Life Advocacy Briefing

March 13, 2017

The Grind Begins / Planned Parenthood to President: No Thanks
Planned Parenthood Persisting in Prevarication
March for Life Speech: Sen. Joni Ernst / House Voting Record

The Grind Begins

CONGRESS HAS BEGUN THE CHALLENGING TASK of marking up the American Health Care Act, the Trump/GOP proposal which its backers refer to as “repeal and replacement of ObamaCare.” The measure being worked on in House committees last week is a budget reconciliation measure, designed to bypass the Senate’s 60-vote cloture rule by limiting its provisions to budgetary considerations and avoiding some of the critically needed reforms.

The White House and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) stress that those left-out reforms will be offered in follow-up legislation once the budget reconciliation process has been completed. Those framers have not mentioned how they expect to achieve the 60 votes needed later for the subsequent reforms – items like providing for a pro-competition nationwide insurance market rather than the current state-by-state framework.

We will not – cannot – predict how this will unfold, so we will attempt to limit our reporting to the provisions which directly affect Life issues, though we may reprint from others some of their more far-reaching analyses.

We do urge that this could well be the time for the Senate GOP Majority to modify the Senate’s obstructive “cloture” rule, which hands the minority inordinate power. ObamaCare repeal and replacement has become such a partisan issue – because of the radicalization of the Democratic Party and its Congressional contingents – that 60-vote passage of non-budget fixes might be impossible to achieve. The American people elected majorities in both houses that would repeal ObamaCare; the Senate may have to forego its precious “tradition” (which is, by the way, of recent vintage) to get that critical job done.

With respect to Life-issue concerns, we are pleased that the budget reconciliation proposal disqualifies abortionists – including Planned Parenthood – from federal Medicaid funding. And we expect that the Dept. of Health & Human Services, under the leadership of Secretary Tom Price, will soon be rescinding harmful regulations like the controversial abortifacient-contraceptive employer insurance mandate (in “phase 2” of the repeal agenda, outside direct Congressional action). Though we have neither heard nor read any reports of end-of-life issue considerations in the ObamaCare repeal discussion, we are hopeful the damaging bureaucracies established under ObamaCare – the “death panels,” as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called them – will be obliterated as well.

This is just the beginning of what promises to be a long and tumultuous process. Stay tuned, and stay involved!

Planned Parenthood to President: No Thanks

PLANNED PARENTHOOD IS SO PROUD of its principal business “service,” the abortion industry goliath is apparently willing to forego its half-billion dollars of annual taxpayer funding, though certainly PP CEO Cecile Richards does not plan to go down without a fight.

Indeed, the global abortion industry is so upset that Pres. Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, withdrawing US foreign aid from abortion advocacy overseas, they have already organized a massive fundraising appeal to other countries to replace the funds cut off in January for such abortionists as International Planned Parenthood and the British-based Marie Stopes outfit. Nicely, they are not coming close to replacing the funds they have already “lost” by Presidential order.

Stateside, Pres. Trump made an offer to Planned Parenthood, an offer they were quick to refuse. Quoting from a report by Reagan domestic policy adviser Gary Bauer, who was quoting from the New York Times, “the President [last week] wrote: ‘As I said throughout the campaign, I am pro-life and I am deeply committed to investing in women’s health and plan to significantly increase federal funding in support of non-abortion services such as cancer screenings. Polling shows the majority of Americans oppose public funding for abortion, even those who identify as pro-choice. There is an opportunity for organizations to continue the important work they do in support of women’s health, while not providing abortion services.’”

But the New York Times further reported, according to Claire Chretien, writing for, “the proposal was an ‘impossibility’ for Planned Parenthood officials.”

Though the outfit “claims abortion is ‘only three percent’ of its business,” writes Ms. Chretien, “it commits over 300,000 abortions annually. Ninety-four percent of its pregnancy services,” she notes, “are abortion.

“‘Offering money to Planned Parenthood to abandon our patients and our values is not a deal that we will ever accept,’ said Dawn Laguens, the organization’s executive vice president, quoted by Ms. Chretien. “‘Providing critical healthcare services for millions of American women is non-negotiable.’” And it might be, if abortion were “critical health care” rather than murder for hire.

PP CEO Cecile Richards herself made an admission via the Internet outlet Twitter, also quoted by Ms. Chretien: “‘Planned Parenthood is proud to provide abortion – a necessary service that’s as vital to our mission as birth control or cancer screenings.’”

Ms. Richards reacted to the introduction of the American Health Care Act proposal with, reports Ms. Chretien, “an e-mail to supporters [March 6]. “‘The threat we’ve been warning about has just hit the House of Representatives,’” she wrote, calling the proposal, “the ‘most serious threat to patients in Planned Parenthood’s 100-year history.’”

The Center for Medical Progress (CMP), which has made its mark by exposing Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in aborted baby body parts, issued its own statement, quoted by LifeSiteNews: “‘Today [March 6], Planned Parenthood dropped the mask and showed how extreme their abortion business really is.’ … Its abortion program ‘is the largest [in] the country, but … they claim is “only 3%” of their business. When asked to choose between full-spectrum, mainstream health care for women and families, or late-term abortions and selling baby body parts, Planned Parenthood chose the latter.’”

So, the half-billion-dollars Planned Parenthood has been sucking out of taxpayers annuallyin the US will, if the President and Congressional Republicans succeed, be spent instead on community health centers which offer actual medical care. That is what is proposed in the American Health Care Act, and it is the core of legislation already being proposed in the Senate by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), on which we reported last week. (South Dakota GOP Sen. Mike Rounds has, since we published the list of co-sponsors in our March 6 edition, added his name as a co-sponsor of Sen. Ernst’s S-241.)

Planned Parenthood Persisting in Prevarication

Feb. 28, 2017, BreakPoint commentary by Eric Metaxas

            It turns out that Planned Parenthood is not interested in seeing you if you’re planning to become a parent. So why do they keep insisting otherwise? Money.

            In 2015, the pro-life Center for Medical Progress released a series of videos that showed Planned Parenthood executives haggling with undercover investigators about prices for fetal organs and tissue, which is illegal. Of course, Planned Parenthood denied everything, claiming that the money being discussed was for shipping and handling and that the videos were deceptively edited. But this “caught-red-handed” moment was far from a first for America’s largest abortion provider – or a last.

            Following these incriminating videos, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards claimed that just 3% of her organization’s services are abortions. The vast majority are allegedly less controversial services like STD tests, birth control, pap smears, mammograms and prenatal care.

            Totally untrue. First, as Students for Life explained in a helpful video in 2014, the 3% claim is little more than book-cooking, which is a fancy term for lying. Planned Parenthood obtained this stat by counting each individual service separately – right down to handing women STD tests and condoms. That’d be like Burger King counting fries and ketchup packets and insisting hamburgers are only 3% of their business!

            The real question is: “How many pregnant women who visit Planned Parenthood receive abortions? Well, according to their own annual reports, 93% of pregnant women who walk into a Planned Parenthood facility will walk out without their babies.

            But Planned Parenthood had another whopper in store. According to Cecile Richards, the abortion giant offers essential non-abortion services including mammograms and “prenatal services.”

            Well, that first claim has been thoroughly debunked – in the Washington Post, no less. Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms, and Richards admitted as much in a Congressional hearing. Instead, Planned Parenthood refers women to healthcare providers who do offer mammograms. So much for that claim.

            But what about “prenatal services,” which Richards and other supporters have repeatedly insisted Planned Parenthood provides? Well, my friend and pro-life activist Lila Rose and her organization Live Action recently decided to check that claim out. They contacted 97 Planned Parenthood facilities representing all 41 affiliates where undercover recording is still permitted by state law.

            In a new video, they play phone calls and in-person conversations with Planned Parenthood branches. “Do you provide prenatal services?” asks the investigator, posing as a pregnant woman. The answers were consistent: “Planned Parenthood offers abortions,” said an Arizona affiliate. “No Planned Parenthood does prenatal care, hon,” said a New York affiliate. “We see pregnant women, um, you know, if they are considering other options,” said a New Mexico affiliate, sheepishly.

            Of the 97 centers contacted, all but five said to look elsewhere for prenatal care. So, it’s clear: Planned Parenthood is not interested in seeing women who want to keep their babies. Just in seeing those who want them killed. Clinic managers know what they do; so why doesn’t Cecile Richards?

            It’s a vital question to ask as Congress considers plans to strip the organization of federal support. With a ban on abortion funding making its way to the President’s desk, we need to be asking: Why should Planned Parenthood still be receiving taxpayer dollars? Until now, the nation’s largest abortion provider has pointed to its other services as the reason it deserves our money. But in the wake of this new investigation, we should be asking: What services exactly are they talking about?

March for Life Speech: Sen. Joni Ernst

Jan. 27, 2017, Address to March for Life Rally by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), transcribed by Life Advocacy from televised coverage by EWTN

Oh, God bless you all. Thank you so much. Thanks for being here. And what I am wishing today above all else – what I am wishing for all Americans, whether they are born or unborn – is that they know peace, that they know love, and that they all might be touched by the grace of God. Thank you, all. Thank you all so much for being here and standing up for life. This is important – we know how important it is.

Back in 2015, I introduced a measure to redirect federal dollars for women’s health care away from Planned Parenthood and give that money to places like community health centers, which provide greater healthcare services, regardless of a person’s ability to pay. Because as we all know, Planned Parenthood is the nation’s single largest provider of abortions. Thanks to the help and support of all of you, we saw a bipartisan – let me stress that – bipartisan majority support my measure, and ultimately, we sent it to the President’s desk. But unfortunately, folks, back then, we did not have a President that respected life, and he stopped us.

Thankfully, thankfully today is a different story because today, as you heard from Vice President Pence, we have a pro-life President.

We must keep fighting for those who are unable to protect themselves. So, I am thrilled to announce today that this coming Monday, I will reintroduce that critical legislation to redirect Planned Parenthood funding; we will redirect Planned Parenthood funding to other eligible women’s healthcare providers.

I am also going to introduce a bill Monday to stop what some have referred to as President Obama’s last gift to Planned Parenthood: Title X. Representative Diane Black is joining me in this effort, and it would scrap the Obama Administration’s eleventh-hour rule that entrenches federal family planning funding for Planned Parenthood. Folks, we’re going to stop it.

We, as a pro-life community, honor the civil liberties, independence and strength of a woman, all women. And that means both supporting mothers and rising up to protect the most vulnerable in our society, the innocent babies who are unable to defend themselves.

As a mother, as a grandmother and as a woman, thank you for joining me today and standing up and marching for Life. God bless you all, God bless you all. And again I want to say, Thank You, God, for giving us this day; thank you all for being here, and again, we wish all Americans peace, love and that they will be touched by the grace of God. God bless the United States of America.

House Voting Record

H-Res-55 – Rule for Consideration of HR-7: Permanent ‘Hyde’ Amendment – Procedural motion adopting Rule – Jan. 24, 2017 – Passed – 236-183 (Democrats in italics)

Voting “yes” / pro-Life: Aderholt, Brooks, Byrne, Palmer, Roby, Rogers/AL; Young/AK; Biggs, Franks, Gosar, McSally, Schweikert/AZ; Crawford, Hill, Westerman, Womack/AR; Calvert, Cook, Denham, Hunter, Issa, Knight, LaMalfa, McCarthy, McClintock, Nunes, Rohrabacher, Royce, Valadao, Walters/CA; Buck, Lamborn, Tipton/CO; Bilirakis, Buchanan, Curbelo, DeSantis, Diaz-Balart, Dunn, Gaetz, Mast, Posey, F.Rooney, T.Rooney, Ros-Lehtinen, Ross, Rutherford, Webster, Yoho/FL; Allen, Carter, Collins, Ferguson, Graves, Hice, Loudermilk, A.Scott, Woodall/GA; Labrador, Simpson/ID; Bost, R.Davis, Hultgren, Kinzinger, LaHood, Lipinski, Roskam, Shimkus/IL; Banks, Brooks, Bucshon, Hollingsworth, Messer, Rokita, Walorski/IN; Blum, King, Young/IA; Jenkins, Marshall, Yoder/KS; Barr, Comer, Guthrie, Massie, Rogers/KY; Abraham, Graves, Higgins, Johnson, Scalise/LA; Poliquin/ME; Harris/MD; Amash, Bergman, Bishop, Huizenga, Mitchell, Moolenaar, Trott, Upton, Walberg/MI; Emmer, Lewis, Paulsen, Peterson/MN; Harper, Kelly, Palazzo/MS; Graves, Hartzler, Long, Luetkemeyer, Smith, Wagner/MO; Bacon, Fortenberry, Smith/NE; Amodei/NV; Frelinghuysen, Lance, LoBiondo, MacArthur, Smith/NJ; Pearce/NM; Collins, Donovan, Faso, Katko, King, Reed, Stefanik, Tenney, Zeldin/NY; Budd, Foxx, Holding, Hudson, McHenry, Meadows, Pittenger, Rouzer, Walker/NC; Cramer/ND; Chabot, Davidson, 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, Rothfus, Shuster, Smucker, Thompson/PA; Duncan, Gowdy, Rice, Sanford, Wilson/SC; Noem/SD; Black, Blackburn, DesJarlais, Duncan, Fleischmann, Kustoff, Roe/TN; Arrington, Babin, Barton, Brady, Burgess, Carter, Conaway, Culberson, Farenthold, Flores, Gohmert, Granger, Hensarling, Hurd, S.Johnson, Marchant, McCaul, Olson, Poe, Ratcliffe, Sessions, Smith, Thornberry, Weber, Williams/TX; Bishop, Chaffetz, Love, Stewart/UT; Brat, Comstock, Garrett, Goodlatte, Griffith, Taylor, Wittman/VA; Herrera-Beutler, McMorris-Rodgers, Newhouse, Reichert/WA; Jenkins, McKinley, Mooney/WV; Duffy, Gallagher, Grothman, Sensenbrenner/WI; Cheney/WY.

Voting “no” / anti-Life: Sewell/AL; Gallego, Grijalva, O’Halleran, Sinema/AZ; Aguilar, Barragan, Bass, Bera, Brownley, Carbajal, Cardenas, Chu, Correa, Costa, Davis, DeSaulnier, Eshoo, Garamendi, Khanna, Lee, Lieu, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Matsui, McNerney, Napolitano, Panetta, Pelosi, Peters, Roybal-Allard, Ruiz, Sanchez, Schiff, Sherman, Speier, Swalwell, Takano, Thompson, Torres, Vargas, Waters/CA; DeGette, Perlmutter, Polis/CO; Courtney, DeLauro, Esty, Himes, Larson/CT; Blunt-Rochester/DE; Castor, Crist, Demings, Deutch, Frankel, Hastings, Lawson, Murphy, Soto, Wasserman-Schultz, Wilson/FL; Bishop, Johnson, Lewis, D.Scott/GA; Gabbard, Hanabusa/HI; Bustos, D.Davis, Foster, Gutierrez, Kelly, Krishnamoorthi, Quigley, Schakowsky, Schneider/IL; Carson, Visclosky/IN; Loebsack/IA; Yarmuth/KY; Richmond/LA; Pingree/ME; Brown, Cummings, Delaney, Hoyer, Raskin, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes/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; Kihuen, Rosen, Titus/NV; Kuster, Shea-Porter/NH; Gottheimer, Norcross, Pallone, Pascrell, Sires, Watson-Coleman/NJ; Lujan, Lujan-Grisham/NM; Clarke, Crowley, Engel, Espaillat, Higgins, Jeffries, Lowey, C.Maloney, S.Maloney, Meeks, Meng, Nadler, Rice, Serrano, Suozzi, Tonko, Velazquez/NY; Adams, Butterfield, Price/NC; Beatty, Fudge, Kaptur, Ryan/OH; Bonamici, DeFazio/OR; Boyle, Brady, Cartwright, Doyle, Evans/PA; Cicilline, Langevin/RI; Clyburn/SC; Cohen, Cooper/TN; Castro, Cuellar, Doggett, Gonzalez, A.Green, G.Green, Jackson-Lee, O’Rourke, Vela/TX; Welch/VT; Beyer, Connolly, McEachin, Scott/VA; DelBene, Heck, Jayapal, Kilmer, Larsen, Smith/WA; Kind, Moore, Pocan/WI.

Not Voting: Huffman/CA; Coffman/CO; Price/GA; Rush/IL; Zinke/MT; Payne/NJ; Slaughter/NY; Jones/NC; Blumenauer, Schrader/OR; Mulvaney/SC; E.B.Johnson, Veasey/TX; Ryan/WI.