Life Advocacy Briefing

October 20, 2014

Glad to be Back / High Court Re-opens Abortuary Doors
Elections Have Consequences / California Churches Seek Mandate Relief
Seriously? / RU Needs Review

Glad to be Back

WE’ve BEEN HIT WITH COMPUTER PROBLEMS as well as a family emergency, so Life Advocacy Briefing has been absent from the fray for the past couple of weeks; normally we try to give subscribers a heads-up when we are taking a break, but this one was unplanned, so all we can do is apologize and express thanks that we have been able to get this far in resolving our dilemmas. (We’re not done yet!) We’re glad to be back in the mail, on the fax and in e-mail to bring our readers timely news you can use in the cause of Life. And we ask your prayers in achieving full resolution of the challenges we face.


High Court Re-opens Abortuary Doors

THE SUPREME COURT – without actually hearing the case – late last Tuesday ordered Texas to stop enforcing its newly effective laws imposing health-and-safety standards on abortuaries in the state, only weeks after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals gave Texas authorities the green light.

Many of the abortuaries which were slated for closure are now remaining in business despite their inability and unwillingness to comply with reasonable standards protecting their customers. And 13 closed “clinics” are now expected to reopen, at least until the litigation is resolved.

“Lawyers had told the Court,” reports writer Lyle Denniston, “that, for the time being, there were no licensed facilities to provide abortions anywhere in the state south or west of SanAntonio – ‘an area larger than most states.’” Oh dear! Such an emergency!

State officials had argued, writes Mr. Denniston, that the two measures “were necessary to protect the health of pregnant women in the state. They also argued,” he reports, “that the challengers had exaggerated the practical impact of the new restrictions and that most women would continue to have access to abortions within what they said was a reasonable driving distance. The 5th Circuit, in allowing the restrictions to go into or remain in effect,” notes Mr. Denniston, “had found that they would not impose an ‘undue burden’ on a significant fraction of the women in the state who would need abortion services.”

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards predictably proclaimed relief “‘that the Court stepped in to stop this,’” calling it, as quoted by CBN/News, a “‘dangerous law.’”

Texas Alliance for Life executive director Joe Poyman “had a different take on the court’s decision,” reports CBN/News. “‘This does not protect the health and safety of women who are undergoing abortion,’” he said in the CBN report. “‘This is definitely a short-term loss, but not necessarily,’” he said, “‘a long-term loss.’”

Indeed, the pro-life community looks forward to the day the Supreme Court will actually hear and consider the facts in the case instead of merely knee-jerk responding to the hysterical cries of the abortion cartel.

Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Casey Mattox issued a news release commenting on the ruling and cautioning, “While [the ruling] is disappointing, it should cause no great alarm. The state’s requirement against cut-and-run abortionists remains in effect,” he said, “for all but two abortion facilities. The [Texas] restriction on abortions after 20 weeks on unborn children who can feel pain was never challenged and remains in effect today. Likewise, the limitations on chemical abortions up to seven weeks gestation and prohibiting abortionists from sending women home alone to abort have been upheld and remain in effect. We remain confident,” he added, “that the entirety of Texas’s law will ultimately be upheld.”

Just three Justices – Messrs. Thomas, Alito and Scalia – dissented from last week’s high court order, which, Mr. Denniston reports, “will remain in effect while the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit rules on a Constitutional challenge to the two measures,” which require surgicenter standards for abortuaries and abortionist admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the shop. That last provision was enjoined only for two abortion shops in McAllen and ElPaso; other Texas abortuaries must still comply with the admitting privileges protection.

The high court’s order was neither signed nor explained. The only informational notation released related to the identity of the dissenters.


Elections Have Consequences

VIRGINIA’s ATTORNEY GENERAL SHOWS NO RETICENCE in his embrace of abortion politics over his responsibilities concerning Commonwealth abortion law and protection of vulnerable adolescent girls.

Mark Herring, elected in 2012 to be the state’s chief law enforcement officer along with abortion fanatic Gov. Terry McAuliffe, has issued a ruling, reports Charlie Butts for, “that abortionists only have to report the procedures involving minors if they suspect a parent or a legal guardian is responsible for the unwanted pregnancy. That means,” notes Mr. Butts, “an abortion clinic does not have to report the abortions they perform on girls who have been molested by older men.”

Said Olivia Gans Turner, president of the Virginia Society for Human Life, quoted by Mr. Butts: “‘The actions that Mark Herring has taken as the Commonwealth’s highest law enforcement official are shocking at best and terrifying at worst.’

“[Mrs.] Turner adds that [Mr.] Herring’s action overrules two previous regulations that particularly require healthcare workers to report to authorities,” writes Mr. Butts, “if they suspect a minor girl has been victimized.” Such requirements are common among the states and are not limited to suspicions of incest.

“‘I don’t know at this point what action might be taken by the General Assembly,’” said the leading pro-life spokesman in the Butts story, “‘but it is certainly something that must be considered and looked at seriously, because clearly the current attorney general of Virginia actually does not have the well-being of minor-aged girls in his sights.’”

Mark Herring has clearly met the very definition of the term “extremist” when it comes to his view of the law he is sworn to uphold.


California Churches Seek Mandate Relief

SEVEN CALIFORNIA CHURCHES HAVE FILED A COMPLAINT with the US Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) against the state’s Department of Managed Health Care.

Why? Because all California employers – including churches and religious colleges and universities – are being required to cover elective abortions in their health plans. Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse.

The churches are being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and Life Legal Defense Foundation.

In a statement quoted by Charlie Butts for, ADF senior legal counsel Casey Mattox declared, “‘Forcing a church to be party to elective abortion is one of the most unimaginable assaults on our most fundamental American freedoms.’” Further, he said, “‘California is flagrantly violating the federal law that protects employers from being forced into having abortion in their health insurance plans. … It cannot blatantly ignore federal law,’” he said in the OneNewsNow story, “‘and think that it should continue to receive taxpayer money.’”

In addition to filing for seven churches objecting to the coverage, the two pro-bono legal organizations are also representing “employees at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles,” writes Mr. Butts, “who also don’t want to pay for coverage of elective abortion.”



SOME 3,000 PEOPLE HAVE SUPPOSEDLY SIGNED UP for abortion training in the privacy of their home and the comfort of their pajamas.

Long-time abortion fanatic Jody Steinauer, now an associate professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Services at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), reports National Right to Life’s Randall O’Bannon, has persuaded her employer to offer a six-week Internet course called “Abortion: Quality Care & Public Health Implications.”

“An on-line syllabus,” writes Mr. O’Bannon in National Right to Life News Today, “spends portions of weeks 3 and 4 addressing ‘Clinical aspects of medication abortion, aspiration abortion, post-abortion contraception and pain management of abortion’ and then ‘Clinical aspects of abortion after the first trimester.’ But a large portion of the course seems devoted to the ‘History of abortion and abortion stigma.’”

Ms. Steinauer has devoted much of her career to campaigning for widespread medical school embrace of abortion training. Her on-line course is offered “directly,” writes Mr. O’Bannon, “to ‘any clinician, physician, healthcare worker or student who will care for women of reproductive age.’”

Though the initiative “is done, of course,” writes Mr. O’Bannon, “in the name of addressing ‘unsafe abortion’ and reducing maternal mortality, … the course appears to lack critical information such as how leaving these pregnant women in the hands of personnel who lack basic medical equipment and facilities and have had only a video education is going to enhance these mothers’ safety. It may be on-line instruction,” comments National Right to Life’s director of education and research, “but it sounds like a very bad movie.”


RU Needs Review

Oct. 7, 2014, Commentary by pro-life blogger nurse Jill Stanek, reprinted from via Ill. Federation for Right to Life

A Politico article today about new abortion cases that could reach the Supreme Court gave bare mention of its potential review of RU-486 regulation.

But due [to] a circuit court split on laws regulating the administration of RU-486, such a review looks likely – and promising for the pro-life side.

Quick history of RU-486
In an unprecedented move the FDA approved the abortion pill RU-486 (now known as mifepristone/mifeprex) in 2000 to sell in the US using a fast-track process reserved only for drugs to combat life-threatening diseases, like AIDS.

It seemed obvious at the time, and was later confirmed, that “the Clinton administration pushed the abortion pill through the approval process to appease the abortion lobby,” reported Judicial Watch in 2006 after reviewing newly released documents that showed “the RU-486 approval process was infected by raw politics.”

But pro-lifers have recently begun turning the abortion industry’s political ploy on itself.

Importantly, with the FDA’s fast-track approval came “restricted use,” meaning the agency discourages “off-label” administration of RU-486.

In 14 years the FDA has never deviated from its recommended protocol for RU-486, which requires three doctor visits and specific dosages and routes of administration, all within 49 days from the beginning of a pregnant mother’s last period.

  • Day 1: administer three 200-mg tablets (600 mg total) of RU-486 orally to kill the baby
  • Day 3: administer two 200-mcg tablets (400 mcg total) of Cytotec (misoprostol) orally to expel the baby
  • Day 14: check-up to ensure the abortion was completed.

Violating FDA protocol at every step
But abortion clinics violate FDA protocol in every possible way. A survey of National Abortion Federation members showed only 4% follow FDA guidelines, and Planned Parenthood is the biggest culprit. It owns 158 of 175, or 90%, of all known chemical abortion facilities in the US. According to court documents, Planned Parenthood commits RU-486 abortions up to 63 days from the first day of a pregnant mother’s last period.

It gives only one 200-mg tablet orally at the abortion clinic, then instructs the woman to take one 200-mcg Cytotec at home by letting it dissolve under her tongue (getting into the system faster than if swallowed).

Worse, Planned Parenthood has lately been trying to do all this via telemed – dispensing chemical abortion drugs via remote computer, so the abortionist never comes in contact with the patient.

The pro-abortion claim that “off-label” use of drugs is commonplace is disingenuous, because the pathway by which RU-486 was approved placed it in a restricted category.

Abortion Industry’s cash cow
RU-486 is the abortion industry’s new cash-cow business model, as verified by the surge of Planned Parenthood’s chemical abortion business. A 2014 Guttmacher report indicated that while abortion dropped 13% in 2011, the percentage of chemical abortions increased by 20% from three years earlier, to account for 22.6% of all abortions.

Abortion clinics are obviously trying to cut corners. And safety be damned because, as Americans United for Life [AUL] attorney Mailee Smith noted: “Eight: That’s the number of women who have died from a severe bacterial infection following use of RU-486. In all eight cases, the women were instructed to use the abortion drugs in a way that has not been approved by the FDA.
Zero: That’s the number of women who have died from a severe bacterial infection after using RU-486 in the way approved by the FDA.”

AUL has written model legislation that forces abortion clinics to comply with FDA protocol on RU-486 drug administration. Four states have thus far passed legislation based on AUL’s language: Arizona, North Dakota, Ohio and Oklahoma.

The abortion industry has sued to block all four laws. To date the federal 5th and 6th Circuit Court[s] of Appeals have both ruled in our favor, and the 9th Circuit has ruled in the other side’s favor.

This gives us a “circuit split,” making it more likely the Supreme Court will weigh in.

Supreme Court precedent satisfied
Smith cited three reasons AUL is “confident” the language AUL has encouraged states to adopt falls well within Supreme Court precedent for both the Casey and Gonzales decisions:

  • The first so-called right at issue is the right of a woman to make the ultimate decision to have an abortion, and the regulation of chemical abortion does not interfere with that.
  • The court has said state legislatures are given wide discretion to legislate when there is medical uncertainty over a procedure or regulation. Here we know the unapproved use of RU-486 regimen has been tied to eight deaths. The other side argues that the off-label use did not cause those deaths. What’s important here is the cause is unknown. That is what creates the medical uncertainty.
  • In Gonzales the court upheld the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban in part because there were other commonly used methods still available. If the regulation of chemical abortion means a woman cannot have one because she’s past gestational dates, she still has the option of surgical abortion. Surgical abortion is the most common method, and there is peer-reviewed evidence it’s safer than chemical abortion.

Were SCOTUS to uphold chemical abortion regulations, more state legislatures would be encouraged to regulate them, making abortions harder for the industry to commit.