Life Advocacy Briefing

September 22, 2014

G.A.O. Finds: ObamaCare Covers Abortion / S.B.A. List Wins Ohio Free-Speech Suit
What Might Have Been Safer for Joan Rivers / Protect Our Kids!
Which One’s Worse for ‘Women’s Health’? / The G.A.O. Report

G.A.O. Finds: ObamaCare Covers Abortion

‘TAXPAYER FUNDING OF ABORTION IN OBAMACARE IS UNACCEPTABLE,’ declared Rep. Diane Black on receiving a study she requested from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) finding, states the Tennessee Republican in a Sept. 16 news release, “the Obama Administration has knowingly disregarded bipartisan, longstanding policy that prohibits taxpayer funding of elective abortion.”

The pro-life leader noted, “ObamaCare only had the votes to become law because promises were made that federal funds would not be used to perform these procedures. This GAO report is disturbing,” she said, “because it finds that many insurers are not in compliance with the reporting requirements necessary to keep these promises.” She pointed out she and her colleagues “have questioned the Administration as to what they have done to ensure these requirements are being met, with no response.

“Now the GAO has proven,” she said, “that the government has failed to ensure that the insurance issuers are not billing the abortion surcharge separately as required by the law. So the question remains, what will the Administration now do to ensure compliance? This,” she declared, “must be fixed.”

Mrs. Black was joined in her outrage by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who declared in a news release issued by the House Committee on Energy & Commerce: “‘Today’s GAO report confirms that under the President’s healthcare law, abortions are being paid for with taxpayer funds by more than 1,000 exchange plans across the country. This information has been hidden from the American public for years by the Obama Administration, which repeatedly denied Congressional requests for its public release.

“‘Commonsense restrictions like the Hyde Amendment have traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress,’” Speaker Boehner said in the Energy & Commerce release, “‘and Americans have for decades overwhelmingly rejected the idea of federal funding for abortion.’”

Speaker Boehner pointed to the House’s passage earlier this year of HR-7, the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act, which would make the Hyde Amendment permanent and extend it across every federal spending allocation, including ObamaCare subsidies. “‘Sadly,’” he said, “‘this legislation has suffered the same fate to date as the dozens of bills passed by the House that would help to create jobs and grow our economy: It has been gathering dust in Sen. Reid’s dysfunctional, do-nothing Senate.

“‘This GAO report underscores the need,’” said Speaker Boehner, “‘for the Senate to do its job and pass this commonsense legislation.’” He was joined in his call for action by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, whose summary of the GAO report can be found at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.


S.B.A. List Wins Ohio Free-Speech Suit

EX-U.S. REP. STEVE DRIEHAUS (D-OH) FINALLY HAS HIS ANSWER: Political speech is a First Amendment right, even when exercised against a Member of Congress by a pro-life group.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Black struck down Ohio’s statute subjecting campaign statements to an official government panel. His ruling came down on Sept. 11. The statute was challenged by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List after Rep. Driehaus brought charges against SBA under Ohio’s false-statement law.

The legal action began when the one-term Congressman learned before the election in 2010 that SBA was preparing billboards accusing him of planning to break his pro-life pledge by voting for ObamaCare despite its failure to include an explicit prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion.

The state panel charged with reviewing such complaints ruled in a partisan 2-to-1 vote, notes Jacob Gershman in the Wall Street Journal, “that there was probable cause to believe that SBA List had violated the political false-statements laws. A final outcome was put off,” notes the reporter, “after the group filed a First Amendment suit challenging the law.” Though Mr. Driehaus dropped his complaint awhile after losing the election, SBA persisted in its suit, and the group’s standing to sue was upheld in June by the US Supreme Court.

Rep. Driehaus’s vote for ObamaCare and subsequent evidence that the massive healthcare takeover does indeed obligate taxpayers to subsidize abortion, incidentally, proved SBA was right all along.


What Might Have Been Safer for Joan Rivers

AMERICA FOCUSED ON THE DEATH OF JOAN RIVERS for days and days last month and this. To be honest, we did not pay attention to much of the coverage. But pro-life blogger Jill Stanek did note a rather fascinating statement made on NBC’s Today Show on August 29 by the network’s chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman:

“‘The really important thing here,’” said Dr. Snyderman, “‘is that every time you think you’re going to have a procedure, no matter how minor, you have to constantly remind yourself that, although these things [fatal complications] are rare, they can happen. And one more thing I should say: make sure your doctor has admitting privileges to the local hospital, because in this case it may well have saved Joan Rivers’s life.’”

That reality ought to boost the determination of America’s state lawmakers to enact laws subjecting abortuaries to local admitting privileges (usually defined as within 30 miles) in their licensing rules.

How many aborting mothers have to die or be severely injured at the hand of abortionists who have no professional connection to nearby emergency medical facilities?

Much has been made by the abortion lobby of its made-up “war on women” mantra against pro-life political candidates, yet who is it that fights the imposition of safety requirements and professional standards on what these people claim are “medical” facilities and “medical professionals”?

Pop culture fans are grieving Joan Rivers, and certainly her death was a shock, resulting apparently from medical error and a costly delay in intervention. May they think of their late star and the tragedy of her death when they hear that legislators are seeking to “impose” basic medical standards – such as local admitting privileges – on “clinics” which practice risky surgery in the name of “women’s rights.”


Protect Our Kids!

THE SCANDALOUS SLOPPINESS of Indiana abortuaries was back in the news last week with the announcement by the state’s attorney general (AG Greg Zoeller) that his office has filed with Indiana’s Medical Licensing Board a compilation of “administrative complaints,” reports Operation Rescue (OR), “against four abortionists in three counties for record-keeping violations.”

Though to some that has the ring of nitpicking, the alleged violations are actual violations of laws passed for the protection of Indiana adolescents.

Based on complaints filed by Indiana Right to Life, reports OR, the violations range from “omitting important information from the forms” required to be filed with the State’s Health Dept. related to individual cases to “not reporting suspected child sexual abuse on underage girls as young as 13. This meant,” notes OR, “that these girls faced the very real possibility that they were being given abortions, then handed back to their rapist for further abuse.”

Quoting now from the attorney general’s news release, reprinted in part by OR: “In the most egregious complaint, Dr. Ulrich Klopfer of South Bend, IN, is accused of consistently submitting incomplete, inaccurate and late documentation of the abortion procedures he performs. His alleged violations total 1,833 and are based on complaints brought to the AG’s office by the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency. Additionally,” reads the release, Mr. “Klopfer faces criminal misdemeanor charges in Lake and St. Joseph Counties for similar alleged violations involving abortions performed on 13-year-old patients.” Life Advocacy Briefing has previously reported on those county charges and on the closure of the Klopfer shop in Fort Wayne, leaving him with only a Gary operation.

Besides the complaint about “1,818 counts of submitting incomplete and incorrect terminated pregnancy reports,” the AG’s news release also listed “two counts of failure to timely submit a terminated pregnancy report for 13-year-old patients within three days of the abortion procedure,” a legal requirement designed to aid law enforcement in pursuing the rapist/impregnators and so prevent further abuse.

“Six counts of failure to ensure informed and voluntary consent … through properly credentialed counselors” were added, according to the AG’s release, to “seven counts of failure to ensure [that] informed and voluntary consent was obtained 18 hours prior” to abortion procedures.

Besides the by-now notorious Mr. Klopfer, the AG filed complaints against Resad Pasic, Kathleen Glover and Raymond Robinson. “Each of these abortionists requires stiff discipline in order to impress it upon others that laws are meant to be followed and that they are not above it,” said OR president Troy Newman.


Which One’s Worse for ‘Women’s Health’?

September, 2014, Commentary by Bradley Mattes, executive director, Life Issues Institute

Pro-abortion activists fight for abortion throughout pregnancy for any reason – no exceptions. Their fundamental argument centers on women’s health. But stunning research shows this concern is all smoke and mirrors.

Pro-abortion activists have long tried to claim that abortion is safer than childbirth. For years they’ve touted manipulated numbers, trying in vain to bolster this myth. We’ve always known these statistics were bogus, and a study by Dr. Priscilla Coleman and Dr. David Reardon reveals abortion is much more dangerous to women than giving birth. And the results are sadly even more devastating to women’s health than even I had anticipated.

First, let me vouch for the authors of this research. I know them both to be solid individuals with a reputation for thoroughness. I met Dr. Coleman in Santiago, Chile, while we lectured at their largest university. We again shared an academic podium in Quito, Ecuador, the following year.

Second, allow me to explain why this study is so important. It’s compelling because of its unmatched scope:

  • The study includes a large number of women – nearly one-half-million – experiencing first-time pregnancies.
  • The medical records are profoundly reliable, because the data was compiled from Danish government sources including fertility records of births and stillbirths, the national abortion registry and cause-of-death registry.
  • The study covers an extensive ten-year time period, providing comprehensive long-term data.
  • It analyzes both early and late-term abortion compared to childbirth.

In other words, this isn’t a biased study with a relatively small sample size produced to cater to pro-abortion activists – or any side, for that matter. This research was conducted at the national level, over the course of a decade, providing substantial credibility, a comprehensive level of detail, as well as earning publication in respected medical journals. The reliability has been substantiated, which is why the results are even more troubling.

When it comes to which is safer – abortion or childbirth – the results speak loudly and clearly:

  • During the first six months after an early abortion (12 weeks or less), a woman has double the risk of death compared to giving birth.
  • During the first year follow a late abortion (after 12 weeks), a woman has over three times the risk of death compared to giving birth.

Pro-abortion activists prey on the fear of Americans by perpetuating the myth that if Roe v. Wade is reversed, women will suffer horrific back-alley abortions and tragic deaths. The reality is that under legalized abortion, women are being killed on a much larger scale.

Remember when we heard the news that Planned Parenthood is responsible for 24-year-old Tonya Reaves’s death following a botched abortion. Reports showed that a devastating five-and-a-half hours passed between the time of her abortion and her transport to a local hospital. There’s no record that a 911 call was placed by Planned Parenthood. The autopsy report indicated that her injuries were survivable if she had received proper emergency care in a timely manner.

The only difference between her death and a back-alley abortion death is that Ms. Reaves’s abortion was sanctioned by the US Supreme Court, giving her a false sense of security that the procedure was safe. Now Tonya’s one-year-old son will grow up without a mother. Sadly, there have been additional victims after Tonya’s death. And don’t forget the Gosnell “house of horrors.”

Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities continue to lure young women under the false premise that they perform “women’s healthcare services.”

Abortion isn’t health care. It’s killing. In fact, they’re an industry of death – killing unborn babies and exposing their mothers to a staggering increase risk of death. Let’s not let this grave injustice continue. Share this [information] with those you know and take a stand.

You now have compelling proof that abortion is not safer than childbirth. Help us warn unsuspecting women.


The G.A.O. Report

Commentary by Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins in his Sept. 16, 2014, Washington Update

Today the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a nonpartisan government agency, released a report confirming what FRC has said repeatedly about ObamaCare: It subsidizes abortion. The exchange plans lack transparency, do not comply with the law on the abortion surcharge, and fund elective abortion with taxpayer funds.

The report outlines state-by-state abortion coverage in healthcare plans sold on ObamaCare state exchanges, revealing that over 1,000 plans nationwide cover elective abortion. In fact, in eight states, 95-100% of the plans cover abortion-on-demand.

In New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island and Hawaii, every plan includes elective abortion. Further, every plan that includes elective abortion coverage contains an abortion surcharge, which costs at a minimum of $12 per enrollee annually. (Everyone enrolled in such a plan is required by law to be billed separately from the overall healthcare premium.)

The GAO study reveals, however, that insurers are not billing the surcharge separately and in some instances not even itemizing the cost of the abortion coverage in the overall premium. The accounting gimmick was used by supporters of ObamaCare to claim federal funds are kept separate from abortion. More specifically, GAO found that none of the 18 issuers called had billed the abortion surcharge separately. This single transfer of funds is in direct violation of ObamaCare’s requirements that insurance companies “collect from each enrollee in the plan (without regard to the enrollee’s age, sex or family status) a separate payment.” ACA 1303(a)(2)(B)

Over the past few months, FRC has been actively researching abortion coverage in the ObamaCare state exchanges. FRC has found that information regarding abortion coverage is not transparent due to ObamaCare’s secrecy clause and not uniformly available to customers. In many cases, the information is not provided about abortion coverage until after the plan is purchased.

Because of this lack of transparency, Americans are being forced to play a game of moral Russian roulette when they select a healthcare plan. The GAO’s report reaffirms that the Senate needs to act and pass HR-7/S-946, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion & Abortion Full Insurance Disclosure Act of 2014,” sponsored by US Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) in order to protect taxpayers and offer real transparency.