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.
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.
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.
By now you have probably seen the video (below) of the New York State Senate cheering the “Reproductive Health Act” which would effectively allow abortions up to just before birth. It is heartbreaking. This is not just the sentiment of a few legislators either. It is a direct reflection of the majority of the people of New York. Their elected officials consistently reflect the condition of their hearts. Recall that New York City discovered in 2012 that more African American babies were killed by abortion (31,328) than born (24,758). From that experience, they’ve emerged with a desire to expand abortions.
I first came across the video with a comment from Benjamin Watson, the NFL player who is a courageous voice for life in our day. He commented, “It is a sad and evil day when the murder of our most innocent and vulnerable is celebrated with such overwhelming exuberance. We SHOULD be supporting and encouraging the building of families which are fundamental to any society. By not doing so, we invite consequences untold.”
It is a sad and evil day when the murder of our most innocent and vulnerable is celebrated with such overwhelming exuberance.
We SHOULD be supporting and encouraging the building of families which are fundamental to any society.
By not doing so, we invite consequences untold https://t.co/LOBRM0O2D5
— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) January 23, 2019
He captured well in just a tweet what I felt as my heart broke for the people of New York. I pray that God may have mercy on them, that they may feel the evil that has taken hold of their hearts and minds, so they might turn and repent from their ways.
The worst of consequences for New York would be to be left to their own devices and continue to think of themselves as the best of the best. To continue to be blinded by the big billboards and the lights, its celebrities, and big sporting events. Underneath the glamour, there is a deep sadness to this city. A spiritual sadness. People who can barely make it each day. They are crying out for help only to hear the reflection of their own voices on the busy bodies walking pass them.
I pray for the New York Church. I pray that they might shine brightly in the middle of increasing darkness. I pray this news presents a moment of self-reflection. I pray they cry out in unison for God’s discipline, for that would be a great mercy. Like a loving father, the Lord disciplines those whom He loves (Hebrews 12:6). There are those whom God gives up to follow their own appetites, “to do what ought not to be done,” says the Apostle Paul (Romans 1:28). This is the worst of scenarios.
Those of us outside the state must also be diligent to stand up and raise our voices for these children who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 31:8). To speak of the people of New York is in many ways to speak of us, wherever we are in America. Paul warned not only those who practice these evil deeds but of those who “give approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:32). Let us never be accused of approval because of our silence. May we never be seen as those who would sacrifice justice and mercy for the unborn on the altar of personal comfort.
Let us resolve to speak ever more boldly for the unborn in New York and wherever we are. Let us recommit our efforts to support women in crisis pregnancy and to love each person at every stage of life for their intrinsic value, as created in the image of God.
Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.
Today is the March for Life! As I sit across from my eldest daughter (11) on our way to the march in downtown Washington, D.C., I can’t help but think about this year’s theme: “Unique from Day One.” I see this in Mia.
I have four kids. They’re all incredible. But Mia is unique. She’s kind and good-hearted. She is loud and yet shy. In many ways, she is like her mother. In other ways like me. She is her. Each of my children is unique. This is an inescapable reality.
The connection between us is also unique. As every parent out there knows, our children’s connection with mother and father is very different. Each beautiful in its own right. This, too, is a reality.
That connection starts from day one, at conception. As most woman who have been pregnant would testify, there is a connection (a deep relationship) that starts while the baby is inside the womb. It is a majestic mystery that is undeniable, whatever the pro-choice propaganda tells us.
Exploiters know the power of this connection between mother and child is so explosive, it is dangerous. I always remember the words of Frederick Douglass in his autobiography, “An American Slave.” He wrote:
My mother and I were separated when I was but an infant — before I knew her as my mother. It is a common custom, in the part of Maryland from which I ran away, to part children from their mothers at a very early age. Frequently, before the child has reached its twelfth month, its mother is taken from it, and hired out on some farm a considerable distance off, and the child is placed under the care of an old woman, too old for field labor. For what this separation is done, I do not know, unless it be to hinder the development of the child’s affection toward its mother, and to blunt and destroy the natural affection of the mother for the child. This is the inevitable result.
As Frederick Douglass notes, slaveholders knew this “natural affection” between mother and child was more powerful than slavery. They were right to fear it.
It is why pro-abortion advocates today hate laws requiring that they offer women a sonogram of the baby in the womb before having an abortion. This is dangerous to their business. Better to “part children from their mothers” before she can lay eyes on the baby. But they cannot deny reality. Being pro-life is being pro-science. Only mothers have abortions. That mother/unborn-child relationship, though in its infancy, has already commenced, and the separation will have inevitable consequences.
It is no wonder many women suffer greatly after an abortion, even when they cannot make the connection to the traumatic event. Consider that:
- Women who have an abortion are three times more likely than women of child-bearing age in the general population to commit suicide.
- The increased risk percentage of women who have an abortion compared to women in the general population of having at least one mental health issue: 81 percent.
- Teen girls are up to 10x more likely to attempt suicide than their counterparts who have not had an abortion.
- Teen girls who have had an abortion are up to 4x more likely to successfully commit suicide when compared to older women who have had an abortion.
- About 45 percent of women who have had an abortion report having suicidal feelings immediately following their procedure.
- 1995 data suggests that the rate of deliberate self-harm is 70% higher after abortion than after childbirth.
- The British Journal of Psychiatry found an 81% increased risk of mental trauma after abortion.
- Two out of three women who have a late abortion (after 12 weeks) suffer from the clinical definition of PTSD.
- Women who have had an abortion are 34 percent more likely to develop an anxiety disorder.
- The increased risk of alcohol abuse in women who have had an abortion is 110 percent.
These and many other scientific facts led the U.S. Supreme Court to finally admit in the Gonzalez v. Carhart partial-birth abortion decision that:
“It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know: that she allowed a doctor to pierce the skull and vacuum the fast-developing brain of her unborn child. …”
Indeed, it is self-evident. Just like we knew slavery was an unspeakable evil, even after Dred Scott said it was “legal,” so we know today that abortion is a similar evil that must end, even 46 years after Roe.
Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.
Concerned Women for America’s Doreen Denny joins pro-life leaders in this Students for Life video calling on Congress to defund Planned Parenthood during this budget negotiations. #WeWantDefund
One group of black women are peddling the belief that abortion is “self-care,” that it benefits women and their families. This snake oil is being sold by The Afiya Center (TAC), which put these slogans on a giant billboard in Texas.
As a free-thinking, informed and intuitive black woman, I don’t buy it. My child did not survive my abortion over 30 years ago, but I did. Since 1973, abortion has reduced the black population by over 25 percent, terminating 19 million black lives. [Read More …]
Washington, D.C. — Today, Planned Parenthood announced their new president, Dr. Leana Wen. Dr. Wen has a medical background having been an emergency room doctor and Baltimore’s health commissioner. Her background as a political activist leaves little hope that Planned Parenthood will leave the abortion industry behind.
Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America issued the following statement in response:
“If Planned Parenthood was truly serious about advocating for women, they would hire someone as their president who understands medicine and, because of that knowledge, accepts that abortion does not help women but only inflicts harm and destruction. Instead, they have hired a medical professional who does not understand the true nature of abortion and is more a political activist than women’s health advocate.
Dr. Wen’s background as an emergency room doctor and her time as Baltimore’s health commissioner should give her perspective on the real healthcare needs of women. Dr. Wen has the opportunity to change the trajectory of Planned Parenthood and address the full range of services needed by poor women. It’s time for Planned Parenthood to change their business model instead of pushing their abortion agenda.
In a rare up-or-down pro-life vote on Capitol Hill, the Senate voted last week on an amendment to the Labor HHS/Department of Defense “minibus” Appropriations bill. The amendment offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) would prohibit federal funds from going to any provider of family planning or reproductive health services that performs abortions or affiliates with an entity that does. The amendment failed 45-48 with seven senators absent – half of whom would have voted for and the other half against. The strategy behind this vote was complicated by anticipated hostile amendments from abortion supporters and was set at a 60-vote threshold to pass, which essentially set it up to fail. Nevertheless, it was a clean vote on a pro-life measure that put senators clearly on record as to whether they support or oppose the abortion industry. Predictably, Planned Parenthood was on the front lines in opposition to the amendment, since it would cut deeply into their bottom line.
The House has a similar provision in its Labor-HHS Appropriations bill to defund abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. CWA will be working to get this measure, and other strong, pro-life legislation, in the final FY 2019 Labor- HHS Appropriations bill, whatever form it takes. As always, this will be a heavy lift requiring the leadership of pro-life members and the Administration. The House and Senate should be appointing a conference committee to work out a final bill in the coming weeks. Find out how your senators voted on the Paul Amendment, No. 3967, and let them know how you feel!