The internal Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) memos were never intended for public dissemination. Reading them, one can see why. But now Congressman Christopher Smith placed them into the Congressional Record for all to see.
A Trojan Horse of Deceit
As he explained: “It is especially important that policy makers know, and more fully understand, the deceptive practices being employed by the abortion lobby. These documents are from recent CRR strategy sessions where, according to a quote from a related interview session, one of the CRR's trustees said, 'We have to fight harder, be a little dirtier.' These documents expose the wolf donning sheep's clothing in an attempt to sanitize violence against children. These papers reveal a Trojan Horse of deceit.”
CRR opposes any regulation of the abortion business, wants Medicaid to pay for abortions in all 50 states, and even objects to “Choose Life” license plates. Their answer to any and all challenges to the abortion-on-demand mentality is the same: Sue, sue, sue.
The CRR would overturn in the courts any standard medical regulations of abortion clinics. To use the CRR's own jargon, these medical regulations are called “targeted regulation of abortion providers” or TRAP laws.
According to CRR, “TRAP laws regulate the medical practices of doctors who provide abortions by imposing burdensome requirements that are different and more stringent than regulations applied to comparable medical practices. These excessive and unnecessary government regulations ultimately harm women's health and inhibit their reproductive choices.” (2)
Suing to Harm Women and Plunder the Public Till
In reality, however, these laws protect women from dangerous medical complications, even death, under the hand of the abortion-clinic worker.
One so-called TRAP law Arizona statute 36-431(A); 13-707(A)(3), 13-802© ensures that an abortionist has a valid medical license: “A person is guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor who…establishes, operates or maintains [an abortion clinic] unless the person holds a current and valid license….”
Another such law Missouri statute 301.3 requires that nurses in abortion clinics work under a registered nurse: “The abortion facility nursing service shall be under the direction of a legally and professionally qualified registered nurse.”
Another law Missouri statute 19 CSR 30-30.060(1)©(4) provides for adequate medical response to life-threatening complications: “Physicians performing abortions shall have staff privileges at a hospital within fifteen (15) minutes travel time from the facility or the facility shall show proof there is a working arrangement between the facility and a hospital within fifteen (15) minutes travel time from the facility granting the admittance of patients for emergency treatment whenever necessary.”
So far, courts have ordered 13 states to provide coverage for abortion under Medicaid (Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia). Three states (Hawaii, New York and Washington) voluntarily provide coverage for abortion under Medicaid. Five states (Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Virginia and Wisconsin) either voluntarily, or by court order, provide some abortion coverage under Medicaid. But seven states (Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas) have warded off litigation attempts to mandate abortion coverage under Medicaid.
The CRR litigation strategy would press courts to mandate universal abortion coverage under Medicaid for every state.
The Anti-life Crowd in a Panic
According to the CRR memo, “We are following through on cases challenging Choose Life license plates and the fundraising these plates do for so-called Crisis Pregnancy Centers. We are currently seeking law firm support for new cases in two or three states.”
License plates for cars with the popular “Choose Life” message have been legal in Florida since 1998. Over 24,000 plates were sold in Florida that year, raising almost $500,000. As of September 2003, over $2,000,000.00 has been raised and the tags continue to sell, raising over $70,000.00 per month. Every tag sold raises $20 to help organizations such as maternity homes, crisis pregnancy centers and certain non-profit adoption agencies, which are helping women committed to making an adoption plan for their child.
Choose Life, Inc., the Florida group that developed the idea, is communicating with groups and individuals in over 40 states at this time, (3) including Virginia State Delegate Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun-Virginia), author of Virginia's parental consent law, whose efforts to promote the tag have gained wide support, but have been blocked by a pro-abortion governor and lawmakers.
The final section of the document reveals the reason for this aggressive campaign of lawsuits. The abortion movement is in a near state of panic over the possibility that Roe v. Wade may be overturned. The authors of the memo write that “[W]e are examining whether our traditional work will continue or whether we need to anticipate a new legal landscape, either because limitations on the right to choose will be firmly established and viable legal challenges will dwindle or because Roe v. Wade will be overturned or substantially undermined, also eliminating the cases that make up much of our current docket.”
That those opposed to a Culture of Life are glumly mulling over worst-case scenarios should give us all hope.
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1. Center for Reproductive Rights, Domestic Legal Program of Strategic Planning Through October 31, 2003; placed into the U.S. Congressional Record by U.S. Representative Christopher Smith (R-NJ), December 8, 2003.
2. Center for Reproductive Rights, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers: Avoiding the TRAP, September 2003; www.crlp.org/pub_bp_trap.html.
Steve Mosher is the president of Population Research Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to debunking the myth that the world is overpopulated.