Life Advocacy Briefing

September 14, 2015

Judiciary Committee Opens Probe / Taking Truth to Power
For Rep. Collins, It’s Personal / There Goes California
Democratic Candidates – on the Record / Sanger Worship: Threat to Justice
Worthy Testimony

Judiciary Committee Opens Probe

PLANNED PARENTHOOD’s INVOLVEMENT in aborted baby parts trafficking was top on the agenda of the US House Committee on the Judiciary last Wednesday, as the panel hosted the first of several expected Capitol Hill hearings into the scandal which has enveloped the nation’s abortion cartel chief throughout the summer. The scandal was touched off by a series of investigative videos – still being released – undertaken by the non-profit Center for Medical Progress (CMP) (

Characteristically fronting for Planned Parenthood, Ranking Member Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) led off PP’s fellow travelers with the statement, “‘No reliable evidence demonstrates that Planned Parenthood violated the law.’” His comments were quoted in a hearing report by Kelsey Harkness and Leah Jessen in The Daily Signal. A little premature, since the committee had yet to hear “evidence” one way or the other.

The committee’s chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), cited the CMP’s evidence, which has been widely viewed by the public and by responsible committee members, in declaring in the Harkness/Jessen story: “‘There is no question that the [CMP undercover] videos are deeply disturbing on a human level.’”

Clarifying the broader purpose of the Committee’s probe, Chairman Goodlatte said, reports The Daily Signal, “‘There are questions regarding whether there are gaps in the law that should be filled to prevent the types of horrors depicted in the videos. There are questions regarding whether or not existing federal laws have been violated. The Committee,’” he noted, “‘is aggressively seeking answers to these questions.’”

We applaud Rep. Goodlatte’s apparent determination to apply justice and mercy to the evidence and not simply to permit Planned Parenthood to trample on American principles by technicalities and subterfuge, as their puny defenses and excuses have demonstrated throughout the summer. If politicians like Rep. Conyers rely, for their own political purposes, on PP’s accounting gimmicks to evade responsibility for their profiting from the dismemberment trade, we would remind him of the adage, “Figures can lie and liars can figure.”


Taking Truth to Power

AMONG THE WITNESSES who brought reality to the table at the Judiciary hearing was Gianna Jessen, who survived a saline abortion and whose consequent experience with cerebral palsy has given her a special platform to speak on both abortion and disability rights. And she delivered a powerful message.

“‘I would ask Planned Parenthood the following questions,’” she said in her testimony, reported by The Daily Signal. “‘If abortion is about women’s rights, then what were mine?’” She elaborated, report Kelsey Harkness and Leah Jessen, still addressing the nation’s chief abortion purveyor: “‘You continuously use the argument, “If the baby is disabled, we need to terminate the pregnancy,” as if you can determine the quality of someone’s life. Is my life less valuable due to my cerebral palsy?’”

Miss Jessen fired a specific shot at Planned Parenthood based on musings by a PP baby-parts negotiator dreaming aloud of her own financial goals in one of this summer’s undercover videos. Miss Jessen asked, in her public testimony, quoted by The Daily Signal: “‘How many Lamborghinis were purchased with the blood of innocent children?’” Nice shot and a sobering point.


For Rep. Collins, It’s Personal

ONE OF THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE MEMBERS, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), could not hold back his personal experience when Gianna Jessen and fellow abortion survivor Melissa Ohden testified at the Planned Parenthood investigation hearing last Wednesday.

In addition to filing an official statement of testimony, which we reprint at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing, Rep. Collins “opened up,” reports The Daily Signal, “about his and his wife’s decision to continue the latter’s pregnancy 23 years ago after their baby was diagnosed with spina bifida. His daughter,” report Kelsey Harkness and Leah Jessen, “is now in a wheelchair.

“Speaking to the two abortion survivors who testified,” reports The Daily Signal, “he said, ‘You’re not a failure.’” Anyone who has heard either of these ladies speak can attest to the truth of that assertion.


There Goes California

IT USED TO BE A COMMON BELIEF that any breakthrough in law or policy that was adopted in California would soon spread to the rest of the country. But California may have swung too far left for that old wives’ tale to prevail.

California’s legislature is in session, always a dangerous time for the state’s millions of residents. A bill to legalize euthanasia has reportedly passed the Assembly 43 to 34 and is likely soon to be taken up by the Senate. If passed there, the measure will land on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown (D), from whom radical action can be expected.

A second bill is already on the way to the governor, and this one would severely impair pregnancy care centers, particularly those who have yet to adopt a medical supervision structure.

Though the bill does not touch the state’s abortuaries, it would, reports Jay Hobbs for Pregnancy Help News, “force all of the state’s local pregnancy help non-profits to give each of its clients [a] disclaimer, which includes the phone number of a county social services office where a client could obtain an abortion covered by Medi-Cal,” the state’s socialized medicine underwriting program. The bill dictates the size of type in which the disclaimer must be presented and also dictates the specific wording, quoted by Mr. Hobbs: “‘California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office … .’”

Those centers which do not yet offer medical care by licensed personnel will also be required to post a huge sign bearing the message, Mr. Hobbs reports: “‘This facility is not licensed as a medical facility by the State of California and has no licensed medical provider who provides or directly supervises the provision of services.’”

We pray such unmerciful attacks will not achieve final approval in California or, should their enactment be inevitable, that what happens in California stays in California.


Democratic Candidates – on the Record

LAST WEEK WE PUBLISHED QUOTES from the GOP Presidential candidates, compiled by National Right to Life’s political director Karen Cross, concerning Planned Parenthood and their various responses to this summer’s scandal and to proposals to disqualify the apparent baby-parts trafficker from continued funding by federal taxpayers.  From the same report by Ms. Cross, we publish here quotes from the identified Democratic candidates, in alphabetical order.

Lincoln Chafee, former Governor of Rhode Island: “I support Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has a long record of helping women.” Quote taken from a “tweet” issued in the Chafee name after the release of the videos exposing Planned Parenthood.

Hillary Clinton, former First Lady, former US Senator from New York and former Secretary of State: “I think it is regrettable that Republicans are once again trying to undermine, even end, those services that so many women have needed and taken advantage of. I think that it’s another effort by the Republicans to try to limit the healthcare options of women, and we should not let them succeed once again.” Quote attributed directly to Mrs. Clinton.

Martin O’Malley, former Governor of Maryland: “I don’t generally make a habit of responding to right-wing videos.” Quote attributed directly to Mr. O’Malley, “while admitting he had not seen the videos” in July.

Bernie Sanders, Socialist Party US Senator from Vermont: “Obviously, I think Cecile Richards apologized for the tone of that video. I think her apology was exactly right. I think that the staffer, the tone was terribly wrong.” Quote attributed directly to Mr. Sanders, who “admitted he had not seen the video but had read accounts of it in the news.”

Jim Webb, former US Senator from Virginia: Ms. Cross did not present a quote from Mr. Webb but note that during his six-year term ending in 2013, “he had a 0% record, voting 19 of 19 times against the pro-life position.”


Sanger Worship: Threat to Justice

September 4, 2015, BreakPoint commentary by Eric Metaxas, reprinted from

Why would a national museum refuse to remove an exhibit honoring one of the leading racists of the 20th century? Simple. The honoree founded Planned Parenthood.

In late August, a group of about two dozen African-American pastors staged a protest outside of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

The National Portrait Gallery isn’t the kind of DC landmark you normally associate with protests, but then again, this wasn’t our standard-issue DC protest. It was an attempt to set a long-distorted historical record straight.

The protesters demanded the removal of a bust of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger from an exhibit entitled “Struggle for Justice.” To understand why they’re making this demand, you need to know about both the exhibit and Sanger’s views.

The exhibit features a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Besides King, honorees include Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks and Cesar Chavez, the Catholic mystic/farm labor leader.

Nearly all of those honored were controversial in their lifetimes, and some remain so today.  But to include Sanger among them is embarrassing. The exhibit tacitly acknowledges this by telling visitors about Sanger’s “association with the eugenics movement, which included promotion of forced sterilization of those deemed mentally unfit” while reassuring them that the movement “for a time was endorsed by many of the era’s prominent thinkers.”

This doesn’t even rise to the level of a half-truth. It’s more like a quarter-truth. For starters, none of the other honorees, many of whom were Sanger’s contemporaries, were associated with the eugenics movement in a way that she was. In fact, Sanger remained part of the movement even after some of the movement’s founders and luminaries had repudiated their previous views.

More to the protesters’ point, the exhibit says nothing about Sanger’s racism. The inconvenient truth is well-documented. In “The Myth of Race: The Troubling Persistence of An Unscientific Idea,” Robert Wald Sussman wrote the following about Sanger: “Margaret Sanger … advocated mass sterilization, incarceration of the unfit and draconian immigration restrictions, and she included [Madison Grant’s book] “Passing of the Great Race” on the eugenics reading list of her journal Birth Control Review.”

You probably haven’t heard of Madison Grant or his book. Grant was the godfather of American scientific racism and his book was called “the most influential tract of American scientific racism” by Stephen Jay Gould. One of Grant’s biggest fans was Adolf Hitler, who quoted liberally from “Passing of the Great Race” and referred to the book as “my bible.” This was the book Sanger was recommending to her followers.

As the Reverend E.W. Jackson said at the protest, “If Margaret Sanger had her way, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King would never have been born. … .It’s an outrage the national museum would honor such a person and add insult to injury by putting her in the Struggle for Justice exhibit.”

Truer words have seldom been spoken. Yet the museum insists that Sanger will stay. The willingness to distort history is a testimony to the hold that the sexual revolution has over elite opinion. As my colleague John Stonestreet put it, “Much better people have been removed from hero status after doing far more good and far less evil than [Sanger]. But a nation that provides abortion pills to 12-year-olds over the counter without a prescription is pre-committed to Sanger’s legacy despite the facts.”

It’s a pre-commitment that can be blinding. Even inside a carefully-lit museum. 

Worthy Testimony

Official statement of Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), submitted to House Judiciary Committee at Planned Parenthood Hearing, Sept. 9, 2015

Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding today’s hearing on the abortion practices at Planned Parenthood. I’m grateful for your commitment to examining the horrific practices that have been uncovered through a series of undercover videos and to investigating the allegations against Planned Parenthood.

As the father of three children, I believe we have no greater responsibility than protecting human life. I believe abortion is wrong, and I think we have a responsibility as human beings to be a voice for those who do not yet have a voice – the innocent unborn. These unborn children are human beings, gifts from God that are brimming with potential. We need to look no further than two of the witnesses sitting before us today. These women – Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden – are survivors. They are also proof that there was and is a plan and purpose for their life and that babies unborn and born deserve protection.

But we are here today to talk specifically about Planned Parenthood and their abortion practices. For years Planned Parenthood has engage in morally questionable activities, but the videos released by the Center for Medical Progress have raised serious questions about immoral, inhumane and quite possibly illegal practices at Planned Parenthood.

The videos seem to indicate clear intent to alter abortions to harvest fetal organs. This is despicable in and of itself, but it becomes even more morally reprehensible when shown that Planned Parenthood could even be profiting from the sale of babies’ body parts.

Planned Parenthood officials in the videos seem to have no qualms discussing the dissection and sale of fetal organs. They casually discuss the commercial exploitation of aborted fetal tissue over lunch, as if babies are a commodity for trade and profit rather than precious lives to be protected.

Abortion proponents and Planned Parenthood apologists try to distort the issue by painting the justifiable outrage and upset over the videos as attacks on women’s health. In fact, the Democratic witness present today has claimed this hearing is an attack on Planned Parenthood and the reproductive care it provides. This could not be more false.

First of all, just looking at Georgia as an example, there are five Planned Parenthood facilities in my home state. Compare that to the 274 clinics in Georgia providing comprehensive healthcare services for women. This issue is not about access to care.

This hearing is about ensuring the nation’s largest abortion provider – which receives hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding – is not illegally harvesting fetal organs.

The Committee’s investigation is not a jump to conclusions but rather a fact-finding mission to gather the full truth surrounding the horrific allegations in the Center for Medical Progress’s videos.

I hope that this will be just the first among many hearings to investigate these abortion practices and to shed light on Planned Parenthood’s actions. The American people have a right to know what is happening, and we have a moral obligation to be a voice for the unborn.