Life Advocacy Briefing

March 7, 2016

Apologies & Thanks! / Battle Joined in West Virginia
Saving Babies by Protecting Mothers’ Health / Another Shop Closed
Oklahoma RU Limit Upheld / Not So Fast!
Corrected March for Life Rally Speech: Congressman Chris Smith

Apologies & Thanks!

WHEN WE PUBLISHED OUR TRANSCRIPT LAST WEEK of the March for Life speech by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), we ought to have included a footnote explaining Rep. Smith’s reference to Planned Parenthood’s abortion death toll. We did not realize this until we checked the transcript against the video after one of our readers called with concern that we might have made a typographical error. We now realize the very real risk of misunderstanding, and we are reprinting the transcript this week with an explanatory footnote.

We apologize to our readers – and certainly to Rep. Smith – for not having seen the need for this explanation in publishing our transcript. We republish that transcript today – corrected – and we urge any reader who chooses to reprint the Smith speech to use the March 7 edition of Life Advocacy Briefing and not the Feb. 29 issue.

And we thank the gentleman from Indiana – clearly a discerning and loyal reader of our publication – for bringing the error to our attention.


Battle Joined in West Virginia

ANOTHER SHOWDOWN MAY BE IN THE WORKS in West Virginia over the pressing injustice of abortion.

The West Virginia House of Delegates last week sent to the governor’s desk a bill to ban dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions, by far the most common method of killing developing babies in the second trimester. The bill, which passed the lower House 86 to 13 and earlier passed the Senate 24 to 9, is appropriately titled the “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.” That is what “dilation and evacuation” is all about: cutting apart a developing baby limb from limb in order to efficiently “evacuate” the “contents of a womb.”

With the bill garnering such overwhelming support in the legislature, the showdown could be brought on by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D), who just a year ago watched the legislature overwhelmingly override his veto of a state-level Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which barred abortion after the first 20 weeks of a baby’s development.

Pro-life advocates are hopeful that a dismemberment ban could ultimately be upheld at the Supreme Court level, as Justice Anthony Kennedy – thought of as the swing vote in every abortion case – sharply criticized D&E abortions in his 2007 written opinion in the Gonzalez v. Carhart case upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. “‘The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process,’” he wrote, quoted last week by Ben Johnson in his West Virginia report for, “‘and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.’” His attitude about the method, at the time, appeared wholly appropriate.

It remains to be seen what Gov. Tomblin’s attitude will be.


Saving Babies by Protecting Mothers’ Health

THE NEW ORLEANS-BASED 5th CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS on Feb. 24 “cleared the way,” reports Cheryl Sullenger for Operation Rescue (OR), “for enforcement of a new [Louisiana] law that requires abortionists to maintain local hospital privileges.”

The action by the 5th Circuit was taken by a unanimous vote of the three-judge panel hearing the state’s appeal of a federal district judge’s strike-down of the reform law.

The immediate result: Three of the state’s five abortuaries have stopped killing unborn babies, essentially admitting that their practitioners are incapable of securing a professional relationship with facilities that deliver actual health care. As recently as 2010, according to OR, seven abortuaries butchered babies in Louisiana. Now there are two, one in New Orleans and the other in Shreveport.

“Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge, which supplied the highest volume of abortions each year in Louisiana,” writes Ms. Sullenger, “remains open but is referring all women seeking abortions to an affiliated clinic, Women’s Health Care Center in New Orleans, because no abortionist [at Delta] could qualify for hospital privileges. The Delta Clinic,” she adds, “has a long history of abortion abuses and connections to convicted Philadelphia murderer Kermit Gosnell. Violations and reports of filthy conditions [date] back to 1998.”

An abortuary in Bossier City has also ceased abortions and is claiming the Supreme Court will put them back in the business “as early,” writes Ms. Sullenger, as “next week,” showing they either do not know what they are talking about or, more likely, that they simply lie to prospective customers.

And Causeway Medical Suite abortuary in Metairie shut down earlier in February, no doubt in anticipation of the 5th Circuit ruling. “Movers were seen emptying the office,” Ms. Sullenger reports.

The abortion industry claims, in court filings and especially in the media, that laws such as Louisiana’s “admitting privileges” statute are somehow abusive to women and interfere with delivery of what they call “health care.” The inability of the industry’s outposts to comply with an obvious health-and-safety requirement, however, says more about the professional qualifications – and quality – of abortionists than about the supposed “need” for “women’s health care” to be delivered by shoddy front-alley shops.

Said Dorinda Bordlee of the Bioethics Defense Fund, identified by National Right to Life News as drafter of “model legislation for the bill,” quoted by NRL News, “‘There is no constitutional right to an unsafe abortion. Women, who are often coerced or abandoned to abortion, should not have to pay with their lives for abortion providers who are not qualified enough to have hospital admitting privileges.’”


Another Shop Closed

SOMETIMES IT’s A LAW, sometimes it’s a lawsuit. And a little activism doesn’t hurt.

The closing of Alpha Gynecology & Consulting abortuary in Marietta, Georgia, did not take long. Just months after opening in a new location, reports Dustin Siggins for, citing the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as source, Alpha’s owner settled a lawsuit brought by his new landlord.

The landlord “claimed,” writes Mr. Siggins, “that the clinic hadn’t disclosed that it would be engaging in abortions – and that some medical procedures were being done without a license.”

It turns out the landlord, according to Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger, was a medical provider called “Cobb Pediatrics,” and the abortuary was operating out of a “former pediatric office located in a predominantly residential neighborhood.” Its abortion business, reports Ms. Sullenger, “upset residents of the area, prompting frequent protests.” And the facility was not licensed for the killing of developing babies.

Though abortionist Daniel McBrayer could – and likely will – set up shop elsewhere, at least the fervent protests of his Marietta neighbors and the professional ethics of the landlord have, for a time, cut off his business and, hopefully, protected some babies and their mothers.


Oklahoma RU Limit Upheld

THOUGH SEVERAL COURTS HAVE HASSLED STATES whose lawmakers are seeking to protect women’s health by regulating the dispensing of the RU-486 abortion drug, the Oklahoma Supreme Court in late February unexpectedly upheld just such a law.

The law, reports Charlie Butts for, “simply requires abortionists to follow the Food & Drug Administration protocols for use of the drug.” The FDA prescription is certainly a modest regulation, pending the day when the FDA exerts ethical standards and reverses the last-minute Clinton-era clearance of the deadly drug for the US market.

The action by the high state court was particularly welcome, reports Mr. Butts, because it was unexpected. “‘Our state Supreme Court has not been receptive,’” said Tony Lauinger of Oklahomans for Life, quoted by Mr. Butts, “‘to a number of pro-life laws that have been enacted by the Oklahoma legislature in recent years. … So this is a refreshing departure from their normal pattern of striking down pro-life laws.’”

Indeed, notes Mr. Butts, “the court has been so rigid in rejecting pro-life laws, pro-lifers say, that there have been discussions of amending the state constitution to change the system of appointing and retaining justices.” Nice they got one right, one that Mr. Lauinger and his colleagues “‘hop[e] … will save more lives of unborn children and make women safer, because the law will provide protocol for use of [the] chemical abortion method.’”

Planned Parenthood, among other abortion businesses, routinely violates FDA protocol by administering RU-486 to kill babies aged through nine weeks’ gestation; the FDA requirement limited the use of the abortion poison to the first seven weeks of a gestating baby’s life.


Not So Fast!

Feb. 29, 2016, BreakPoint commentary by John Stonestreet

American abortion advocates are using the Zika virus as an excuse to spread abortion in Latin America. We’ve seen this movie before.

More than 50 years ago, doctors in the US and western Europe prescribed the drug thalidomide to their female patients for, among other things, nausea and morning sickness in pregnant women. The drug had tragic outcomes whose effects are still being felt today.

In the late 1950s, reports of abnormalities in children whose mothers had used the drug during pregnancy began to come in. The best known and most heartbreaking of these abnormalities was missing limbs.

Not surprisingly, within a few years, the drug was taken off the market. But the tragic story of thalidomide doesn’t end there. As historian Daniel K. Williams tells us in his new book, Defenders of the Unborn, the thalidomide tragedy opened the door to legalized abortion in the United States.

Supporters of liberalized abortion laws seized upon the tragedy to justify expanding the availability of abortion, which at the time was mostly limited to cases where the mother’s life was in danger. They argued that women who had taken thalidomide should have the right to abort their unborn child, even though there was no way of knowing whether their babies had been affected by the drug.

Their argument, as Williams documents, was that the fear of giving birth to a handicapped child was enough to justify expanding the availability of abortion. The tragic pictures of children without limbs, along with some high-profile cases, swayed state legislatures, including California, in 1966. By 1972, twenty states had legalized abortion in instances where the mother’s life and physical health were not threatened.

Fifty years later, in a different part of the Americas, history, if not repeating itself, is at least looking to rhyme, as Mark Twain might have said.

Eric Metaxas recently told you on BreakPoint about how the Zika epidemic in Latin America is being used by abortion-rights supporters as a wedge against the region’s protection of unborn life. The “thin edge” of this wedge is the presumed link between Zika and microcephaly, “a ‘neurodevelopmental disorder’ characterized by significantly smaller head size.”

I say “presumed” because, as a recent New York Times article tells readers, “the link between microcephaly in infants and Zika has not been proven.” All we know for certain is that international health officials “strongly suspect” that there is a link.

An example of this uncertainty is Colombia. While thousands of pregnant Colombian women are known to have contracted Zika, there are no confirmed cases of any of them giving birth to children with microcephaly. As Colombia’s deputy health minister told the Times, “There’s a lot we don’t know about [Zika]. What we know [is that] there’s a growing disparity between what we’re seeing in Colombia with Zika and the experience in Brazil.”

Notwithstanding this “growing disparity,” the Times and others are certain that liberalizing abortion laws is now the way to go. This ignores not only the actual facts of the Zika epidemic; it ignores the most important fact of all: the humanity of the children in the womb.

As was the case 50-plus years ago, anxiety over the possibility of giving birth to a child with disabilities is regarded as a sufficient reason to kill the unborn child. The message is clear: Anything less than a “perfect child” is disposable. In an age of prenatal genetic testing, the implications of this message are chilling.

And as history shows, it won’t stop there. Zika, like thalidomide, is part of a wedge whose goal is abortion for any reason. Fifty years ago, one tragedy led to a much greater one whose effects are still with us. Let’s pray that the same thing doesn’t happen again. …


March for Life Rally Speech: Cong. Chris Smith (R-NJ)

Corrected transcription by Life Advocacy Briefing from televised coverage on EWTN network

Patrick, thank you very much. And thank you for again a wonderful March for Life. You know, I’m joined on the stage – you’ve just heard from the distinguished Senator – with some of the true champions and some of the most articulate leaders of the right to life movement. Beginning with Ann Wagner, Congresswoman from Missouri, Steve Pearce, Keith Rothfus and Mark Meadows. Thank you, especially those people from their districts who have sent them here. They are unbelievably effective, and again, we are turning the tide.

You know, ladies and gentlemen, today the pro-life movement is stronger than ever and is making serious, significant and sustained progress. At the state level, the gains have been historic. Two hundred and eighty-two pro-life laws have been enacted since 2010. In the last year alone, nine powerful pro-life measures have passed the House. Special thanks to Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rick Scalise and Conference Chair[man] Cathy McMorris-Rodgers.

You know, although Hillary Clinton supports abortion on demand until birth, an extremist position, and this month called for the end of the Hyde Amendment, a new Marist poll shows that Americans actually want more pro-life protections, including no taxpayer funding for abortions. Planned Parenthood – and all of you know this, and in time the press will recognize it as well – is the tip of an ugly iceberg, a multi-billion-dollar industry that systematically exterminates children and hurts women. Subsidized by over 500 million dollars in taxpayer funds every year, Planned Parenthood dismembers or chemically poisons a baby to death every two minutes, killing over seven million innocent children since 1973. [See Note below.] Planned Parenthood is Child Abuse Incorporated.

Recent undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress have exposed in numbing candor several high-level Planned Parenthood leaders gleefully talking about procuring children’s organs, all for a price, all while offering gruesome dismemberment procedures to preserve intact livers, hearts and lungs. This isn’t, as you know, the first time Planned Parenthood has been caught doing the unthinkable. In 2011, undercover videos by Live Action exposed Planned Parenthood clinics that were eager – eager – to facilitate secret abortions for child sex trafficking victims, and another series in 2012 exposed Planned Parenthood promoting sex selection abortion, especially of little girls.

Take note of this, ladies and gentlemen, next week, there will be an override of President Obama’s veto of the bill to defund Planned Parenthood, and we will win that in the House.

Finally, you are the antidote, ladies and gentlemen, especially our young people, including my own dear daughter Elise, who is in the crowd; you are the antidote to this present darkness, the culture of death. So for the sake of women and children, because we love them both, be further involved. Defend life, with all the courage, faith, insight, compassion and love you have to muster. Don’t back down or give up or ever get discouraged, ever! Ask God for strength. Combine persistent prayer with Esther-like fasting. Combine it all with smart and diligent pro-life work at every level, including the political. Someday soon, America will protect the weakest and most vulnerable, and into eternity each and every one of you will have played a critical part in this all-important human rights struggle. Thank you, and God bless you.

  • Note: Rep. Smith here is limiting his death-toll estimate to abortions committed by Planned Parenthood shops. The overall abortion death toll in the United States since the tragic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decriminalization edict of Jan. 22, 1973, is believed to be closer to 57 million. Neither we nor Rep. Smith would want to diminish that enormity while citing the horror for Planned Parenthood’s seven-million death toll.