Life Advocacy Briefing

November 18, 2013

Pillard Nomination Blocked – or Merely Stalled? / Treaty Hearing on Tap
Five-Month Abortion Ban Sent to Senate Judiciary Panel
Albuquerque on the Edge / Contraception Mandate Victory / Pro-Life Film to Debut
Treaty a Pro-Abortion ‘Trojan Horse’ / Senate Voting Record: Pillard Nomination

Pillard Nomination Blocked – or Merely Stalled?

THE GOOD NEWS OUT OF THE U.S. SENATE was the defeat last Tuesday of the “cloture” motion to end debate on the Obama nomination of abortion fanatic Cornelia Pillard to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. We reprint the voting record at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.

The bad news on this roll call was the last-minute switch pulled by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), a major Pillard backer, who voted “no” in order to qualify for a motion to reconsider the vote by which the cloture motion failed. Once the roll call was announced, Mr. Reid promptly made his motion, which now pends in the Senate and could be the opening of a long-feared Senate Democratic ploy to overturn the long-standing rule calling for a 60-vote majority to invoke cloture and bring a nomination – or even legislation – to a vote.

We celebrate the stalling of the Pillard nomination while, along with other Senate watchers, holding our breath in anticipating Sen. Reid’s next move against the long-standing traditions of the Senate.


Treaty Hearing on Tap

THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS WILL HOLD A HEARING Thursday, Nov. 21, on the so-called UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a proposed treaty which fell short of passage last year but is still available for ratification.

We publish an analysis on this dangerous treaty near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing, and we ask our readers to contact their Senators to ask that they vote against ratification of the UN Disabilities Treaty. They may be reached via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121.


Five-Month Abortion Ban Sent to Senate Judiciary Panel

THE PAIN CAPABLE UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ACT WAS FILED in the US Senate on Nov. 7 by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). We reported last week on his intention to introduce the late-term ban but were unable at the time to list the bill number (S-1670) or the co-sponsors. The measure has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, whose Chairman is Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Ranking Member is Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

Other members of the Judiciary Committee are Democratic 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). Also, GOP Senators Jeff Sessions (AL), Jeff Flake (AZ), Lindsey Graham (SC), John Cornyn & Ted Cruz (TX) and Orrin Hatch & Mike Lee (UT). They may be contacted via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121.

“‘The government has a legitimate interest in protecting the unborn child over the 20-week period,’” said Sen. Graham, quoted by writer Burgess Everett, “‘because they are capable of feeling pain, and the scientific evidence is overwhelming. … When you do surgery on a 20-week baby, you provide anesthesia because of pain.’”

Not everyone, of course, is focused on reality or even compassion. Politico quotes the former chairman of the Senate Democrats’ campaign operation, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), saying “Republicans will embrace [Mr.] Graham’s bill ‘at their own peril. … The American people have spoken loudly that they want us to focus on jobs and the economy, and they don’t want Congress to keep treading on their rights to access to health care,’ [Ms.] Murray said,” quoted by Mr. Everett. “‘In election after election, people have said, “Focus on jobs, not on attacking women’s health.”’” Of course, “women’s health” is not at all what this bill is about, though it is about little girls’ – and little boys’ – lives.

“Once they hear the facts on fetal pain,” notes Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in his Nov. 7, 2013, Washington Update, “64% of people throw their support behind the 20-week abortion ban. And that includes 63% of women,” he writes, “who seem to have a great deal more compassion than Senators like Patty Murray – or even the President, who’s already threatened to veto the bill.”

Co-sponsors of the Graham proposal are GOP Senators Jeff Sessions & Richard Shelby (AL), Jeff Flake & John McCain (AZ), John Boozman (AR), Marco Rubio (FL), Saxby Chambliss & Johnny Isakson (GA), Mike Crapo & James Risch (ID), Daniel Coats (IN), Chuck Grassley (IA), Jerry Moran & Pat Roberts (KS), Mitch McConnell (KY), David Vitter (LA), Thad Cochran & Roger Wicker (MS), Roy Blunt (MO), Deb Fischer & Mike Johanns (NE), Kelly Ayotte (NH), Richard Burr (NC), John Hoeven (ND), Rob Portman (OH), Tom Coburn & James Inhofe (OK), Tim Scott (SC), John Thune (SD), John Cornyn & Ted Cruz (TX), Orrin Hatch & Mike Lee (UT), Ron Johnson (WI) and John Barrasso & Michael Enzi (WY).


Albuquerque on the Edge

ALBUQUERQUE VOTERS WILL DECIDE TOMORROW (Tuesday, Nov. 19) whether to outlaw the despicable practice of killing gestating boys and girls who have attained five months (20 weeks) of development, a stage at which most medical experts agree they can suffer excruciating pain.

Well more than 25,000 voters took advantage of “early voting” opportunities, but the final outcome will be determined by those who cast ballots on election day. The referendum was called by a citizen-initiated petition drive last summer and has focused heated political activity on the major New Mexico city.

Planned Parenthood, according to Operation Rescue, has contributed some $300,000 to the vote-no organizers. On the pro-life side, the Susan B. Anthony List PAC has funded an advertising campaign, and Students for Life of America has sent squads of volunteers from throughout the southwestern United States to assist the local organizers who initiated the attempted reform.

A late-term abortion ban would have particular impact in Albuquerque, because the city has two shops which specialize in killing late-term babies. As voters stream to the polls, let us pray.


Contraception Mandate Victory

THE 7th CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS on Nov. 8 spanked the Obama Regime over its abortifacient contraceptive mandate, according to a news release from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), whose senior legal counsel Matt Bowman had argued the Grote Industries case before the Chicago-based court last May.

“The court called the Administration’s argument that religious freedom disappears when doing business ‘unsound and extraordinary,’” notes the ADF release, reminding readers that “the mandate forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices, sterilizations and contraception under threat of heavy penalties.”

Wrote the court in its opinion, quoted by ADF, “‘We hold that the plaintiffs – the business owners and their companies – may challenge the mandate.’” (Some courts have denied standing to plaintiffs on the basis that companies do not enjoy the right to claim religious freedom.) “‘We further hold,’” wrote the court, “‘that compelling them to cover these services substantially burdens their religious exercise rights. … On the government’s understanding of religious liberty,’” the court opined, as quoted by ADF, “‘a Jewish restaurant operating for profit could be denied the right to observe Kosher dietary restrictions. That cannot be right. There is nothing inherently incompatible between religious exercise and profit-seeking.’ …

“‘All Americans, including job creators, should be free to honor God and live according to their faith,’” Mr. Bowman commented in the release. “‘The court’s decision joins the majority of other rulings on the mandate, which have found it to excessively conflict with our nation’s guarantee of religious freedom to all Americans. The decision,’” he said, “‘rightly foresees the dangers of allowing government to have this kind of power. If the government can force family business owners to act contrary to their deepest convictions under the threat of fining them out of business, it is a danger to everybody.’”


Pro-Life Film to Debut

MANY PRO-LIFE LEADERS OFFER THEIR TESTIMONIES TO LIFE in a new film debuting Dec. 11, produced by Bella producer Jason Jones and veteran sports reporter and Champions of Faith producer John Morales.

The film is titled 40, taking on “the heated issue of abortion in our nation” (as described on the film’s Internet website) and tracing the cause of Life since the Roe v. Wade edict some 40 years ago and anticipating the 40th annual March for Life, which will gather in Washington, DC, on Jan. 14, 2014. The film began production at the 2012 March. More information is available at Information about the premiere is available by calling 1-847/803-4003.

The world debut will be at the Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge, Illinois, the Chicago suburb where Life Advocacy was founded in 1992. Ironically, Park Ridge is also the town where famed abortion pusher Hillary Clinton grew up.


Treaty a ‘Pro-Abortion Trojan Horse’

Commentary by Lisa Correnti & Wendy Wright, posted by Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-Fam) and reprinted Nov. 8, 2013, by

Experts warned the US Senate this week that a pending UN treaty could be used to advance a right to abortion and interfere with the rights of parents.

No one can “guarantee that there will never be a lawsuit asserting that the [Disabilities treaty] creates certain abortion rights,” said Prof. Timothy Meyer. Nor “can one guarantee the [UN] Committee on Disabilities will not take such a position,” said the former US State Dept. advisor.

Senators are considering ratifying the Treaty on the Rights of People with Disabilities, which fell short of passage last year when conservatives rallied against it over concerns it may jeopardize national sovereignty, unborn children and parental rights to care for disabled children.

The treaty uses the phrase “sexual and reproductive health,” which some say includes abortion. Dr. Susan Yoshihara, who helped negotiate the treaty, testified that term was mired in controversy during the treaty’s drafting and has become more so since.

In the past 10 years, UN committees that monitor nations’ compliance with treaties have used the phrase “to pressure more than 90 countries over 120 times to liberalize abortion, even though no UN treaty mentioned reproductive health or rights, let alone abortion,” Dr. Yoshihara testified. The Disabilities Treaty committee is showing the same disregard for the treaty’s limits and nations’ sovereignty, said the senior vice president of C-Fam. It has taken Spain and Hungary to task for their limits on abortion.

She explained how the term was “railroaded” into the treaty despite objections by 23 countries. These objections were omitted from the treaty paperwork sent by the Obama Administration to the Senate.

Sen. Bob Corker [R-TN] asked the experts if strong reservations or amendments could adequately address the problems.

“I have to say that I am not optimistic that we can be fully inoculated,” responded Dr. Yoshihara. “Customary international law evolves internationally through other court decisions.

“We would certainly make a reservation or an understanding on this,” she continued, “but the Disabilities Committee is already ignoring those reservations.”

Several Republican Senators raised concerns over judicial activists misusing treaties and courts not honoring Senate reservations. In a 2005 decision on the death penalty, the US Supreme Court cited a part of a UN treaty that the United States explicitly rejected in a reservation when it ratified the treaty.

Across the street just hours before the hearing, the US Supreme Court heard the case of Bond v. United States, which questions whether treaties can give officials sweeping authority. Carol Bond spread a toxic substance that burned the thumb of her husband’s lover. Federal prosecutors charged her with violating a federal law implementing a chemical weapons treaty. Her attorneys argue officials relied on a treaty to go beyond their Constitutional limits and trespass into local matters.

Justice Scalia suggested the federal government was arguing for such expansive power, reported journalist Lyle Dennison, that the US could join in a treaty approving same-sex marriage and require Congress pass a law imposing it on all the states.

At the [Senate] hearing, former Attorney General Richard Thornburgh was asked about the Bond case. Thornburgh, who testified that reservations would be adequate protection against treaty abuses, said he was surprised by [the] case, stating the Dept. of Justice doesn’t always act wisely.

Sen. Jeff Flake [R-AZ] concluded it would be prudent to wait on the Supreme Court ruling before moving ahead with ratification. [But Chairman Robert Menendez has set a hearing on the treaty for Nov. 21 before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.]


Senate Voting Record

Cloture Motion to advance Nomination of Cornelia Pillard to US District Court of Appeals – Nov. 12, 2013 – Failed – 56-41 (needing 60) (Democrats in italics; new Senator in ALL CAPS)

Voting “no” / pro-Life: Sessions & Shelby/AL, Flake & 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, Cochran & Wicker/MS, Blunt/MO, Fischer/NE, Heller/NV, Ayotte/NH, Burr/NC, Hoeven/ND, Portman/OH, Coburn/OK, Toomey/PA, Graham & Scott/SC, Thune/SD, Alexander & Corker/TN, Cornyn & Cruz/TX, Lee/UT, Johnson/WI, Barrasso & Enzi/WY

Voting “yes” / anti-Life: Begich & Murkowski/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, Collins & King (I)/ME, Cardin & Mikulski/MD, Markey & Warren/MA, Levin & Stabenow/MI, Franken & Klobuchar/MN, McCaskill/MO, Baucus & Tester/MT, Shaheen/NH, BOOKER & 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

Voting “no” for parliamentary purposes only: Reid/NV; as the roll call was concluding, the Majority Leader voted “no” in order to make a motion for reconsideration, which he promptly did; only a Senator who votes on the prevailing side is eligible to make such a motion. Senator Reid had earlier made clear his support of the Pillard nomination.

Voting “Present”: Hatch/UT

Not Voting: Johanns/NE, Inhofe/OK