Life Advocacy Briefing

September 21, 2015

Facing the Abortion Issue / The Real Fight Looms / Choice Quotes
Progress – Without Controversy / The Reality of Abortion
Co-Sponsors of HR-3504

Facing the Abortion Issue

ABORTION POLICY WILL BE ON THE AGENDA for Congress from here on out, it appears, in the current session of both the House and the Senate.

In the Senate, the Majority Leadership has begun procedures necessary to bring forward S-1553, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act for a Senate vote sometime this month. Being offered in the Senate by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the same language passed the House months ago. It is a prime objective of the pro-life community for the 114th Congress. It was filed in the Senate June 11 with 45 co-sponsors, whose names we have reported in an earlier edition. We will publish the Senate voting record on this critical measure as soon after the vote as we have the space for it.

In the House, two substantive measures were expected to see a vote last Thursday and Friday.  The first is a too-long pending bill by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) to establish a one-year moratorium on federal funding of Planned Parenthood while the Congress continues to investigate the revealed trafficker in baby body parts. Co-sponsors who have added their names to HR-3134 since we last reported the sponsor list are: in late July, Rep. Stephen Fincher (TN); in August, Rep. Evan Jenkins (WV); and in September, Representatives Paul Cook & Stephen Knight (CA), Rob Woodall (GA), Tim Huelskamp (KS), Steve Scalise (LA), Tom Emmer (MN), Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO), Richard Hudson (NC), Frank Lucas (OK), Glenn Thompson (PA), Joe Wilson (SC) and Kevin Brady (TX). All are Republicans.

The second House measure is a fresh and needed response to the Planned Parenthood undercover expose videos still being released by the Center for Medical Progress. Filed last Wednesday (Sept. 15) by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) with 82 co-sponsors, HR-3504 seeks to add criminal penalties to the existing Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. Its apparent purpose is to beef up one of the federal laws which Planned Parenthood appears to have been violating with its involvement in the harvesting of baby body parts. We publish the names of co-sponsors at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing and will publish the voting record in an upcoming edition.


The Real Fight Looms

AS CRITICAL AS THE SUBSTANTIVE CONGRESSIONAL PRO-LIFE BILLS ARE, the real battle raging on Capitol Hill – particularly among GOP Members in both houses – is the effort by conservatives to disqualify Planned Parenthood from a dollar of federal funding in the Continuing Resolution (CR) which must be crafted and adopted by Sept. 30. It is that resolution – given the lack of action on appropriation bills – under which the federal government will function in the 2016 Fiscal Year which begins Oct. 1.

Conservatives in the House are building formidable numbers of votes against any CR which includes funding for the nation’s principal purveyor of abortions. Senate Republicans – through their Leadership – have signaled a refusal to take on the President over Planned Parenthood defunding. The looming crisis within the GOP is a key focus of attention, and it should be an occasion for much prayer and action on the part of our readers. The Capitol switchboard number is 1-202/224-3121.

Of further note: The Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce is pursuing its own investigation of Planned Parenthood, hosting a hearing last Thursday after conducting interviews through its staff during the Congressional recess. May we look forward to action?


Choice Quotes

YET ANOTHER VIDEO has been released showing Planned Parenthood’s conscious, intentional involvement in the trafficking of baby body parts for profit, a violation of federal law.

Some choice quotes were taken from this latest video by Ben Johnson in a story for “‘It’s an issue that you might imagine we’re not really that comfortable talking about on e-mail,’” said Deborah VanDerhei, director of Planned Parenthood’s Consortium of Abortion Providers.

Try this series of quotes from Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, senior medical advisor for Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), shown in the latest video and quoted by Mr. Johnson. “‘We’ve just been working with people who want particular tissues, like, you know, they want cardiac or they want eyes or they want neural … Oh, my G-d, gonads,’ Dr. Westhoff says,” reports Mr. Johnson. She “boasts,” writes Mr. Johnson, “‘Everything we provide is fresh.’”

(We have a question related to that “boast,” were we in a position to confront Ms. Westhoff, and that question is, How does Planned Parenthood ensure that the tissue is “fresh” – by harvesting it from babies delivered alive before you dismember them? Just wondering.)

In this week’s video, this PPFA senior medical advisor, reports Mr. Johnson, “offers to introduce the faux organ buyers” who conducted these interviews for investigative purposes “to ‘national office abortion people’ to facilitate their specific purchases. But all such interactions must be discreet. ‘Obviously,’” she said, quoted by LifeSiteNews, “‘we would have the potential for a huge PR [public relations] issue in doing this.’”

Deborah Nucatola, the Planned Parenthood medical director whose business lunch in the first video has sickened thousands of Americans, said a mouthful when she told the undercover probers “‘There are no guidelines’ from Planned Parenthood’s national office on organ procurement and payment,’ [Ms.] Nucatola tells them,” writes Mr. Johnson. “‘There will never be guidelines.’” No; guidelines would leave a paper trail.

The latest video also has another admission, this one relating specifically to how PPFA and its affiliates are violating the federal law which criminalizes profiting from the sale of aborted baby tissue. Going back to Ms. VanDerhei, Mr. Johnson reports she told the video probers, “‘we have independent colleagues who generate a fair amount of income doing this.’ That comment,” notes Mr. Johnson, “seems to undermine PP’s continual assertions that they make no money from its ‘fetal tissue donation’ program, which it presents as a humanitarian undertaking.’”

(Here we must note: the self-defenders of Nazi medical experimentation, during the Nuremberg war-crime trials, insisted their horrifying trashing of humanity in the name of science was somehow humanitarian. The civilized world – as a whole community – overwhelmingly rejected that excuse. It is particularly distressing to us at Life Advocacy to see the Nuremberg consensus not just overturned but ignored as though it had never happened. Medical experimentation on human beings for the benefit of others – and that includes unborn human babies – is unutterably reprehensible and cannot be justified or excused by civilized people.)

Getting back to the video and the LifeSiteNews report: “Vanessa Russo, compliance program administrator [note that title!] for Planned Parenthood Keystone in Pennsylvania, defends the practice wholeheartedly,” writes Mr. Johnson, “even if it runs afoul of federal laws. ‘A company like this that wants to give our organization money for the tissue – I think that that’s a valid exchange, and that that’s okay,’ she says.” Notes Mr. Johnson: “US statutory law makes it a federal felony to receive ‘valuable consideration’ – that is, economic profit of any sort – in exchange for human organs, something abortionists deny their receive. ‘We feel like we can’t consent to be bullied by ridiculous laws,’ [Ms.] Russo says,” reports Mr. Johnson. That’s their compliance officer.

The LifeSiteNews report directly quotes David Daleiden, the CEO of the video producing organization, with a clear declaration of his findings: “‘From e-mail blackouts to contorted oxymorons like “donations for remuneration,” the lengths to which Planned Parenthood leadership will go to cover up their illegal sale of aborted baby parts are nothing less than the desperation of a guilty conscience.’”


Progress – Without Controversy

THE U.S. HOUSE HAS PASSED – by voice vote – a measure proposed by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) to reauthorize for five years the national bone marrow and cord blood donor registry to advance the promising field of ethical medical research and curative therapies.

HR-2820, reports Rep. Smith in a statement from his office, “ensures that two collaborative programs that support treatment and therapies derived from adult stemcell lines will not expire at the end of the federal fiscal year, Sept. 30.

“Breathtaking scientific breakthroughs,” said Rep. Smith in the statement, “have turned medical waste – post-birth placentas and umbilical cord blood – into medical miracles treating more than 70 diseases including leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia. Not only has God in His wisdom and goodness created a placenta and umbilical cord to nurture and protect the precious life of an unborn child, but now we know that another gift awaits us immediately after birth. Something very special is left behind,” said the chairman of the House pro-life caucus, “cord blood that is teeming with lifesaving stem cells.”

The legislation must still be taken up by the United States Senate, where it has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions.

The lifesaving legislation was first enacted in 2005. According to the Smith statement, the Health Resources & Services Administration of the federal government “estimates that every year about 12,000 people depend on the programs made available by this law to find an unrelated adult marrow donor or cord blood unit for treatment.”

How good to see such a positive advance for human life receive full, uncontroversial support in Washington, at least in the House and hopefully imminently in the Senate.


The Reality of Abortion

September 10, 2015, commentary by Bradley Mattes, president, Life Issues Institute

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee investigating Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in baby body parts held a hearing. Pro-abortion attorney Priscilla Smith was asked by a Member of the committee if she considered dismemberment abortion – pulling apart the unborn baby while still in the womb – to be a humane way for the baby to die. After an unsuccessful attempt to get around the question, Ms. Smith’s answer was, “Yes.”

What she desperately wanted was for the committee Members to totally ignore the reality of what abortion does to its victims.

It takes courage to pull back the curtain and expose the fraud.

I’m reminded of that phony guy in the Emerald City. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” he cried. And who exposed him? Not the big lion or the clever girl or their companions. They stood trembling before the illusion of mighty power. No, it was a little black dog that had the idea and the courage to pull the curtain away and expose the fraud for all to see.

Words like “dignity,” “choice” and “autonomy” pull a curtain around abortion. The humanity of a baby is obscured by words like tissue and product of conception and jokes by abortion staffers. But pull that curtain back and the reality is clear: abortion murders children in the most brutal ways imaginable.

Consider chemical abortion, generally used early in pregnancy. Abortion pills stop production of life-sustaining hormones, making the uterus hostile so the tiny human life starves to death and then chemically-induced contractions expel the dead baby.

A suction abortion is also used during the first trimester. A cannula with a deadly sharp end is inserted into the womb, and a powerful vacuum – 29 times stronger than your vacuum cleaner at home – rips the placenta from the uterus, tears the baby apart and sucks the pieces into a waiting jar. Of course, as we learned from watching Planned Parenthood abortionists on undercover video, if the baby’s parts are on order, a less destructive method can be used.

A dilation-and-evacuation abortion – the dismemberment abortion referred to in the committee hearing – is used during the second trimester. Forceps are used to grab the baby’s limbs. The abortionist dismembers the baby by twisting his or her body parts and pulls them piece-by-piece from the uterus, making a pile of human carnage on the nearby tray. A staff person has to reassemble the baby parts to ensure nothing was left behind inside the mother’s womb.

The D&X abortion is commonly called partial-birth abortion and has been used well into the third trimester. As the undercover videos reveal, even though this gruesome procedure is illegal, Planned Parenthood abortionists reach into the womb and change the baby’s presentation so he or she can be delivered feet-first, preserving the head so coveted by organ procurement companies.

All of these methods pose physical dangers to the woman, and the further along she is, the greater the danger. Life-threatening infection can set in if any part of the baby or the placenta is left behind. Sharp instruments can pierce the uterine wall and leave women to bleed to death. Within a millisecond, the strong suction can destroy a section of bowel, often requiring emergency hysterectomy to save the mother’s life, which results in infertility.

Beyond the physical dangers lie the regret and grief. While the abortion industry pretends such feelings are caused by social stigma and “shaming,” pro-lifers know they come from deep within the human instinct for life, and we reach out to women with hope for healing.

Planned Parenthood can bluster all it wants to about women’s health care, but behind its pink curtain is a filthy, bloody and disgusting business, devoid of humanity not only for the babies but also for the mothers and for the abortionists as well. Like a cancer, abortion devours the soul. It’s up to us, the grassroots pro-life movement, to be like brave little Toto and keep tugging on that curtain. Here’s an effective way to do it.

First, acknowledge the pain and heartache a woman goes through when faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Then say that the rights of women and the rights of the unborn can be joined. We reach out to every woman faced with the agony of abortion and say to her: Your life and the life of your baby are both important, and we will not desert either one of you. We want to love you both.


Co-Sponsors of HR-3504

With Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ): Democratic Representative Daniel Lipinski (IL) and GOP Representatives Robert Aderholt (AL); Paul Gosar & Matt Salmon (AZ); Stephen Knight (CA); Doug Lamborn (CO); Gus Bilirakis, Ron DeSantis, Jeff Miller, Thomas Rooney & Ted Yoho (FL); Earl Carter, Doug Collins, Jody Hice, Barry Loudermilk, Austin Scott & Lynn Westmoreland (GA); Raul Labrador (ID); John Shimkus (IL); Luke Messer, Todd Rokita & Marlin Stutzman (IN); Steve King (IA); Tim Huelskamp, Mike Pompeo & Kevin Yoder (KS); Brett Guthrie (KY); Ralph Abraham, Charles Boustany, John Fleming & Steve Scalise (LA); Bill Huizenga (MI); Trent Kelly (MS); Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long, Blaine Luetkemeyer & Ann Wagner (MO);

Also, Republican Representatives Jeff Fortenberry & Adrian Smith (NE); Christopher Smith (NY); Stevan Pearce (NM); Richard Hudson, Mark Meadows, Robert Pittenger & David Rouzer (NC); Kevin Cramer (ND); Steve Chabot, Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson & David Joyce (OH); Markwayne Mullin (OK); Lou Barletta, Mike Kelly, Tim Murphy, Joseph Pitts, Keith Rothfus & Glenn Thompson (PA); Trey Gowdy (SC); Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, John Duncan, Stephen Fincher & David Roe (TN); Brian Babin, Kevin Brady, John Carter, Michael Conaway, Blake Farenthold, Bill Flores, Sam Johnson, Randy Neugebauer, Pete Olson, John Ratcliffe, Pete Sessions & Lamar Smith (TX); Jason Chaffetz, Mia Love & Chris Stewart (UT); Dan Newhouse (WA); Alexander Mooney (WV); Glenn Grothman (WI); and Cynthia Lummis (WY).