Life Advocacy Briefing

November 25, 2013

Blessed Thanksgiving / Senate Blitzing Nominees / Texas Law Upheld
At Least Now They Know – And So Do We / Holder on the Hot Seat
Who Benefits from Lawless U.S. Abortion Policy?

Blessed Thanksgiving

WE WISH OUR READERS A BLESSED THANKSGIVING OBSERVANCE of our Lord’s grace, historically, to our America.

In commemorating Thanksgiving, we ask our readers to join us in a week off from Life Advocacy Briefing. We expect to return with our Dec. 9 publication.

We anticipate soon the publication of our annual Voting Record Index for the first session of the 113th Congress, awaiting their longed-for year-end recess.


Senate Blitzing Nominees

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID (D-NV) CHANGED THE SENATE RULES – mid-session, by simple majority vote – to overturn the long-standing requirement of a 60% vote in order to bring debate on nominees to an end for an immediate vote. The term for this is the Senate’s “cloture” rule, and it is the means by which the Senate’s minority party has traditionally prevented the majority from running roughshod through such critical matters as confirming judicial nominees for life-time appointments.

Senators Carl  Levin (MI), Joe Manchin (WV) and Mark Pryor (AR) broke ranks with their party to uphold Senate tradition and procedure and to uphold the Majority Leader’s own commitments not to take such action.

Immediately following the rule change, the Senate reconsidered and confirmed the previously blocked nomination of Patricia Millett to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, no doubt paving the way for reconsideration and confirmation of abortion radical Cornelia Pillard to the same pivotal panel. The Pillard confirmation may already have seen a vote by the time our readers receive this Life Advocacy Briefing but after our writing deadline. Should the Pillard vote occur, we will publish the voting record in our next edition.

We hope also to reprint at least a section of the outstanding speech given on the Senate floor by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) after the rule was changed; because of the procedure employed to secure the change, debate was not in order before the vote, but various Senators spent much of Thursday afternoon making speeches reflecting on the momentous action, which will change the character of the Senate from this day forward.

These unconscionable actions were taken despite repeated commitments by Sen. Reid not to undertake such action, particularly with respect to judicial nominees.

Here are examples of that commitment from just mid-July of this year, quoting Sen. Reid: “We’re not talking about changing the filibuster rules that relate to nominations for judges.” (Press briefing on July 11, 2013.) And: “We’re not touching judges. That’s what they were talking about. This is not judges.” (Meet the Press, NBC-TV, July 14, 2013.)

And this statement made by Sen. Reid to the Senate – and the public – from page S-325 of the Congressional Record for Jan. 27, 2011: “I will oppose any effort in this Congress or the next to change the Senate’s rules other than through the regular order.” His action Thursday violated that pledge, which was renewed in a Jan. 24, 2013, colloquy (Congressional Record page S-272-3), quoting Sen. Reid: “Resolutions related to Senate procedure would be subject to a regular order process.” No wonder he appeared uncharacteristically excited when putting his ungentlemanly motions.


Texas Law Upheld

THE ABORTION INDUSTRY WAS REBUFFED by the US Supreme Court last week when the Justices voted 5-to-4, reports Ben Johnson for, “that a coalition of abortion providers had failed to prove that a Texas law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their office places an ‘undue burden’ on women seeking an abortion.”

The ruling rejected litigation brought by the abortion industry against certain provisions of the new Texas abortion law enacted this summer. The case was taken to the Supreme Court after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans, overturned a ruling by US District Judge Lee Yeakel, who had blocked enforcement of the admitting privileges provision as well as a provision barring telemed abortions by requiring RU-486 prescribers to adhere to the Food & Drug Administration’s protocols for administration of the French abortion drug.

In his side opinion, joined in by Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, Justice Antonin Scalia stated, quoted by Mr. Johnson, that “‘accepted legal standards … do not include a special “status quo” standard for laws affecting abortion,’” opining that abortion laws do not – or should not – have to meet tests beyond the judicial standards applied to other laws.

“‘This ruling by Justice Scalia signals,’” said Texas Right to Life director Elizabeth Graham, quoted by LifeSiteNews, “‘that Texas is on the verge of a decisive legal pro-life victory. … We celebrate the US Supreme Court’s approval of the law staying in effect until this absurd legal battle is over.’”

The Supreme Court’s vote last week will no doubt be taken into account by the Fifth Appellate Circuit judges, who have already refused to grant a preliminary injunction which would have barred enforcement of the law while the litigation continues.

“‘The Fifth Circuit [overturning Judge Yeakel’s preliminary injunction] saw through Planned Parenthood’s shallow arguments,’” said Charmaine Yoest PhD, president of Americans United for Life, quoted by Mr. Johnson. The appellate court chose, she said, “‘to act in the best interest of Texas women by regulating the abortion industry. … Women have died when emergency care following an abortion was not quickly provided. Protecting women’s lives and health – inside or outside of an abortion clinic – should be an area of bipartisan agreement.’”

Women’s safety does not seem to be a prime consideration for the abortion industry and its apologists, however, and this lawsuit – as well as last summer’s massive, raucous resistance to legislative passage of this reasonable, pro-woman law – demonstrate that fact.

“Abortion advocates have claimed that the new law could shut down dozens of abortion clinics in the state,” notes LifeSiteNews. “That in itself,” according to Ms. Graham, “proves the need for higher safety standards. ‘The recent closures of abortion clinics, even if temporary, prove that HB-2 does have a major impact in protecting women and their unborn children from substandard care at abortion clinics,’ she said.” So true. And so revealing.


At Least Now They Know – And So Do We

[Pray Before Reading]REFERENDUM RESULTS IN ALBUQUERQUE – which has taken over from Wichita as late-term abortion capital of the world – were disappointing last Tuesday but, in retrospect, not surprising.

The ballot question was lengthy and technical, confusing some voters. And the desperate abortion-industry advertising bombarding the city’s voters was misleading and distorted, as pro-life citizens and candidates have observed in countless elections across America.

But pro-life leaders who were involved in backing the proposal to ban abortions on pain-capable babies who have already gestated five months are optimistic that, despite the 45-to-55% loss, their efforts were not in vain.

“It is clear that the people [of New Mexico’s largest city] are uncomfortable with late-term abortions and would like to see them end,” said Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger in an OR news release. “We learned a lot from this campaign,” she said, “and we look forward to another try that will better reflect the true feeling of the voters on this subject. … We are far from defeated,” she declared. “We’ll be back.”

Said Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, quoted by Associated Press: “‘The fact is, of course, that children have in fact been saved through this [referendum campaign] effort, simply because we have raised the issue of fetal pain, which does not even cross the minds of many abortionists.’”

“The city of Albuquerque will never be the same,” affirmed Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins in an electronic message, “as its citizens will now know, when they drive by Southwestern Women’s Options tomorrow morning on their way to work, that babies who can feel pain will be killed there. No longer,” declared Mrs. Hawkins, “will the horror of late-term abortions be ignored in Albuquerque.”

No longer will Albuquerqueans unknowingly patronize the Plaza Inn hotel, which not only grants aborting mothers a price break for their week-long sojourns but also gives “chauffeur service to and from the airport and to and from their appointments,” revealed Jill Stanek at her Internet blog.

But the reports about this abetting enterprise go beyond even rides and rooms.  Mrs. Stanek, reporting just before last Tuesday’s vote on a Live Action sting operation at the Plaza Inn, outlined further complicity.

Speaking to a Live Action undercover reporter, a counselor at the now notorious abortuary advised the supposed potential customer, quoted in Mrs. Stanek’s report: “‘If you’re feeling pressure – if it’s moving down or something coming out – um, the pregnancy coming out – um, then you’ll want to unlock the door to the hotel room, get your cellphone and just sit on the toilet. … You don’t have to look at anything,’” the salesperson assured the customer, as recorded by the Live Action undercover reporter, “‘you don’t have to clean anything up or nothing – just be on the phone with us and, um, we’ll kinda – and you can stay on the phone with us until the doctor and nurse get there, okay?’ …

“How safe is it,” asked Mrs. Stanek, a former labor-and-delivery nurse, “for a mother to deliver her dead baby seven, eight and nine months into her pregnancy alone in a hotel room bathroom? How sanitary is it for the rest of us to use that same bathroom afterward?”

Mrs. Stanek offered a question for the hotel patron who might next check in: “How would you like to stay in a hotel room where a late-term abortion was committed the night before? … Where would the abortionist [direct] the mother [to] lie on your bed to finish it? Do you trust a hotel to sanitize a room as a hospital would?”

Mrs. Hawkins is right that “Albuquerque will never be the same.” Nor will the view of Albuquerque ever be the same to any of us who, through this referendum campaign, followed the horror which happens there every day.


Holder on the Hot Seat

REP. PETE OLSON (R-TX) HAS FILED A RESOLUTION PRESENTING Articles of Impeachment against Attorney General Eric Holder.

HRes-411 has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.  Rep. Olson has enlisted 21 co-sponsors on his resolution, all Republicans. They are Representatives Duncan Hunter (CA); Ted Yoho (FL); Lynn Westmoreland (GA); Larry Bucshon (IN); Thomas Massie (KY); Michele Bachmann (MN); Steven Palazzo (MS); Mark Amodei (NV); Stevan Pearce (NM); Jim Bridenstine (OK); Jeff Duncan (SC); Scott DeJarlais & Phil Roe  (TN); and Michael Conaway, Blake Farenthold, Bill Flores, Louie Gohmert, Sam Johnson, Steve Stockman, Randy Weber & Roger Williams (TX).


Who Benefits from Lawless U.S. Abortion Policy?

Major excerpt from Oct. 30, 2013, Commentary by Daniel Kuebler, Franciscan University (Steubenville, Ohio) professor of biology and faculty associate of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Policy, reprinted from the Internet website

When Wendy Davis announced she was running for governor of Texas, the news was heralded as the dawning of a new day for Texas. Davis, whose filibuster temporarily halted the Texas legislature from enacting a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, has been designated as a national standard-bearer for women’s reproductive choice by an adoring media. Likewise, when the California legislature passed a bill to allow non-physicians to perform abortions, it was lauded as a monumental advance in women’s health. Most commentary and news articles on these two events have parroted the popular yet unsubstantiated narrative that women are largely supportive of the abortion agenda – widespread, open-access abortion policies with little or no restriction. Yet polling data fail to support this narrative.

For example, if you ask women about the law banning abortions after 20 weeks, you find that most are in favor of it. In Texas, 59% of women support the 20-week restriction, while only 30% oppose it. While it is tempting to think that Texas, a deep red state with its own unique culture, is somewhat of an outlier, results of nationwide polls show even stronger support for the ban among women.

A Quinnipiac poll found that 60% of women supported the 20-week ban, while an additional 8% stated that abortion should never be legal. That represents a full 68% of women who would be supportive of the 20-week ban. Among men, only 50% supported the 20-week ban, and only 6% stated that abortion should never be legal. That represents a 12-point gender gap on this issue, with women being much more likely to support abortion restrictions. The poll is hardly an outlier, since a Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 71% of women favored at least a 20-week ban on abortion, while only 63% of men did.

Likewise, polling data on the California bill that allows non-physicians to perform abortions show widespread opposition. While the data are not broken out by gender, Californians oppose the law by a 65-to-30% margin, and by a 65-to-15% margin believe the law will actually be harmful to the health of women.

Ironically, it turns out that women are much more supportive of the fictitious “war on women” than men. This seems counterintuitive, at least to those immersed in radical feminist politics. However, when one considers how abortion on demand alters the fundamental sexual dynamics between men and women, it starts to make sense.

As Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker explain in Premarital Sex in America, the cost of sex in modern America is rather low. For women in particular, changes in sexual expectations, widespread use of the pill and abortion on demand all have reduced the cost of sex significantly. There is little social stigma associated with women who are sexually active and/or have multiple sex partners, and the risk of pregnancy and childbirth has been mitigated by both the pill and easy access to abortions. The cost to women now looks very similar to the cost to men, and as a result, the young women of today are nearly as sexually active as the young men.

While feminists champion this leveling of the sexual playing field, the altered sexual calculus has actually placed women at a significant disadvantage. If women are more willing to engage in sexual activity, men are more than willing to play along – but they are likely to provide very little in return.

No-strings-attached sexual encounters have become the norm for young adults on college campuses, while dating and long-term commitment continue to fall by the wayside. Whom does this benefit? As more sexually active women enter the marketplace, it is the young men that seem to be reaping the benefits, not women. … What was meant to be the triumphant sexual liberation of women has turned college campuses into something that resembles a frat boy’s fantasy world. It is a world that leaves women isolated and lonely. …”

[Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: It is a world in which, rather than condemning pro-life men as engaged in “warring on women,” we salute and cherish them as protecting the special place of Woman in God’s creation. And we ask our readers to think deeply about who benefits from the lawless regime of post-Roe abortion policy in America. When it’s time to man the lifeboats, it’s time to put women and children first.]