Life Advocacy Briefing

December 19, 2016

Blessed Christmas! / Parting Shot / Two More Wins / Referred for Prosecution
One Up, One Down / Unconflicted Good News from Ohio / Dignity Conferred
‘Nervous Vibe’ at Planned Parenthood / Shoes Dropping on Planned Parenthood?

Blessed Christmas!

WITH CHRISTMAS COMING DURING NEXT WEEKEND, we anticipate suspending publication of Life Advocacy Briefing while we commemorate with family the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Since the following Monday is just past New Year’s Day, we anticipate not returning until our Jan. 9, 2017, edition. (With the volume of relevant news these days, however, we might publish on Jan. 2.) We wish each of our readers a heartfelt blessing in the observance of this holiday season and express heartfelt appreciation to our support team members for their confidence in our publication of Life Advocacy Briefing now for 23 years.


Parting Shot

TWO DAYS BEFORE THE PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION IN JANUARY, a new rule, first published in September and finalized last Wednesday, will take effect officially barring states from disqualifying Planned Parenthood participation in Title X (Ten) “family planning” grants.

The Dept. of Health & Human Services rule can be repealed by vote of both houses of Congress; the new Congress takes office Jan. 3, about two weeks before the rule’s Jan. 18 effective date. Repeal of the rule should be among the first goals for the pro-life movement generally and for pro-life leaders in Congress, adding to an already full agenda.

We urge readers to put on your calendars now – for Jan. 3 – a phone call to Congress at 1-202/224-3121 congratulating your newly sworn-in Member and urging a “yes” vote on motions to repeal the new Obama Title-Ten Planned Parenthood Protection Rule.


Two More Wins

LOUISIANA’s RUN-OFF ELECTION on Dec. 10 brought two new lawmakers to the US House and Senate, and both declare themselves to be “pro-life.”

Louisiana’s state treasurer, John Kennedy, won the run-off election to succeed Sen. David Vitter (R). Senator-elect Kennedy is a Republican convert from the Democratic Party. And State Rep. Mike Johnson, also a Republican who claims pro-life commitment, will take the 4th Congressional District seat now held by Rep. John Fleming (R), a pro-life lawmaker who unsuccessfully sought the Senate seat in the 2016 primary. Incoming Rep. Johnson served as co-counsel in defending the Louisiana law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals in order to safeguard the health of aborting mothers, a key pro-life initiative.

Barring any potential switches in party affiliation, the GOP is poised to maintain control with a 52-to-48 margin in the upper house on Capitol Hill.


Referred for Prosecution

THE HOUSE’s SELECT PANEL ON INFANT LIVES VOTED early this month to refer a variety of abortion businesses (including Planned Parenthood), certain universities and fetal tissue firms for criminal prosecution. The Senate Judiciary Committee last week undertook its own criminal prosecution referrals against Planned Parenthood, and we reprint at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing, a Washington Update commentary reporting on the Senate panel’s action.

Along with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast – based in Texas – the House Select Panel’s prosecution targets include StemExpress and DV Biologics, reports Claire Chretien for, “two medical research companies implicated in the Center for Medical Progress’s investigation, for illegally profiting from fetal body parts. Also referred to law enforcement were the University of New Mexico,” notes Ms. Chretien, “an Arkansas abortion facility, an Ohio university, Advanced Bioscience Resources and Presidential Women’s Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.”

Not all the referrals were to the highly politicized US Justice Dept. The University of New Mexico was referred to the New Mexico Attorney General, notes Ms. Chretien, “for further investigation and prosecution.” Referrals concerning StemExpress “were sent,” reports LifeSiteNews, “to the ElDorado, California, District Attorney and the US Dept. of Justice.”

StemExpress is also the subject, along with “‘certain abortion clinics,’” writes Ms. Chretien, reporting on the Panel’s announcement, of a referral to the US Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) for possible violations of “patient privacy rights under HIPAA for financial gain.”

An Arkansas District Atty. has received a panel referral relating to an Arkansas abortuary which the panel believes “violated the law by selling aborted baby remains to StemExpress for profit,” reports Ms. Chretien. And an “oral referral” was received by the Ohio Attorney General concerning a university in Ohio, which was not named in the LifeSiteNews story but which the Panel concluded “was violating state law by trafficking in aborted baby remains.”

Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast was found by the Panel to have broken the law, notes Ms. Chretien, “when it sold aborted baby remains for profit to the University of Texas.” That complaint has been referred to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), who characterizes himself as “pro-life” and who is married to a lady whose mother gave her up for adoption rather than contracting for her death by abortion.

And the Panel “made a supplemental referral,” reports LifeSiteNews, against DV Biologics, a tissue procurement company which has already been sued by the Orange County, California, district attorney, which the Panel “found to have been illegally trafficking aborted baby remains for profit and … fail[ing] to collect California sales taxes.”


One Up, One Down

OHIO GOV. JOHN KASICH (R) SPLIT THE BABY last week, signing a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to criminalize abortions on babies gestating 20 weeks or more – and therefore capable of experiencing excruciating pain – but vetoing the Heartbeat Bill, which would outlaw abortion on babies whose heartbeats can be detected and requiring abortionists to administer heartbeat tests; the heartbeat of a gestating baby is detectable at six weeks or even earlier, demonstrating the life-reality of babies in very early stages.

A statement issued by the governor and quoted by Fr. Mark Hodges in, “said he was working hard ‘to strengthen Ohio’s protections for the sanctity of human life.’ Defending his decision to veto the Heartbeat bill, [Gov.] Kasich said,” writes Fr. Hodges, “‘The State of Ohio will be the losing party in a lawsuit and, as the losing party, the State of Ohio will be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to cover the legal fees for the pro-choice activists’ lawyers.’”

Sharp divisions in the Ohio pro-life movement have cracked open over strategy as a result of conviction by some that the federal courts will be ready to bring America back to her Constitutional protections for human life, now that the President-elect has vowed to appoint Constitutionalist federal judges, versus concern by others that America could still be years away from the restoration of justice and mercy in the overthrow of Roe v. Wade.

The next step appears to be an attempt to override the governor’s veto by a motion which could prevail. When the bill passed the Ohio House in 2015, its roll call lacked only two votes for a potential override. Operation Rescue is circulating names and telephone numbers of five Ohio state representatives which they believe could be persuaded to add their votes to the majority, hoping to put the bill over the top. Because of our editor’s personal experience as a 16-year state lawmaker in Illinois, we will not be reprinting that information, as we fear a possible backlash in the event of phone-swamping from out-of-state callers; Ohio folks need to work on this, if it’s to happen.

We see this battle – and the stated reservations of Gov. Kasich – as indicative of the need for diligent attention to the decisions the incoming President will make concerning federal judicial appointments at all levels as those opportunities arise, and not just for the Supreme Court.


Unconflicted Good News from Ohio

THE DAYTON-AREA ABORTUARY OWNED BY NOTORIOUS partial-birth abortion pioneer Martin Haskell has lost its license, at last.

Early this month, the Ohio Dept. of Health yanked the license of the so-called Women’s Medical Center “for failure,” reports NRL News Today, “to meet the department’s health and safety standards.”

“‘This is the same facility,’” said Ohio Right to Life executive director Devin Scribner, quoted by NRL News Today, “‘that, according to the Ohio Dept. of Health, violated a woman’s right to refuse an abortion last June. We’re grateful to see action being taken on this facility and are hopeful that it will spare thousands of lives in Dayton.’”

2016 marks the fifth consecutive year that the abortuary sought a variance from the state law requiring, notes NRL News Today, “all ambulatory surgical facilities, including abortion facilities, [to] secure a written transfer agreement with a local hospital,” necessary to provide safety in the event of complications. This time, the Department refused to look the other way.

“‘For years, this abortion facility has operated without sufficient emergency back-up care for the thousands of pregnant women who come through their doors,’ said [Mr.] Scribner” in the NRL News Today report. “‘The whole state of Ohio should be alarmed by this facility’s consecutive failures to either secure an agreement with a local hospital or meet the department’s rules for alternative back-up care. The traditional medical community has rejected doing business with this facility,’” he said, “‘and the state of Ohio is doing the same.’” At long last.


Dignity Conferred

A NEW RULE TAKES EFFECT IN TEXAS TODAY, Dec. 19, requiring abortuaries to treat their victims’ bodies with respect. Instead of pursuing their usual practice of trashing aborted babies’ remains in landfills or grinding them through heavy-duty garbage disposals, reports, “they will be required to burn or cremate” the remains.

“The rules will apply to hospitals and abortion centers,” reports LifeSiteNews, “but not to women who carry out chemical abortions in their homes. The rules will also not apply to babies miscarried at home. …

“Now, instead of being able to profit from aborted babies’ bodies,” notes LifeSiteNews, “Texas abortion centers will have to pay to have them cremated or buried.”

Austin’s Satanic Temple has vowed disobedience to the law, interestingly enough, but Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins told LifeSiteNews, “‘The new law honors the humanity of each child and gives the baby the dignity he or she deserves.’” Amen.


‘Nervous Vibe’ at Planned Parenthood

Dec. 13, 2016, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

May old acquaintance be forgot – especially if that old acquaintance is Planned Parenthood! That’s exactly how pro-lifers are hoping to ring in the new year – by cashing out their forced partnership with the country’s largest abortion business. That’s the fright before Christmas for Cecile Richards’s group, which is already in full panic mode about the incoming Trump Administration and what it means for their lucrative, half-billion-dollar deal with the government. After sinking unprecedented capital into Hillary Clinton’s failed election bid, the group is scrambling to cope with the election aftermath no one saw coming.

In today’s Washington Post, the press picks up on the nervous vibe at America’s abortion headquarters. The distress signals started almost immediately, as the organization jumped out of the Nov. 9th gate with urgent appeals for money to its base. That seemed to work, as donations made mockingly in the name of Vice President-elect (and lifelong advocate for the unborn) Mike Pence came rolling in – to the tune of 70,000 gifts in the first couple of weeks. Now Planned Parenthood is crying poor on a broader scale, appealing to its friends in the media to get the word out that the one-billion-dollar-plus organization may be forced to rely “only” on its hefty corporate support, wealthy private donors, and let’s not forget its biggest moneymaker – abortion – of which it performs a whopping 323,999 a year (and banks anywhere from $500 to $2,000 a procedure, depending on how far along the mother is).

“Obviously we are doing everything we can through advocacy and everything else to make sure we can continue to serve patients,” Planned Parenthood spokesman Erica Sackin bemoaned. “But at the end of the day, this is a fight of a scale that we haven’t seen before, and we need to be realistic about how much is at stake.” According to Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), that’s everything. As President-elect Trump and Republican leadership have promised, a bill that guts ObamaCare and defunds Planned Parenthood is “one of the first orders on the agenda” when Congress gavels back into session next month. “It is time that taxpayers are taken off the hook for supporting an organization that supports the killing of innocent children,” argued Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ).

And supporting the killing of innocent children is only part of the story. Let’s not forget: this is also an organization that was just referred for criminal prosecution for its gruesome baby-parts-for-profit scheme. That should make severing ties with the group not only a financial imperative, but a moral one too. Perhaps losing 40% of its budget – which is the plush economic cushion taxpayers have unwillingly given Richards’s group – will force the lawless group to do some soul-searching.

In the meantime, we all have a job to do. Electing a pro-life President was the first part. Now it’s up to Americans to put the pressure on Congress to hold up its end of the bargain and vote “yes” on a budget that hollows out ObamaCare and pulls the financial rug out from Planned Parenthood. The House and Senate already proved they could do it last year by sending a proposal to the President’s desk. This time around, Republicans have to vote “yes” on the budget resolution in January – or there won’t be a reconciliation bill to finish up the process.

That’s where you come in! Your Senators need to hear from you! Please call them at 1-202/224-3121 and urge them to vote for the budget when they return Jan. 3rd. … Change is in the air in Washington. But if Congress doesn’t take advantage of the mandate of the 2016 election, America will be stuck with the same old Obama status quo in 2017.


Shoes Dropping on Planned Parenthood?

Dec. 14, 2016, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

Twice this month, Planned Parenthood has been referred for prosecution in the baby-body-parts scandal that has engulfed the nation’s largest abortion provider. On Dec. 2nd, the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives referred Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast for prosecution after concluding the committee had ample evidence of “potential criminal activity.” And then yesterday, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who serves as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced that his office is referring Planned Parenthood of America and a few of its local affiliates for investigation by the FBI and the Justice Dept. In making the criminal referral, Sen. Grassley said his staff reviewed more than 20,000 pages of documents and concluded that PPofA had “turned a blind eye to the affiliates’ violations.”

The Senator’s disturbing report concludes that the Justice Dept.’s failure to enforce the law helped create an environment in which baby parts could be sold unimpeded. “I don’t take lightly making a criminal referral,” said Grassley. “But, the seeming disregard for the law by these entities has been fueled by decades of utter failure by the Justice Department to enforce it,” Grassley said. “And unless there is a renewed commitment by everyone involved against commercializing the trade in aborted fetal body parts for profit, then the problem is likely to continue.” The report didn’t even address other possible violations of federal law outside of the scope of Judiciary, and the Select Panel hasn’t completed their investigation either.

Within hours of the criminal referral, the Obama Administration announced a rule that effectively prevents states from defunding Planned Parenthood.  Cong. Diane Black (R-TN), a
registered nurse and member of the Select Panel on Infant Lives, immediately dismissed the new rule, saying, “President Obama knows that hope is rising for the innocent victims of Planned Parenthood’s brutality and the big abortion industry’s days of taxpayer-funded windfalls are numbered. We should not be surprised that his Administration would lash out with this eleventh-hour power grab on the way out the door, but I am certain this rule will not stand for long.” It won’t stand for long because of what happened on Election Day.

Planned Parenthood spent millions of dollars on political activities in this election, expecting a return on its investment – but voters had the final say at the ballot box and resoundingly rejected their abortion agenda. With the criminal referrals piling up on Cecile Richards’s group, the newly elected unified pro-life government can now deliver on its promises and redirect tax dollars away from Planned Parenthood to community health centers who operate under the law. Many of you called your Senators yesterday urging them to defund Planned Parenthood by voting for the budget when Congress returns on Jan. 3rd. Please keep up the pressure by calling both your Senators at 1-202/224-3121. … Change is in the air in Washington!