Reproductive Health

Supreme Court Rejects Attempt At Restrictive Six-Week Abortion Ban

There has long been a debate raging within the anti-abortion movement between those who have mapped out a careful strategy to slowly chip away at Roe v. Wade through incremental restrictions on abortion and those who want to launch legal broadsides against abortion rights in the hopes that one will take Roe down once and for all.

The incrementalists will have their big day in court on March 2, when the Supreme Court hears arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, a challenge to a set of laws in Texas that seeks to cut off access to legal abortion even as the procedure remains legal. Whole Woman’s Health is the culmination of a decades-long strategy by groups like Americans United for Life to choke off abortion access by creating unnecessary regulations on clinics. These groups are also hoping to get the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe in the form of laws banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, just before when the court has said that abortion bans are legal.

But those who want to find a silver bullet to end abortion rights completely just had a day in court too … and it didn’t go well for them.

The Supreme Court today declined to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that struck down North Dakota’s “fetal heartbeat” law, which would have banned abortion at about six weeks of pregnancy, before many women even know that they are pregnant. The law was clearly unconstitutional — one prominent anti-choice lawyer has called such efforts “futile” — but North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said that it was an “attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade.”

The boundaries of Roe v. Wade, it turns out, however much they may be weakened by incremental restrictions, still prevent banning almost all abortions.

Yet today’s rejection is unlikely to halt the efforts of “heartbeat bill” crusaders, the most prominent of whom is Religious Right activist Janet Porter, who is currently running for the legislature in her home state of Ohio in an effort to push such a bill through.

PFAW

Supreme Court Rejects Attempt At Restrictive Six-Week Abortion Ban

There has long been a debate raging within the anti-abortion movement between those who have mapped out a careful strategy to slowly chip away at Roe v. Wade through incremental restrictions on abortion and those who want to launch legal broadsides against abortion rights in the hopes that one will take Roe down once and for all.

The incrementalists will have their big day in court on March 2, when the Supreme Court hears arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, a challenge to a set of laws in Texas that seeks to cut off access to legal abortion even as the procedure remains legal. Whole Woman’s Health is the culmination of a decades-long strategy by groups like Americans United for Life to choke off abortion access by creating unnecessary regulations on clinics. These groups are also hoping to get the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe in the form of laws banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, just before when the court has said that abortion bans are legal.

But those who want to find a silver bullet to end abortion rights completely just had a day in court too … and it didn’t go well for them.

The Supreme Court today declined to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that struck down North Dakota’s “fetal heartbeat” law, which would have banned abortion at about six weeks of pregnancy, before many women even know that they are pregnant. The law was clearly unconstitutional — one prominent anti-choice lawyer has called such efforts “futile” — but North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said that it was an “attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade.”

The boundaries of Roe v. Wade, it turns out, however much they may be weakened by incremental restrictions, still prevent banning almost all abortions.

Yet today’s rejection is unlikely to halt the efforts of “heartbeat bill” crusaders, the most prominent of whom is Religious Right activist Janet Porter, who is currently running for the legislature in her home state of Ohio in an effort to push such a bill through.

House GOP Seeks Names Of Medical Students, Could Endanger Abortion Patient Information

Roll Call reported yesterday that Democratic members of the House select committee investigating the accusations against Planned Parenthood inspired by recent “sting” videos have taken issue with a set of “overbroad document requests” that Republicans on the committee have sent to some health care providers, including requests for information on medical students who learn about abortion and one request that could expose information on patients:

Six Democrats serving on a select panel investigating Planned Parenthood are accusing their Republican counterparts of issuing document requests that “pose grave privacy and security concerns.”

In a letter sent Thursday to the panel’s Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., the Democratic members of the select committee cite a recent request to a health care provider in which Republicans ask for “a list of any students, residents, or other medical personnel” who have participated in an abortion, prenatal or postnatal infant care, as well as all communications between the provider and any government officials.

The requests “appear to be a completely unjustified attack on women’s healthcare,” wrote the Democrats, who said they were not consulted about the queries. “Whether intended or not, these requests would require a healthcare provider to turn over to Congress the personal medical information of any patient who happens to work for the federal government or any State.”

Whatever led to the committee’s requests, the providers who received them had good reason to express concern. Efforts to root out the identity of abortion providers and even patients have long been a mainstay of radical anti-choice activists. This effort has also included intimidating medical students.

In 1993, Mark Crutcher, the activist who inspired the video project that led to the congressional investigations, somehow got a list of tens of thousands of medical students and sent them a “joke” book that included this barrel of laughs:

Q.: What would you do if you found yourself in a room with Hitler, Mussolini and an abortionist and you had a gun with only two bullets?

A: Shoot the abortionist twice.

Crutcher said he wasn’t advocating violence against abortion providers, but was trying to dissuade medical students from becoming abortion providers, saying, “Basically, what we’re saying to the medical community is, ‘Look, if you want to do abortions, that’s fine, but you’d better understand something. There’s a hell of a price to pay.’”

There’s no evidence that Republicans on the committee are deliberately intimidating medical students or patients, but it’s not hard to understand why these requests might make providers nervous.

Protesters Warn 'The Troubles For Planned Parenthood Have Only Just Begun'

On Thursday morning, about 50 protesters gathered in the bitter cold in front of a new Planned Parenthood facility that is under construction in northeast Washington, D.C. Although local protesters have been picketing the construction site for months, yesterday’s protest brought in activists from around the country who were in town for the March for Life, becoming something of a reunion for the old guard of the anti-abortion “rescue” movement.

The event included an appearance by David Daleiden, the activist behind this summer’s anti-Planned Parenthood “sting” operation, whose work grew out of the radical “rescue” movement and who has become a hero in all factions of the anti-abortion movement. It also included a one-man counter-protest from a parent whose child’s school next door was closed to avoid the event; an exhortation to be willing to die fighting legal abortion; and a brief exorcism.

Although the event was fairly small, the mood was hopeful, even victorious.

Daleiden, who is now being sued by Planned Parenthood for racketeering, told the crowd that the facility under construction behind them looked “kind of like fortresses or the castle of an evil baron in a fairy tale” but that Planned Parenthood was “stopped in their tracks” and “the days of legalized, state-subsidized, industrial-scale child-killing in our country are numbered.”

He said that 2016 would be a “historic, watershed year” for opponents of legal abortion, citing the congressional select committee investigating his allegations about Planned Parenthood and the upcoming Supreme Court hearing in Whole Women’s Health v. Texas, which he said “will be something that will continue to break down the fortress.”

Joe Scheidler, the founding father of the “direct action” anti-abortion movement,  which seeks to cut off legal abortion at its source by picketing clinics and harassing providers, was at the protest along with his son and successor at the Pro-Life Action League, Eric Scheidler. Eric Scheidler presented Daleiden with a tongue-in-cheek “Racketeers for Life” button, noting that Daleiden is being represented by the same attorneys who represented his father when he faced similar charges.

Father Frank Pavone, the head of Priests for Life, also acknowledged the link between Daleiden’s work and the rescue movement. He noted that Mark Crutcher, whose unsuccessful “sting” operation 15 years ago inspired Daleiden’s attempt to frame Planned Parenthood for mishandling fetal tissue, is now creating a national training facility to build what Crutcher hopes will be “a whole army of David Daleidens.”

“The troubles for Planned Parenthood have only just begun,” Pavone said, adding that he thought that Daleiden’s operation would lead to prosecutions and then praising Crutcher’s effort to build “a new army of people into the abortion industry undercover.”

“So our message to Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry today is very simple,” he said. “Be on your toes because we are in your midst, we are behind your doors, we are in your secret meetings, we are working for you and with you though you know it not, but in His good time the God who reveals all secrets will reveal that too.”

“We will see the end of this Holocaust,” he declared.

Joan Andrews Bell, known in the movement for having spent years in jail for various violations of trespassing laws during abortion clinic protests, spoke briefly, saying, “I want you to know that the rescue movement isn’t dead. Jesus rescued us on the cross, he rescued us. And every single one of you ... you are part of the rescue movement, you are rescuing babies.”

Monica Miller, another longtime leader of the rescue movement, compared the efforts of protesters to the civil rights movement, saying that anti-abortion activists must be willing to give up their livelihoods and even their lives for the cause.

“To stop abortion, to be involved with this injustice, to want to see it end, you can’t live a normal life anymore,” she said. “All that’s gone. All your plans of having, ‘Oh, let’s get married, we’ll have children, we’ll buy the house, this is going to happen next and this is my plan,’ all that’s gone. You’re not going to live a normal life anymore. Are we willing to really allow ourselves to be spent, to allow ourselves to be spent so that others may live? And that means are we willing to allow our property to be taken, our jobs to be lost, our reputations to be lost, are we willing to go to jail, are you willing to die, give up your life for this social justice, moral spiritual cause?”

She urged activists to use any peaceful means necessary to prevent the new Planned Parenthood building from opening, including blocking its doors or handcuffing themselves to construction equipment, using old-school rescue movement tactics.

“On the day that this death mill will open, will there be anybody here, will somebody lay their body in front of the door, will you handcuff yourself to construction equipment?” she asked. “Come on guys, think about it, let’s be creative, what are you willing to do to stop this place from being built? Non-violent action, laying down your life, allowing yourself to absorb the violence without retaliating against it, but laying down your life so that others may live.”

Another direct-action tactic on display was a large poster with pictures of the owners of the construction company building the Planned Parenthood building, urging activists to call them and accuse them of “killing children.”

At one point a man who said he had a child in the school near the construction site, which had to close for the day to avoid the protest, started yelling at the speakers. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, who has been leading protests in front of the building site and emceed Thursday’s rally, responded that he should instead be blaming Planned Parenthood for opening its building in the location.

Shortly after the disruption, one speaker led the crowd in a short exorcism of the construction site to “take out the demons that hover above this place.”

Anti-Choice Leader Explains Strategy Of 'Cutting Off Access To Abortion' By 'Going After' Clinics

The anti-choice movement has for the past several years focused, with some success, on ending access to legal abortion by regulating abortion providers out of existence. Many politicians and anti-choice groups have attempted to disguise the real motives behind such targeted regulations, which typically have no meaningful benefit to patients or providers but do force many clinics to close or incur unnecessary costs, by saying that they are merely trying to protect women’s health. However, some activists have not been shy about straight-forwardly discussing the movement’s strategy.

One of those activists is Eric Scheidler, the executive director of the Pro-Life Action League and son of Joseph Scheidler, one of the founders of the anti-abortion “rescue” movement.

In an interview with Christian broadcaster Jerry Newcombe yesterday, Scheidler discussed how he and his father have gone after abortion clinics in Illinois, explaining that they “go after these abortion clinics every way that we can” so that even as abortion remains legal, women will be left with no abortion clinics to go to.

The point is that we go after these abortion clinics every way that we can. We’re there present, praying and counseling and being a witness to the sanctity of life and a sign of contradiction at the abortion clinics. We go after them through state regulations and inspections, we go after them through laws like parental notification. … And we go after them for the way that they’re zoned. Everything we can do, we must do to try to shut down these abortion facilities because even though abortion is legal in this country, if there’s not an abortion clinic nearby, very often a woman will choose life for her child and that child will live. So cutting off access to abortion through these horrible abortion clinics is really very important.

Newcombe also asked Scheidler if he could envision a day when abortion would be illegal throughout the country. Scheidler answered that that is indeed his goal, but that first, America must reverse its “morals surrounding sexuality.”

We have to understand that abortion does not stand alone, it’s not an evil all by itself. Abortion as something socially acceptable and acceptable within our laws is a relatively new thing, and it comes as a result of a major breakdown of morals, especially morals surrounding sexuality. You can’t expect a culture that places sexual pleasure above almost any other value, that is continually pressing those buttons, constant titillation of sexual desire, that’s sexualizing everything about our culture, sexualizing our youth, etc. You can’t expect a culture like that to exist and also somehow not have legal abortion. Abortion is, in a sense, a crutch for that kind of culture. It becomes necessary, in a sense, because of the sexual morality that leads to so many unplanned pregnancies.

You know if abortion were to be illegal, were somehow to be made illegal tomorrow, it’s hard to imagine what the landscape would look like. So as we seek that day when abortion is finally banned in our country, we have to be thinking about the other things that need to be changed culturally, not just the services provided to women so that they won’t be seeking even illegal abortions, but also to instill a sense of self-respect, of respect for others, of sexual moderation and self-control. Those are all necessary ingredients. So it’s going to be a very difficult and, I think, very long victory path for us. I think we will do it, I think it’s inevitable that this evil will have to end someday, but there’s a great deal that needs to change about our culture.

John Eidsmoe: Planned Parenthood Deserves 'Some Of The Blame' For Shooting At Clinic

John Eidsmoe, the influential Christian Reconstructionist, Roy Moore employee and mentor of Michele Bachmann, joined Jerry Newcombe’s “Vocal Point” radio program last week to discuss President Obama’s executive actions on guns, which he called a distraction from the “real” causes of mass shootings: Islam and drugs.

“Every one” of the recent mass shootings in America, Eidsmoe asserted, involved either “extremist ideology, which in the vast majority of instances has been a form of Islam,” or “drugs.”

When Newcombe asked Eidsmoe about Robert Dear, the man who killed three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs on Thanksgiving weekend, later calling himself a “warrior for the babies,” Eidsmoe said that that was a case of “drugs” and that it “doesn’t seem like he got his impetus … from the Right to Life people.”

After insisting that Dear wasn’t motivated by his views on abortion, he then said that Planned Parenthood itself was partly to blame for the Colorado Springs shooting because of how it is “cheapening life” by providing abortions.

“But I would simply have to say there that if we’re talking about a culture of death, Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry have in fact contributed a great deal to that culture of death,” he said. “I mean, every abortion results in the death of an innocent human being and they are cheapening life by doing that. So I think some of the blame needs to be right there.”

Tony Perkins: 'Blood On Our Streets' Because Of Gay Marriage, Family 'Confusion'

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins delivered his second annual “State of the Family Address” at his organization’s offices yesterday, a pompous affair to which he invited various supposed victims of American anti-Christian persecution, like Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, and his fellow Religious Right leaders.

Perkins, the self-appointed president of American families, faulted President Obama for talking about the importance of fatherhood while simultaneously supporting same-sex marriage, which he called an “incoherent, ideological campaign” that is leading to “havoc in our homes and blood in our streets.”

“The promise of strong efforts these past seven years to restore fatherhood and reestablish family life in our poorest communities has faded completely,” he said. “Instead, national policies have sown confusion about the very definition of family. President Obama has extolled the virtues of fatherhood even as he has fought for same-sex marriage, in essence saying two same-gendered person can parent as well as a mom and a dad. This contradictory message is more than disappointing. For our children throughout the country, it is devastating. It reduces mothers and fathers to genderless caregivers. Our children deserve better: They deserve a mom and a dad.”

“And we pay a price for this incoherent, ideological campaign by havoc in our homes and blood in our streets,” he added. “That’s why we have to re-empower American parents. The decision of our courts on contraception for minors, abortion on demand and redefining marriage have gravely weakened the family.”

Ben Carson Says He'll Confront Supreme Court On Abortion Like Abraham Lincoln On Dred Scott

In a series of interviews that they are hosting with presidential candidates for the Catholic television network EWTN, social conservative leader Robert George and his Princeton colleague Matthew Franck have asked every single candidate who has participated whether they would attempt to work around Roe v. Wade through federal legislation granting “personhood” rights to zygotes and fetuses.

Mike Huckabee has made issuing an executive fiat establishing fetal “personhood” and banning abortion a centerpiece of his presidential campaign. Ted Cruz told EWTN that he would back such a plan and Rick Santorum made a vaguer promise to “push back on a court that got it wrong.”

Up this week was Ben Carson, who, when asked by Franck if he would be willing to sign anti-abortion legislation declaring that life begins at conception and “set up a conflict with the Supreme Court,” responded, “Yeah, I would definitely be willing to engage in that kind of confrontation, very much the same way that Abraham Lincoln was willing to engage in confrontation with the Dred Scott case.”

He added that in such cases “there is not only the right to intervene, there is the duty to intervene.”

Cruz Rallies Christian Right, Slams 'Secular Agenda' At Campaign Stop With James Dobson

At an Iowa campaign stop with influential Religious Right activist James Dobson yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz warned that people of faith have consented to “allow nonbelievers to elect our leaders,” and now a “secular agenda” bent on doing away with the Ten Commandments and stifling religious liberty is on the rise.

Cruz repeated to the audience in Winterset, Iowa, his insistence that an atheist would be unfit to be president , saying, “If you don’t begin every day on your knees asking God for His wisdom and support, I don’t believe you’re fit to do this job.”

He also repeated his assertion that Republicans lost the last two presidential elections because millions of evangelicals stayed at home. “I believe the key to winning in 2016 is very simple,” he said. “We have to bring back to the polls the millions of conservatives who stayed home, we have to awaken and energize the body of Christ.”

“You know,” he said, “we look at our federal government now, and we have a federal government that is waging a war on life, a war on marriage, a war on religious liberty. We have a federal government that is advancing a secular agenda that puts the ability of Bible-believing Christians to live our faith more and more in jeopardy and that is appeasing radical Islamic terrorism, in fact refuses even to acknowledge its name. And if you look at the federal government, you might say, ‘Why do we have government attacking life, attacking marriage, attacking faith, attacking religious liberty?’ Well, is it any wonder, when a majority of believers are staying home? If we allow nonbelievers to elect our leaders, we shouldn’t be surprised when our government doesn’t reflect our values.”

Cruz also doubled down on his criticism of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling , calling both it and the King v. Burwell ruling preserving the Affordable Care Act “fundamentally illegitimate” and “lawless.” He warned that if Hillary Clinton were to become president, the Supreme Court would “tear down our constitutional liberties fundamentally” by ruling against Ten Commandments monuments on public grounds and reversing the Heller decision, which found an individual right to bear arms. (When Cruz said that this meant “the government can make it a felony for you to own a firearm and protect your family,” an audience member yelled out, “Come and take it!”)

Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council who recently endorsed Cruz, also said he was very impressed by the candidate’s wife, Heidi Cruz, saying that “there has never in American history been a pro-life first lady” and that with her we “have a chance to get one this time.”

The Iowa conservative blog Caffeinated Thoughts recorded the event. Cruz and Dobson discuss prayer about 2 minutes into the video; the “missing” evangelical vote about 6 minutes in; the Supreme court around 13 minutes in; and Heidi Cruz about 24 minutes in.

Anti-Choice Movement Placing Its Hopes In 2016 Election

Anti-choice groups, which were unable to sneak any anti-Planned Parenthood measures into a spending bill this month, are placing all their hopes in the election of an anti-choice president in 2016.

Jackie Calmes at the New York Times explains how an upcoming House vote on stripping funding from Planned Parenthood, which President Obama is expected to veto, is designed to show that defunding Planned Parenthood could be achieved with a Republican president:

Carol Tobias, the president of the National Right to Life Committee, wrote in an email: “We won’t be able to remove federal funds from Planned Parenthood while this president is still in office. But we do have a pathway when(!) a pro-life president is elected.”

Showing that pathway is the purpose of the House vote, tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday, on a so-called budget reconciliation bill. The measure includes provisions to ban funds for Planned Parenthood and repeal the Affordable Care Act. House Republicans’ expected approval of the bill, which the Senate passed early this month, would send it to Mr. Obama.

The president has promised a veto. But congressional Republicans say the effort will show they can pass such conservative priorities over Democrats’ opposition — and get them signed into law once a Republican president is elected. They hope Mr. Obama’s veto will elevate the issues of Planned Parenthood and abortion rights more broadly in the 2016 election debate as the parties contend for control of the White House and the Senate. Yet for several vulnerable Senate Republicans from Democratic-leaning states, the less their party says about the issues, the better.

Susan B. Anthony List, the major anti-choice electoral group, has been pushing this messaging around the House vote. SBA List’s Jill Stanek wrote in a December 17 fundraising email:

As we learned from the reconciliation fight to defund Planned Parenthood, we CAN advance pro-life legislation through the Senate… but the veto pen of a pro-abortion president remains our biggest road block.

Only when we elect a pro-life president (and retain our pro-life majorities in Congress), can we get a bill defunding Planned Parenthood signed into law.

The stakes couldn’t be higher.

President Obama is likely to veto the recent reconciliation bill defunding Planned Parenthood as soon as it gets to his desk.

Hillary Clinton would be no different, which is why we must work to advance pro-life candidates and ensure a pro-life candidate wins the White House.

Santorum Says He'd Enforce Unconstitutional DOMA As President

In an interview with the Catholic news network EWTN broadcast on Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said that, if elected, he would ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling in U.S. v. Windsor and enforce the parts of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that the court found unconstitutional. Santorum also said that he would attempt to undermine the court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade by considering fetuses to be “persons” under the law.

Santorum made the remarks as part of a series of conversations EWTN is running between influential social conservative thinker and activist Robert George and presidential candidates. George previously pressed TedCruz and Mike Huckabee to commit to positions undermining the Supreme Court on marriage equality and abortion rights.

Matthew Franck, a colleague of George’s at the Witherspoon Institute who was filling in for him, asked Santorum how, as president, he would treat the Supreme Court’s Obergefell marriage equality ruling. Santorum responded that while there is little a president can do to defy Obergefell, which affected state laws, he “would confront the court” on its DOMA decision and say “this was a decision that was extraconstitutional, that law is good, valid law and I would enforce that law.”

Before the Supreme Court struck down parts of DOMA, President Obama continued to enforce the law but refused to defend it in court, saying that it was unconstitutional. At the time, Santorum called Obama’s move a “power grab” and said that deciding the law’s constitutionality was the “province of the Supreme Court.”

Franck also asked Santorum about the anti-choice “personhood” strategy, which proposes that Congress make an end-run around Roe v. Wade by declaring fetuses and zygotes to be “persons” with full protections under the 14th Amendment.

Santorum, who has previously pledged to back “personhood” legislation, didn’t discuss the logistics of such a move, but said that the president has an “obligation to push back on a court that got it wrong.”

Anti-Choice Group Working To 'Unleash A Whole Army Of David Daleidens'

The anti-choice activist in Texas who inspired David Daleiden’s sham “baby parts” investigation of Planned Parenthood is launching a project to “unleash a whole army of David Daleidens” to spy on abortion providers “in every part of the country.”

Mark Crutcher, the president of Life Dynamics, announced in a local radio interview with Cleveland Right to Life’s Molly Smith earlier this month that he is in the process of building a facility and developing a curriculum to conduct “professional training to help pro-lifers understand how to go inside the very cloistered and very closed abortion industry and bring out their dirty little secrets.”

Daleiden’s futile effort to catch Planned Parenthood breaking federal laws on handing fetal tissue was modeled on a similar project Crutcher conducted in 2000. When he was initially planning his anti-Planned Parenthood project, Daleiden took his “6-foot, 30-pound black-throated monitor lizard” on a cross-country road trip to meet with Crutcher and with Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman, who eventually became one of three board members of his Center for Medical Progress.

Crutcher, who pioneered the strategy of recruiting what he called “spies for life” to find information about abortion providers in order to harass them out of business, told Smith that the fight over abortion rights “is a war, and one aspect of war is intelligence gathering and undercover work — spying, if you will.”

“We’re going to try to create an army of people who are trained in every part of the country, they will be operating any place there’s an abortion clinic, to go into the abortion industry and bring out their dirty little secrets," he said. "And I think that this is going to change the pro-life movement permanently, and I think it’s going to change it in a pretty dramatic way.”

Crutcher reminded listeners that as well as inspiring Daleiden, he trained Live Action’s Lila Rose, who worked with Daleiden on another fruitless “sting” operation against Planned Parenthood in 2011, which was also modeled on Crutcher’s work at Life Dynamics.

“Now what we want to do is unleash a whole army of David Daleidens and Lila Roses and James O’Keefes and people like that around the country,” Crutcher said.

Crutcher also discussed his new book, “Siege: A Pro-Life Field Manual,” in which he argues that the anti-choice movement needs to “start applying basic military strategy” to its efforts.

“The book is called ‘Siege,’ which, of course, is a military term, because I look at this as a war,” he told Smith. "There is a war being waged right now and people need to understand, the war is not between the pro-life side and the pro-abortion side or the pro-choice side, whatever you want to call it. The war is between the abortion lobby and the unborn child. We are simply, basically a volunteer army that signed up to defend those who can’t defend themselves, in other words the unborn child. But that’s where the war is. It’s not between us and our enemies, it’s between our enemies and the babies.”

He said that part of the military mindset that the anti-abortion movement must adopt is to “be aware that there are dangers out there that we haven’t thought about.”

As an example, he presented his theory that Planned Parenthood is secretly “positioning itself to become an agency of the U.S. government.”

“I think that we could very easily look up here one day in the not-too-distant future,” he said, “and see a press conference being called with Barack Obama and beside him would be Cecile Richards from Planned Parenthood and them announcing that a new agency has been formed under the Department of Health and Human Services, it would probably be called something like the U.S. Department of Women and Reproductive Health or something like that, and that the name ‘Planned Parenthood’ is going away and that Planned Parenthood is now an agency of the government.”

Pavone: Pro-Choicers More To Blame For Planned Parenthood Shooting Than Pro-Lifers

Frank Pavone, the president of Priests for Life, said this week that although he doesn’t support blaming anybody for an anti-abortion crusader’s murder spree at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado last month, if anybody were to blame for such “deranged acts of violence” it would be pro-choicers who are “poisoning the moral climate in our nation.”

“It’s a silly thing to be blaming responsibility on one another for these kinds of things,” Pavone said in an interview on the Ave Maria Radio network on Monday. “We don’t know who this man was, what’s going on inside his head. God knows if anyone will ever be able to figure it out.” (In fact, the alleged shooter was fairly clear about his motivation.)

“But if the other side, if the pro-aborts,” he continued, “are going to go down this road of saying — as they have done for decades, by the way, this is like the 500th time we’ve been through this with them — if they’re going to go down this road of blaming the violence on the rhetoric, well then you know what? If we’re going to take up that argument, which I don’t think we should take up anyway, but if we are and if we have to respond to it, then they’re the ones at fault. Because which side of this debate is saying that sometimes it’s okay to kill an innocent person? Which side is saying that, that sometimes it’s okay to choose to end a life to solve a problem?”

“This is the argument against them, so they better keep quiet and stop this nonsense of blaming Carly Fiorina or me or the whole pro-life movement for these deranged acts of violence,” he said. “If they’re going to start going down that road, they’re the ones that have to take responsibility for poisoning the moral climate in our nation by saying that sometimes you can kill a baby to solve a problem. You don’t think some kind of crazy people are going to pick up that logic and say, ‘Well then sometimes you can kill born people to solve a problem’?”

Dave Daubenmire Says FRC, AFA And The GOP Don't Really Want To End Abortion

Earlier this week, "Coach" Dave Daubenmire appeared on "Talkback with Chuck Wilder" radio program to discuss his long history of anti-choice activism. During the discussion, Daubenmire asserted that Republicans and Religious Right groups do not actually want to end abortion in America because they make too much money exploiting the issue.

After claiming that Democrats will never end abortion because the federal government gives hundreds of millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood, which he falsely claimed then gets "recycled out" into Democratic campaign coffers, Daubenmire said that Republicans and groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association don't really want to end abortion either.

"I want people to understand this because I know this to be the truth," he said. "Republicans raise hundreds of millions of dollars fighting against Planned Parenthood. All those pro-life Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, I could just go on and on, the American Family Association, they raise hundreds of millions of dollars to end abortion and, Chuck, what do you suppose they do with that money? Yes, you're right. They funnel it to pro-life representatives. So neither one of those people, neither group, Chuck, wants abortion to go away. The Democrats want it to stay because they can raise money on it and the Republicans want it to stay because they can raise money on it. I know that sounds callous, brother, but I'm just telling you that's the way that game is played."

Personhood USA: Charge Women Who Have Abortions With Murder

Personhood USA, the group that has been attempting to pass state-level fetal “personhood” measures across the country, is applauding the attempted murder prosecution of a Tennessee woman who tried to give herself an abortion with a coat hanger, lamenting that women who obtain safe and legal abortions don't face the same penalty.

The Tennessee woman, Anna Yocca, was charged with attempted first-degree murder when she attempted to abort at 24-week pregnancy with a coat hanger in her bathtub. She panicked, went to the hospital, and delivered a 1.5 pound baby. A police spokesman told the media that “the whole time [Yocca] was concerned for her health, her safety, and never gave any attention to the health and safety to the unborn child.”

Sadly, Yocca’s case is not unique. A woman in Indiana was similarly charged with allegedly attempting to self-induce an abortion earlier this year. In fact, stealth “personhood” measures — meant to lay the groundwork for criminalizing abortion by granting certain rights to fetuses — have been passed around the country. In Alabama, the state supreme court has used “chemical endangerment” laws to lay the legal groundwork for fetal personhood, leading to the prosecutions of nearly 500 women accused of endangering their fetuses.

In an email to Personhood USA supporters today, the group’s communications director Jennifer Mason applauded Yocca’s prosecution but lamented that Tennesee law protects women who "hire an abortionist to kill their babies."

“As a mom, it’s hard to imagine the mental state of a woman who would so viciously harm both herself and her child, whether it be at her own hands or at a government-funded facility like Planned Parenthood,” Mason wrote. “This is why we need Personhood!”

Have you heard about this? Murfreesboro, TN resident Anna Yocca has been indicted and arrested on first degree attempted murder charges following a months-long grand jury investigation, despite campaigns for impunity for pregnant women from anti-baby organizations such as National Advocates for Pregnant Women.

The Washington Post reports that Yocca attempted an abortion with a wire coat hanger when her unborn baby was 24 weeks old. Fearful for her own safety, she went to the hospital where her 1.5 pound baby boy was delivered. The newborn baby boy survived, but physicians say that the baby’s quality of life is forever damaged and he will need oxygen and medication throughout his life due to damage to his eyes, heart, and lungs from his mother’s coat hanger weapon. The Murfreesboro Post also reports that physicians state that other health issues will arise as he grows.

The laws in Tennessee are so blatantly biased in favor of abortion clinics, it's almost difficult to believe. Had Anna Yocca stabbed her baby multiple times just a few months later, an attempted murder indictment would have been expected. The small public outcry about this case from pro-abortion organizations is just a disturbing effort to dehumanize this little boy who survived an attempt on his life.

While Tennessee law does allow for attempted murder charges in cases such as Yocca’s, the law provides specific provisions for women to hire an abortionist to kill their babies at Planned Parenthood in Nashville and around the state.

As a mom, it’s hard to imagine the mental state of a woman who would so viciously harm both herself and her child, whether it be at her own hands or at a government-funded facility like Planned Parenthood. This is why we need Personhood! Of course this little baby's life is precious and should be protected and legally defended, as should every other baby!

Frank Pavone: Abortion Providers Are Probably 'Doing A Lot Of Other Evil Things As Well'

Something that’s important to understand about the anti-abortion movement’s ongoing efforts to discredit Planned Parenthood is that for many in the movement, the women’s health provider is already guilty of committing a crime by providing abortions. But since abortion is legal in the United States, Planned Parenthood’s adversaries have been trying desperately for years to find actual crimes that the group is guilty of in order to bring it down. This summer’s smear videos from the Center for Medical Progress grew out of that line of thinking.

Priests for Life’s Father Frank Pavone, who says he was “close to” the Center for Medical Progress officials who led the most recent attack on Planned Parenthood, made this point very clearly in a conference call for anti-abortion activists that he hosted last night along with the Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser. (GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina also spoke on the call.)

Pavone told the activists on the call that a key part of his strategy is to “expose the abortion industry” and “rip the veil off what’s going on behind the closed doors of the abortion clinics.”

“And when we look there,” he said, “we see the truth that I have often reiterated, that you cannot practice vice virtuously. If you have such a seared conscience that you’re killing babies, well, friends, you’re going to be doing a lot of other evil things as well: medical malpractice, sexual abuse of patients, violation of OSHA standards, insurance laws, money laundering, all kinds of fraud and, yes, even the sale of body parts. All of this and much more is going on in the abortion industry.”

In other words, if you are such a depraved person that you will provide abortions, then you are probably a sexual predator, fraudster, and any other sort of criminal as well and thus Planned Parenthood is probably selling fetal tissue for profit just because it is used to doing “evil” things and is just waiting to be exposed.

Pavone also boasted of his role in a previous, similar attack on Planned Parenthood orchestrated by Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics, which we wrote about in a recent report.

Carly Fiorina Promises To Nominate Anti-Choice Supreme Court Justices

In a conference call with anti-abortion activists last night, Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina promised that, if elected, she would “nominate pro-life justices” to the Supreme Court along with signing a budget defunding Planned Parenthood and pushing through a national 20-week abortion ban.

“Here’s what I will do and here’s what I want people to hold me accountable for,” she said on a conference call hosted by the Susan B. Anthony List's Marjorie Dannenfelser and Priests for Life's Frank Pavone. “If President Obama vetoes our attempts between now and the election — which, unfortunately, sadly, he may — I will deliver a budget that defunds Planned Parenthood. I will nominate pro-life justices. I will get the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protect Act passed.”

When she ran for Senate in California in 2010, Fiorina said that abortion rights would not be a litmus test for her votes on Supreme Court nominees.

Fiorina, who has come under fire for a series of falsehoods on the campaign trail, including repeatedly describing a video of Planned Parenthood that does not exist, also told participants that her main strategy for handling hostile questioning is to always “speak the truth.”

“You know, the truth shall set you free,” she said. “We all know this, we read it in the Bible. The truth shall set you free.”

“Don’t worry so much about finding exactly the right words, if that’s what you’re worried about,” she advised. “Worry about, concentrate on speaking the truth. Speak what you know to be the truth. that’s a powerful thing, it’s always a powerful thing, and that’s what I will keep doing. No one is going to frighten me into silence.”

Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, has made no secret of her admiration for Fiorina, telling call participants that Fiorina is a model candidate for her organization, which largely endorses female candidates opposed to abortion rights.

Alveda King Wants To 'Connect Some Dots' Between Abortion And Terrorism

In a blog post on Priests for Life’s website on Friday, the group’s director of African American outreach, Alveda King, insisted that there is a need to “connect some dots” between terrorism and legal abortion, which she called terrorism “in the womb.”

“Terrorism, be it in the womb, from distant shores, behind the domestic walls of our homes, or wherever it occurs, terrorism by any other name is still the same,” she wrote.

Writing that “Killing is fast becoming the choice many people are ‘choosing’ in order to fix their problems,” King asked, “Is there any wonder that mass killings are occurring on a regular, almost daily, basis?”

What we are missing here is the not so subtle connection to what on the surface seems to be random violent outbreaks in the atmosphere. Yet as Rev. Pavone points out, the problems with the Colorado Springs shooting is not the pro-lifers referring to abortion as murder but rather the abortion industry’s utter lack of respect for life and choosing its solution to solving someone’s problem by killing their child.

Although the Colorado Springs shooting was abortion related, we should consider that there is a common denominator; an utter lack of respect for life. Whether there are various underlying causes for the lack of disregard of the rights of others, consequent actions lead to outcomes such as these mass shootings, high abortion rates, high levels of incarceration, suicide and many other threats to the human family.

Terrorism, be it in the womb, from distant shores, behind the domestic walls of our homes, or wherever it occurs, terrorism by any other name is still the same.

Killing has been a part of humanity since Cain killed Abel. Throughout history humans have been killing for greed, convenience, emotional pain, and the like in order to acquire what others have; whether it be land, money, power, or [and we can fill in the blanks here].

Human life has long been devalued to the point that life has often become disposable as long as we can’t see the danger to our own. Herein lies the Catch 22: we disregard others to save ourselves – sadly not realizing that we are universally connected to our human family.

With the passage of time America has joined the rest of the world in rubber stamping the killing of our babies in the womb, as well as the sick, the elderly and in alarmingly increasing numbers, the poor.

With this acceptance of devaluation of humanity, the consciences of men, women and children have been numbed. The answer to one’s problem becomes the dehumanization and elimination of those who would interfere with what someone wants.

Is there any wonder that mass killings are occurring on a regular, almost daily, basis?

Let’s connect some dots.

Have an unplanned pregnancy? Illness? Getting too old? Other problems? Eliminate your problems with abortion or euthanasia.

Killing is fast becoming the choice many people are “choosing” in order to fix their problems. Killing of another or of self both devalue and destroy life.

We must wake up and recognize that the taking of any life, born, unborn, sick, handicapped, elderly, those of faith outside of ours — is wrong.

 

Ted Cruz: We Can 'Absolutely' Outlaw Abortion Without Overturning Roe

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said last month that Congress could “absolutely” criminalize all abortion by passing a law giving 14th Amendment protections to fetuses and zygotes, thus bypassing a constitutional amendment overturning Roe v. Wade.

This represents the Republican presidential candidate’s strongest endorsement yet of the radical anti-choice “personhood” strategy, which, based on a questionable interpretation of Roe, holds that Congress can simply outlaw abortion by classifying fertilized eggs as persons under the law. If successful, personhood would outlaw nearly all abortions and could even criminalize certain types of birth control.

Cruz made the comments in a November 25 interview with influential social conservative commentator Robert George as part of a series of candidate interviews that George is hosting on the the Catholic television network EWTN.

After outlining the personhood strategy, George asked Cruz, “Do you believe that unborn babies are persons within the meaning of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and, if so, will you call on Congress to use its authority under the 14th Amendment pursuant to Section Five, to protect the unborn? Or do you take the view, as some do, that we can’t do that until Roe v. Wade is overturned either by the court itself or by constitutional amendment? Where do you stand on that?”

“Listen, absolutely yes,” Cruz responded.

“I very much agree with the pope’s longstanding and prior popes’ before him longstanding call to protect every human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death,” he added.

“And we can do that by Congressional action without waiting for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade?” George asked.

“Absolutely yes, under the 14th Amendment,” Cruz responded.

Cruz has on two separate occassions promised personhood groups that he would support their strategy, but has previously been eclipsed on the issue by his presidential rival Mike Huckabee, who has vowed to impose personhood by executive fiat if he becomes president. Another GOP presidential candidate, Rand Paul, has sponsored a personhood bill in Congress.

Focus On The Family Scrubs Safety Information From Pamphlet On Abortion Medication

In the face of an outcry from anti-abortion activists, the conservative group Focus on the Family has scrubbed a pamphlet that it distributed at anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers of information on how to avoid medical complications when obtaining a medical abortion.

The pamphlet, written by a doctor who opposes abortion rights, included a note from the author urging women not to choose abortion because “an incredibly special and completely unique person is growing inside of every pregnant woman.” But what provoked the ire of anti-abortion activists was the fact that it included safety information for women who might choose to take the "abortion pill."

Although the pamphlet has been available since last year, it recently began making the rounds among anti-choice bloggers and activists, who were appalled that Focus would dare to instruct women on how to correctly take abortion medication in order to avoid injury. 

A dismayed J.D. Hall wrote on his Pulpit & Pen blog: “In no uncertain terms, the Focus on the Family literature gives advice on how to use the abortion pill safely.” He added: “Providing advice on how to safely and healthily receive an abortion, should that be the ‘option’ the woman chooses, is deplorable for a Christian publication.”

Jeremy Lundmark of the website Theology Mix was equally outraged: “If abortion is the taking of human life in the womb, and it is, then this booklet encouraged and aided women in murdering their children. In the process, it magnified the perpetrator over the victim. In what universe is it sensible to provide safety tips to help murderers murder?”

The anti-choice group Live Action also took issue with the pamphlet, asking, “Why does this sound more like a ‘how to get an abortion’ guide than pro-life educational material?”

In a statement in response to the criticism, Focus noted that the pamphlet was meant to be used at crisis pregnancy centers by counselors attempting to prevent women from choosing abortion, but assured its critics that it would be revising the pamphlet to make its opposition to abortion more “clear.”

Sure enough, the pamphlet now available on Focus on the Family’s website differs in some important ways from the version that upset the “pro-life” blogosphere, which can still be found through the Internet Archive.

The section of the pamphlet that most outraged “pro-life” activists was this selection of “safety tips” for women taking the abortion pill, which Focus has since removed. (Pulpit & Pen's Hall noted, however, that it was a “clever strategy” that the pamphlet brought up the threat of ectopic pregnancy in order to encourage women to seek ultrasounds.)

The pamphlet has also been revised to exaggerate the threat of medication abortion. The previous version included this list of possible side effects:

The new version paints a much more dire picture:

Also removed from the pamphlet is this explanation that eight women have died after taking the medication incorrectly, while it has been safe for those who have taken it correctly:

Focus also removed this checklist of “things to ask your doctor” (which already included problematic requirements like demanding that a doctor have unnecessary “admitting privileges”):

The old version of the pamphlet also included a relatively straightforward explanation of what an ectopic pregnancy is, complete with a graphic. All of this safety information has been jettisoned in favor of a barebones list of things that make “a medical abortion even less safe”:

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