Life Advocacy Briefing

January 13, 2014

Equal Treatment? / Notre Dame Yields, For Now / March Participation ‘Snowballing’
Slap on the Wrist / The Law Can Work
ObamaCare Abortion Lies of 2013 – Lies # 2 & 3

Equal Treatment?

THE NEW PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS has sent a letter to Pres. Barack Obama (D) asking that he “exempt religious institutions from having to pay crippling fines,” reports Dustin Siggins for, “for not following the HHS mandate’s requirement that they offer contraception and abortifacient coverage to their employees. The HHS mandate,” notes Mr. Siggins, “went into effect for religious-affiliated institutions on New Year’s Day.”

Archbishop (of Louisville) Joseph E. Kurtz “pointed to the variety of changes that have been made to the Affordable Care Act in the past three years,” writes Mr. Siggins, “saying that exempting religious [employers] from the HHS mandate should be added to that list. …

“‘One category of Americans … has been left out in the cold,’ wrote [Archbishop] Kurtz,” quoted by Mr. Siggins. “‘Those who … cannot in good conscience comply with the HHS regulation requiring coverage of sterilization and contraceptives. This mandate,’” he continued, “‘includes drugs and devices that can interfere with the survival of a human being in the earliest stage of development, burdening religious convictions on abortion as well as contraception.’ …

“Until such a time as the Supreme Court has the opportunity to decide on the constitutionality of the HHS mandate, wrote [Archbishop] Kurtz to the President,” quoted by LifeSiteNews, “‘I urge you to consider offering temporary relief from this mandate, as you have for so many other individuals and groups facing other requirements under the ACA [ObamaCare law].’”

The letter’s entire text can be found at the close of the Conference’s report on its Internet website at


Notre Dame Yields, For Now

AFTER BEING DENIED RELIEF from the ObamaCare contraception/sterilization mandate in federal court, the University of Notre Dame, reports Matthew Archbold for Catholic Education Daily, “has decided to accept the Obama Administration’s ‘accommodation,’ which ensures employees the offensive coverage [of abortifacient contraceptives and sterilization] over the University’s objection.”

Absent judicial relief, non-compliance with the mandate would have cost Notre Dame – and any other non-complying employer – “crippling fines,” notes Mr. Archbold, “of up to $100 per day per employee.”

A university spokesman explained, according to Mr. Archbold, “‘the program may be terminated once the University’s lawsuit on religious liberty grounds against the HHS mandate has worked its way through the courts.’”

Mr. Archbold points the reader back to 2009, when Pres. Obama notoriously addressed the Notre Dame commencement ceremony, “call[ing] for ‘open hearts, open minds and fair-minded words.’ He said,” notes Mr. Archbold, “‘Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion and draft a sensible conscience clause and make sure that all of our healthcare policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women.’”


March Participation ‘Snowballing’

AMONG PARTICIPANTS AT THE ANNUAL MARCH FOR LIFE on Jan. 22 will be a significant delegation from the 165-member Republican National Committee (RNC), whose four-day winter meeting is scheduled for a Washington, DC, venue during the same week.

When RNC Chairman Reince Priebus learned last week that several members were recruiting others to attend the March together before reporting for the RNC meeting, the chairman, according to Missouri GOP chairman Ed Martin, quoted by Ralph Hallow in the Washington Times, “‘emailed that he would shift our RNC schedule so we could attend, and he offered that the RNC would get transportation for us.’” The RNC reportedly will charter buses to ferry members from the meeting venue to the National Mall, where the March rally will begin at noon.

“Oklahoma RNC member Carolyn McLarty, an evangelical Protestant,” writes Mr. Hallow, “said the schedule change had its origins in an email reminder about the March from Virginia RNC member Kathy Hayden ‘about a week ago’ and that we could probably attend at least part of it prior to the start of the RNC meetings. … Things,’” Mrs. McLarty said in the Times report, “‘have snowballed from there.’”

This is believed to be the first time in the March’s four-decades history that the RNC winter meeting has coincided; the winter confab is usually in a warmer climate.  Mr. Priebus himself has indicated his personal intention to participate in the annual observance of the Roe v. Wade/Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court edicts decriminalizing the killing of prenatal boys and girls. “‘This is a core principle of our party,’” Mr. Priebus wrote in an email to the Times reporter. “‘It was natural for me to support our members and our principles.’”


Slap on the Wrist

THE DELAWARE BOARD OF MEDICAL LICENSURE & DISCIPLINE ADDED another black mark to the already shameful reputation of (most) medical disciplinary boards last week with a letter of reprimand and $1,500 fine resolving the case of Planned Parenthood abortionist Timothy Liveright.

“The settlement ends a drama that began last year,” writes Ben Johnson for, “when two of his former nurses went public about his practices, following futile attempts to alert the abortion industry and state authorities to his behavior. [The two nurses] said [Mr.] Liveright’s ‘meat-market’ style of operation made the Wilmington Planned Parenthood an ‘absolute nightmare.’ …

“In an effort to keep the profits flowing,” reports Mr. Johnson, “[Mr.] Liveright would perform abortions every eight-to-ten minutes, the nurses testified.” One of the nurses “told the state senate in May,” Mr. Johnson continues, “that [Mr.] Liveright rushed ‘patients back into unclean procedure rooms, where the examination table would still have bloody drainage and body fluids from the previous patients.’ He would reuse bloody gloves and unsterilized instruments as well, she said.”

The whistleblower nurses “got ‘the run-around’ from a myriad of state regulatory agencies,” reports LifeSiteNews, “including the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the state Division of Professional Regulation, the Governor’s office, the Board of Nursing and Delaware Health & Social Services. After they blew the whistle on his office,” reports Mr. Johnson, “State Attorney General Beau Biden, the Vice President’s son, launched an investigation that found [Mr.] Liveright posed a ‘clear and immediate danger to the public.’”

So the medical licensing board secured from the veteran abortionist, who has claimed to have committed 50,000 abortions in his career, “sometimes,” reports Mr. Johnson, “doing 30 terminations a day,” a surrender of his Delaware medical license and a commitment not to attempt to reinstate it. He can now focus on his business in Pennsylvania, where he retains a license. And Planned Parenthood can keep its Wilmington mill going, having reopened after briefly being closed by the state’s Division of Public Health last June for, writes Mr. Johnson, “another 14 violations of state health regulations” over and above the “ten ‘acts of incompetence and negligence’” cited by the Attorney General’s Office in its probe of Mr. Liveright.

This is the racket our executive branch, many of our courts and elected officials, and too many of the states’ professional licensing boards view as “essential to women’s health.” Yeah, right.


The Law Can Work

FORT WAYNE, INDIANA, IS FREE FROM SURGICAL ABORTION, for now. Circuit-riding abortionist Ulrich Klopfer, “who lives in Illinois,” writes Ben Johnson for, “announced that he would stop his weekly visits to the city after he was unable to comply with a [county ordinance] requiring abortionists or their legal Physician Designee to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.”

The abortionist at Fort Wayne Women’s Health Organization “has come under intensifying pressure in the recent months since the state’s pro-life leadership revealed his role in helping young girls – and their molesters – circumvent state law designed to prosecute statutory rape,” notes Mr. Johnson. It appears Mr. Klopfer had a habit – notwithstanding state law – of delaying reports of abortions on girls under age 14 for months at a time, badly damaging the state’s prospects for prosecuting child molesters.

Mr. Klopfer was under pressure from the licensing board because of the reporting issue, but what knocked him out of Fort Wayne (though his business continues in Gary) was the resignation, effective Jan. 1, of the Fort Wayne doctor who had been abetting him by agreeing to treat complications suffered by Klopfer customers. About time.


ObamaCare Abortion Lies of 2013 – Lies # 2 & 3

End-of-year statement by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus; continued; see last week’s Life Advocacy Briefing for Rep. Smith’s statement on “Lie # 1”

Big Lie # 2: Information about which ObamaCare plans cover abortion “is on the website … it is available … . “ (HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a Dec. 11 hearing)

For months, pro-life leaders have sought to get consistent clarity as to which ObamaCare plans cover abortion, and for months they have found the information nearly impossible to discern in any consistent way. Consumers deserve to at least know if the ObamaCare plan they select includes abortion. Many Americans object to the destruction of human life and would be appalled to know they are purchasing a plan that includes such a brutal procedure. Yet, Secretary Sebelius remains unwilling to disclose that information even after telling Rep. John Shimkus (IL-15) she would do so at an Oct. 30th appearance before the Energy & Commerce Committee.

Then on Dec. 11, 2013, Secretary Sebelius appeared before the Health Subcommittee of the Energy & Commerce Committee, and Rep. Shimkus questioned her on why she has not provided the list. In an apparent backtracking from her Oct. 30th commitment to provide a list, Sebelius told Rep. Shimkus that “every plan lists plan benefits, and the one plan benefit that they must list by law is abortion services, so as a shopper goes on, I would highly recommend that they look in the plan benefits section … .” When Rep. Shimkus pressed further, pointing out that he had examples of summary of benefits documents that do not indicate whether or not abortion is covered, she replied, “It is on the website. … It is available … .”

Unfortunately her assurances ring hollow. Specifically, numerous summaries of benefits and coverage documents which can be viewed through do not indicate whether or not abortion is covered.  On Dec. 13, 2013, the Charlotte Lozier Institute issued a report demonstrating that this basic information that the Secretary stated is available is not available for many plans in New Jersey, Texas, Wyoming and Alaska. The Lozier Institute concluded “from this survey sample of online websites via the federal exchange, CLI concludes that clear statements of coverage of elective abortion via the [benefit summaries] and other plan documents are not the rule. If anything, they are the exception.”

Big Lie # 3: “[I]n the Senate bill [which later became law], if you are receiving federal assistance to buy insurance, and if that plan has any abortion coverage, the insurance company must bill you separately, and you must pay separately from your own personal funds – perhaps a credit card transaction, your separate personal check or automatic withdrawal from your bank account – for that abortion coverage. Now, let me say that again; you have to write two checks: one for the basic policy and one for the additional coverage for abortion. The latter has to be entirely from personal funds.” (Sen. Ben Nelson [NE], Dec. 24, 2009)

ObamaCare further breaks with long-standing law by establishing new abortion surcharges. The new law requires premium payers to be assessed a separate abortion surcharge every month to pay for abortions.  Sec. 1303 clearly states that every premium payer in an abortion-covering plan will contribute a surcharge to an abortion fund to pay for other people’s abortions. Senator Nelson wrote this policy so the surcharge would be billed separately (as described in his statement above). However, new research published by Susan Muskett with the National Right to Life Committee indicates that insurance carriers are not actually billing the surcharge separately, despite the clear letter of the law.

National Right to Life’s research provides a detailed outline of the Nelson Amendment and the failure to bill the abortion surcharge separately. Here are some examples of its findings:

  • Gretchen Borchelt, director of state reproductive health policy at the National Women’s Law Center, told the Huffington Post that “we used to talk about it as being two checks that the consumer would have to write because of the segregation requirements, but that’s not the way it’s being implemented.” (Huffington Post, Sept. 3, 2013) Likewise, a spokeswoman for Rhode Island’s Exchange told PolitiFact Rhode Island that “the customer is not billed a separate fee.” (Politifact, Oct. 2, 2013) As PolitiFact notes, “It turns out to be a hidden fee.”
  • Despite the explicit statutory language, some state insurance commissioners are advising insurers that the state will not require them to collect the separate payments from enrollees, nor to even issue an itemized bill setting forth the separate costs.
  • Maryland’s Insurance Commissioner issued a bulletin to insurers on July 31, 2013, that requires issuers to have a segregation plan for abortion services but asserts that “issuers are not required to provide enrollees with separate invoices for non-excepted abortion services and all other services covered under a QHP [Exchange plan], nor to provide enrollees with itemization on a single invoice for non-excepted abortion services and all other services covered under a QHP.”
  • New York State’s Dept. of Financial Services issued guidance that: “QHP issuers that cover non-excepted abortion services must collect in the premium for each enrollee a payment for non-excepted abortion services. … The ACA permits QHP issuers to collect premiums for non-excepted abortion services and all other services in one transfer of funds. … QHP issuers will be in compliance with the ACA if they do not itemize non-excepted abortion services on the premium bill and collect both premiums through a single transfer of funds.”
  • Washington State adopted a regulation stating that Exchange plan issuers must segregate funds for elective abortion, but “[t]his rule does not require an issuer to conduct two separate premium transactions with enrollees. [Note, nor does the regulation require an itemized bill]. For purposes of approval by the commissioner, the segregation of premium may occur solely as an accounting transaction.”

While consumers will be paying an abortion surcharge (something that is not permitted under the Hyde Amendment), they may never know it. Between the failure to disclose abortion coverage at the outset and the failure to bill the surcharge separately, the consumer is left in the dark, unknowingly paying into an abortion fund.

This failure to disclose is a problem indicative of ObamaCare plans nationwide and is why I have introduced the “Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” (HR-3279), a bill that requires information regarding either inclusion or exclusion of abortion coverage as well as the existence of an abortion surcharge to be prominently displayed. To rid ObamaCare of its massive expansion of abortion-on-demand facilitation and funding, I have also introduced the “No Taxpayers Funding of Abortion Act” (HR-7).

Abortion isn’t health care; it kills babies and harms women. We live in an age of ultrasound imaging – the ultimate window to the womb and the child who resides there. We are in the midst of a fetal healthcare revolution, an explosion of benign interventions designed to diagnose, treat and cure the youngest patients.

ObamaCare’s abortion mandate violates federal law and makes taxpayers complicit in the culture of death. This is not reform.