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Planned Parenthood

Sixth Circuit Greenlights Ohio Law Prohibiting Public Funding of Abortion Clinics

By | Case Vault, Legal, Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio v. Hodges

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision from the Southern District of Ohio at Cincinnati invalidating an Ohio law barring the public funding of abortion clinics. This is good news. The law has now been upheld and can go into full effect.

The court said the state’s condition for receiving public health funds “does not violate the Constitution because the [clinics] do not have a due process right to perform abortions.” I know that seems obvious, but this is exactly what Planned Parenthood has tried to argue for many years. They claim not only that women have a constitutional right to abortion but also that they, as the providers of this “holy” right, have a constitutional right to provide abortions. The court appropriately and emphatically rejected that claim. The court’s sound reasoning now opens the door for the will of the majority of Ohioans to be carried out. The citizens of Ohio, along with the majority of the rest of the country, do not want their tax dollars to subsidize abortion providers.

In 2016 Ohio passed a law prohibiting funds from being used to “(1) Perform nontherapeutic abortions; (2) Promote nontherapeutic abortions; (3) Contract with any entity that performs or promotes nontherapeutic abortions; (4) Become or continue to be an affiliate of any entity that performs or promotes nontherapeutic abortions.”

Ohio made clear the purpose of the law is, (1) to “Promote childbirth over abortion” which the Supreme Court has already said is constitutionally permissible (“[A] State is permitted to enact persuasive measures which favor childbirth over abortion, even if those measures do not further a health interest.” Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 886 (1992)), (2) “to avoid ‘muddl[ing]’ that message by using abortion providers as the face of the state healthcare programs” (there are thousands of quality health care options for women besides Planned Parenthood – in Ohio, one study found 280 federally qualified health clinics and rural health clinics, compared to just 28 Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinics), and (3) “to avoid entangling program funding and abortion funding” (public funding inevitably helps Planned Parenthood be the number one abortion provider in the country, performing more than 300,000 abortions a year – more than 27,000 a month, more than 900 a day).

Planned Parenthood, having become synonymous with abortion, promptly sued Ohio, “claiming that the law violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments by conditioning government funding on giving up their rights to provide abortions and to advocate for them.” The district court and a panel of the Sixth Circuit agreed and permanently enjoined the State from enforcing the law.

Thankfully, the Sixth Circuit en banc (before the full court) now reverses those misguided opinions and correctly applies the law, including applicable precedent, to this case. Judge Jeffrey Sutton, writing for the court, reminds us that, “The United States Constitution does not contain an Unconstitutional Conditions Clause.” Writing clearly and concisely, he says, “Governments generally may do what they wish with public funds,” citing Rust v. Sullivan, 500 U.S. 173, 192–94 (1991). He continues, “What makes a condition unconstitutional turns not on a freestanding prohibition against restricting public funds but on a pre-existing obligation not to violate constitutional rights.” In other words, the government cannot deny a clinic’s funding on a reason that violates the clinic’s constitutional rights.

But the constitutional right at issue here “prohibits a State from imposing an ‘undue burden’ on a woman’s access to an abortion before fetal viability. Casey, 505 U.S. at 877 (plurality).” It has nothing to do with a clinic’s right to perform abortions. “The Supreme Court has never identified a freestanding right to perform abortions.”

Therefore, since there is no constitutional right, there can be no constitutional violation of that right. It is that simple.

A woman may bring a claim, as the dissent envisions, saying this law places an undue burden on her constitutional right to obtain an abortion, but this is hard to imagine, given the facts of this case where the clinics have all publicly expressed their commitment to abortion with or without this law. Ruling for Planned Parenthood in this case, “would create a constitutional right for providers to offer abortion services and, in doing so, move the law perilously close to requiring States to subsidize abortions. Case law rejects both possibilities.”

Bottom line, “so long as the subsidy program does not otherwise violate a constitutional right of the regulated entity, the State may choose to subsidize what it wishes — whether abortion services or adoption services, whether stores that sell guns or stores that don’t.”

Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

Senate Dems Deny the Facts About the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

By | Blog, Legislative Updates, News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

On Monday, February 25, the U.S. Senate failed to advance S. 311, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska). The bill needed 60 votes and failed by a vote of 53-44, with three senators not voting: Sens. Cramer (R-North Dakota), Scott (R-South Carolina), and Murkowski (R-Alaska). Sens. Cramer and Scott’s offices informed CWA they were unable to attend the vote due to weather delays. They are both original cosponsors of the bill and would have voted “yes. Sen. Tim Scott spoke at length on the Senate floor the day after the vote, declaring: “This is common sense; this is human decency. This is not an issue of being pro-life or pro-choice. This is being pro-child.” For information on how your senator voted, click here. 

Democrat Sens. Manchin (D-West Virginia), Jones (D-Alabama), and Casey (D-Pennsylvania) joined the 53vote majority, while every other Senate Democrat opposed Born Alive. Their excuses for defending infanticide on the Senate floor were straight from the talking points of Planned Parenthood and NARAL. Many of them claimed this does not happen. Wrong. Documented statistics by the Center for Disease Control say otherwise. Only six states require reporting cases of infants born alive after an attempted abortion, so we don’t know just how frequently this happens, but there is no question that it does. Abortion survivors like Melissa Ohden and Gianna Jessen have testified before Congress detailing their personal stories and asking for protections for babies who survive abortion 

Democrats also claimed the bill is unnecessary, because killing a child born alive is already illegal. While Congress did pass, and President George W. Bush signed into law, the Born Alive Infants Protection Act in 2002, it only defined a “person,” “human being,” “child,” or “individual” as including every infant born alive for the purposes of federal law. But the law did not contain any penalty provisions or requirements. This is the issue the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act seeks to correct. It would give law enforcement the legal tools to bring criminal penalties against a health care professional who fails to provide care for a child who is born alive. Some states do impose penalties, but New York repealed their born alive law, and Vermont is close to doing so. Federal law must address this. 

Here are the facts about the Born Alive Act: It is NOT about private medical decisions between woman and her doctor and does not change abortion laws. It is not about first, second, or thirdtrimester abortions; it is about infanticide. The bill only addresses failed abortions and would not substitute Congress’ judgment for standard medical practice in heartbreaking cases when a child is born but is not viable. It mandates the same degree of care be granted to children who survive abortions that would be given to a child born in other circumstances at the same gestational age, including hospitalizationIt also shields birth mothers from prosecution and grants them the right to take civil action against health care professional who fails to provide this care.   

The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is not an extreme “anti-choice” bill. 82% of Americans oppose removing medical care for a viable child after birth, including 77% of pro-choice Americans. Undeniably, Americans widely support this bill. It is now up to the House to correct the failure of the Senate. Speaker Pelosi is standing in the way by denying daily requests to bring this bill to the House floor.  Next month, House Republicans will attempt to force the bill on the floor for a vote through a discharge petition. Please call your congressman today and ask him/her to cosponsor H.R. 962, the House version of S. 311, and sign the discharge petition when it is ready for consideration.  

 

Use Your Voice – Episode 8, Exposing the Darkness of “Big Abortion”

By | Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life, Use Your Voice | No Comments

Listen to the amazing story of how one young man took on the abortion industry, exposing their greed and callous regard for human life on video. David Daleiden, the founder of The Center for Medical Progress (CMP), exposed Planned Parenthood benefitting from the sale of aborted baby body parts, including hearts, brains, and lungs. Planned Parenthood said at the time that the videos were “heavily edited.” But a recent court ruling vindicated David and CMP’s work, ruling the videos were authentic and not deceptively edited as the lower district court had insinuated.

What You Can Do to Reject infanticide and the reckless crusade to expand late-term abortion!

By | Blog, News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

The U.S. Senate is poised to vote Monday, February 25, on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.  This crucial legislation would shield a newborn who survives an attempted abortion from being denied the right to live.  Doctors would be required to provide the same medical care to a newborn survivor of abortion that would be offered to any other baby at the same gestational age.

Unfortunately — unbelievably! — infants born alive are not guaranteed these protections under federal law, giving abortion doctors the green light to turn their backs on a helpless baby after a botched abortion.  Such negligence is nothing less than enabling infanticide.

We need you to act today.  Too many senators are in the pocket of the big abortion lobby.  They are doing everything they can to avoid the issue and obstruct a vote.   Even if your senators are strong on the life issue, they need to hear from you and know you are standing with them.

U.S. senators are home next week (February 19-22), and a vote is expected when they return.  We are asking you to visit the district offices nearest you NEXT WEEK and tell your two U.S. senators to reject infanticide and vote for the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

If you are unable to visit in person, please contact both of your senators.  Time is short, so please make this a priority! (Here is the link to our action center with a sample message you can personalize.)

It is unbelievable that saving a newborn baby fighting for life should be a partisan issue.  But the left has completely rejected common sense.  They are not willing to call infanticide for what it is and are spreading lies about the need for the legislation.  Here’s the truth: federal law does not protect a survivor of abortion.  At least one-third of states, including New York, have extreme abortion laws that make infanticide LEGAL.  Virginia Gov Ralph Northam publicly endorsed infanticide when he defended a radical abortion proposal that would make abortion legal at any time in pregnancy, including while giving birth!  This is insanity.

Thank you for taking action on this issue.  Please pray that the U.S. Senate will vote to save these little ones.

Wake Up America: Know Where Your State Stands on Abortion

By | Blog, News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

This document provides an overview of state laws (as of February 8, 2019) as they relate to late-term abortion, born-alive protections, and public funding of abortion.

Some states adhere to the Roe standard of viability, which is defined by the Supreme Court in Roe as “the capacity for meaningful life outside the womb, albeit with artificial aid” and not just “momentary survival.” Unless specifically stated otherwise, references to “health” adhere to the definition of health in Doe v. Bolton: “all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age — relevant to the well-being of the patient.” If a state is listed as “N/A,” then there are no state laws regarding either an abortion limit or exceptions. However, these states are subject to the federal precedent of viability in Roe, but if Roe were overturned, then these states would have no limits on abortion. [READ MORE …]

Denise Cappuccio at the Stop Abortion Extremism in Virginia Rally

By | News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life, Virginia | No Comments

By now you’ve probably seen the shocking video that went viral showing Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran defending a bill that she introduced, which she freely admitted would allow abortion-on-demand up until the moment of birth. Denise Cappuccio, CWA’s Director of Finance and a constituent of Delegate Tran, spoke at a recent rally in support of the unborn and against this atrocious form of extremism on the issue of abortion.

Fifth Circuit: Planned Parenthood Undercover Videos Authentic and Not Deceptively Edited

By | Legal, News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life, Texas | No Comments

CWA President & CEO Penny Nance talks with CMP Founder David Daleiden at the 2019 March for Life

After being exposed for their unscrupulous attempts to sell baby body parts for profit, Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the nation, tried to discredit the evidence in a massive PR campaign. They claim the videos which clearly showed they sought to benefit from the sale of aborted baby hearts, brains, lungs, etc. were “deceptively edited.”

This blatant lie was so flagrantly promoted by the liberal mainstream media that many Americans, including some judges, took it as fact.

Thankfully, we still have independent-minded judges who refuse to adjudicate based on popular beliefs, choosing instead to follow the law as written, even in difficult cases. Such was the case with a panel from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals who took a look at the evidence in Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas v. Smith.

The panel found a district court who had fully sided with Planned Parenthood’s characterization of the video evidence based on their word alone had abused its discretion. The Fifth Circuit panel composed of Judges Edith Jones, E. Grady Jolly, and Catharina Haynes, said, “The district court stated, inaccurately, that the CMP video had not been authenticated and suggested that it may have been edited” (Emphasis mine). The appellate panel was not just acting on emotion or personal preference by writing this, there was no evidence, aside from Planned Parenthood’s word, to sustain the district court’s characterization of the videos. The court notes:

In fact, the record reflects that [the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Office of Inspector General (OIG)] had submitted a report from a forensic firm concluding that the video was authentic and not deceptively edited. And the plaintiffs did not identify any particular omission or addition in the video footage. (Emphasis mine)

This simple statement of truth has sent shockwaves around the country. And we shouldn’t be surprised. Just as darkness cannot withstand the light, lies crumble at the sight of truth. The court’s acknowledgment is also great vindication for David Daleiden, the founder of The Center for Medical Progress (CMP), who produced the groundbreaking undercover videos exposing the dubious, unethical, immoral, and potentially criminal enterprise.

Daleiden said in a statement: “CMP’s undercover video series caught Planned Parenthood’s top leaders openly admitting to selling baby body parts for profit in violation of federal law. Tonight, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vindicated our citizen journalism work by debunking Planned Parenthood’s smear that the videos were ‘heavily edited’ or ‘doctored.’”

The Texas case dealt with the state’s efforts to terminate its Medicaid provider agreement with Planned Parenthood after their unethical behavior was revealed by the CMP videos. Federal law allows states to terminate a Medical provider agreement when, as in this case, there is evidence of a program violation. The Court explained that, “A ‘program violation’ includes any violation of federal law, state law, or the Texas Medicaid program policies.”

Federal law makes it a crime “to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce” (42 U.S.C. 289g-2). Not only that, it also requires “no alteration of the timing, method, or procedures used to terminate the pregnancy [be] made solely for the purposes of obtaining the tissue” (42 U.S.C. 289g-1(b)(2)). This is exactly what we see in the forensically-authenticated CMP videos.

The court noted several statements where the videos clearly show Planned Parenthood was willing and able to change the abortion procedure to obtain “intact specimens.” Quoting their representative:

Yeah. So she knows what’s involved in modifying what we need to do to get you the specimens that are intact because she’s done it. … And she was doing those here.

Note Planned Parenthood not only admits it is willing to alter its abortion procedures for this purpose in the future, but it alleges they have done it in the past, also. There are numerous statements of this nature. The lower court dismissed all those statements because it wholeheartedly took Planned Parenthood’s word that they didn’t mean any of it. The appellate panel said, “The district court credited [Planned Parenthood’s] self-justifying explanations.”

It would be like a court believing an abuser because he shows up in court and says he didn’t do anything, while dismissing outright all the bruises and testimony from the victim. The district court’s decision was not based on facts but preference. One can see that when the appellate court notes the lower court actually concluded there was no “evidence, or even a scintilla of evidence,” for Texas’ conclusions about Planned Parenthood. Whatever you think of their decision, any reasonable observer can see that the videos are something – gosh, are the millions of people troubled by them just uneducated troglodytes?

It is that type of extreme, unmeasured action by a judge which shows they are not approaching a case and the evidence in good faith. The appellate court, on the other hand, approached the case with the evenhandedness that is at the heart of ensuring a just outcome. It identifies the case as a case of “judicial review of an agency action.” And accordingly, it gives proper deference to the state agency on its determinations. It noted, “despite being litigated with the trappings of the abortion debate, this is fundamentally a statutory construction case, not an abortion case.”

This is the model of judicial restraint that should be paramount in our judicial system. The court gives deference to the state agency in making its determination based on legitimate evidence of misconduct.

Planned Parenthood argued that Texas could not even make a determination on them because “OIG has insufficient expertise to determine the qualifications of abortion providers.” Unbelievably, the lower court had gone along with Planned Parenthood in that argument too.

Fortunately, the appellate panel gave a proper smackdown to that inane notion:

We reject this argument. OIG is the agency that the state of Texas has empowered to investigate and penalize Medicaid program violations. The agency is in the business of saying when providers are qualified and when they are not. That the Chief Medical Officer is a surgeon—and not himself an abortion provider— does not mean that he deserves no deference when deciding whether a provider has failed to meet the medical and ethical standards the state requires. It is even odder to claim that federal judges, who have no experience in the regulations and ethics applicable to Medicaid or medical practice, much less in regard to harvesting fetal organs for research, should claim superior expertise. (Emphasis mine)

The appellate court ultimately vacated the preliminary injunction imposed by the district court. It remanded the case back to limit the review to the agency record, taking a serious look at the evidence in the videos and not merely at Planned Parenthood’s self-serving explanations after the fact. It also asked the lower court to review the case under the proper arbitrary-and-capricious standard. Here’s hoping they follow through on their application of the law this time, regardless of the political pressures that come with any case even remotely associated with Planned Parenthood.

Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

An Open Letter to Governor Cuomo

By | Blog, New York, News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life, YWA | No Comments

Dear Mr. Cuomo,

Do you remember the day in the hospital room when you held your daughters, Cara and Mariah, for the first time?  And then the day you held Michaela? Those are the babies you are allowing to be killed. Fully developed, feeling, dreaming, cognitive, valuable, unique, and American. Right before they are to make their appearance, you are celebrating that they can be killed.

I am a woman, a New Yorker, and a millennial. Every single fiber of my being disapproves of what you signed on Tuesday.

I and thousands of other New Yorkers are absolutely horrified and disgusted by your blatant disregard for the value of life.

You are hurting women in the name of “reproductive health.”

You just made it legal to kill fully developed 7-, 8-, 9-, 10-pound babies.

You just made it more dangerous for the women that do end the life of their child by allowing non-doctors to perform abortions. This is a Kermit Gosnell-type of disregard for women.

You also just made it more unsafe, painful, and deadly for the babies who survive abortions.

This is most definitely NOT a victory for all New Yorkers.  It is a grave loss. A dark, discouraging, and horrifying time for New Yorkers and all Americans.

You say that you want “to ensure a woman’s right to make her own decisions.” Under your new law, more New York women will never be able to make a single decision. You have denied her the most fundamental right. Her right to life.

We will continue to fight for vulnerable babies in the womb, sir. I will continue to stand up and be a voice for the voiceless. We are endowed with certain unalienable rights, and it is an unthinkable evil that we do not protect the fundamental right to life in America.

This was not a win for women. It was the worst of losses.

-Kelsey Good


Note to readers:

New Yorkers, get involved.  Christians, rise up.  Churches, speak out.

Join an organization. Get news alerts from different news stations. Pick up a book.

Get off your couches and go to the state capitol. Stop scrolling on Instagram, and keep up with the legislation in your capitol and in D.C.

You have a choice to make a difference. Stand up for truth. Be part of the solution.