Life Advocacy Briefing

October 7, 2013

Senate Rejects ObamaCare Defunding / Federally Funded Abortion?
Pillard in the Wings / So Much at Stake / Appealing to the Supreme Court
Iowa Update / Gov’t Agrees to Account for Planned Parenthood Funding
Planned Parenthood Probe Request / Senate Voting Record

Senate Rejects ObamaCare Defunding

THE INSISTENCE OF THE HOUSE MAJORITY on protecting America from ObamaCare has been rebuffed repeatedly by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), as most of our readers no doubt know.

We publish at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing the Senate Voting Record on a motion by Mr. Reid to tear ObamaCare defunding out of the House-passed Continuing Resolution to extend FY2013 appropriations into FY2014.


Federally Funded Abortion?

AS OFFENSIVE AS THE OBAMACARE REPUDIATION OF CONSCIENCE and religious liberty is to those of us who cherish the right to Life, another anti-Life provision has now been exposed, and we reiterate our urging to readers to call House Members and Senators and ask them to stand firm for defunding – and ultimately repealing – ObamaCare. (Capitol switchboard, 1-202/224-3121)

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced a week ago, reports Jacqueline Klimas for the Washington Times, that “Members of Congress and their staffs will be able to buy healthcare plans [for themselves and their dependents] that pay for abortions, though the premiums,” she notes, “are funded largely by taxpayer money.”

In the fight over subjecting Congressional Members and staffs to ObamaCare, an overlooked factor is the undermining of the long-standing inclusion of Congress in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan, whose statutory bar on abortion coverage has long been a target of the abortion lobby. Now, via ObamaCare, that prohibition will apparently be circumvented, as the FEHBP provisions apparently will no longer apply to our nation’s lawmakers and Capitol Hill staff and their dependents.

“Unlike most people on the [newly established government-directed health insurance] exchanges,” notes Ms. Klimas, “the staffers and Members will have most of the costs of their premiums paid for by their employer – in this case, taxpayers.” That subsidy is hefty and long has been, but until now, taxpayers have been sheltered from subsidizing abortion.

What is more, the Obama Regime recently “ruled,” notes Ms. Klimas, “that sterilization and birth control, including emergency contraception that many pro-lifers denounce as potential abortifacients, are essential services that all health plans must cover,” a conscience violation which is being contested in well more than 40 lawsuits and which we have covered extensively in Life Advocacy Briefing.

The report quotes Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who is chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus, and said, writes Ms. Klimas, “OPM is violating a law he wrote in 1983 that prohibits OPM from paying any expenses to administer plans that cover abortion, except in cases of rape or incest or when the mother’s life is in danger.

“‘You can’t break the law, Mr. President, and just issue a rule as if somehow you’re comporting with the law,’ Mr. Smith told the Washington Times. ‘We don’t want to subsidize abortion-on-demand, and the public is absolutely with us.’” Mr. Smith added “he has asked lawyers in the House to see whether a lawsuit could be filed,” Ms. Klimas reports, “and that pro-life groups also are taking a look. …

“Democrats applauded the ruling,” writes Ms. Klimas, “saying it ensures equal access to abortions.”

The Washington Times quotes a joint statement from such Congressional luminaries as Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY), two of the leading House apologists for the abortion industry, always citing “women’s health” as their mantra. “‘This decision,’” they said, “‘honors the spirit of the Affordable Care Act, which is significantly improving health care for women.’” Just in case anyone doubted one of the underlying purposes of ObamaCare is to advance the abortion industry’s subsidies and profits.

The OPM announcement, coming as it does from the Obama Regime, further displays the phoniness of the convoluted executive order by which the President tricked a group of pro-life Democrats in the House, led by then-Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), to vote in favor of nationalizing the American medical care system through the massive scheme which bears his name.


Pillard in the Wings

ONCE THE GOV’t FUNDING LOGJAM BREAKS – and it will – the Senate could well turn quickly to the nomination of abortion radical Cornelia Pillard to the US District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a key judicial post.

We reiterate our appeal to readers to request both their US Senators to vote “no” on any motion advancing the Pillard nomination. Contact them via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121. Please do not wait to hear that the nomination is before the Senate, as that will be too late.


So Much at Stake

ONE STATE WHERE THE ABORTION ISSUE IS RAGING at top volume this fall is Virginia, whose voters face an election choice in November for a new governor and other state officials.

Contesting for governor in the Commonwealth are Democrat fundraiser Terry McAuliffe and GOP Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Among the Cuccinelli credentials is his record of having been the first state law enforcement official to file suit against ObamaCare, almost before the ink was dry on the President’s signature.

The abortion issue has been raised in ads and mailings, chiefly by the abortion lobby, which is terrified of the popular conservative GOP nominee and is smearing him in its typical fashion.

But the issue has been raised also in media encounters, including most notably a press interview of Mr. McAuliffe in which he told reporters, writes Charlie Butts for, “he would move to grandfather-in existing abortion clinics so they wouldn’t have to comply with new standards established by the state health agency.”

Reports Ben Johnson for, Mr. McAuliffe was “caught on tape saying he will issue a directive to allow abortion clinics that do not meet state health standards to stay in business if he is elected.”

Those standards – which subject abortuaries to health-and-safety regulations in line with those long established for non-abortion surgical centers – were adopted upon direction of the commonwealth’s legislators. But having to provide for health and safety of their customers is an expensive proposition for an industry which has brought back-alley abortion to Main Street without having been required to clean up their act.

“‘I think it’s very sad that Terry McAuliffe believes that the best way to support and help the women of … Virginia is to protect unscrupulous abortionists,’ says Olivia Gans Turner, who heads the Virginia Society for Human Life” and was quoted by Mr. Butts, who added, “She says McAuliffe intends an aggressive pro-abortion approach to state government,” writes Mr. Butts, “noting that pro-abortion PACs for Planned Parenthood and NARAL endorsed the Democrat at the beginning of his campaign.”


Appealing to the Supreme Court

THE STATE OF ARIZONA LAST FRIDAY FILED AN APPEAL with the US Supreme Court of a Court of Appeals ruling striking down its Fifth-Month Abortion Ban, a law which has been enacted by 12 states and which earlier this year passed the US House. “The Arizona law,” notes Americans United for Life (AUL) in a news release about the appeal, “is the first of these five-month abortion limits to be appealed to the US Supreme Court.” Whether the Court will agree to hear the case is yet unknown.

AUL attorneys are serving as co-counsel, according to the release, with the Arizona Attorney General, Maricopa County Attorney’s office and attorneys for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

Home v. Isaacson may well be the case that leads the Supreme Court to examine and acknowledge the risks of abortion to women,” said AUL president Dr. Charmaine Yoest in the release. “In 1973,” she continued, “in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the Supreme Court put the life and health of the mother front and center in the abortion debate. Detailing the numerous studies and evidence that has developed since the 1973 decisions, the Arizona law protects women from the known harm from abortion as well as considering the pain abortion inflicts on unborn children.”

Responsible medical expert testimony has indicated that gestating boys and girls can feel pain – indeed, excruciating pain – from at least the age of 20 weeks, possibly earlier. The Five-Month bans are based on that evidence and concern, which was unknowable when America’s Life-protective laws were invalidated in 1973 in the Roe and Doe edicts.


Iowa Update

A MONTH AFTER THE IOWA BOARD OF MEDICINE BANNED telemed abortions, Planned Parenthood last week announced plans to open 15 rural telemed clinics offering remote-computer-screen “services” for contraception, contraception methods and sexually transmitted disease testing. The medical board indicated it would need to review Planned Parenthood’s newest profit scheme.

Media reports failed to explain how a doctor can test patients without examining them, but that’s the plan that was announced. (Before you know it, they’ll be announcing telemed breast exams!)

Media also failed to note that the number of telemed clinics being opened for such purposes is the same number of telemed abortion clinics the abortion behemoth is faced with closing because of the Board’s requirement that doctors examine patients personally before dispensing an RU-486 chemical abortion cocktail and be present for a follow-up visit.

Apparently, Planned Parenthood would rather not dispose of all those computers and specialized desks with computer-operated pop-open drawers.


Gov’t Agrees to Account for Planned Parenthood Funding

THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE (G.A.O.) HAS AGREED to investigate “the use of taxpayer funds by Planned Parenthood and other prominent family planning organizations,” according to a notification we received from Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA), one of 48 co-signers of a February letter seeking such a probe. The letter originated in the office of Rep. Diane Black (R-TN). We reprint the letter below and list all those signers whose names we can read. We commend and congratulate the organizers of this bid for accountability.


Planned Parenthood Probe Request

Letter co-signed by 48 Members of Congress & Senators, directed to Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the US, General Accountability Office, to which the Members have at last received an affirmative response

Dear Mr. Dodaro:

We are writing to request up-to-date information regarding federal funding of Planned Parenthood and other specific organizations. The GAO prepared a report dated May 28, 2010, regarding federal funds provided for Fiscal Years 2002-2009 to certain organizations involved in health-related activities.

Relying on the promise of openness and transparency often mentioned by the current Administration, it is our hope that the requested information be updated and made available to Congress and the public. Proper oversight of publicly funded programs is crucial in determining the value of the goods and services provided to the taxpayer, and allow policymakers to more carefully and thoroughly review them.

The steep rise in the cost of health care has inhibited access to quality services. As more low and middle income women seek essential health services outside of the traditional physician office or hospital setting, lawmakers and women seeking services should have current information detailing which organizations are providing optimal health services and best using taxpayer dollars. In addition to updated information provided in the 2010 report, we respectfully request that GAO report exactly how many women’s health services including family planning services are provided by Community Health Centers (CHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), a comprehensive list of these services and the number of individuals served in each category.

Accordingly, please identify the following for all affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Population Council, the Guttmacher Institute, Advocates for Youth, and Sexuality Information & Education Council of the United States:

    • The amount of federal funding each of these organizations received or were awarded, and within which fiscal year the funds were disbursed
    • Federal agencies, grants and programs that were sources of these federal funds (including Medicaid, Title X, ACF, USAID, PEPFAR and any other agency or sub-agency that funds activities that the groups in question may provide)
    • How these funds were disbursed (i.e. block grant)
    • How many health services, including family planning services CHCs and FQHCs provide
    • A comprehensive list of all health services, including family services, that CHCs and FQHCs provide
    • The number of individuals served in each category

Our hope is that this report will be completed in a timely manner and request a projection of its expected completion. Thank you for your attention to this request.

Co-signed by Representatives Diane Black and Pete Olson (R-TX) and joined by GOP Representatives Robert Aderholt, Spencer Bachus & Martha Roby (AL); Paul Gosar (AZ); Tim Griffin (AR); Doug LaMalfa (CA); Doug Lamborn (CO); Gus Bilirakis, Jeff Miller & Daniel Webster (FL); Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey & Austin Scott (GA); Larry Bucshon & Todd Rokita (IN); Steve King (IA); Tim Huelskamp (KS); Brett Guthrie (KY); Charles Boustany, Bill Cassidy & John Fleming (LA); Andy Harris (MD); Bill Huizenga (MI); Michele Bachmann (MN); Alan Nunnelee & Steve Palazzo (MS); Roy Blunt, Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long & Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO); Steve Daines (MT); Chris Smith (NJ); Steve Pearce (NM); Renee Ellmers & Robert Pittenger (NC); Steve Chabot, Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson, Jim Jordan, Robert Latta, Steve Stivers & Pat Tiberi (OH); Tom Cole (OK); Mike Kelly & Joe Pitts (PA); Marsha Blackburn, John Duncan & Phil Roe (TN); Joe Barton, Kevin Brady, John Carter, Blake Farenthold, Bill Flores, Ralph Hall, Sam Johnson, Randy Neugebauer & Randy Weber (TX); Randy Forbes (VA); Reid Ribble (WI), and four Members who signed illegibly. Also six GOP United States Senators: John Boozman (AR), James Risch (ID), Roby Blunt (MO), Mike Johanns (NE), Tim Scott (SC) and Michael Enzi (WY).


Senate Voting Record

Reid Amendment to HJRes-59 – Stripping the House-passed ObamaCare Defunding provisions from the Continuing Resolution extending appropriations into FY2014 – Sept. 27, 2013 – Adopted – 54 to 44 (Democrats in italics)

Voting “No” to restoring ObamaCare funding: Sessions & Shelby/AL, Murkowski/AK, McCain/AZ, Boozman/AR, Rubio/FL, Chambliss & Isakson/GA, Crapo & Risch/ID, Kirk/IL, Coats/IN, Grassley/IA, Moran & Roberts/KS, McConnell & Paul/KY, Vitter/LA, Collins/ME, Cochran & Wicker/MS, Blunt/MO, Fischer & Johanns/NE, Heller/NV, Ayotte/NH, Chiesa/NJ, Burr/NC, Hoeven/ND, Portman/OH, Coburn & Inhofe/OK, Toomey/PA, Graham & Scott/SC, Thune/SD, Alexander & Corker/TN, Cornyn & Cruz/TX, Lee/UT, Johnson/WI, Barrasso & Enzi/WY

Voting “Yes” to restore ObamaCare funding: Begich/AK, Pryor/AR, Boxer & Feinstein/CA, Bennet & Udall/CO, Blumenthal & Murphy/CT, Carper & Coons/DE, Nelson/FL, Hirono & Schatz/HI, Durbin/IL, Donnelly/IN, Harkin/IA, Landrieu/LA, King (I)/ME, Cardin & Mikulski/MD, Markey & Warren/MA, Levin & Stabenow/MI, Franken & Klobuchar/MN, McCaskill/MO, Baucus & Tester/MT, Reid/NV, Shaheen/NH, Menendez/NJ, Heinrich & Udall/NM, Gillibrand & Schumer/NY, Hagan/NC, Heitkamp/ND, Brown/OH, Merkley & Wyden/OR, Casey/PA, Reed & Whitehouse/RI, Johnson/SD, Leahy & Sanders (I)/VT, Kaine & Warner/VA, Cantwell & Murray/WA, Manchin & Rockefeller/WV, Baldwin/WI

Not Voting: Flake/AZ, Hatch/UT