Life Advocacy Briefing

August 10, 2015

Another Week, Another Video / Senate Attempts Action / Gov. Jindal Takes Action, Again
Gov. Abbott Responds, Too / Sen. McConnell’s ‘Floor’ Speech
Senate Speeches re Defunding Planned Parenthood
Senate Voting Record on Defunding Planned Parenthood

Another Week, Another Video

THE FIFTH VIDEO PROBING PLANNED PARENTHOOD’s DIRTY SECRETS was released last Tuesday, this one focused on PP’s abortion of “intact fetal cadavers” to maximize their production of usable body parts.

The interviewee, a top official at Houston-based Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, boasted of her branch’s baby trafficking prowess (our words, not hers) within the PP network and made clear that fee revenue was her bottom line.

The interview videos can be seen and heard – full length – at the Internet website of the Center for Medical Progress, which conducted the secretly taped interviews at Planned Parenthood shops across the country during the past three years. (


Senate Attempts Action

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY) CAME THROUGH last Monday on his commitment to schedule a debate and vote on S-1881, the legislation proposed by popular first-term Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) to exclude Planned Parenthood from federal funding and reallocate what would have been PP dollars to grants for Community Health Centers and hospitals for the sake of “women’s health.”

Just two Democratic Senators – Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia – voted for the cloture motion to end debate and bring the bill forward for an actual vote. With one Republican – Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois – voting with the majority of Democrats against the needed procedural motion and one Republican – Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina – absent for the vote, the cloture motion failed 53-to-46, needing 60. We publish the roll call at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing, preceded by transcripts of two of the Senate speeches.

Sen. McConnell also voted against the motion, for the purpose of being eligible to file a motion to reconsider the failed vote; he filed that motion as soon as the vote totals were announced and before the Senate broke for the night.

Though the news last week was the shortfall in the Senate, the issue is far from over in Congress; indeed, it is actually just beginning. In fact, by the time Representatives and Senators return to Washington after their month-long August recess, the Planned Parenthood scandal will likely dominate the Congressional scene as Congress moves throughout September toward the Oct. 1 fiscal year appropriation deadline.

We renew our urging of our readers to contact their Representatives and Senators during this “home-district work period” August recess by telephone, by electronic mail and by personal visits to their offices. Our lawmakers – no matter how they may have voted or spoken yet – need to hear from constituents on this issue, and they need to see the videos. Their district office contact information can be obtained from the Internet website or via the reference desk at any public library.


Gov. Jindal Takes Action, Again

LOUISIANA GOV. BOBBY JINDAL HAS CUT OFF Planned Parenthood from the state’s provider agreement furnishing healthcare services to Medicaid recipients. The move was announced last Monday, reports Associated Press (AP) writer Melinda DesLatte.

“[Gov.] Jindal, a Republican running for the GOP Presidential nomination,” notes Ms. DesLatte, “cited the [Center for Medical Progress undercover] videos in his announcement.”

He had previously responded to the disturbing revelations of Planned Parenthood involvement in baby-body-parts trafficking with a directive to the state’s Health & Hospitals Dept. to put a hold on Planned Parenthood’s application for a license to operate a planned “mega” abortuary in New Orleans.

Gov. Jindal last Tuesday, reports the Daily Signal’s Ken McIntyre, went public with a demand “that Planned Parenthood’s affiliate in their state explain discrepancies in what its officials say about harvesting body parts from aborted babies. ‘It’s time,’” said the governor in the McIntyre story, “‘for Planned Parenthood to stop misleading the state in our investigation,’” which came as a result of the first series of videos released by the Center. The affiliate which does its business in Louisiana is Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, the outfit which was featured in the fifth shocking video.

“Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast must ‘reconcile’ its claim to the state agency – that it does not donate or sell organs and other body parts – with what its research chief says,” writes Mr. McIntyre, “in [the] new hidden-camera video about obtaining the best specimens to get a higher price, Gov. Bobby Jindal said.”

Gov. Jindal called the latest video, in which PPGulfCoast research director Melissa Farrell “‘discuss[ed] the harvesting of organs from aborted babies, … disgusting,’” reports the Daily Signal. “‘It is especially concerning,’” said Gov. Jindal in the McIntyre report, “‘given that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast responded to our investigation with a letter just a few weeks ago claiming its organization does not sell or donate any unborn baby organs or body parts. After watching the most recent video,’” said the Governor, quoted by the Daily Signal, “‘it certainly appears Planned Parenthood representatives are being less than truthful in their responses to our investigation so far.’”

The report goes on to quote – and ultimately to reprint in full – a letter sent to PPGulfCoast by Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the state’s Department of Health & Hospitals, stating in part: “‘In light of this new video, the Department is extremely concerned that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, its close associate Planned Parenthood Center for Choice (PPCFC) or both have not only participated in the sale or donation of fetal tissue but also deliberately misinformed the Department about this practice in its July 24 response letter.’

“She goes on,” reports the Daily Signal, “to ask nine pointed questions about the extent to which PPGulfCoast and its associate PPCenter for Choice receive compensation for donating, selling or otherwise transferring ‘unborn baby organs or baby parts.’ …

“The letter ask for a response by Aug. 14,” writes Mr. McIntyre, “as ‘part of an ongoing investigation.’”

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), who led attempts while in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood before the recent revelations elevated his policy initiative to a political imperative, might do well to take note of Gov. Jindal’s persistence in probing Planned Parenthood’s activities and the Louisiana governor’s aggressive response. He might do well, in particular, to take note of this most recent revelation that the Louisiana affiliate appears to have lied to state investigators.

In a July 31 report by Chelsea Schneider and Stephanie Wang of, Gov. Pence was quoted as “pleased with the ‘swift’ manner of the state’s investigation into local Planned Parenthood abortion clinics that found they were complying with state regulations … .” The story indicates the state Health Department’s exoneration of the Indiana affiliate was based on “documents provided by Planned Parenthood.”


Gov. Abbott Responds, Too

TEXAS GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R) LAST WEEK ORDERED “a probe of Planned Parenthood’s activities in his state,” reports Ken McIntyre for The Daily Signal. The order came in the wake of the fifth video, which focused on baby-body marketing out of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, headquartered in Houston.

He issued the following statement, quoted by Mr. McIntyre: “‘The latest video showing Planned Parenthood’s treatment of unborn children in a Houston clinic is repulsive and unconscionable. Selling baby body parts is the furthest thing imaginable from providing women’s health care, and this organization’s repeated and systematic disrespect for human life is appalling. The state of Texas is aggressively investigating this matter and must use all available legal remedies to address this depraved conduct.’”


Sen. McConnell’s ‘Floor’ Speech

Statement to the Senate by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as published by his office

The revelations we’ve seen from Planned Parenthood are deeply disturbing. They raise real fundamental questions about what kind of society we want to be.

I thank Senators Ernst, Paul, Lankford and a number of others for accepting my invitation to lead the effort on the Senate’s response. The legislation they worked to develop is all about restoring America’s commitment to care and compassion. It would fund women’s health, not Planned Parenthood. And we’ll take a vote to advance it tonight.

Instead of subsidizing a political group, this bill would protect federal funding for health services for women. Instead of subsidizing a political group, this bill would ensure funds continue to flow to community health centers and hospitals that provide more comprehensive health services – and have many more facilities nationwide.

And instead of subsidizing a political group, this bill would help women receive health services like screenings, prenatal and postnatal care, well-child care, diagnostic laboratory and radiology services, immunizations and other care they need.

That’s a true commitment to women’s health. That’s real compassion.

I know Democrats have relied on Planned Parenthood as an ally recently. But they must be moved by the horrifying images we’ve seen. They must be shocked by the utter lack of compassion that’s been on display. They must care about women’s health at least as much as they care about some scandal-plagued political organization.

That’s why, tonight, I’m asking them to truly reflect on what’s important. I’m asking them not to block this funding for women’s health just to protect some political group mired in scandal.

Women deserve better. Our country deserves better.


Senate Speeches re Defunding Planned Parenthood

Aug. 3, 2015, speeches in Senate debate; transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing; expect more in a future edition

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) … excerpt: I believe elected officials have a basic duty to stop sending tax dollars to an organization mired in scandal and likely illicit activity. It is time for us to come together and support truly compassionate care for women and their unborn children. It is time to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and to use that money for its original intent, which is providing resources and care for women’s health.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) … chief sponsor of S-1881: I rise today to speak on an issue that has shaken the moral compass of our society.

The phrase “It’s a boy!” is one we often use when celebrating new life. Instead this was spoken by a Planned Parenthood employee as the body of an unborn baby boy was picked apart and harvested for organs, like a liver, kidneys and heart.

We’ve watched as other Planned Parenthood employees talked about “less crunchy” techniques to preserve baby organs for buyers and grumbled about war-torn unborn babies before being sold for parts.

While it would be easier to ignore these videos, today we are standing up and shining a light on what is really happening. This is human life, and Planned Parenthood, the nation’s single largest provider of abortion services, is harvesting baby body parts.

The American people are shocked and horrified by the utter lack of compassion and disregard shown by Planned Parenthood for these women and their babies. This gruesome footage resonates within our collective conscience, as it goes against the very principles that we stand for. …The gravity of Planned Parenthood’s callous and morally reprehensible behavior cannot be ignored.

I am committed to defending life, because protecting the most vulnerable is an important measure of any society. I am proud to stand before you today with forty-five co-sponsors and offer legislation that will defund Planned Parenthood while safeguarding funding for women’s health services.

This legislation prohibits federal funding for Planned Parenthood, protects federal funding for women’s health services like prenatal and post-partum care, cervical and breast cancer screenings, diagnostic  laboratory and radiology services, and it guarantees there is no reduction in overall federal funding available to support women’s health.

This legislation redirects federal funding, taking from Planned Parenthood, to other, eligible entities that provide health services for women, like Community Health Centers and hospitals. There would be absolutely no reduction in overall federal funding available to support women’s health.

Community Health Centers provide more comprehensive, primary and preventative healthcare services – except abortion – regardless of a person’s ability to pay. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood facilities do not perform in-house mammograms.

The American taxpayer should not be asked to fund an organization like Planned Parenthood that has shown a sheer disdain for human dignity and complete disregard for women and their babies.

These videos are hard for anyone to defend, and [they] pull back the curtain on Planned Parenthood’s careless practice of rummaging for unborn baby organs to be harvested and sold at a price.

I leave you with this one question: Who do we want to be as a nation?

Before us today is an opportunity to vote for legislation that will protect the most vulnerable – and women’s health.


Senate Voting Record on Defunding Planned Parenthood

Cloture Motion on S-1881 – Defund Planned Parenthood – Aug. 3, 2015 – Failed – 53-46 (needing 60) (Democrats in italics; “Independents” marked “I”)

Voting “yes”/pro-life: Sessions & Shelby/AL, Murkowski & Sullivan/AK, Flake & McCain/AZ, Boozman & Cotton/AR, Gardner/CO, Rubio/FL, Isakson & Perdue/GA, Crapo & Risch/ID, Coats & Donnelly/IN, Ernst & Grassley/IA, Moran & Roberts/KS, Paul/KY, Cassidy & Vitter/LA, Collins/ME, Cochran & Wicker/MS, Blunt/MO, Daines/MT, Fischer & Sasse/NE, Heller/NV, Ayotte/NH, Burr & Tillis/NC, Hoeven/ND, Portman/OH, Inhofe & Lankford/OK, Toomey/PA, Scott/SC, Rounds & Thune/SD, Alexander & Corker /TN, Cornyn & Cruz/TX, Hatch & Lee/UT, Capito & Manchin/WV, Johnson/WI, Barrasso & Enzi/WY.

Voting “no”/anti-life: Boxer & Feinstein/CA, Bennet/CO, Blumenthal & Murphy/CT, Carper & Coons/DE, Nelson/FL, Hirono & Schatz/HI, Durbin & Kirk/IL, McConnell*/KY, King (I)/ME, Cardin & Mikulski/MD, Markey & Warren/MA, Peters & Stabenow/MI, Franken & Klobuchar/MN, McCaskill/MO, Tester/MT, Reid/NV, Shaheen/NH, Booker & Menendez/NJ, Heinrich & Udall/NM, Gillibrand & Schumer/NY, Heitkamp/ND, Brown/OH, Merkley & Wyden/OR, Casey/PA, Reed & Whitehouse/RI, Leahy & Sanders (I)/VT, Kaine & Warner/VA, Cantwell & Murray/WA, Baldwin/WI.

Not Voting: Graham/SC.

* Sen. McConnell’s “no” vote was to qualify him to file a “motion to reconsider” in case the opportunity arises to bring back an attempt to pass S-1881 as a free-standing measure.