Life Advocacy Briefing

April 18, 2016

Pope Speaks Up on Life & Family / Who’s to Blame? / Truthful Tennesseean
Stemcell Breakthrough Heralded for Heart Patients / Using the Law to Defend Life
The Profit Motive Steers Abortion / Let the People Have Their Say

Pope Speaks Up on Life & Family

THOUGH THERE APPEARS TO BE SOME CONFUSION in the American media about the Roman Catholic Pope’s latest proclamation “On Love in the Family,” we offer our readers a selection of quotes from the document, excerpted by former Reagan domestic policy chief Gary Bauer in his April 8 End of Day Memo to his Campaign for Working Families.

“For example,” writes Mr. Bauer, “here is what the pope wrote on Life: ‘I feel it urgent to state that, if the family is the sanctuary of life, the place where life is conceived and cared for, it is a horrendous contradiction when it becomes a place where life is rejected and destroyed. So great is the value of a human life, and so inalienable the right to life of an innocent child growing in the mother’s womb, that no alleged right to one’s own body can justify a decision to terminate that life, which is an end in itself and which can never be considered the “property” of another human being.’” [Somebody please tell Rep. Nancy Pelosi this.]

On a further “social issue,” Pope Francis wrote the following, again quoted by Mr. Bauer: “‘In discussing the dignity and mission of the family, the Synod Fathers [bishops with whom the pope met to prepare the statement] observed that “… there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.” It is unacceptable,’” continued the pope, quoted by Mr. Bauer, “‘that local churches should be subjected to pressure in this matter and that international bodies should make financial aid to poor countries dependent on the introduction of laws to establish “marriage” between persons of the same sex.’

“Pope Francis also,” writes Mr. Bauer, “challenged the Left’s notion of ‘gender identity.’ Pope Francis declared: ‘Yet another challenge is posed by the various forms of an ideology of gender that denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman and envisages a society without sexual differences, thereby eliminating the anthropological basis of the family. … It is one thing to be understanding of human weakness and the complexities of life, and another to accept ideologies that attempt to sunder what are inseparable aspects of reality.’”


Who’s to Blame?

G.O.P. PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER TED CRUZ (TX) FACED DOWN a major media interviewer last week on the touchy subject of sex-crime-connected abortions.

The interview was with popular Fox News evening host Megyn Kelly, reported by Fr. Mark Hodges for “At one point,” writes Fr. Hodges, “[Ms.] Kelly brought up the fact that [Sen.] Cruz believes in the sanctity of innocent human life regardless of the circumstances of conception. [Ms.] Kelly noted that for some, not allowing abortions in cases of rape or incest ‘may be a problem in getting behind President Ted Cruz.’

“Sen. Cruz answered [Ms.] Kelly by first emphasizing his compassion for rape survivors. ‘I’ve spent a lot of years in law enforcement,’ [Mr.] Cruz explained,” writes Fr. Hodges. “‘I was the Solicitor General in the state of Texas, and I have handled horrific cases of rape. … Rape is a horrific crime against the humanity of a person and needs to be punished severely,’ [Mr.] Cruz stated. ‘But at the same time, as horrible as that crime is, I don’t believe it’s the child’s fault. … I don’t believe it makes sense,’” he said, quoted by LifeSiteNews, “‘to blame the child.’”

Fr. Hodges went on to quote several pro-life leaders whose conception resulted from a sex crime and who work every day to counsel mothers in trauma, among them Pam Stenzel, who told Fr. Hodges, “‘To say that you are against taking a child’s life unless that child happened to be conceived in rape would imply that the death penalty is the appropriate punishment for that child. … It implies that the child should pay the ultimate price for the crime of her father. … For most victims of rape who become pregnant as a result and then had an abortion,’” she added, quoted by LifeSiteNews, “‘they will tell you that the abortion was as traumatizing – if not more – than the rape itself. …

“‘The only person who benefits from an abortion in the case of rape,’” said Ms. Stenzel, “‘is the rapist.’”


Truthful Tennesseean

IN A RARE MOVE FOR AMERICAN POLITICIANS, US Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) has written a commentary on abortion, published April 6 by National Review in its online edition. We thank the lady from Tennessee and reprint her opinion piece near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing. It is a model of compassionate communication about the impact of abortion on America and Americans.

Rep. Blackburn is chairman of the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, tasked with probing the trafficking of unborn-baby body parts by Planned Parenthood and its fellow travelers in the trafficking racket.


Stemcell Breakthrough Heralded for Heart Patients

IN ANOTHER BREAKTHROUGH FOR THE ETHICAL ALTERNATIVE to destructive embryonic stemcell experimentation, US researchers have shown, reports the British-based website, “that damaged hearts can be repaired using stem cells taken from a patient’s own body.”

Indeed, reports the website, “Adult stemcell treatment could halve the number of people dying from heart failure,” according to what the publication calls “a landmark study. …

“The US trial involved 126 patients who were treated with either adult stem cells, taken from their bone marrow, or a placebo,” the report reads. Not even doctors were advised which patients fell into which treatment category.

Over a period of 12 months, patients were observed, notes the report, with “doctors monitoring deaths and hospital or clinic visits. Over the 12-month period,” the website reports, “the patients who had received the stemcell treatment were 37% less likely to be admitted to a hospital than those who received the placebo. … The stemcell patients were also half as likely to die. Four patients died over the 12 months, compared to eight of the placebo patients.

“The results were praised,” reports the website, “by Dr. Amit Patel, director of Clinical Regenerative Medicine & Tissue Engineering at the University of Utah. He said,” according to, “‘For the last 15 years, everyone has been talking about cell therapy and what it can do. These results suggest that it really works.’” At least, when one’s own stem cells are used rather than cells harvested destructively from unconsenting little babies.

Dr. Amit called the experiment “‘the first trial of cell therapy showing that it can have a meaningful impact on the lives of patients with heart failure.’” Showing again the incomparable majesty of the Creator’s design.

Commented Dr. Peter Saunders, chief executive of the British Christian Medical Fellowship, quoted in the website story, “‘It is a tragedy that British scientists have wasted so much time, money and energy exploring the dead-end street of embryonic stemcell research.’”

That tragedy has played out in America as well, but voices from the vibrant pro-life movement here – and the willingness of pro-life political figures like former Pres. George W. Bush to lead US resources away from destructive embryo experimentation – have moved the biomedical community toward what is every day proving to be a more productive path and one that is ethical and respectful of our Creator and His creation.


Using the Law to Defend Life

MICHIGAN’s ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS GONE TO COURT TO CLOSE the Summit Women’s Center abortuary in Detroit. His complaint, according to a report in, is that the abortuary is “pretending it is led by a registered physician.”

As a facility which commits abortions on babies who have developed as far along as 24 weeks, Summit is required by state law to be owned, reports LifeSiteNews, “by ‘licensed professionals.’

“But pro-life investigators and [Atty. Gen. Bill] Schuette say the owner of Summit skirted state law,” writes LifeSite’s Ben Johnson, “by misleading state officials about who owned the corporation and about holding an appropriate license.”

The attorney general’s office is alleging that the corporation which owns Summit “‘was organized through fraud,’” reports Mr. Johnson, “‘and repeatedly and willfully exceeded its authority.’ …

“‘This shows the importance of keeping tabs on abortion facilities,’” said Monica Miller of the Michigan-based Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, quoted by Mr. Johnson, “‘and then the importance of following through with government agencies that have the power to do something. It took a lot of phone calls, but our pro-life attorney general Bill Schuette,’” she said, “‘came through.’”


The Profit Motive Steers Abortion

April 6, 2016, Commentary by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, reprinted from

When was the last time you talked to a woman who had suffered, with regret, through the abortion process? As you listened to her tell her story, what did you learn? Did you hear her regret, frustration, embarrassment, and confusion?

Any time abortion becomes part of the public debate, many people run to their corner with their predetermined position. Their mind is made up, and they have their position on the issue.

I, like many women, return to one simple question that has served as a trustworthy guide over the years: “Who is being harmed?” Learning about harm comes from listening to women, learning their stories. This is not merely intellectual content; it is discernment about what is in the heart of each of us.

The modern abortion culture that once said it was all about “safe, legal, and rare” has today set mothers against their own children as though they are enemies. Instead of providing genuine counseling and support for women during a difficult time and a hard decision, staff members add up tallies on white boards listing the clinic’s abortion quotas for the month, according to what we have heard from former managers of abortion clinics. Managers of those clinics recount being told that “everyone who is pregnant who comes through the door gets an abortion.” Clinic workers are told to “up-sell” everyone with additional testing, products, and services – all to improve the bottom line.

Basically, the clinics are looking for profit. Abortion clinics that 15 years ago would’ve spent an hour with young pregnant women now brag that they see five women in an hour. Many of today’s clinics perform webcam abortions, except in states where these have been banned because of numerous life-threatening injuries and deaths resulting from the practice. The abortion culture has become hardened and coarsened. Is this really a good environment for women?

While sitting in abortion-clinic waiting rooms, women are lobbied by tissue-procurement techs to donate their babies’ body parts for research. The consent form displayed in our hearing was called “deceptive” by a Democratic witness because it promised treatment and cures for dreaded diseases. Equally troubling, the same tissue tech aide who is seeking consent is paid a bonus for every part or organ donated. The tech sees the private HIPAA-protected file of the young patient to get her name and her baby’s gestation so that the tech can make more money that day. As one witness said, “Contemplating an abortion is among life’s most stressful events,” and now the woman who is doing so has a salesperson, working on commission, trying to get consent for tissue donation.

Have abortion clinics become all about the bottom line? Recent hearings before Congress have presented the case to ban late-term abortions of babies who are viable, to recognize fetal pain and the harms to women caused by abortion, and to acknowledge that hundreds of people are survivors of abortion – though other babies born alive are allowed to die in the clinic.

So hardened is the abortion culture that on Sunday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asserted: “The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.” Set aside that this view disregards the many rights given to persons by the Constitution. Consider the appalling fact that abortion advocates now insist that the decision to let a baby die who was born alive during an abortion is strictly between the mother and her doctor.

When the idea that a newborn child does not have any rights or personal dignity becomes common, harm – serious harm – is not far behind. The harm comes broadly to children. The harm comes to the very idea of children. And the harm comes to the well-being and long-term health of the mother. Our communities, families, churches, and government should walk alongside a pregnant woman who faces challenges; we should help her welcome her child into the world.

The abortion culture says that pro-life advocates don’t care about the mother or her child after the child is born. That is a lie. We believe that a woman facing an unexpected pregnancy deserves unexpected joy – a life filled with promise that includes her child. In stark contrast, today’s abortion industry cares only about helping itself.


Let the People Have Their Say

April 7, 2016, Senate floor remarks by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-TN)

President Obama will fly to Chicago where he will try and convince Americans that, despite his own actions while in the Senate to deny a Supreme Court nominee a vote, the Constitution somehow now requires the Senate to have a vote on his nominee no matter what – and thereby deny the American people a voice in the future of the Supreme Court. In the words of the Washington Post “Fact-Checker,” he’ll be “telling supporters a politically convenient fairy tale.”

I’m sure he’ll gloss over the fact that the decision about filling this pivotal seat could impact our country for decades, that it could dramatically affect our most cherished Constitutional rights like those contained in the First and Second Amendments.

I’m sure he’ll continue to demand that Washington spend its time fighting on one issue where we don’t agree rather than working together on issues where we do.

I’m sure he’ll spend some time refuting the words of his own Vice President.

I’m sure he’ll repeatedly claim that his nominee is “moderate.”

Not that he means it. It’s just a useful piece of spin that’s been dutifully echoed across the expanse of the Left and in the media for years.

Consider the recent Democratic Supreme Court nominees. One Washington Post columnist hailed the “moderate” record of President Obama’s first pick to the Supreme Court. One New York newspaper proclaimed his second nominee a “pragmatic centrist.”

When President Clinton made his Supreme Court nominations, the Post declared one a – you guessed it – “moderate,” and the New York Times practically fell over itself exalting the “resolutely centrist” style of the other.

That last nominee, who said it would be a good idea to abolish Mother’s Day, was not just firmly centrist, not just decisively centrist but “resolutely centrist” in the Times’ opinion.

The records of every one of these Supreme Court Justices have been anything but moderate or centrist in the years since – they’ve been resolutely Left-wing. But that’s the point. “Moderate” isn’t actually a true descriptor for Democratic Supreme Court nominees; it’s just burned into the printing presses of editorial boards.

Yet even the New York Times has had to admit that President Obama’s current nominee would give Americans the most left-wing Supreme Court in 50 years. That is why the Far Left is squarely behind President Obama’s campaign to deny the American people a say in this momentous decision. They understand the stakes.

They don’t want the American people messing this up for them. And they’ll say what they always say to get what they want today: A far-left Supreme Court for decades to come.

This is just one more reason why the American people are lucky to have a Judiciary Committee Chairman like Senator Grassley in their corner. Senator Grassley is passionate about giving the people of this country a voice in such a critical conversation. He’s stood strong for the people throughout this debate. And he’s proven himself a dedicated legislator throughout this new Majority, with yet another Judiciary Committee-passed bill clearing the Senate on a bipartisan basis this week.

He understands that we don’t need to get stuck fighting about one issue; he understands that we can let the American people make their voices heard on this matter while the Senate continues doing its work on important legislation.