Life Advocacy Briefing

May 1, 2017

Iowa Legislature Defunds Planned Parenthood / Iowa Gets It Right, Again
And Then There’s Illinois / Diminishing Returns
‘What Wins Elections’ / Priorities

Iowa Legislature Defunds Planned Parenthood

IT TOOK ONLY SEVEN DAYS for the Iowa legislature to respond to the law signed by President Trump last month to revoke the Obama regulation barring states from excluding Planned Parenthood from their Title X (Ten) programs.

Included in the $1.77 billion state health and social service budget, which passed along party lines, reports Steve Weatherbe for, was a provision which “denies state family planning funds to organizations doing abortions. Because Medicaid spending in this area is tied to state allocations,” he writes, “the defunding will cost the state nearly $3 million in federal money.”

But Republican Sen. Amy Sinclair was quick to assure, notes Mr. Weatherbe, “that health care would still be provided ‘in a way that is balanced with the needs and the concerns and the conscientious objections of those taxpayers that we represent who are frankly offended to their very soul by the intentional and unnecessary termination of the life of another human being.’”

The lawmakers behind the disqualification “listed 47 federally qualified health centers and 170 rural health clinics” that Iowa “patients can use instead,” writes Mr. Weatherbe.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, through spokesman Rachel Lopez, said, reports LifeSiteNews, “the Republicans ‘should be ashamed of themselves. They are playing games, with the lives of low-income Iowans at stake.’”

But Jenifer Bowen, head of Iowa Right to Life, was also quoted in the LifeSiteNews story, which notes “this is the first time in decades … that the state has had a pro-life Senate, House and governor at the same time. ‘It’s been great to watch them work,’ [Ms. Bowen] told LifeSiteNews. ‘Americans are just sick and tired of bankrolling the abortion industry.’”

Iowa Gets It Right, Again

IOWA LAWMAKERS HAVE SENT TO GOV. TERRY BRANSTAD (R) a bill outlawing the abortion-killing of unborn babies who have reached the gestational age of 20 weeks. The bill further provides for a 72-hour waiting period and informed consent via ultrasonography.

The governor’s signature will make Iowa “the sixth US state,” reports Lisa Bourne for, “to have a three-day waiting period for an abortion, according to data from the Planned Parenthood-affiliated Guttmacher Institute. Seventeen other states,” notes Ms. Bourne, “have banned abortion at 20 weeks, the point during pregnancy at which research has shown the unborn child can feel pain.”

In a dramatic, persuasive moment during floor debate on the measure, the bill’s Senate manager, Sen. Mark Costello (R-Imogene), writes Ms. Bourne, “described placing his hand on his pregnant wife’s stomach when she was five months along and how he could feel the baby kicking. ‘At 20 weeks,’” Sen. Costello said, “‘the baby is fully formed and developed.’”

And Then There’s Illinois

IN A MOVE DRAMATICALLY OUT OF STEP WITH ITS HEARTLAND NEIGHBORS, the Illinois House has passed a radical abortion measure which would force taxpayers to fund abortions in the state and would strip from the statute books a long-standing, post-Roe public policy declaration defining unborn children as persons.

The proposed enactment of HB-40 is an admission of fear on the part of abortion fanatics that the days of Roe v. Wade are numbered; otherwise they would not take the trouble to repeal a section of law which has sat in the statute books, without enforcement, for 42 years. Here is the oh-so-frightening section from the Illinois Abortion Act of 1975: “It is the intention of the General Assembly of the State of Illinois to reasonably regulate abortion in conformance with the decisions of the United States Supreme Court of January 22, 1973. Without in any way restricting the right of privacy of a woman or the right of a woman to an abortion under those decisions, the General Assembly of the State of Illinois do solemnly declare and find in reaffirmation of the longstanding policy of this State, that the unborn child is a human being from the time of conception and is, therefore, a legal person for purposes of the unborn child’s right to life and is entitled to the right to life from conception under the laws and Constitution of this State.

“Further,” reads the supposedly offensive section, “the General Assembly finds and declares that longstanding policy of this State to protect the right to life of the unborn child from conception by prohibiting abortion unless necessary to preserve the life of the mother is impermissible only because of the decisions of the United States Supreme Court and that, therefore, if those decisions of the United States Supreme Court are ever reversed or modified or the United States Constitution is amended to allow protection of the unborn then the former policy of this State to prohibit abortions unless necessary for the preservation of the mother’s life shall be reinstated.”

Whoa. One can see the cause for fear, eh? A law which has sat quietly on the books for 42 years. But one which could conceivably be used to trigger unborn-child protections in the event of the “loss” of Roe?

The radical proposal which nullifies this statute passed the Illinois House on April 25 by a vote of 62-55, needing 60, and is awaiting committee assignment in the State Senate. The telephone number of the state capitol switchboard in Springfield, for those readers who live in Illinois, is 1-217/782-2000.

Diminishing Returns

TWO MORE ABORTUARY CLOSURES CAME TO LIGHT in late April, with surrender of the license of a Louisiana abortion shop in Bossier City and a court order closing a Stephen Brigham abortuary in Wilmington, Delaware.

The shuttering of the Bossier City shop near Shreveport follows five years of pro-life prayer vigils, including repeated attention from the 40 Days for Life campaign. Louisiana is now home to just three abortuaries, according to Fr. Mark Hodges, writing for The three remaining shops are in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport.

The Brigham business in Wilmington has been the subject of a three-year lawsuit brought by the landlord, who was reportedly deceived by the notorious abortionist into believing the lease was for a suite of doctors offering gynecological and obstetrical services. Apparently on learning that the elderly abortionist doing Mr. Brigham’s dirty work at “Premier Ob-Gyn” was planning to retire from his employment there, Mr. Brigham stopped contesting the lawsuit during a hearing on April 24. “Judge Susan Ufberg,” reports Moira Sheridan, an Operation Rescue volunteer who attended the hearing, “accepted [Mr.] Brigham’s lawyer’s offer to ‘vacate the property within two weeks’ after a brief rehash of his failures to pay nine months’ rent totaling $37,708.05. …

“Local pro-lifers kept a steady vigil on abortion days at Premier Ob-Gyn for the past three years, much to the consternation of the other businesses in the building. Their vigilance and persistence in reaching out to the [landlord],” writes Ms. Sheridan, “contributed much to the closing of this clinic.”

‘What Wins Elections’

April 25, 2017 Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            Nebraska isn’t usually a pin on the map of political hotspots, but that all changed this week with Omaha’s candidates for mayor. Thanks to Heath Mello’s (D) pro-life views, a race that would have been a footnote in the national news has exploded into a front-page headline about the DNC’s [Democratic National Committee’s] hard ideological line on abortion.

            After years of squeezing out socially conservative Democrats, the party is struggling to win back seats in the heartland, where voters might lean Left on economic issues, but pro-life, pro-faith roots run deep. New DNC Chairman Tom Perez tried to walk that line with an endorsement for Mello, only to face fire from the abortion militants in his own camp. Without pulling the DNC’s support, he sent a chilling message to all Democratic candidates that nothing less than unconditional surrender on Life would be tolerated. “Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” Perez said. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state. … At a time when women’s rights are under assault from the White House, the Republican Congress and in states across the country,” he added, “we must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice.”

            Telling pro-lifers to drop dead isn’t exactly the smartest political strategy, Dave Freddoso points out. In his op-ed, “Democrats Unlearn Their Own Election History,” he – like a lot of voters – couldn’t believe his ears. “It is puzzling that the head of a political party, whose job is to win elections, would send such a clearly exclusionary message to officeholders and candidates without whose victory his party would probably remain a minority forever.”

            Obviously, Perez seems intent on following Hillary Clinton into some of the most radical terrain on abortion ever broached. From her shameless support of taxpayer-funded abortion to her elevation of groups that illegally sell baby body parts, the former First Lady was determined to make November’s election about an extreme social agenda that’s increasingly out of touch with women. And she paid dearly for it. With Planned Parenthood cheering her on, Clinton rushed to embrace the “abortion-ization” of the Democratic Party without any regard to the political consequences. Which, on November 8, were many.

            Ignoring thousands of pro-life Democrats, the DNC’s platform was a case study in over-the-top extremism. For the first time in history, it called for overturning the Hyde and Helms amendments, demanding that federal taxpayers fund abortion-on-demand at home and abroad. (Not only did DNC leaders want abortion to be a routine medical procedure, they wanted Americans to pay for the entire world’s!) That in itself was a crystallizing moment for the country, which could only marvel at the sharp contrasts between the two parties.

            Under the GOP platform, Republicans reiterated their support for the walls between taxpayers and the dark world of abortion, calling on Congress to make the Hyde Amendment permanent in all walks of government funding – including health care. They also insisted on defending the First Amendment rights of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and organizations when it comes to issues like abortion funding, procedures, drugs and health insurance. The Democrats supported Planned Parenthood by name. The Republicans, for the first time, called for the defunding [of] it. In every possible way, the parties confirmed what everyone already knew: They are polar opposites.

            It’s those growing ideological differences that set the stage for inner-party squabbles like Mello’s. If anyone needed proof that the mushy middle is shrinking, it’s the drama playing out in Omaha. Hopefully, the GOP will learn from Nebraska (and from last November) that being a social squish doesn’t work. Donald Trump won the election by appealing to his base, not bowing to moderates. In a political arena with fewer gray areas, what wins elections is taking a strong stance – which, in the GOP’s case, also happens to be the popular one.

            While the DNC continues to shamelessly promote abortion right up to the moment of birth, polling shows that it’s a far cry from voters’ position on the issue. Almost eight in 10 Americans (78%) would limit abortion to the first trimester – including 62% who call themselves “pro-choice.” Voters let the DNC know what [they] thought about its extreme agenda last November. I hope the GOP was listening!


April 26, 2017, commentary by Bradley Mattes, president, Life Issues Institute

            Federal officials this week announced the indictment of 15 people for illegally trafficking body parts. Officials said the people they charged with this heinous crime treated the body parts like merchandise. But this isn’t what it seems.

            These body parts commanded a handsome price. The entire body fetched as much as $1,200, heads went for $250 and a set of wings, $900.

            Yes, a set of wings. Those facing federal indictment for illegally trafficking body parts weren’t selling pieces of aborted babies. They were selling body parts of eagles. For profit. And they are experiencing the full wrath of the American legal system.

            US Attorney Randy Seiler [Obama-era holdover, posted in South Dakota] said in addition to the indictments, there will be significant federal charges to come. And you can expect them to throw the book at them – as well as the kitchen sink. And they should. But the irony of this situation compared with the sale of aborted baby body parts is astounding. 

            According to Gareth Davies with, the sellers would kill the birds, hack them to pieces and market them. Davies labeled the lucrative but illegal business venture a “cruel crime ring.”

            The charges follow a two-year undercover investigation where, in part, informants posed as buyers to purchase ceremonial fans and eagle feathers from the alleged criminals. Seller used code words to disguise their sordid trade by using names of animals and car parts when describing portions of birds. Seiler called the enterprise a “chop-shop for eagles.” Appalling? Absolutely!

            The media response to the slaughter and sale of eagles will no doubt sharply contrast with the near-silent coverage of Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby body parts.

            The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) conducted a 2-and-a-half-year undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry, exposing a ghastly enterprise of dissecting aborted unborn babies and selling their parts to middlemen. For profit.

            Pro-lifers posed as tissue buyers interested in purchasing human body parts to then sell to laboratories and universities for experimentation. The video evidence they uncovered was devastating for Planned Parenthood.

            Like those exploiting eagles for financial profit, the individuals dealing in baby body parts made attempts to disguise the true nature of their “product.” During one CMP video, instead of stating they were offering human babies for sale, the parties referred to them as “cases.” Cate Dyer with StemExpress explained that she must take precautions with entities that order baby body parts, relaying the response of some labs. “We need limbs but no hands and feet need to be attached. Make it so that we don’t know what it is. The lab techs freak out and have a meltdown … .”

            You would expect that the evidence revealed by pro-life undercover investigators would be used against the perpetrators who are selling aborted baby body parts.

            Officials prosecuting the eagle poachers show us how it should be done. They’re using the evidence collected by those who purchased eagle feathers and fans. However, in the case of the sale of aborted baby body parts, officials have actually turned against the investigative journalists who produced the incriminating video and sided with the profiteers.

            The state of California charged CMP staff David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt with 15 federal crimes, including recording conversations and using false identities to infiltrate the abortion industry – both are common techniques used by investigative journalists. Similar charges were filed against CMP in Texas but proven to be baseless and later dropped.

            It comes down to this: Unborn babies lack the political clout enjoyed by America’s eagles, so getting justice for the brutalities leveled against them will be much harder to achieve. CMP has presented overwhelming evidence that Planned Parenthood, the abortion industry, body-part middlemen, laboratories and universities are violating the law by the sale and purchase of human beings. You and I must be a voice for these voiceless victims. We must demand that officials at least do for innocent unborn babies what is being done for eagles.