Home > Issues & Alerts > Legislative Alerts > Officials Planned to Gut Abortion Law Before It Passed! (Alert for 7/29/04 Last updated on 8/8/04)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Officials Planned to Gut Abortion Law Before It Passed!

(Alert for 7/29/04 Last Updated on 8/8/04)


See our new alert for the latest developments!

Update for 8/8/04: Bureaucrats Retreat: Plan to "Rework" Abortion "Ruling"
Under citizen pressure, Sen. Curt Bramble and bureaucrats at the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) are "reworking" their deceptive "ruling" that restores taxpayer funding of abortion on demand (see Topic 2 below). They cite some problems exposed in a recent public hearing, but ignore others.

According to the Tribune, "[UDOH] attorneys will rewrite that definition, leaving out references to investment income and federal funds and reworking the definition of 'gifts.'"  No mention was made, for instance, of the fact that the "public funds" exceptions in the "ruling" will be applied to all types of abortions.
Source: "Rule for abortion to be reworked," Rebecca Walsh, Salt Lake Tribune, Aug. 4, 2004.

Sen. Curt Bramble is also pushing to further expand abortion on demand. According to the same article:

"Meantime, the bill's sponsor, Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, has asked state attorneys to draft amendments to the law to allow exceptions for fatal fetal defects, refine exceptions for the mother's health and provide for indigent mothers."

In other words, Bramble, the pretended pro-life champion, desires to again force taxpayers to fund euthanasia and abortion on demand. Learn more below about UDOH's "ruling," revelations from a recent public hearing, SB 68, and Bramble's betrayal. We particularly recommend that you put your legislators on notice that you expect them to revoke any UDOH "ruling" and let the original bill language of SB 68 stand unmolested.

 

"The sovereign authority in any country is the power
of making laws..." Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

Summary: During the July 19 hearing on the Utah Department of Health's (UDOH) new abortion "ruling," a secret discussion was revealed, lies were exposed, and several officials, including Gov. Walker, General Shurtleff, and Sen. Bramble were fingered as having conspired together. Learn how taxpayers and the unborn have been sold out and take action.
Note: Our thanks to www.yourrightsmatter.com for providing the video links.

Topics:

1. Admission of Secret "Discussions" To Rewrite SB 68 Prior to Its Passage!

2. UDOH Caught in Lie: "Ruling" Opens Floodgates for Tax-Funded Abortions

    "Ruling" Excludes Tax-Funded Facilities, Employees, Equipment, Etc.

    UDOH Can't Identify the "Emergency" for its "Emergency Rule"

    Hospitals May Receive Tax Benefits from "Ruling"

    Admission that "Investment Income" Could Be a Loophole

    No Way for Interested Parties to Enforce UDOH "Ruling"

3. UDOH Flip-Flops on Whether/How Officials Collaborated on "Ruling"

4. TAKE ACTION! The Buck Stops with Your Legislators

Addendum: Additional Testimony

1. Admission of Secret "Discussions" To Rewrite SB 68 Prior to Its Passage!

Note: If you need to be brought up to speed, read the "ruling" and our previous alert outlining some of its many problems, deceptions, and circumventions of the law.

See Doug Springmeyer, Assistant Attorney General and UDOH representative (under General Shurtleff's direction) at this hearing, admit to a secret discussion on Senate Bill 68 (SB 68) prior to its passage last session.

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If the need for modification (including redefining the term "indirect public funds") was so compelling, why wasn't it addressed during the legislative session and codified in statute along with the bill? Apparently, the House sponsor, Rep. Morgan Philpot, was unaware of these discussions. Accountability Utah volunteers who helped write, edit, and review SB 68 kept in close contact with Philpot and no such discussions were ever mentioned. Philpot recently stated that he did not feel that the law needed to be changed at all.
Source: "U. eyed as root of abortion controversy," Rebecca Walsh, Salt Lake Tribune, Jun. 7, 2004.

After Sen. Bramble belligerently failed to take any meaningful action (also see our Infanticide Report) to pass an almost identical bill sponsored by Rep. Philpot in the 2003 session, he was politically thrashed by irate citizens. In response, the desperate senator essentially begged Rep. Philpot to allow him to sponsor the bill in 2004, and dutifully took instructions from Philpot up through the final passage of the bill. Bramble also repeatedly asked for support from many activists who were weary of his track record of betrayal.

It now appears likely that Bramble was part of an elaborate ploy to pass, and then gut, SB 68. Bramble could appear the hero by appeasing pro-life citizens, but then quietly undermine their efforts and restore taxpayer funding of abortion on demand through administrative rulemaking.

Bramble turned a bright purple when citizens revealed a statement he made prior to the hearing.

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What Bramble probably didn't comprehend was that various citizens in the audience had helped to write and edit the bill he had pretended to champion.

Back to Topics

2. UDOH Caught in Lie: "Ruling" Opens Floodgates for Tax-Funded Abortions

As we reported in our previous alert, SB 68 was designed to end taxpayer funding of abortion on demand. UDOH and Sen. Bramble have publicly and repeatedly claimed that their "ruling" only deals with "grave fetal defects". This is an outright falsehood and deception which we also discussed in our previous alert regarding how the definition of "public funds" will be applied by hospitals to all types of abortions. See Springmeyer squirm when he is cornered by the truth.

Part I: Springmeyer underplays the scope of UDOH ruling.

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Part II: Springmeyer admits that the UDOH definition of "public funds" will apply to all abortions.

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Part II: Springmeyer admits it again and it is elaborated upon.

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See the actual billing codes cited in the UDOH "ruling." Notice that there is no mention of "grave fetal defects."

Note: Also note that abortions of babies with "grave fetal defects," is still considered by many to be "abortion on demand" or euthanasia. See a previous alert on this point, as well as comments by one observant citizen.

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"Ruling" Excludes Tax-Funded Facilities, Employees, Equipment, Etc.

See Springmeyer admit that this new ruling allows abortion providers to use taxpayer-funded employees, facilities, equipment, etc.

Part I: Initial Admission

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Part II: Follow-up

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As we reported in a previous alert, SB 68 was modeled after a tougher Colorado law. The Colorado governor conducted comprehensive audits and went after Planned Parenthood (which, in Colorado, provided abortions) for mixing taxpayer-funded facilities, medical equipment, and even trustees. As a result, all state contracts with, and funding for, Planned Parenthood was terminated. Troy Eid, Executive Director of Colorado's Department of Personnel & Administration, publicly discussed Colorado's actions at a paycheck protection gathering in July 2002 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Accountability Utah volunteer Daniel Newby was in attendance and participated in the discussion.

Additional Detail: The Colorado governor's office instructed all state agencies to re-bid every state contract, including family planning contracts, and to ensure that that their laws were followed including their state constitution, which included the Colorado initiative language to prohibit "direct" and "indirect" taxpayer funding of abortion. Specific procurement standards were outlined through the Colorado Department of Health, such as not operating out of the same building and maintaining strict structural and equipment separation. In Colorado, Planned Parenthood (PP) is allowed to do abortions, and their services were cross-subsidized in various manners. Typically, PP had family planning services in one door and abortion in another door all in same building. In response to this state re-bidding move, PP cosmetically split their operations into family planning and abortion services. These separate operations incorporated virtually the same people with only a different set of accounting rules. Using this strategy, PP did manage to win some of the new contracts. The governor's office, however, then conducted an outside audit to evaluate whether or not PP was in full compliance. The audit showed that they were violating the constitution, whereupon the state ended all contractual arrangements with PP, and arranged for family planning services through other channels (typically via the counties). The endeavor took approximately 2.5 years to accomplish and was done solely through the procurement process and code for full APA rulemaking which avoided procedural challenges (PP had every chance to be heard).

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UDOH Can't Identify the "Emergency" for its "Emergency Rule"

UDOH has used an "emergency rule" clause in state statute to open the floodgates for abortion on demand. See Springmeyer dance around the question and his failure to provide any legitimate cause for the so-called "emergency".

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See a response by a sharp citizen who didn't buy Springmeyer's bureaucrat-speak.

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Hospitals May Receive Tax Benefits from "Ruling"

Part of the UDOH's new definition of "public funds" excludes "gifts" and "donations". These "gifts" could potentially include expenses hospitals make to achieve their non-profit status. Springmeyer also seemed to recognize that hospitals could potentially use this loophole to co-mingle taxpayer funds.

Part I: "Gifts" can mean different things to different entities...

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Part II: What happens once it is deemed a "gift"?

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Admission that "Investment Income" Could Be a Loophole

Part of the UDOH's new definition of "public funds" excludes "investment income," which could allow government employees operating under the public employee health plan to continue to use taxpayer funding for abortions on demand.

Part I: Is "investment income" a way for government employees to continue receiving abortions on demand?

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Part II: A citizen makes point that many "investments" are made possible by taxpayers.

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No Way for Interested Parties to Enforce UDOH "Ruling"

As another citizen pointed out, there are no enforcement mechanisms to govern this new, complex ruling.

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Springmeyer went on to outline the fact that non-governmental parties would have little or no recourse in independently determining whether or not hospitals are complying with this ruling.

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3. UDOH Dances on Whether/How Officials Collaborated on "Ruling"

Citizens went the rounds with the Springmeyer on which officials had collaborated with UDOH on this ruling. Here are some of Springmeyer's creative answers.

Part I: Denial that legislators participated...

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Part II: A citizen probes deeper.

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Part III: Ok, some legislators participated...

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Note: See, again, a response by a sharp citizen who didn't buy Springmeyer's bureaucrat-speak.  Faster connection   Slower connection

Part IV: Springmeyer makes a "clarification".

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Part V: The plot thickens...

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Part VI: Springmeyer admits that the buck stops with the legislature, and that they can rescind this ruling.

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In other words, Gov. Walker and her staff were involved, Sen. Bramble, and other legislators. We can assume heavy involvement from General Mark Shurtleff, as Springmeyer is also an Assistant Attorney General. It appears likely that, among others, House Speaker Marty Stephens and Senate President Alma Mansell were involved.

Accountability Utah will attempt to better determine the extent of this involvement and collaboration.

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4. TAKE ACTION! The Buck Stops with Your Legislators

As this hearing reveals, the lives of real human beings are on the line.  We owe it to ourselves to do all we can to extricate ourselves from the funding of these heinous acts.
Additional Note: SB 68 was extremely effective at ending abortions in Utah hospitals.  According to the Salt Lake Tribune: "The law, which took effect May 3, cuts off public funding to any agency that performs abortions except in cases of rape, incest or severe damage to a 'major bodily function' of the mother. Fearing the loss of Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program reimbursements, Utah hospitals have stopped performing the rare procedures."
Source: "Abortion curbs might be eased," Rebecca Walsh, Salt Lake Tribune, May 27, 2004.

Springmeyer did speak truthfully when he outlined who is now responsible to stop this "ruling". The buck stops with Sen. Howard Stephenson, president of the Utah Taxpayers Association, Rep. David Ure, who hopes to become the next House Speaker, the members of the Administrative Rules Review Committee, and your legislators.

Therefore, we strongly recommend the following actions:

1. Implore the intervention of Divine Providence.

2. Call (and, if possible, fax and email) the officials below.  Let them know that you see through the charade and that the entire ruling must be rescinded immediately as lives hang in the balance.

Please inform us of any responses you receive at info@accountabilityutah.org.

3. Forward this message to your family, friends, and any activists you know. Encourage them to voice their concerns and get involved.

4. Volunteer to help flier the districts of collaborating officials by e-mailing us at info@accountabilityutah.org.

5. Volunteer to participate with Accountability Utah's new "Abortion/Infanticide Task Force".

6. Monitor this site for new and updated information and join our alert list by e-mailing us at info@accountabilityutah.org.

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Addendum: Additional Testimony

We thought the following gems were worth preserving:

Obstetricians want "ruling" so they can practice their "craft".

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Planned Parenthood applauds ruling and denounces opposition.

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A response to Planned Parenthood by a local citizen.

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A citizen discusses abortion ads that run in Idaho (citing Utah abortion clinics) and asks about co-mingled funding from other states.

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Accountability Utah recipe: Take our information and opinion, research their information and opinion (if it is available), and then examine the law and draw your own conclusions. For more information on similar issues, see the Infanticide section of our Issues & Alerts page.

If you have comments or suggestions, please email us at info@accountabilityutah.org.

 

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