Life Advocacy Briefing

March 30, 2015

Blessings / Session Break / Pending in the Senate / Kudos to Kansas
Battle Is On in New York State / Step Forward in Arkansas
Another Assault: ‘Provide Abortions or Get Out’


AS EASTER APPROACHES, we wish our readers a fresh encounter with the blessing of the grace and freedom offered by the sacrifice and resurrection of our Lord.

We anticipate taking a week off from Life Advocacy Briefing during this time of reflection and celebration and expect to resume publishing on April 10 with our April 13 edition.


Session Break

OUR LAWMAKERS IN WASHINGTON HAVE BEGUN THEIR EASTER RECESS and are expected back in session the week of April 13. Many Members of Congress and Senators will be in their home areas; these two weeks could be a good time to seek an appointment to discuss matters of Life and to urge them to vote according to the principles of our Declaration of Independence, wherein our Founders underscored their conviction that Life is the paramount right conferred on mankind by our great Creator. Their home-office contact information is available for many through


Pending in the Senate

SENATORS SPENT THE LAST WEEK OF THEIR PRE-BREAK SESSION wrangling over the budget for the coming fiscal year. Consequently, the fight over the Hyde Amendment language in S-178 – Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking – will continue past the Easter recess. Readers should be prepared for resumption of this key battle immediately after the Senate returns; indeed, this would be a critical topic for those in-office recess visits or for your phone calls to Senators while they are home. They can be called at both their local offices and still via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121; some staff will continue to function on Capitol Hill during recess.

Also still pending in the Senate is the nomination of abortion advocate Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has vowed the Senate will not take up the Lynch nomination until after S-178 has been resolved. We thank Sen. McConnell for standing up to the White House and the national media in this matter, and we urge our readers to contact their own Senators in opposition to Ms. Lynch before Sen. Richard Durbin’s partisan-inspired racism charges weaken their resolve.


Kudos to Kansas

LEGISLATION BARRING DISMEMBERMENT ABORTIONS HAS ADVANCED in Kansas, passing the House last Wednesday by 98 to 26. SB-95 had already passed the Senate by a 31-to-9 roll call on Feb. 20. The measure now goes to Gov. Sam Brownback (R), who has indicated he will sign it.

Kansas is the first state to have taken up this form of abortion ban, a key legislative goal of the National Right to Life Committee. It outlaws a “particularly gruesome abortion method in which a living unborn child in her mother’s womb is ripped apart into pieces by an abortionist using sharp metal tools,” according to Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director for Kansans for Life, in a report published by NRL.

Though cruel and repugnant, this method of abortion is common practice, according to the National Abortion Federation trade group, used in 96% of second- and late-term abortions.

The legislation would protect innocent developing babies from the abortionist’s knife. Its consideration in legislatures – and eventually Congress – is a key vehicle for alerting the public to the gruesome reality of abortion.

“‘Abortion is evil,’” said Rep. Mike Kiegerl (R-Olathe) in the House debate, quoted by Associated Press (AP) writers John Hanna and Nick Viviani. “‘And the procedure we’re discussing today,’” he said, “‘is the ultimate evil.’”

Rep. Becky Hutchins (R-Holton) “spoke up” in the legislative debate, reports Ms. Ostrowski, “for the victim of dismemberment abortion, the ‘living’ unborn child. Then,” writes Ms. Ostrowski, “she talked about the ‘three D’s’ that follow from such abortions. ‘Tearing a developed fetus apart, limb by limb,’” she said in debate, “‘is an act of depravity that society should not permit. We cannot afford such a devaluation of human life,’” Rep. Hutchins declared, “‘nor the desensitization of medical personnel it requires.’” An excellent point, seldom mentioned by pro-life debaters.

“She added,” writes Ms. Ostrowski, “that beyond the excruciating pain the unborn child would feel, there is the impact on us in ‘watching an exquisite, partly formed human being dismembered.’”

It is our opinion that such debate around this measure – as well as publicized efforts taken by the abortion industry to resist its passage and enforcement – will move Americans toward a more informed, pro-life view of the abortion controversy, just as the 1990s legislation banning Partial-Birth Abortion did. Sunlight is a powerful disinfectant, even when the implications of such debate are painful.

Even the US Supreme Court was disturbed by this method of abortion during its deliberation on the Partial-Birth Ban. In Stenberg v. Carhart, notes Ms. Ostrowski, the justices “closely examined the gruesome methods of both Partial-Birth and D&E/Dismemberment abortions.” There was discussion among the Justices about whether the law banning partial-birth abortions should be dismissed based on the fact that the Partial-Birth Ban would not cover D&E/Dismemberment methods. “‘Those who oppose abortion would agree, indeed would insist that both procedures are subject to the most severe moral condemnation, condemnation reserved for the most repulsive human conduct,’” the Court wrote in its PBA Ban decision upholding the Partial-Birth Ban. Go ahead, abortion cartel, take the Dismemberment Ban to court.

It is especially fitting that Kansas should be the first state to enact this groundbreaking legislation, since this state has in past decades been notorious as the most prominent home of late-term abortions, hosting as it did – under former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) – the horrendous practice of the late George Tiller in Wichita.

Oklahoma is expected to follow soon in Kansas’s footsteps. A dismemberment ban has passed the Oklahoma House and is expected to be considered soon – possibly this week – in the state Senate.

A detailed illustration of the Dilation & Evacuation – dismemberment – method of abortion can be viewed via the National Right to Life website.


Battle Is On in New York State

THE NEW YORK SENATE IS BECOMING A FOCUS for pro-life citizens from across the country, as the New York Assembly – the legislature’s Democrat-dominated lower house – has now passed an extreme abortion expansion measure originally proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) as part of a 10-point “Women’s Equality Act.” The abortion section proved so radical that it was dropped last year in the interest of passing the rest of his agenda on his way to election for his second term. The State Senate is currently under narrow Republican control.

AB-6221 “would change existing New York state law,” reports National Right to Life (NRL) News, “which currently allows for abortion in the third trimester when the mother’s life is in danger, to allow abortion-on-demand throughout all nine months. The law would be changed to allow abortion for any reason deemed ‘relevant to the well-being of the patient,’ including physical, emotional, psychological and familial factors and the mother’s age.” (These are the factors which, under the Supreme Court’s Doe v. Bolton decision – Jan. 22, 1973, companion to Roe v. Wade – have blocked states from enforcing late-term bans like the one still on the books in New York.)

Wiping New York’s late-term ban from the statutes via AB-6221, reports NRL News, would show the lawmakers have “no interest in the life of the living, developed, unborn human child, stripping away any protections the smallest members of our human family have. …

“‘Expanding cruel and brutal third-trimester abortions,’” said Lori Kehoe, executive director of New York State Right to Life, quoted by NRL News, “‘has long been a goal of the anti-Life lobby, who never met an abortion they didn’t like. … With no regard for the fully developed unborn baby who is violently dismembered or otherwise killed, the New York State Assembly once again,’” she declared, “‘put the abortion lobby above New York State women and their children. …

“‘We look once again to the Senate to hold the line in defense of the children,’” said Ms. Kehoe in the NRL News report, “‘which happens also to be in accordance with the will of the rest of the people. … It is ridiculous,’” she declared, “‘that in 2015, with all the technology at our disposal, we are still arguing whether or not an eight-month-old baby in the womb deserves protection.’”

Mrs. Kehoe expressed doubt “‘that our descendants will look kindly upon this period in our history, when we [sic] fought for the right to dismember babies weeks, days and even minutes before birth.’”


Step Forward in Arkansas

SIGNING ARKANSAS’s NEW LAW CONTROLLING THE DISPENSING of the abortion drug, RU-486, must be of special satisfaction for Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), for it was his own brother, then-Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-AR) who sought in 2001 to enact federal legislation regulating the same deadly drug.

The new Arkansas legislation requires abortionists in Arkansas to follow federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA) protocols in dispensing the drug, including barring its use in abortions targeting babies who have developed beyond the seventh week. Having developed its own RU policies, Planned Parenthood has violated FDA protocols ever since the drug was unleashed on the US market in the waning days of the Clinton Administration.

The legislation also, according to Charlie Butts, writing for, “includes a ban on ‘telemed’ or webcam abortions,” a scheme by which Planned Parenthood dispenses RU-486 remotely to customers who are never physically examined even by a Planned Parenthood doctor.

The Arkansas legislation follows closely a model developed by Americans United for Life (AUL), whose legal counsel Dan McConchie was quoted by Mr. Butts calling attention to “‘more than 2,200 cases of severe adverse events when women have taken RU-486, including things like hemorrhaging, blood loss to the point that they have to get transfusions and serious infections … . At least 14 women have died,’” Mr. McConchie noted in the OneNewsNow story.

Explaining the typical RU dispensing tactic, Mr. McConchie told Mr. Butts: “‘A woman will come in and take the drugs and then she essentially self-aborts at home. … And what this Arkansas law does is, it requires a physical examination of the woman and then requires that she come back in order to have another examination before she has any sort of additional drugs.’ Then there are follow-up, post-abortion exams,” explains Mr. Butts, “to make sure the woman doesn’t experience the complications associated with chemical abortions and to be certain the abortion has been complete.” In cases where baby parts are left inside the mother, serious infection and even death to the mother can result.

The new law will take effect next Jan. 1. It passed the State Senate March 17 by a vote of 26 to 5, having passed the Arkansas House earlier in March on a 61-to-7 roll call.


Another Assault: ‘Provide Abortions or Get Out’

March 23, 2015, commentary by Elissa Graves of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), reprinted from Pregnancy Help News

The federal government appears to care more about advancing its abortion agenda than it cares for the lives of sexually abused children.

The Obama Administration issued a rule … in recent months that requires relief organizations that provide certain kinds of services to refugee children, or “unaccompanied minors in government custody (UCs),” to provide access to “pregnancy related services” if the children have been sexually assaulted. The US Dept. of Health & Human Services has confirmed … that such services include abortion.

HHS states that its rationale … for the rule is that “[s]exual violence and abuse are an assault on human dignity and have devastating lifelong mental and physical effects on an individual,” and that the agency “seeks to ensure the safety and security of all UCs in its care.” But then there’s this: the rule forces the majority of organizations – that is, faith-based organizations – that provide social services to these children to provide abortions to them. …

According to several Evangelical and Catholic groups …, six out of nine national refugee resettlement agencies are faith-based organizations. These organizations resettle a majority of refugees, which includes children, entering the United States every year. These organizations also largely hold pro-life beliefs.

The rule contains no exception for faith-based organizations in its text but provides three “accommodations” when the organization is not the actual provider of the services. None of these purported “solutions” properly considers that many faith-based organizations object to providing or facilitating access to abortion. The government cannot run roughshod over their freedom of conscience. The rule is not only wrong, it is also quite likely illegal and unconstitutional.

Each option requires the organization in some way to provide access to abortion services. An objecting organization may serve as a sub-grantee as long as another sub-grantee provides abortions, it may partner with an organization that provides them, or it may refer the refugee child to the government to obtain an abortion. This, for most – if not all – pro-life relief organizations is quite obviously unacceptable, but if they refuse to comply with the rule, they will lose federal aid. …

The administration has spoken: Provide abortions or get out. The US government is effectively crippling a majority of service providers that care for refugee children in their most dire moments following sexual assault. The administration claims that sexual violence is an “assault on human dignity,” but then it takes away vital services from children who have suffered such violence. Nothing about this is dignified. The rule puts a political agenda above the health and safety of abused children.

Unsurprisingly, groups such as the ACLU … and Planned Parenthood … advocate whole-heartedly for requiring organizations to provide access to abortion for vulnerable children. They condemn the inclusion of any religious exception because doing so would allegedly cause harm to the refugee children in government custody. But the opposite is true.

Since faith-based organizations are the majority provider of services, a rule requiring faith-based organizations to provide access to abortion means that objecting organizations will either be forced to stop providing services altogether or cut back significantly on the services they offer due to a loss in federal funding. So the abortion lobby wants to provide reduced services to sexually abused children? How does this help children?

Faith-based relief organizations provide a valuable service to the thousands of refugee children entering the United States each year, providing them with shelter, food, medical care, counseling and countless other services. The government’s unjust rule leaves faith-based organizations opposed to abortion with an unthinkable choice that does no one any good: Violate your faith and provide access to abortions or forego vital funding critical for serving needy children.

If the federal government truly cared about the well-being of those children, it would not force these organizations to make such a choice.