Life Advocacy Briefing

August 27, 2018

Senate Rejects Amendment to Defund Planned Parenthood
Rocky Roe? / Don’t Wait to Check This Out
Appellate Panel Takes Supreme Court to Task
California Lawmakers Up to No Good / Haskell’s Shop Ordered Closed
Madness in the Name of Autonomy / Senate Voting Record

Senate Rejects Amendment to Defund Planned Parenthood

THE SENATE VOTED late last Thursday to reject an amendment offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) which would have prohibited Health & Human Services funds from payment to Planned Parenthood.

We publish the Senate roll call at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing. It is the first in a long time to be related directly to a Life-honoring proposal rather than judicial confirmations and gives us a solid view of the various Senators’ actions related to protecting taxpayers from complicity in a heinous act, protecting vulnerable mothers from being pressured into aborting their own children and protecting the very lives of innocent unborn boys and girls.

We thank Sen. Paul for offering the amendment and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for posting it to a vote, as there was considerable doubt the Paul Amendment would be taken up, lest its hoped-for adoption jeopardize the massive Health & Human Services Appropriations bill.

We find it unfortunate that a handful of GOP Senators, whose usual voting record would characterize them as “pro-Life,” were not in attendance for the vote, as their “yes” votes could have made a difference. We find it regrettable as well that certain Senate Democrats who occasionally – though rarely – vote with the cause of Life chose this time to side with the nation’s chief contract killer of innocent unborn children and against their own constituents; their position is now clear.

Rocky Roe?

WE WERE SOMEWHAT BEMUSED last week by a report that the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) has partnered with a Portland, Oregon, ice cream shop to push a supposedly new ice cream flavor they are calling “Rocky Roe v. Wade.”

The idea, of course, was to promote a fundraising tool to raise chump change for the perpetuation of the abortion cartel as an unfettered enterprise in America. And to score points in the always-ready-to-embrace-abortion mass media. But to us, it seems somehow appropriate to put the word “rocky” in front of the name of the notorious High Court edict.

Roe is indeed rocky. It is on rocky, uneven, even shaky ground and has been from the day it was handed down. It is not rooted in the Constitution or in the American way of life nor even in science. It causes people to stumble. Its corners are sharp, even deadly. And like ice cream, it is icy cold.

Bottom line: When Americans look for a smooth road to facilitate their pursuit of happiness, Rocky Roe is not it!

Don’t Wait to Check This Out

BACK-TO-SCHOOL SEASON is a time for millions of American families to outfit their children in larger sizes, gather supplies, pay school fees – and for many, tuition – adjust family calendars and work out soon-to-come transportation challenges. But an international family policy group based in Gilbert, Arizona, warns parents to add to their readiness agenda the examination of their schools’ involvement with Planned Parenthood as a supposed educational resource.

“Family Watch is issuing this warning to parents everywhere,” said Family Watch International (FWI) in a news release last Tuesday: “Investigate what Planned Parenthood is doing in your country and in your state – and especially in your children’s schools.

“On the menu for many schoolchildren this year will not only be reading, writing and arithmetic but also [pardon us!] anal sex, oral sex, abortion, gender change, sexual rights and sexual pleasure.” It falls under the term “comprehensive sexuality education (CSE),” and, warns FWI, it “may be coming to a school near you.

“Without question,” says FWI, “the number-one sexualizer of children worldwide is Planned Parenthood. They are working diligently to get to your children through the schools with their radical sexual and gender ideologies.

“We first exposed Planned Parenthood’s agenda to sexualize children,” says FWI, “by uncovering their ‘Healthy, Happy & Hot’ publication distributed to youth at the UN. This booklet,” notes FWI, “encourages HIV-infected youth to engage in various sexual acts as part of realizing their sexual rights and tells youth they don’t have to inform their sexual partners that they are infected with HIV,” despite state laws across the United States criminalizing the intentional transmission of the deadly sexually-transmitted disease.

Sex education, notes FWI, “is a major Planned Parenthood marketing tool for their contraceptive/abortion business. Sex education is how they groom children in order to generate paying customers for ‘services’ provided in their 65,000 service points in over 170 countries. Each child Planned Parenthood sexualizes is a potential lifelong customer for their services,” FWI states. Good point.

Family Watch invites examination of their documentary “The War on Children: The Comprehensive Sexuality Education Agenda,” which is available for viewing on the Internet at

We urge readers of Life Advocacy Briefing to view this video and share it with school board members, pastors and community leaders.

Appellate Panel Takes Supreme Court to Task

THE 11TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS LAST WEEK ENJOINED enforcement of Alabama’s law criminalizing dismemberment-and-evacuation (D&E) abortions, a brutal method employed chiefly in the second trimester of a baby’s gestation. But despite the disappointing outcome of the court’s deliberation, the founder/chairman of Liberty Counsel, Mat Staver, is encouraged by aspects of the court’s ruling.

The court explained in its ruling, reports Liberty Counsel (LC) in a news release, that since “it is not the Supreme Court,” the three-judge panel had no choice but to affirm the lower court’s ruling that prohibiting D&E “violates the High Court’s decisions,” reflecting “its reluctance to overturn the law but its allegiance to its role as an intermediate appellate court under the authority of the Supreme Court’s previous decisions.”

But even while handing down its ruling, the 11th Circuit “criticized the Supreme Court’s abortion decisions,” reports LC, “calling them an ‘aberration of constitutional law.’” [Warning to Reader: Specific comments below are graphic but true.]

One of the judges, Judge Joel F. Dubina, wrote a special concurrence, declaring, reports LC, “‘I write separately to agree on record with Justice Thomas’s concurring opinion in Gonzalez v. Carhart …, with whom then Justice Scalia also joined. Specifically, Justice Thomas wrote, ‘I write separately to reiterate my view that the Court’s abortion jurisprudence, including Casey … and Roe v. Wade …, has no basis in the Constitution.’ … The problem that I have, as noted in the Chief Judge’s opinion, is that I am not on the Supreme Court,” notes Judge Dubina, “and as a federal appellate judge, I am bound by my oath to follow all of the Supreme Court’s precedents, whether I agree with them or not.’”

The three-judge panel, in handing down its opinion, referred to LC’s amicus brief, filed on behalf of the American Assn. of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists and the American College of Pediatricians, in which the facts were laid out concerning the ability of developing babies to feel intense pain “as early,” states LC in its news release, “as eight weeks. …

“The court used graphic language,” reports LC, “to describe the brutal abortion procedure: ‘This case involves a method of abortion,’” wrote the court, “‘that is clinically referred to as Dilation & Evacuation (D&E). Or dismemberment abortion, as the State [of Alabama] less clinically calls it. That name is more accurate,’” wrote the court, “‘because the method involves tearing apart and extracting piece-by-piece from the uterus what was until then a living unborn child. This is usually done during the 15-to-18-week stage of development,’” the court noted, quoted by LC, “‘at which time the unborn child’s heart is already beating.’ …

“The court continues its description,” reports LC, “of the barbarous act of dismemberment abortion: ‘As Justice Kennedy has described this method of ending a pregnancy, dismemberment abortion “requires the abortionist to use instruments to grasp a portion (such as a foot or hand) of a developed and living fetus and drag the grasped portion out of the uterus into the vagina.” [Stenberg v. Carhart …]. The practitioner then “uses the traction created by the opening between the uterus and vagina to dismember the fetus, tearing the grasped portion away from the remainder of the body.” [Justice Kennedy in Stenberg v. Carhart] That is not the result of any sadistic impulses of the practitioner,’” wrote the court in the ruling quoted by LC, “‘but instead is part and parcel of the method.’”

The court went on, reports LC, clearly showing that the judges understood what they were doing but believe they have no choice under the current Supreme precedents, “‘In this type of abortion, the unborn child dies the way anyone else would if dismembered alive. “It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb.” [Stenberg v. Carhart] It can, however, “survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.” [Stenberg v. Carhart] The plaintiff practitioner in the Stenberg case testified,’” writes the 11th Circuit panel, quoted by LC, “‘that using ultrasound he had observed a heartbeat even with “extensive parts of the fetus removed.” [Stenberg v. Carhart] But the heartbeat cannot last. At the end of the abortion – after the larger pieces of the unborn child have been torn off with forceps and the remaining pieces sucked out with a vacuum,’” the panel wrote, quoted by LC, “‘the “abortionist is left with a tray full of pieces.” [Stenberg v. Casey] It is no wonder,’” wrote the 11th Circuit judges, quoted by LC, “‘that Justice Ginsburg has described this method of abortion as “gruesome” and “brutal.” [Gonzalez v. Carhart … Justice Ginsburg dissenting]’”

“‘Alabama’s law is a common-sense solution to a barbaric and gruesome procedure,’” said Mr. Staver in the LC release. “‘If the vilest criminal has human dignity that prevents cruel and unusual punishment, then how much more should laws protect an innocent unborn child from the most despicable form of torture and death? There are just seven countries in the world that allow children to endure this barbaric procedure, and that disgraceful list includes the United States.

“‘We must make the womb a safe place again,’” Mr. Staver declared in the LC release. “‘This case or one like it cries out to the Supreme Court Justices to reverse the horrible abortion decisions. As the [11th Circuit] Court correctly noted,’” said Mr. Staver, “‘the Supreme Court abortion decisions are an “aberration of Constitutional law.” This is true, but they also violate higher law and condone the worst kind of infanticide.’”

We can only hope the 11th Circuit’s tragic refusal to allow Alabama to enforce its just and merciful law will be appealed to the US Supreme Court and stand as one more reason for the Senate to speedily confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

California Lawmakers Up to No Good

DETERMINED TO STAND OUT AMONG STATE LAWMAKERS across America, California lawmakers are poised to pass a new law mandating all University of California and California State University campuses to push pills killing unborn babies at the schools’ campus “health” clinics and starting out the inhumane program at $200,000 in state taxpayers’ dollars to each campus.

The pills being foisted on campus health personnel are RU-486 and its companion drug, misoprostol, which together kill developing unborn boys and girls.

What is more, the Fresno Bee’s Aleksandra Appleton reports concerns by Bernadette Tasy, president of Fresno Students for Life, that “SB-320 would be funded in part through student fees. ‘There’s no prohibition in the bill from using student fees; in fact, it’s sort of implied that they will be used eventually,’ she said” in the Bee report. “‘I don’t want my student fees to go towards it.’”

We’ll bet there are millions of taxpayers in California that don’t want their taxes spent for the killing of unborn children either – nor for the abetment of the sexual delinquency of young people.

Millions of their fellow countrymen would not want the same for their young people – born and unborn – either. So let’s be vigilant and make this one time that what happens in California – if indeed it must, in the current radical political climate there – does not spread east or north. Hardly a sanctuary!

Haskell’s Shop Ordered Closed

A JUDGE IN OHIO LAST WEEK UPHELD A STATE HEALTH DEPT. ORDER revoking the Ambulatory Surgical Facility license of notorious late-term abortionist Martin Haskell, reports Cheryl Sullenger for Operation Rescue (OR). The abortuary has 30 days to appeal the ruling.

“Attempts to close the infamous abortion facility began in 2015,” notes Mrs. Sullenger, “after the Health Dept. determined that the Women’s Med Center had failed to meet licensing requirements by not obtaining an approved hospital transfer agreement.” (No legitimate hospital would take responsibility for the outcomes of late-term abortions in the facility owned by one of the two principal developers of the notorious partial-birth abortion technique.)

The late-term shop is located in Kettering, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton.

Madness in the Name of Autonomy

August 21, 2018, BreakPoint commentary by John Stonestreet & Roberto Rivera

            In 2014, Belgium, which already had perhaps the most permissive euthanasia laws in the world, amended those laws to permit doctors to euthanize children.

            As is always the case, the rationale was a mixture of wooly thinking: a professed desire to alleviate suffering and a belief that children – some as young as nine – have the requisite emotional and intellectual capacity to choose to end their lives.

            This is lethal nonsense, as Charles Lane of the Washington Post has repeatedly pointed out.

            Lane’s most recent column on the subject was prompted by a July report issued by the Belgian agency that regulates euthanasia. According to the report, between the start of 2016 and the end of 2017, Belgian doctors euthanized three children, one of them only 9 years old and another 11 years old.

            A member of the commission told Lane the law was strictly followed. He said, “I saw mental and physical suffering so overwhelming that I thought we did a good thing.”

            Actually, as Lane pointed out, the gentleman didn’t see anything. He was “relying on reports by the anonymous physicians who participated in the euthanasias.” The simple fact is there’s no way to independently verify the physicians’ assertions about the hopelessness of these children’s conditions, or how close they were to natural death. We simply have to take their word for it.

            In Belgium, euthanasia is, to borrow an expression from science, a “black box.” We can see what it does – kill people, old and young – but we have no real idea about how it really works.

            There are several things that make euthanizing children especially repugnant. As Lane writes, “Everywhere else in the world, the law reflects powerful human intuitions, moral and practical: that it is wrong to abandon hope for a person so early in life, no matter the illness … .”

            This is why the death of a child is so devastating, spiritually as well as emotionally. It’s why the parents of children with disabilities, both cognitive and physical, are fierce advocates for their children and those like them. The 2016 book, In a Different Key: The Story of Autism, is filled with stories about the parents of autistic children who refused to abandon hope for their children and instead persuaded the rest of society not to abandon hope, either.

            But not only is Belgium turning its back on this noblest of human intuitions, it’s also turning its back on the responsibility to protect children from themselves. As Lane writes, “It is absurd to grant ultimate medical autonomy to someone too young to vote or legally consent to sex.”

            Think about it: In Belgium, if a 15-year-old girl expresses a desire to have sex with a 20-year-old boy, the answer is “no!” Her parents can’t write her a note exempting the “relationship” from the country’s laws against statutory rape. They can’t “consent” on her behalf. And yet in Belgium a request from a nine-year-old to end his life is taken seriously. While his parents can intervene and veto the request, absent such a veto, the same black box that has ended the life of more than 4,000 adults will consider his request.

            An analogous dynamic is on display here in the US. Children who can’t legally consent to having sex under any circumstances somehow are still taken seriously when it comes to the life-changing decision to begin taking puberty blockers. There’s even legal advice about how to get around recalcitrant parents, by invoking what’s called the “mature minor doctrine.”

            All of this is an assault on the highest calling parents have: to protect and cherish our children. But this is what happens when people make autonomy their god: They end up sacrificing children on its altar.

Senate Voting Record

Paul Amendment to Prohibit HHS Funding of Planned Parenthood – Aug. 23, 2018 – Rejected – 45-48 (Democrats in italics; “Independent” marked with “I”)

Voting “yes” / pro-Life: Shelby/AL, Sullivan/AK, Flake/AZ, Boozman & Cotton/AR, Gardner/CO, Rubio/FL, Isakson & Perdue/GA, Crapo & Risch/ID, Young/IN, Ernst & Grassley/IA, Moran & Roberts/KS, McConnell & Paul/KY, Cassidy & Kennedy/LA, Hyde-Smith & Wicker/MS, Blunt/MO, Daines/MT, Sasse/NE, Heller/NV, Burr & Tillis/NC, Hoeven/ND, Portman/OH, Inhofe & Lankford/OK, Toomey/PA, Graham & Scott/SC, Rounds & Thune/SD, Alexander/TN, Cornyn/TX, Hatch & Lee/UT, Capito/WV, Johnson/WI, Barrasso & Enzi/WY.

Voting “no” / anti-Life: Jones/AL, Murkowski/AK, Feinstein & Harris/CA, Bennet/CO, Blumenthal & Murphy/CT, Carper & Coons/DE, Nelson/FL, Duckworth & Durbin/IL, Donnelly/IN, Collins & King(I)/ME, Cardin & VanHollen/MD, Markey & Warren/MA, Peters & Stabenow/MI, Klobuchar & Smith/MN, McCaskill/MO, Tester/MT, Cortez-Masto/NV, Hassan & Shaheen/NH, Booker & Menendez/NJ, Heinrich & Udall/NM, Gillibrand & Schumer/NY, Heitkamp/ND, Brown/OH, Merkley & Wyden/OR, Casey/PA, Reed & Whitehouse/RI, Leahy & Sanders/VT, Kaine & Warner/VA, Cantwell/WA, Manchin/WV, Baldwin/WI.

Not voting: McCain/AZ, Hirono & Schatz/HI, Fischer/NE, Corker/TN, Cruz/TX, Murray/WA.