Life Advocacy Briefing

August 11, 2014

Heaping It On / Miscarriage of Justice / Miscarriage II / More Shops Bite the Dust
Interesting Choices / Check This Out / Brace Yourself

Heaping It On

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY’s ‘WAR ON WOMEN’ CAMPAIGN opened a new chapter on July 30 with the introduction of a we’re-for-women-and-for-military-members assault on US taxpayers.

Filed by New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D), S-2687 boasts 20 co-sponsors, only two of whom fall into the vulnerable incumbent category. It would force every taxpayer, reports, to cover the costs of “all FDA-approved birth control and abortion pills and devices” for women in the military and their dependents. The coverage scope includes the very contraceptives which were at the heart of the Hobby Lobby ruling in which the Supreme Court acknowledged and affirmed religious objections to at least four of the 20 drugs and devices. No provision is made in the Shaheen measure for conscientious objections by taxpayers.

The measure has been referred to the Armed Services Committee; in view of its political utility, we expect Sen. Reid will seek to move the legislation rapidly during the Senate’s September session.

Readers are asked to contact the offices of their home-state Senators (1-202/224-3121) and request a “no” vote on S-2687.

Co-sponsoring the measure with Sen. Shaheen are Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Democratic Senators Mark Begich (AK), Barbara Boxer & Dianne Feinstein (CA), Mark Udall (CO), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Mazie Hirono & Brian Schatz (HI), Richard Durbin (IL), Elizabeth Warren (MA), Debbie Stabenow (MI), Al Franken (MN), Jon Tester (MT), Robert Menendez (NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Sherrod Brown (OH), Ron Wyden (OR), Bernard Sanders (VT), Patty Murray (WA) and Tammy Baldwin (WI).


Miscarriage of Justice

THE ILLOGICAL RULING OF A FEDERAL JUDGE IN ALABAMA in a key abortion case is prompting Americans to scratch our heads in search of logic.

The case relates to the state’s physician-admitting-privilege law, and the decision seems to demonstrate stunning complicity with the abortion cartel and nonchalance at best about the health and safety of American women.

“A federal judge [District Judge Myron Thompson] has ruled,” writes Michael Gryboski for the Christian Post, “that an Alabama law that requires abortion providers to attain hospital admitting privileges is unconstitutional.” Why? “‘The evidence compellingly demonstrates that the requirement would have the striking result,’” wrote Judge Thompson, quoted by Mr. Gryboski, “‘of closing three of Alabama’s five abortion clinics … .’” He called this essential safety provision “‘an impermissible undue burden … .’”

His inordinate concern for the ability of abortion shops to persist in business without having to meet the professional medical standard of obtaining hospital admitting privileges for the sake of quick intervention in emergencies contrasts sharply with the attitude of Alabama’s GOP Gov. Robert Bentley and his remarks on signing the Women’s Health & Safety Act in 2013. “‘As a physician and as a governor, I am proud to sign this legislation,’” Dr. Bentley said, quoted by Mr. Gryboski. “‘This bill provides appropriate standards of care.’”

Alabama’s attorney general appears to be as sensible and concerned about women’s health as Gov. Bentley, in stark contrast to Judge Thompson. The Christian Post reporter indicated Atty. Gen. Luther Strange has “stated that his office will appeal the decision.”


Miscarriage II

NEXT DOOR IN MISSISSIPPI, two of the three judges on a panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals pulled the same boneheaded move as the Alabama-based federal district judge. (The offending judges are Stephen A. Higginson and E. Grady Jolly; their dissenting colleague is Emilio Garza, who penned a sensible dissent.)

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R), “promised a speedy appeal,” reports Ben Johnson for, noting that the law “‘is designed to protect the health and safety of women who undergo this potentially dangerous procedure, and physicians who provide abortions,’” insisted Gov. Bryant in the LifeSiteNews report, “‘should be held to the same standards as other physicians who perform other outpatient procedures.’”

Though the 5th Circuit has already upheld Texas’s statute requiring abortuaries to have at least one “physician” on staff who has local hospital admitting privileges, these brilliant jurists declared unconstitutional the Mississippi law which does the same thing.

The astounding excuse: If the law were to be upheld, the last remaining abortion mill in the state would have to close because of the inability of its seedy management to secure nearby admitting privileges – long a requirement for legitimate ambulatory surgical centers in the state. “In other words,” writes Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in his July 31 Washington Update, “two unelected [judges] decided that keeping abortionists in business is more important than the safety of women.”

Upholding the law for the sake of women’s safety, you see, would – horror of horrors – result in not a single abortuary in Mississippi. Why, aborting mothers living in Mississippi would have to cross state lines in order to relieve themselves of the privilege of bringing new life into the world. According to these two judges, we can’t have that!

The 2012 Mississippi law, Mr. Perkins explains, removes “a special exemption for abortionists from the state’s requirement that all doctors at ambulatory surgical centers – medical clinics, dental offices, etc. – maintain admitting privileges at a local hospital. … This common-sense requirement,” Mr. Perkins writes, “ensures that out-of-state abortionists cannot come into the state, perform a rapid series of abortions and move on to another state. A traveling abortionist leaves women at greater risk for life-threatening medical complications,” notes Mr. Perkins, “requiring them to seek emergency care.” Sensible, no?

But “Mississippi’s last remaining abortion clinic,” which is located in Jackson, “sued to have the law enjoined,” writes Mr. Perkins, “because no local hospital would give admittance privileges to two of their abortionists. … On Tuesday,” he asserts, “two [judges] on the 5th Circuit put the abortion agenda ahead of women’s safety and ruled that the law cannot be enforced … .” Their unbelievable but stated reason, cited by many news reports, including Mr. Perkins’s commentary: Upholding the law would have the effect of shutting down Mississippi’s sole remaining abortuary. And evidently, to the two judges on the 5th Circuit, abortion is an essential “service” no matter how dangerous its practitioner might be to the customer.

The Jackson abortuary – this specially protected commercial enterprise – is owned by Diane Derzis, who lost her abortion business in Alabama because she was unable to bring it up to state standards, among the reasons Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger calls Ms. Derzis’s abortion practices “shoddy.”

“Would the Court think,” writes Ms. Sullenger, “that if [convicted Philadelphia abortionist/murderer] Kermit Gosnell operated the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, that the state would be forced to keep him in business?”

And that is the point of the federal court ruling in Mississippi and its echo in Alabama: Keeping abortionists in business trumps women’s health and safety.

“Ultimately,” opines Ms. Sullenger, “this case is likely to end up in the US Supreme Court for a final resolution.” But on the way to the Supreme Court, Gov. Bryant and the Mississippi attorney general are seeking reconsideration of the appellate panel’s decision by the full 5th Circuit appellate court.

Pending that rehearing or ultimate Supreme Court action, Diane Derzis will continue to profit from the killing of innocent unborn boys and girls. For shame.


More Shops Bite the Dust


A Kansas City, Kansas, abortuary known under the names Central Family Medical or Aid for Women “announced on its website that it has ceased operations effective July 26, 2014,” reports Operation Rescue (OR), “stating that its abortionist, Ronald Yeomans, and [the] clinic administrator were ‘retiring.’”

The shop was “under pressure,” notes OR, from an OR-initiated investigation by the state’s medical licensing board. “We are aware,” noted OR president Troy Newman, “that Yeomans was feeling the heat from the board on some very serious allegations, including failure to report suspected incidents of abuse.” Mr. Newman also mentioned “the faithful presence of local pro-life activists outside that facility” as contributing to the “retirement” decision.

The Texas abortuary-closure parade in July attained the 17th shuttering since last November, this one in the state capital city, Austin. writer Ben Johnson quotes Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, which closed its North Austin flagship site, complaining “in a statement that the closure ‘of Whole Woman’s Health of Austin is the result of politicians acting against the women in our state when they passed HB-2.’” The cited law is the comprehensive abortuary regulation enacted in special session a year ago, whose subjection of abortuaries to customary medical standards has exposed substandard conditions across the Texas abortion industry and triggered the closure stampede, which so far has shuttered three of the Whole Woman’s Health five Texas shops.

The Austin outfit’s spokesman told the Dallas News, according to LifeSite’s Mr. Johnson, “‘Knowing that our facility does not meet the physical plant requirements of HB-2’s Ambulatory Surgical Center provision, we unfortunately had to make the difficult decision to not renew the license.’” Clearly a win for women. In fact, the spokesman went on to say, reports Mr. Johnson, “In order to meet the required health standards, ‘we basically need to take it down to the footprint and rebuild the facility.’” The very definition of hopelessly substandard.

Ohio may be next. The Ohio Dept. of Health, reports Michael Gryboski for the Christian Post, “has been cracking down on apparent abuses and violations” at abortuaries and “has proposed that … two clinics lose their licenses.” If the pending action remains uncontested, Mr. Gryboski reports, the order yanking the licenses of Northeast Ohio Women’s Center in Cuyahoga Falls and Capital Care Network of Toledo will take effect tomorrow, Aug. 12.

A Planned Parenthood shop in Bedford Heights, Ohio, is also under investigation but is reportedly attempting to clean up its act before the Health Department takes action.

Ohio Right to Life’s public relations manager Katherine McCann “told the Christian Post that her group is ‘grateful that the Ohio Department of Health is holding these facilities accountable for gross violations of health and safety standards.’ … [Ms.] McCann also told CP that Ohio Right to Life has ‘a working relationship’ with ODH, aided by having a ‘pro-life General Assembly and Governor.

“‘Before Gov. Kasich’s administration,’” she explained, quoted by Mr. Gryboski, “‘it was a struggle to ensure that Ohio’s abortion facilities were being held to commonsense health and safety standards. That’s really what we’re talking about here, commonsense standards,’ said [Ms.] McCann. ‘ODH isn’t holding these facilities to extra special standards,’” she noted in the CP report. “‘Any inspection a clinic undergoes is in line with the Ohio Revised Code. But Ohio’s abortion industry can’t even meet these basic requirements. Thankfully, for the last four years, abortion mills haven’t been allowed to skirt the law like they used to.’”


Interesting Choices

MONTANA’s APPOINTED SENATOR JOHN WALSH (D) IS IN SUCH TROUBLE over allegations of plagiarism in his 2007 Master’s thesis that his party’s operatives are already reportedly drumming up a ballot replacement for the half-year incumbent. And just look at who’s being considered.

“According to a blog post by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC),” reports Dustin Siggins for, “Democrats are considering EMILY’s List president Stephanie Schriock and former NARAL president Nancy Keenan as potential candidates” to replace him if he decides – by today’s deadline (Aug. 11) – to resign his nomination. EMILY’s List is the abortion cartel’s well-funded, principal political action committee; NARAL is a leading cartel lobby outfit. Worth watching.


Check This Out

PRO-LIFE BANK CHECKS ARE A GREAT WAY TO COMMUNICATE your commitment to the cause of Life and to remind people with whom you do business: Children are precious. Check them out at


Brace Yourself

Commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in his Aug. 5, 2014, Washington Update

When the Obama Administration talks about a mandate “accommodation,” you can be sure the only thing they’re accommodating is their radical agenda. A month after the Supreme Court gave ObamaCare one of its biggest black eyes, the President’s team is back at the drawing board, desperate to find a new way to force family businesses and nonprofits to violate their pro-life convictions.

After three years of legal wrangling over the HHS mandate, the Supreme Court’s opinion in the Hobby Lobby-Conestoga Wood case was supposed to settle the matter, ruling in favor of religious freedom and against the heavy hand of government. Unfortunately, it looks like the only opinion the Obama Administration is interested in is its own. In the weeks since the decision came down, the President’s team has poured its energy into new ways to avoid the Court’s opt-out for companies with moral objections to pills that can end or prevent a pregnancy. In the past, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius offered a placebo, an “accommodation” for religious groups that used fancy accounting gimmicks to hide the reality that these nonprofits were still paying for drugs that violated their beliefs – just through an intermediary.

The trick may have fooled the media, but it certainly didn’t pass the sniff test with the hundreds of universities, charities and other organizations subject to the President’s shell game. As the White House explained it, this “olive branch” was supposed to alleviate the concerns of organizations like Catholic Charities, hospitals or colleges who are forced to provide life-destroying drugs against their will or pay the price. But in practice, the religious groups would still have to pay for the “health care” they oppose, but through a third party.

Now the Administration is resorting to the same scam, hinting that it might use this same approach with family businesses as a way of bypassing the Court’s ruling. Late last month, the Justice Dept. [DOJ] warned that another rule change was coming down the pike, submitting a legal brief in court announcing that it would tweak the HHS [mandate rule] for the umpteenth time, setting a new policy that could dramatically alter the landscape for nonprofits and companies like Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood.

In the brief DOJ writes, “The Administration believes the accommodation is legally sound, but in light of the Supreme Court order regarding Wheaton College, the Departments intend to augment their regulations to provide an alternative way for objecting non-profit religious organizations to provide notification, while ensuring that enrollees in plans of such organizations receive separate coverage of contraceptive services without cost sharing. While we are working through the details now, we expect this rulemaking to be issued within a month.”

Although there’s plenty of speculation about how the new rule would work, there’s none where the President’s tendencies on religious liberty is concerned. The bottom line is that Pres. Obama can’t ease pro-lifers’ concerns without sacrificing the mandate. And so far, he’s refused to – not even when the courts, the Constitution and the citizens demand it.