Life Advocacy Briefing

June 8, 2015

Iffy Schedule / ‘Pain-Capable’ Protection Act Good Enough for West Virginia
What’s Wrong with a Sonogram? / Texas Lawmakers Step Up Defunding Campaign
Shrinking? / Worthy New Venture / Planned Parenthood a ‘Safe Haven’?
Noteworthy Quote / Whoa!

Iffy Schedule

BECAUSE OF IMMINENT TRAVEL PLANS, the schedule for publishing Life Advocacy Briefing will be uncertain for the next couple of weeks. We do not prefer to suspend publication while Congress is in session, but our ability to stay on schedule while traveling is “iffy,” as we write. We will publish if we can, but we ask our readers please not to expect us before the June 29 edition, which we plan to publish around June 26.


‘Pain-Capable’ Protection Act Good Enough for West Virginia

WHILE THE PAIN-CAPABLE UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ACT SITS in the US Senate without having been referred to committee, the late-term abortion ban has taken effect in West Virginia without legal challenge.

“‘We’re very proud to be the eleventh state to pass the bill and the ninth state to have it go into full effect without being challenged,’” commented West Virginians for Life president Dr. Wanda Franz, who is the former president of National Right to Life, in a report for by Charlie Butts.

“Pain-capable” protection laws are being challenged in court in just two states. Though the abortion industry passionately opposes this threat to their killing business, the risk of losing a court challenge against such legislation is high. And that loss could be in the ultimate venue: the US Supreme Court. That is why some abortion advocates have been reluctant to trumpet the federal district court ruling against Idaho’s 20-week ban; that ruling was upheld – blocking enforcement of the law – just last week by the notoriously left-wing 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, potentially paving the way for a high court hearing.

For her part, Dr. Franz explained to Mr. Butts in the interview that she “‘would not have objected at all to being able to see the [West Virginia] bill go into the courts and have it tested. … We believe it’s Constitutional; we believe that it would be upheld … . [Still] It’s wonderful,’” she said, “‘to have it in effect.’” Its effect on the late-term abortion trade is likely to be substantial, and that is life-saving. What is more, the measure’s popularity was shown by the legislature’s eager override of the West Virginia governor’s ill-advised veto.

Next stop: US Senate? We ask our readers to contact Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at 1-202/224-3135 and urge him to schedule a vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act as soon as he can ascertain likelihood of its passage. And we ask our readers further to contact your own home-state Senators via the Capitol switchboard (1-202/224-3121) and ask them to vote for and advocate the Pain-Capable Protection Act.


What’s Wrong with a Sonogram?

SO WISCONSIN’s GOVERNOR THINKS ULTRASOUND TECHNOLOGY IS ‘COOL’ and had the nerve – in July of 2013 – to sign legislation requiring abortion customers to undergo ultrasonography before having their children killed. He said at the time, quoted by the Associated Press, that the law – ninth in the nation at the time – would “‘improve a woman’s ability to make an informed choice that will protect her physical and mental health now and in the future.’”

What a controversial view! That a licensed medical doctor should fully inform a woman about to undergo surgery or chemical treatment about the consequences of the procedure.

But Gov. Scott Walker has two strikes against him in the media world: First, he is pro-life; and, second, he is contemplating a campaign for the Republican nomination for President.

Those characteristics, as far as the mainstream – and left-wing – media are concerned, apparently disqualify him from expressing an opinion on legislation which he himself signed.

“The Republican Presidential hopeful found himself on the receiving end of a media feeding frenzy,” writes Ben Johnson for, “as several leading mainstream media outlets misquoted him and implied that he thought forcing women to undergo an invasive transvaginal ultrasound was a ‘cool thing.’”

The frenzy stemmed from comments he made, notes Mr. Johnson, “in a conversation with Dana Loesch, a talkshow host with 97.1 FM in St. Louis. ‘Most people I talk to – whether they’re pro-life or not,’” he said, quoted by Mr. Johnson – “‘I find people all the time will get out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids’ ultrasound and how excited they are. That’s a lovely thing,’ he said. ‘My sons are 19 and 20. We still have their ultrasound picture; it’s a cool thing out there.’”

We find it unsurprising that the abortion lobby and their media allies have difficulty relating to someone who sees an ultrasound photo as “cool” – or that they would intentionally, even fiercely, seek to smear a normal dad for offering such a warm endorsement of fatherhood and of the human nature of the unborn child.

However Gov. Walker’s campaign develops – if it does – we look forward to more common sense from Wisconsin’s governor, as we do from his fellow candidates of apparent patriotic motivation and shared American values.


Texas Lawmakers Step Up Defunding Campaign

WHEN PUBLIC OFFICIALS ARE SERIOUS ABOUT A POLICY INITIATIVE – and are rewarded by re-election giving them extended tenure in office – persistence can reinforce policy.

Such developments are apparent in the Texas Legislature’s pursuit of Planned Parenthood defunding.

“Three years ago,” notes Fr. Mark Hodges, reporting for, “Texas lawmakers took Planned Parenthood off the Medicaid-based Women’s Health Program, which doles out contraception. The Republican-led legislature,” he reports, “slashed the state’s budget for ‘family planning’ by two-thirds in 2011 in an effort to prevent health providers even loosely affiliated with abortion providers – like Planned Parenthood – from receiving state tax dollars.”

But during the current legislative session, Planned Parenthood funding eligibility was uncovered in another budget line, and the lawmakers took action. “Updated budget language removes Planned Parenthood from the Breast & Cervical Cancer Services (BCCS) program,” writes Fr. Hodges, “by stipulating that providers must be eligible for the Texas Women’s Health Program” – certainly a reasonable requirement. But the Texas Women’s Health Program was the very program from which Planned Parenthood was – and still is – excluded by law.

This spring’s tightening of the state budget screws, reports Fr. Hodge, “costs Planned Parenthood approximately $1.2 million a year in taxpayer money.”

And the abortion behemoth’s Texas spokesman “complained to the Austin Chronicle,” writes Fr. Hodge. “‘Once again,’” Planned Parenthood’s Yvonne Gutierrez said, “‘Texas legislators have ignored their constituents and jeopardized the lives of Texas women. … We will fight this shameful attack … .’” Right.



TWO MIDWEST PLANNED PARENTHOOD SHOPS CLOSED the last weekend in May, one in Des Moines, Iowa, and one in Grandview, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City.

The Des Moines facility, which called itself “myHealth Express,” according to a report by Dustin Siggins, did not offer on-site abortions but did refer vulnerable mothers for baby-killing operations. Des Moines Right to Life has been raising the alarm about the deceptive allure of the supposedly “colds and flu” clinic since 2013.

The closure brings to 13 the number of Iowa abortion shops to have closed in recent years. The Iowa abortion death toll has dropped by about one-third, reports Mr. Siggins, between 2007 and 2013. Iowa is left with nine shops where abortion is committed and four other Planned Parenthood locations which refer customers for the deed.

In western Missouri, Planned Parenthood for many years occupied space in the same building as a pregnancy resource center called Women’s Clinic of Kansas City; in fact, according to Live Action News, the two facilities “shared a wall. …

“On Sunday [May 31], the Women’s Clinic became the only one with an active business, when the Grandview, Missouri, Planned Parenthood quietly shuttered for good.” Live Action News describes the abortion shop as “an active feeder facility … that sent women to its large facility in neighboring Overland Park, Kansas. It also,” notes LAN, “provided the morning-after pill.”

LAN attributes the closure in part to the Life Initiatives department at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, which “used the common wall as a place of prayer.” Said the prayer team’s leader in the LAN report, “‘We would lay hands on the common wall and pray for the Planned Parenthood to turn into a center for Life. For a solid year and a-half,’” he said, “‘we prayed and saw more and more young women come to the Women’s Clinic instead of the Planned Parenthood.’”

The prayers availed much, evidently, as the team leader noted in the LAN report, “that as time went on, they learned that ‘the numbers of women increased for the Women’s Clinic and decreased for the Planned Parenthood. … It was like they just didn’t want to go in there any more.’”

LAN points out the demographic significance of the closing of Planned Parenthood in Grandview, a town of fewer than 25,000 people, some 40.8% of whom are of African-American descent. This made Grandview “a prime market,” notes LAN, “for Planned Parenthood.”


Worthy New Venture

ONE OF THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT’s MORE INNOVATIVE ORGANIZATIONS – Colorado Springs-based Save the Storks – is offering a sexual health kit that could intercept many of Planned Parenthood’s most vulnerable customers.

It’s called “Assure Me,” and it consists of easily marketed product kits including self-administered tests for pregnancy, sexually transmitted infection or date rape, along with feminine products. Included in the Assure Me brochure is a pledge that condoms will “at no time” be included in such kits.

“Assure Me dispensers,” the brochure states, “offer products to women in venues that have previously been out of reach for pregnancy resource centers, such as bars, night clubs, restaurants, rest areas, convenience stores [and] universities.” Additionally, the brochure indicates the group is “able to provide women who may be victims of sex trafficking with a number to call for help and freedom.”

Pregnancy centers and others who may wish to promote or provide for the installation of Assure Me dispensers may contact the group at 1-970/387-8675.


Planned Parenthood a ‘Safe Haven’?

IN WHAT COULD BE TERMED ‘THE IRONY OF THE DECADE,’ Planned Parenthood of Northern New England is calling its Vermont operation “a safe place” for distressed mothers to abandon their babies.

The state has approved Planned Parenthood, reports Fr. Mark Hodges for,
“as a safe haven for newborns up to 30 days old.” That is, if they succeed in becoming born.

Vermont’s Baby Safe Haven Law defines acceptable safe havens, writes Fr. Hodges, “as any ‘fire or police station, healthcare facility, place of worship [or] adoption agency licensed in Vermont.’ Parents may deliver a child younger than 30 days old to any ‘safe haven’ in the state, no questions asked. That,” notes Fr. Hodges, “includes Planned Parenthood.”

Planned Parenthood’s ad promoting its new service offers to aid the distressed mother “‘with medical care, counselling referrals and more,’” Drop off your baby, in other words, and become a Planned Parenthood customer for future “needs!”

The LifeSiteNews story quotes a pro-life speaker, Monica Kelsey, “who was safely abandoned at a hospital in Indiana in 1973 [and] posted a picture of the Planned Parenthood ad on her Facebook page asking, ‘Say What?

“‘Are they serious??’ [Ms.] Kelsey commented,” quoted in the Hodges story. “‘I called and asked to make sure, and, yep: You can relinquish your child at Planned Parenthood a few minutes after it was legal for them to rip the child apart through abortion.’”


Noteworthy Quote

GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum (former US Senator from Pennsylvania), quoted by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in his FRC Action memo of June 1, 2015: “I think it’s important to understand that the Supreme Court doesn’t have the final word. It has its word. Its word has validity. But it’s important for Congress and the President, frankly, to push back when the Supreme Court gets it wrong.”



Major excerpt from May 29, 2015, report by Drew Belsky

Around 20% of hospital patients condemned as “brain-dead” are misdiagnosed – that is, those patients could be conscious and likely to recover. In fact, they may be as likely to respond to questions as healthy patients – they just lack the ability to communicate with the outside world.

Neurosurgeon Adrian Owen of the University of Western Ontario and his colleagues performed brain scans on hospital patients diagnosed as being in what some call a “persistent vegetative state” – i.e., completely unresponsive and lacking brain activity. They asked the patients questions, and a brain scan showed that “a significant proportion” of the patients, despite showing no external response, answered the questions mentally.

“We’ve seen a lot of patients,” all of them diagnosed as being in the vegetative state,” Owen reported in his neurological study in 2006. “And about one in five of them [is] entirely unresponsive at the bedside but will reliably produce these [brain] activity patterns in the scanner.”

Owen, joined by neuroscientist Lorina Naci, followed up his work with a second study in 2014 that found that non-responsive patients’ reactions to stimuli were “nearly identical” to those of healthy control subjects. These findings have profound implications for the “death with dignity” or pro-euthanasia movement, whose adherents support the right to have doctors kill non-responsive people.

There is a problem of definitions in the euthanasia debate, which is heated and controversial. Doctors and others squabble over what constitutes consciousness, and thus when non-responsive patients can be deprived of life-preserving care.

“The problem for people working on consciousness is that none of us can agree on what it actually means,” Owen has said.

Similarly, doctors draw distinctions among states of non-responsiveness. A patient who is “minimally conscious” is more responsive than one “in a vegetative state,” who is in turn more likely to recover than a patient in a coma. While “vegetative” patients are “awake but not aware,” comatose patients are neither awake nor aware.

What Owen’s work shows is that one in five patients diagnosed as “vegetative” is in fact “minimally conscious.” These patients are at significant risk of being killed by hospitals. …