Life Advocacy Briefing

March 3, 2014

Vital Victory for Vital Ministry / Vital Victory II / Taking Truth to the Streets
Even U.N. Panel Recoils at Forced Abortion / Shrinking from Duty?
‘In Bad Company’ / Video Atrocity / Cleaning Up the Neighborhood
Lessons Needing to be Relearned

Vital Victory for Vital Ministry

PRO-LIFE ADVOCATES WON A KEY LITIGATION VICTORY in Illinois in mid-February when the City of Elgin settled in favor of granting a mobile pregnancy center access to Elgin streets.

The settlement concludes a federal lawsuit, notes a report from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), in which the “court found a city zoning code unconstitutional in August of last year after city officials used it to shut down access to free pregnancy information and services offered to young women through the mobile ultrasound facility.”

The plaintiff, a pro-life ministry called Life Center, “operates the mobile facility under the name of TLC Pregnancy Services,” notes the news advisory. ADF attorneys assisted lead attorneys from the Chicago firm Mauck & Baker, LLC, well known in the Chicago area for dedicated work on behalf of Life and religious liberty.

“‘Pregnant women are better served when they are fully informed,’ said Mauck & Baker attorney Noel W. Sterett,” who is associated with ADF. “‘The court’s opinion last year, which expressly recognizes a woman’s right to choose life and be fully informed about her pregnancy, is a rational ruling that we hope everyone can support regardless of their opinion on abortion. TLC’s free services,’” notes Mr. Sterett, “‘help both the city and its citizens.’”

The report notes that the court’s own opinion last August concluded that the city’s ordinance was “‘unduly burdensome to the right of a woman to choose life.’” We find that last phrase refreshing and appropriate to the discussion of abortion policy in America and believe it would be useful also as an argument for informed consent and ultrasound legislation. American women do indeed have the right to choose life; too many of our jurists have forgotten that, and too few of our attorneys and policymakers have pointed it out.


Vital Victory II

THE 2011 INVALIDATION of New York City’s anti-pregnancy center ordinance was upheld recently by a three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit US Court of Appeals.

Judge Richard Wesley, reports Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), called the ordinance “‘a bureaucrat’s dream’” in his written opinion. Certainly it was an assault on the right of a woman to choose life.

Indeed, the ordinance, reports ADF, “threatens pro-life pregnancy services centers that are not medical clinics with heavy fines and possible closure if they don’t provide printed and oral notices crafted by the city that encourage women to go elsewhere.”

The oppressive ordinance was enacted in March, 2011, signed by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg after adoption by the city council, and enjoined by a federal district judge in July of that year. Two federal courts, notes ADF, “have issued injunctions against similar [laws] in Maryland.”


Taking Truth to the Streets


The story profiles “Save the Storks,” a pro-life ministry whose mission, writes WND’s Alyssa Farah, is “to ‘empower abortion-minded mothers all over America to choose life.’”

The operation “now has four mobile ‘Stork Buses,’” writes Ms. Farah, which “operate in partnership with local crisis pregnancy centers, with plans for three more.” The vehicles operate outside abortuaries in Dallas, Boston, Englewood (New Jersey) and, launched Feb. 22, in Florida; Ms. Farah did not identify the city in Florida but disclosed that plans have been laid for Stork Buses in Merced, California, and somewhere in Michigan, as well as a second such vehicle in Boston.

The buses feature sophisticated equipment, including ultrasonography. Explains Save the Storks founder Joe Baker, quoted by Ms. Farah, “‘For $25,000 of sonogram equipment, you can see real facial expressions of your baby in real time. … There’s something about that that really helps the woman bond with the baby, and that’s incredibly powerful,’” he said. “‘It’s actually the baby that persuades the mother to keep it.’ … Three out of five women who board the Stork Bus,” writes Ms. Farah, “will choose life.”


Even U.N. Panel Recoils at Forced Abortion

AMONG THE HORRORS BEING PERPETRATED ON THE PEOPLE OF NORTH KOREA by their own dictator, according to a United Nations Commission on Inquiry, is forced abortion.

Even the UN panel described Kim Jong-un’s human rights violations as “‘unspeakable atrocities’ against [his] citizens,” writes Thaddeus Baklinski for, “including arbitrary imprisonment and execution, deliberate starvation, torture, rape and forced abortion.”

The report highlights the use of such atrocities on “‘persons who are forcibly repatriated [into North Korea] from [Red] China,’” who, the panel concludes as reported by Mr. Baklinski, “‘are commonly subjected to torture, arbitrary detention, summary execution, forced abortion and other forms of sexual violence.’

“The report calls this ‘the denial of reproductive rights,’” writes Mr. Baklinski, who reports the commission’s chairman, a retired Australian judge, “likened the atrocities committed in North Korea to those of the brutal Nazi regime during the Second World War.

“‘These are not mere excesses of the state,’” said Commission chairman Michael Kirby in the LifeSiteNews report. “‘They are essential components of a political system that has moved far from the ideals on which it claims to be founded. The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world. … Now the international community does know. There will be no excusing a failure of action because we didn’t know. It’s too long now. The suffering and the tears of the people of North Korea demand action.’” Amen.


Shrinking from Duty?

THAT SOUTH DAKOTA BILL we reported on last week has met an untimely demise in a committee of the state’s House of Representatives.

Just as when Partial-Birth Abortion first poked its way into public consciousness, the first response of middle-of-the-road politicians is to recoil at the suggestion – unfortunately too true – that child dismemberment is a principal method of abortion.

We hope our friends in South Dakota and other states will continue to press for legislation which, writes Ben Johnson for, “would have made it a state law that ‘no licensed physician may knowingly dismember a living unborn child with the intent of endangering the life or health’ of the baby.”

Surely America’s state and federal lawmakers, when they learn the truth about abortion, do not want to associate their own sense of justice and mercy with the atrocities of Kim Jong-un.


‘In Bad Company’

THE RESEARCH & EDUCATION ARM of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List last week issued a report comparing the “ultra-permissive abortion policies” of the United States and Canada to policies of other countries around the world. The report of the Charlotte Lozier Institute was summarized by CLI head Charles Donovan in a commentary published by First Things, an Internet-based publication.

The CLI report compared “199 countries with a population of a million or more,“ writes Mr. Donovan. “The laws of 140 of them,” he discloses, “protect unborn babies to some extent. Nearly 60 countries permit elective abortions but with some baby-protective limits,” he writes.

But here is the kicker: “The United States, along with Canada,” writes Mr. Donovan, “are among just seven countries that allow elective abortions of unborn children who are 20 weeks and older.

“That puts us well outside of international norms,” he notes, “and in bad company: with [Red] China, North Korea and Viet Nam, as well as with Singapore and the Netherlands.

“If comparing population size,” he writes, “the US gets a silver medal in the category of late abortions, outranked only by [Communist] China. That’s not one to be proud of.” That’s for sure.

“No one knows for certain how many late-term babies die in these abortions [in the US] each year, because abortion reporting is notoriously sketchy,” notes Mr. Donovan. “But the toll is surely 12,000 babies every year and probably many more.

“One gauge,” Mr. Donovan asserts, “is that in a report issued this past Feb. 3, the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, formerly an arm of the abortion giant Planned Parenthood, said that 23% of US abortionists ‘offer abortion after 20 weeks,’ and 11% ‘offer abortions at 24 weeks.’ If nearly a quarter of US abortionists are killing late-term babies, and the annual US abortion death toll is around one million infants,” Mr. Donovan writes, “the number of late-term baby fatalities could be high indeed, protestations of the abortionists and their lobby to the contrary notwithstanding.

“These killings constitute nothing less than barbarity,” he declares, “and their continued legality should be a cause of shame to all Americans.”


Video Atrocity

PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND HAS PRODUCED and posted an online video which promotes bondage and sadomasochism and is aimed at teens, according to a report by Barbara Hollingsworth writing for The Maine/Vermont/New Hampshire branch of the nation’s chief abortion outfit received “more than $2.75 million in government funding in 2012,” according to the report.

The offensive video features a female identified by the Planned Parenthood unit’s Internet website, writes Ms. Hollingsworth, as Laci Green, “a ‘22-year-old SanFranciscan’ and a ‘sex educator, video blogger, blog blogger, crisis counselor, social scientist, asparagus lover and artichoke dipper.’”

Referring to bondage and sadomasochism as “BDSM,” Ms. Green tells her young viewers, “‘People sometimes think that those who practice BDSM are emotionally scarred or were once abused – not true. It’s a total myth,’ [Ms.] Green says … in the video,” according to the report. “‘People across the spectrum with various backgrounds participate in BDSM. The pain-is-exhilaration concept is not only old as dirt, it’s pretty common outside the bedroom.’”

Despite an attempt by Ms. Hollingsworth to reach every Member of the US House and Senate from the three states “served” by this Planned Parenthood outfit, only Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) was willing to respond to inquiries about the video and about the outfit’s taxpayer funding.

“According to [Ayotte] spokesman Jeff Grappone,” writes Ms. Hollingsworth, “‘Sen. Ayotte thinks this video, which is clearly targeted at a younger audience, is inappropriate and troubling. She believes taxpayers shouldn’t be directly or indirectly funding activity like this.’” We would think so!


Cleaning Up the Neighborhood

STATE LAWMAKERS IN PENNSYLVANIA are seeking passage of a reform proposal to require abortionists to have admitting privileges within 30 miles of the scene of their unprosecutable crimes.

HB-1762 has been filed by some 20 Representatives and assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, whose majority are considered pro-life.

“Admitting privileges” legislation has become popular in the states as a measure to improve the health and safety of women who undergo abortions. Its effect in many places has been the closure of many of a state’s facilities in which babies are aborted, as few hospitals are willing to grant admitting privileges to medically trained butchers.


Lessons Needing to be Re-Learned

Feb. 5, 2014, commentary by Eric Metaxas, published by

It’s time for another BreakPoint pop quiz: Name the major American newspaper that ran an expose on what goes on in abortion mills entitled “The Evil of the Age.”

Give up? The answer is the New York Times.

No, you haven’t missed anything: The expose ran in the paper’s Aug. 23, 1871, edition.

The story, which is recounted in Cait Murphy’s book about New York in the Gilded Age, Scoundrels in Law, is, to use the old ’60s phrase, mind-blowing.

As Murphy tells us, while all abortions had been illegal in New York since 1869, not only were both abortifacients and surgical abortions readily available, abortionists openly advertised their services.

One notorious abortionist, an English immigrant who went by the name of “Madame Restell,” made so much money that she built a mansion on Fifth Avenue! And not just any mansion, but one of the grandest of them all: even the servants’ quarters were “lined with mahogany” and furnished with imported carpets.

Not everyone was impressed: street urchins would yell at her, “Your house is built on babies’ skulls!” as she passed in her carriage.

It wasn’t only street urchins who disapproved of the abortion trade. Anti-abortion activists, who “included most doctors and women’s groups, were disappointed at the ineffectiveness of the [1869] law.”

And that is when the New York Times sprang into action. It made stamping out the abortion trade a “crusade.” It ran “a regular series of editorials and reports on the subject,” culminating in “The Evil of the Age.”

The Times sent one of its reporters, accompanied by a woman, to the “city’s most notable abortionists.” The reporter summed up his findings thusly: “There is a systematic business of wholesale murder conducted by men and women in this city that is seldom detected, rarely interfered with, and scarcely ever punished by law.”

“Evil.” “Wholesale murder.” To see how much has changed in 143 years, just consider what the Times had to say about Kermit Gosnell, who last year was convicted of three counts of murder in connection with late-term abortions at his Philadelphia clinic.

While conceding that the “details of the crimes are horrific,” the Times insisted that “the Gosnell case does not really speak to the broader abortion debate.”

On the contrary, the Times regarded attempts to push back the “commonly defined date of viability from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or even earlier,” to be a “part of a larger push to prevent women from exercising their reproductive rights.”

I look forward to the Times’ next about-face.

And this is not entirely in jest. What the story from “Scoundrels in Law” illustrates is that attitudes toward abortion in America have never been fixed and immutable. The nineteenth century saw abortion go from mostly illegal but winked at, to illegal and strongly frowned upon. Public revulsion, translated into policy, put that century’s abortion mills out of business.

It could happen again. Forty-one years after Roe, public attitudes toward abortions seem to be turning against abortion. While children don’t chant about houses being built on babies’ skulls, most Americans think that there’s something disreputable about abortion and its practitioners.

While I doubt that the Times will be repeating “The Evil of the Age” anytime soon, we should continue to make it clear that the Times was correct when it described abortion that way.

Even if they’re embarrassed to recall that bit of their history.