vote to defund ObamaCare to the continuing resolution (or CR, the short-term budget bill).

Before the government’s cash officially runs out at midnight on Sept. 30, conservatives are offering to raise the debt ceiling for a year and keep Washington running with a $988 billion budget extension. In exchange, they want to put ObamaCare on ice until 2015. But here’s the best part: If Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) doesn’t take the deal, his party will be forced to shut down the government – to protect a law that a majority of Americans don’t even want! Unlike other proposals, Tom Graves’s measure would not only solve the problem of abortion funding in health care, but put a ceasefire on conscience violations.

Obviously, it’s a politically risky strategy for both parties. Even if Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) are ready to take on the Senate, there’s still the very real possibility that the President won’t take the dare. At this point, though, even the temporary reward outweighs the “what ifs.”

As outraged as Americans are over ObamaCare, their frustration with the GOP’s handling of the situation is a close second. For some of them, this debate is eerily similar to the “cut, cap and balance” debate – when House leadership voted to slash spending, only to throw up its arms when the real negotiating with the Senate began. Conservatives applaud the GOP’s decision and expect them to stand their ground against this unprecedented attack on faith, family and freedom – regardless of what Harry Reid does.

If it does come to a government shutdown, 51% of voters will back them up. According to Rasmussen, a majority of Americans would support cutting off Washington if it means putting off ObamaCare. Eighty percent of GOP voters agree with us: it’s more important for their party to stand for what it believes in rather than cower to the President’s liberal demands. And while 79% of Democrats think a shutdown would be bad for the economy, it won’t be nearly as bad as ObamaCare is proving to be.

“Every Member in this room is for defunding ObamaCare while letting the rest of the government continue to operate,” said Speaker Boehner. “We’re going to put ObamaCare defunding directly in the CR. And then we’re going to send it over to the Senate, so our conservative allies over there can contribute to the fight. That’s where the fight is.” For now, America’s fate is tied to the bill by Tom Graves. Voters put Republicans in power; now let’s see them use it.