Life Advocacy Briefing

September 1, 2014

‘Doubling Down’ / Mandated Abortion? / Tax-Funded Propaganda / Mischief in DC
E.R.A. Panel Members / Battling for Justice for Unborn Babies
Steadily Winning, but Resistance Is Fierce

‘Doubling Down’

THE OBAMA REGIME HANDED DOWN MODIFIED REGULATIONS on Aug. 22, attempting an end-run around the Supreme Court’s June religious liberty ruling in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases and the temporary exemption the high court granted to Wheaton College in July.

Echoing its fudging on the application of its abortifacient/contraception mandate to overt religious institutions – in what it condescendingly called an “accommodation” – the Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) is now ordering religious non-profits and conscientious family businesses to include the death-dealing drugs and devices in their employee health insurance coverage but not to pay that part of the premium. Instead, they are invited to register as conscientious objectors with Big Brother at HHS, which would then pay the insurance company for the chemicals (with tax money, of course, provided by all of us, including those conscientious objectors).  Go ahead and read that again and see whether you can make sense of it.

This is the sort of rubbish which the Obama Regime calls “an accommodation.” But Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the pro bono pro-life law association that has been winning lawsuit after lawsuit against the infamous “mandate,” describes it instead as “the government … forc[ing] religious organizations, family businesses or individuals to be complicit in providing abortion pills to their employees or students.

“We will consult with our clients,” vowed ADF in a statement issued the same day, “to determine how the government’s actions affect their sincere objections to the mandate.”

“‘What remains an insulting accounting gimmick does not protect the rights of Americans with sincere conscientious objections,’” opined Arina Grossu, director of Family Research Council’s Center for Human Dignity, quoted by a commentator for The Federalist. “‘It is simply another clerical layer to an already existing accounting gimmick that does nothing to protect religious freedom, because the employer still remains the legal gateway by which these drugs and services will be provided to their employees.’”

The Obama Regime, Ms. Grossu declared “‘is doubling down on its plans to punish charities and non-profits that assist the poor and homeless, who in some cases have nowhere else to turn for assistance.’” And that goes, too, for “doubling down” on “punishing” small businesses, the very wellspring of job creation in America.


Mandated Abortion?

NOW THAT THE OBAMA REGIME IS DOUBLING DOWN on religiously principled employers who seek exemption from its abortifacient mandate, the [horrifically named] California Dept. of Managed Health Care [DMHC] has taken up the cause and then some, ordering two Jesuit universities, reports Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), “to cover elective abortions in their health insurance plans.”

In a letter sent on behalf of the Cardinal Newman Society college-based Catholic youth organization, ADF is citing the federal Weldon Amendment, by which, ADF senior legal counsel Matthew Bowman notes, Congress “sought to ensure that the government could never strong-arm pro-life employers into paying for abortion coverage; therefore,” he states in an ADF news release, “California’s decision is illegal. No state can ignore federal law in a pursuit to conform everyone to the state’s own ideology on abortion.”

The letter itself explains, reports ADF, “DMHC cannot deny approval to or otherwise penalize a health insurance plan for failing to provide coverage of some or all abortions. In its failed lawsuit against the [federal Weldon] Amendment,” the letter notes, “California admitted that all of its departments are subject to the Amendment due to some of those departments receiving over $40 billion in federal funds.”

The letter further warns that since DMHC’s directive to the two universities “is a clear violation of the Weldon Amendment,” if it is not reversed, it “could trigger loss of funding to the entire state and its departments.” ADF vowed to “file complaints with the Office of Civil Rights of the [US] Dept. of Health & Human Services.”


Tax-Funded Propaganda

A FEW YEARS AGO, CONGRESS WENT THROUGH A FIERCE FIGHT over using taxpayer money for television. The Left, predictably, raised a wail over conservative efforts to “kill off Big Bird,” or some such drivel; because the PBS babysitting epic Sesame Street was the most popular offering from government TV at the time, the show’s most recognizable character became the rallying cry. So the Public Broadcasting “Service” receives taxpayer subsidies even today.

Just who is PBS’s “Big Bird” for Labor Day viewing? A quartet of insufficiently notorious late-term abortionists named LeRoy Carhart, Warren Hern, Shelley Sella and Susan Robinson, interviewed for a PBS “documentary” called “After Tiller,” to be aired – with much fanfare – today, Labor Day.

“The film’s directors,” notes Kirsten Anderson for, “openly admit that the documentary’s [sic] purpose is to ‘change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.’” The film has already been aired on Capitol Hill, Ms. Anderson reports, “‘with the goal of ultimately affecting votes related to abortion rights. [sic]’”

But the cat is out of the bag. The American people know what they think about late-term abortions; they retch at the thought. And no propaganda film is going to ameliorate their attitude about the deliberate killing – at huge profit, no less – of fully formed yet unborn babies.

Next thing you know, PBS will be using our tax dollars for an Oct. 25 airing of some new drivel celebrating the Red Revolution in Russia (our quip, so far). We will not hold out hope for a Sept. 17 Constitution Day documentary on our founding – or even a Sept. 11 remembrance of Patriots Day.

Oh, and if you think you can just keep PBS off your TV while the thing is airing, think again. Because this propaganda is being aired as part of the PBS “POV” (“documentaries with a point of view”) series, notes Ms. Anderson, “the network has made a ‘partner toolkit’ available and is encouraging teachers and activists to borrow the documentary and host screenings in their classrooms and communities. The ‘toolkit,’” she explains, “includes publicity materials, a discussion guide, lesson plan and reading list.” Coming soon, to a classroom near you? Be watching for it – in advance.


Mischief in DC

THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION WAS PROPOSED to the states for ratification back in 1972. This vaguely worded radical proposal needed to be ratified by legislatures in 38 states but fell short in the face of determined opposition from pro-life/pro-family citizens – mostly women – led chiefly by the venerated Phyllis Schlafly.

Three resolutions now are pending in Washington to strip out the already defunct proposal’s prescribed ratification deadline date; following tradition of most proposed amendments throughout history, the so-called ERA contained a seven-year deadline. As it approached expiration in 1979 – and in the face of a growing number of states repealing their ratifications – Congress foolishly “extended” the deadline to June 30, 1982; so ERA died again some 32 years ago.

What Sen. Ben Cardin (MD) and Representatives Robert Andrews (NJ) and Jackie Speier (CA) – all Democrats – seek to do is to thrust ERA back into the state legislatures in perpetuity, hoping, no doubt, that by some date in the 24th century, the proponents might be able to pick up the last three states, perhaps via exhaustion.

Meanwhile, the hope for ERA resurrection is being touted as a key test for public officials seeking re-election, the next shot in the “war on women” nonsense which is being generated by interest-group response to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling.

What would ERA do? Tie the hands of government in adopting or maintaining any policies which protect women, most certainly. Its wording jeopardizes any distinction between the sexes and has been used in state court actions – under the rare state constitutional provision that tracks the ERA language – to strike down such common-sense proposals as a ban on taxpayer-funded abortion.

Though we doubt the Republicans who lead the US House have much use for this nonsense, we must not take anything for granted when the Constitution – and the God-given, unalienable right to Life – are threatened. (When the ERA was first adopted by Congress in 1972, even some normally reliable conservatives voted for it out of political pressure and lack of perception. Despite its history, we cannot assume the lawmakers of today have any greater understanding of its intent and effect or of the political drama which ERA brought to many state capitols and voting booths in the ’70s and early ’80s.)

This is why we ask our readers now to contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution & Civil Justice – where these resolutions are pending – and ask them to vote against SJRes-15 (Cardin) in the Senate and HJRes-43 (Andrews/Speier) and HJRes-113 (Speier) in the House. We are publishing the names of the relevant committee Members below; they can be contacted via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121.

We note as well that Sen. Cardin has brought 35 co-sponsors onto his resolution, of which 34 are fellow Democrats and one, Sen. Mark Kirk (IL) is a Republican. In the House, HJRes-43 has 105 co-sponsors – all Democrats – and appears to have been replaced on the radicals’ agenda by Rep. Speier’s HJRes-113, which boasts 143 co-sponsors, all of them Democrats.


E.R.A. Panel Members

Senate Judiciary Committee: Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman, Charles Grassley (R-IA), ranking Member, and Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein (CA), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Chris Coons (DE), Mazie Hirono (HI), Richard Durbin (IL), Al Franken & Amy Klobuchar (MN), Charles Schumer (NY) and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI); Republican Senators Jeff Sessions (AL), Jeff Flake (AZ), Lindsey Graham (SC), John Cornyn & Ted Cruz (TX) and Orrin Hatch & Mike Lee (UT).

House Judiciary Subcommittee: Trent Franks (R-AZ), chairman, Steve Cohen (D-TN), ranking Member, and Republican Representatives Steve King (IA), Jason Smith (MO), Steve Chabot & Jim Jordan (OH), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Louie Gohmert (TX) and Randy Forbes (VA); Democratic Representatives Ted Deutch (FL), Hank Johnson (GA), Jerrold Nadler (NY) and Robert Scott (VA).


Battling for Justice for Unborn Babies

FOUR PRO-LIFE/FAMILY ACTION GROUPS LINKED ARMS last week for an end-of-summer Life tour “aim[ing],” writes Seth McLaughlin in the Washington Times, “to bring awareness to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would curb abortions after five months.”

The tour took representatives from the Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List, Students for Life of America, Family Research Council Action and Concerned Women for America to Denver, Little Rock and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Among their messages: Senators Mark Udall (D-CO), Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Kay Hagan (D-NC) “have helped Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-NV] bottle up the 20-week ban,” notes Mr. McLaughlin. Those three Senators are “three of the most vulnerable Democrats” facing voters this fall, he points out.  Sen. Udall is being challenged by US Rep. Cory Gardner; Sen. Pryor is facing US Rep. Tom Cotton, and Mrs. Hagan is fighting off a stiff challenge from a former Speaker of the North Carolina House, Thom Tillis.

“‘The United States is currently one of only seven countries, including [Red] China and North Korea, to allow abortion-on-demand after five months,’” said Marilyn Musgrave, a former Congresswoman who is the SBA List vice president of government affairs and was quoted in the Washington Times story. “‘That’s more than halfway through pregnancy,’” she added, pointing out that the Pain-Capable Abortion Ban had passed the US House. “‘Unfortunately, that legislation has languished in the US Senate,’” she said, “‘where pro-abortion Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his allies … have refused to even allow a vote.’”


Steadily Winning, but Resistance Is Fierce

Aug. 22, 2014, commentary by Bradley Mattes, Executive Director, Life Issues Institute

Any time there’s a pro-life law, you can be sure pro-abortion activists will be on hand to protest with vile and obnoxious signs; dramatic chanting of “abortion-on-demand without apology;” and their go-to symbol, a bloody clothes hanger. I witnessed this behavior firsthand when debates raged over pro-life legislation in Texas last summer.

It’s all a deplorable display. They’re willing to brazenly fight commonsense protections that ensure women’s health and safety. And they fiercely oppose any attempt to give women informed consent and true choice. Make no mistake; these individuals want absolutely nothing to stand in the way of abortion. And pro-life laws are proving to be their number one adversary.

How effective are pro-life laws at lowering the incidence of abortion? A study by Michael New, assistant professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, provides a meta-analysis of 20 years of abortion data compiled by the Guttmacher Institute and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention [CDC]. His research reveals that pro-life laws are reducing abortion rates. Here’s how:

  • Public Funding Restrictions. Some states provide public funding for abortions. In 15 out of 18 cases, abortion rates fell after Medicaid funding was reduced. Specifically in the state of North Carolina, there was not only a decrease in the abortion rate, but an increase in the birthrate was observed months later. The findings concluded that 37% of the women who would have otherwise had an abortion carried their child to term when funding was not available.
  • Parental Involvement Laws. Pro-abortion activists have denounced laws involving parents, saying you can’t legislate good family communication. Yet in 16 peer-reviewed studies, there was a statistical decline in the number of abortions of minors in states where these laws were enacted. The difference ranged from 13% to as high as 42%.
  • Informed Consent Laws. There are variations in how these laws are enacted. Some require a counseling visit prior to an abortion; others specify how information about development in the womb is communicated. It’s estimated that viewing color photos of the unborn baby’s development results in a 3-to-7% reduction in the abortion rate. In-person counseling can reduce rates by as much as 12%.

… Pro-life laws are proving that abortion-on-demand is not the solution women want or need. By offering women life-affirming alternatives, more mothers are realizing that they can choose life for their babies. And the exciting part is, we’re at the cusp of seeing more fruit from our efforts. Over 220 pro-life laws have been passed at the state level since 2011. Imagine the lives we’ll see saved in the next five to ten years.

This celebration comes with a caution, however. The pro-aborts fight us tooth and nail every step of the way. One recent example is S-1696, with the misleading name, “Women’s Health Protection Act.” This is radical pro-abortion legislation that’ll wipe out all pro-life laws ever passed by both the federal and state levels of government. This will leave women completely vulnerable to the abortion industry, without any protections or regulations. They’re determined to make abortion-on-demand the law of the land. Obviously, it’s our responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen. Take a stand by contacting your senators today and ask them to oppose S-1696. Let them know that pro-life laws are making a difference and saving lives. [Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121.]