Life Advocacy Briefing

February 8, 2016

Veto Stands / Daleiden Defense Begins / Moving Forward in Kentucky
Shooting the Messenger / Caution to Voters / House Voting Record

Veto Stands

IN A STARK CONFIRMATION OF THE NEED TO FOCUS ON ‘LIFE’ ISSUES as part of the Presidential election later this year, Pres. Barack Obama’s veto of the Budget Reconciliation bill, HR-3762, stands, after the House last Tuesday failed to adopt an override motion. A two-thirds vote was required under the Constitution, a far reach from even the strong roll call by which the House voted Jan. 3 to pass the bill defunding Planned Parenthood and significantly gutting ObamaCare.

In House debate on the Reconciliation override motion, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) declared (excerpt transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing): “There’s some people that say today, ‘Oh, this is a complete waste of time.’ No, it’s not, Mr. Speaker. This is not a waste of time. This is a demonstration to the American public that there is now one office that stands between them and the repeal of ObamaCare. There is one office that stands between them and [ending] the continued shameful subsidy of Planned Parenthood. We’ve got an opportunity to change that office in November.”

We publish the voting record on the override motion at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing; the vote count on the veto override: 241-186, falling short of the two-thirds mark.


Daleiden Defense Begins

UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATOR DAVID DALEIDEN TURNED HIMSELF IN last Thursday to answer the charges laid against him by a Houston grand jury, which twisted an announced probe of Planned Parenthood’s involvement in baby-body-parts trafficking into an attack on the free speech rights of the investigators. A courthouse news conference quickly followed, in which attorneys for the young pro-life hero revealed a plea-deal offer by the Harris County prosecutor’s office and declared, reports, “‘The only thing we’re going to accept right now is an apology.’”

A hearing has been scheduled for March 28, reports LifeSiteNews. “‘At that time,’” said Daleiden attorney Terry Yates, “‘we anticipate filing a couple of motions’ asking that all charges be dismissed at once. ‘We believe the indictments,’” he said, “‘are factually and legally insufficient.’” In reality, reports LifeSiteNews, the charges “could be dismissed at any time.”

Mr  Daleiden was called “‘a modern-day hero,’” by Jared Woodfill, whom LifeSiteNews identifies as “another Daleiden attorney. … ‘He has exposed the wrongdoing that has been occurring at abortion clinics all across this country,’” Mr. Woodfill told LifeSiteNews. “‘And the fact that he’s here today is a miscarriage of justice. He will be vindicated.’

“The 27-year-old Daleiden appeared unflappable,” reports LifeSiteNews, “smiling, well-groomed … . ‘I’m very grateful for all the support from the public, especially from the people of Houston,’ he said,” reports LifeSiteNews, which noted that some of the local crowd “held handmade signs” indicating their support “as he presented himself for booking and paid bail” Thursday morning.


Moving Forward in Kentucky

KENTUCKY HAS A NEW PRO-LIFE LAW, signed by the state’s new governor, who was elected just last fall. The tightening of Kentucky’s informed consent law was the first bill signed by Gov. Matt Bevin (R), who signed it in the Capitol when it was first delivered to him by the legislature, rather than waiting for this week’s scheduled pro-life rally in Frankfort. According to Associated Press writer Bruce Schreiner, the on-the-spot signature was “unorthodox.”

The governor himself, reports Mr. Schreiner, declared, “‘This is an extraordinary day.’”

The bill “updates the state’s informed consent law requiring women seeking abortions be told of medical risks and benefits at least 24 hours beforehand,” writes Mr. Schreiner. “The bill’s supporters,” he writes, “say some doctors circumvented the [existing] requirement by having patients listen to a recorded message on the phone with no interaction.”

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Julie Adams (R-Louisville), reports Fr. Mark Hodges for, “said that in-person consultations before surgery are standard medical practice, ‘and Kentucky women deserve no less.’”

The executive director of Kentucky Right to Life Assn., Margie Montgomery, exulted in the victory, according to the LifeSiteNews report. “‘We have worked for over a decade to correct the obviously flawed interpretation and enforcement of the original bill that we passed in 1998,’” she said, adding, “‘We are grateful for the thousands of pro-life citizens across the commonwealth who, for years, have been active in the legislative and political process. We thank pro-life Republican Leadership in both House and Senate for working with us,’” she said, “‘and, of course, our new pro-life governor. Elections do matter for women and their unborn babies.’”


Shooting the Messenger

Jan. 28, 2016, BreakPoint commentary by John Stonestreet

As you’ve probably heard, a grand jury in Houston, Texas, originally tasked with investigating Planned Parenthood’s possible involvement in the sale of fetal tissue and body parts, has decided instead to shoot the messenger.

Well, not exactly “shoot,” but something almost as inappropriate. The Harris County grand jury indicted both David R. Daleiden, the founder of the Center for Medical Progress, and his colleague Sandra Merritt, for “tampering with a government record.” Daleiden has also been charged with a misdemeanor related to the attempt to purchase human organs.

The first indictment is in connection with Daleiden’s and Merritt’s alleged use of fake California driver’s licenses to gain access to the various Planned Parenthood facilities. The second indictment is based on an email that Daleiden allegedly sent, offering to buy fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood.

To put it very mildly, what happened in Houston was ironic. While Daleiden’s actions amount to a prima facie – the legal phrase meaning “at first glance” – violation of Texas law, no one believes he intended to buy fetal tissue. His and Merritt’s goal was to expose those who profit from this gruesome practice.

Daleiden and Merritt announced they will surrender themselves to Harris County authorities. From there, the prosecutor will decide whether to proceed with or drop the case.

Not surprisingly, the New York Times is calling the indictment a “vindication” of Planned Parenthood. It’s no such thing. Daleiden’s and Merritt’s possibly excessive zeal doesn’t make Planned Parenthood’s disregard for the sanctity and dignity of human life any less egregious or disgusting.

These indictments are best understood as the latest chapter in the long saga of our society’s commitment to rationalize the current abortion regime. This sort of thing happens in cultures of death.

In the aftermath of Roe v. Wade, abortion proponents told us the fetus was merely a “clump of tissue.” Pleading agnostic as to when human life begins, their only certainty was that nothing human is killed by abortions.

That contention has been, of course, demolished by sonograms and pro-life efforts like “The Silent Scream.” The humanity of the fetus is no longer seriously in doubt.

So the strategy shifted to the “safe, legal and rare” phase. People like Naomi Wolf acknowledged that abortion involved the taking of a human life and that was, in some ways, a tragedy. But, Wolf and others argued, feeling bad about it was an unfortunate part of preserving the “necessary” option of abortion.

As incoherent as it sounds, pro-life forces found an opening there: regulating the time, place, and manner of abortions so as to minimize their number and make it safer for the women involved.

In response, abortion apologists became even more brazen. They now proudly depict abortion as a positive good. Case in point? The recent Washington Post headline: “I’m a successful lawyer and mother because I had an abortion.”

Even more brazen and, frankly, absurd are those who argue their aborted children would approve of the taking of their lives just as the author would have been okay had her mother aborted her.

This kind of argument only confirms Mother Theresa words that “it is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

Now, presented with video evidence of the real cost to live as we wish, the response is to shoot – or at least indict – the messenger. The problem isn’t that the law being used to indict Daleiden is a bad one. It’s that only a culture of death would imagine using this law to indict one exposing how others are breaking it.

Living as we wish is our society’s highest value. It’s a poverty that is indicted, tried and found guilty as charged in this whole Houston debacle. And let’s remember: in the end, God is the ultimate, and righteous, judge – of David Daleiden and of Planned Parenthood.


Caution to Voters

Letter to Iowa pro-life/family voters in advance of the Feb. 1, 2016, Iowa GOP Presidential Caucus

Dear Iowans,

As pro-life women leaders from Iowa and across the nation, we urge Republican caucus-goers and voters to support anyone but Donald Trump. On the issue of defending unborn children and protecting women from the violence of abortion, Mr. Trump cannot be trusted, and there is, thankfully, an abundance of alternative candidates with proven records of pro-life leadership whom pro-life voters can support. We have come to this conclusion after having listened patiently to numerous debates and news reports, but most importantly to Donald Trump’s own words.

The next President will be responsible for as many as four nominations to the Supreme Court. Mr. Trump has given us only one indication about the type of judges he would appoint, and it does not bode well for those who would like to see the court overturn Roe v. Wade. Mr. Trump has said his sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, who struck down the Partial Birth Abortion Ban in New Jersey, would be a “phenomenal” choice for the Court. Earlier this month, Mr. Trump also said he thought pro-choice Senator Scott Brown would make a “very good” Vice President. If one truly believes, as we do, that abortion is the taking of an innocent human life and is committed to the pro-life priorities of ending abortion after five months and defunding the nation’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood, it would be a disaster to have a vice president who disagrees.

Moreover, as women, we are disgusted by Mr. Trump’s treatment of individuals, women in particular. He has impugned the dignity of women, most notably Megyn Kelly; he mocked and bullied Carly Fiorina, and has through the years made disparaging public comments to and about many women. Further, Mr. Trump has profited from the exploitation of women in his Atlantic City casino hotel, which boasted of the first strip club casino in the country.

America will only be a great nation when we have leaders of strong character who will defend both unborn children and the dignity of women. We cannot trust Donald Trump to do either. Therefore, we urge our fellow citizens to support an alternative candidate.

  • Jenifer Bowen, Executive Director, Iowa Right to Life
  • Denise Bubeck, member & Iowa volunteer, Concerned Women for America
  • Kendra Burger, Director of Educational Outreach, Iowa Right to Life
  • Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List)
  • Maggie Gallagher, columnist & author
  • Christine Hurley, Iowa pro-life activist
  • Beverly LaHaye, Founder & Chairman, Concerned Women for America (CWA)
  • Aimee Murphy, Founder, Life Matters Journal
  • Marilyn Musgrave, former Congresswoman, SBA List Vice President of Governmental Affairs
  • Penny Nance, CWA President & CEO
  • Melissa Ohden, Iowa native, abortion survivor and pro-life activist & speaker
  • Star Parker, Founder & President, Urbancure
  • Jill Stanek, pro-life speaker & writer, SBA List National Campaign Chairman
  • Luana Stoltenberg, Iowa leader, Operation Outcry


House Voting Record

HR-3762 – Budget Reconciliation dismantling ObamaCare and disqualifying Planned Parenthood from federal taxpayer funding – Motion to Override Presidential Veto – Feb. 2, 2016 – Lost – 241-186 (needing three-fifths: 290) (Democrats in italics)

Voting “yes” / pro-Life: Aderholt, Brooks, Byrne, Palmer, Roby, Rogers/AL; Young/AK; Franks, Gosar, McSally, Salmon, Schweikert/AZ; Crawford, Hill, Westerman, Womack/AR; Calvert, Cook, Denham, Hunter, Issa, Knight, LaMalfa, McCarthy, McClintock, Nunes, Rohrabacher, Royce, Valadao, Walters/CA; Buck, Coffman, Lamborn, Tipton/CO; Bilirakis, Buchanan, Clawson, Crenshaw, Curbelo, DeSantis, Diaz-Balart, Jolly, Mica, Miller, Nugent, Posey, Rooney, Ros-Lehtinen, Ross, Webster, Yoho/FL; Allen, Carter, Collins, Graves, Hice, Loudermilk, T. Price, A. Scott, Woodall/GA; Labrador, Simpson/ID; Bost, R. Davis, Hultgren, Kinzinger, LaHood, Roskam, Shimkus/IL; Brooks, Bucshon, Messer, Rokita, Stutzman, Walorski, Young/IN; Blum, King, Young/IA; Huelskamp, Jenkins, Pompeo, Yoder/KS; Barr, Guthrie, Rogers, Whitfield/KY; Abraham, Boustany, Fleming, Graves, Scalise/LA; Poliquin/ME; Harris/MD; Amash, Benishek, Bishop, Huizenga, Miller, Moolenaar, Trott, Upton, Walberg/MI; Emmer, Kline, Paulsen, Peterson/MN; Harper, Kelly, Palazzo/MS; Graves, Hartzler, Long, Luetkemeyer, Smith, Wagner/MO; Zinke/MT; Fortenberry, Smith/NE; Amodei, Hardy, Heck/NV; Guinta/NH; Frelinghuysen, Garrett, Lance, LoBiondo, MacArthur, Smith/NJ; Pearce/NM; Collins, Donovan, Gibson, King, Reed, Stefanik, Zeldin/NY; Ellmers, Foxx, Holding, Hudson, Jones, McHenry, Meadows, Pittenger, Rouzer, Walker/NC; Cramer/ND; Chabot, Gibbs, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Latta, Renacci, Stivers, Tiberi, Turner, Wenstrup/OH; Bridenstine, Cole, Lucas, Mullin, Russell/OK; Walden/OR; Barletta, Costello, Dent, Fitzpatrick, Kelly, Marino, Meehan, Murphy, Perry, Pitts, Rothfus, Shuster, Thompson/PA; Duncan, Gowdy, Mulvaney, Rice, Sanford, Wilson/SC; Noem/SD; Black, Blackburn, DesJarlais, Duncan, Fincher, Fleischmann, Roe/TN; Babin, Barton, Brady, Burgess, Carter, Conaway, Culberson, Farenthold, Flores, Gohmert, Granger, Hensarling, Hurd, S. Johnson, Marchant, McCaul, Neugebauer, Olson, Poe, Ratcliffe, Sessions, Smith, Thornberry, Weber, Williams/TX; Bishop, Chaffetz, Love, Stewart/UT; Brat, Comstock, Forbes, Goodlatte, Griffith, Hurt, Rigell, Wittman/VA; Herrera-Beutler, McMorris-Rodgers, Newhouse, Reichert/WA; Jenkins, McKinley, Mooney/WV; Duffy, Grothman, Ribble, Sensenbrenner/WI; Lummis/WY.

Voting “no” / anti-Life: Sewell/AL; Gallego, Grijalva, Kirkpatrick, Sinema/AZ; Aguilar, Bass, Becerra, Bera, Brownley, Capps, Cardenas, Chu, Costa, Davis, DeSaulnier, Eshoo, Farr, Garamendi, Hahn, Honda, Huffman, Lee, Lieu, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Matsui, McNerney, Napolitano, Pelosi, Peters, Roybal-Allard, Ruiz, Linda Sanchez, Loretta Sanchez, Schiff, Sherman, Speier, Swalwell, Takano, Thompson, Torres, Vargas, Waters/CA; DeGette, Perlmutter, Polis/CO; Courtney, DeLauro, Esty, Himes, Larson/CT; Carney/DE; Brown, Castor, Deutch, Frankel, Graham, Grayson, Hastings, Murphy, Wasserman-Schultz, Wilson/FL; Bishop, Johnson, Lewis, D. Scott/GA; Gabbard, Takai/HI; Bustos, D. Davis, Dold, Duckworth, Foster, Gutierrez, Kelly, Lipinski, Quigley, Rush, Schakowsky/IL; Carson, Visclosky/IN; Loebsack/IA; Yarmuth/KY; Richmond/LA; Pingree/ME; Cummings, Delaney, Edwards, Hoyer, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes, VanHollen/MD; Capuano, Clark, Keating, Kennedy, Lynch, McGovern, Moulton, Neal, Tsongas/MA; Conyers, Dingell, Kildee, Lawrence, Levin/MI; Ellison, McCollum, Nolan, Walz/MN; Thompson/MS; Clay, Cleaver/MO; Ashford/NE; Titus/NV; Kuster/NH; Norcross, Pallone, Pascrell, Payne, Sires, Watson-Coleman/NJ; Lujan, Lujan-Grisham/NM; Clarke, Crowley, Engel, Hanna, Higgins, Israel, Jeffries, Katko, Lowey, C. Maloney, S. Maloney, Meeks, Meng, Nadler, Rangel, Rice, Serrano, Slaughter, Tonko, Velazquez/NY; Adams, Butterfield, Price/NC; Beatty, Fudge, Kaptur, Ryan/OH; Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio, Schrader/OR; Boyle, Brady, Cartwright, Doyle/PA; Cicilline, Langevin/RI; Clyburn/SC; Cohen, Cooper/TN; Cuellar, Doggett, A. Green, G. Green, Jackson-Lee, E.B. Johnson, Hinojosa, O’Rourke, Veasey, Vela/TX; Welch/VT; Beyer, Connolly, Scott/VA; DelBene, Heck, Kilmer, Larsen/WA; Kind, Moore, Pocan/WI.

Not voting:  Westmoreland/GA, Massie/KY, Fattah/PA, Castro/TX, McDermott & Smith/WA, Ryan/WI.