Tag Archives: DOJ

Pro-life blog buzz 11-15-13

by Susie Allen, host of the blog, Pro-Life in TN, and Kelli

We welcome your suggestions for additions to our Top Blogs (see tab on right side of home page)! Email Susie@jillstanek.com.

  • Clinic Quotes shares an admission from the pro-choice side regarding post-abortion trauma:

    Rosemary Candelario, director of Massachusetts Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, on why pro-choice groups often claim that abortion does not contribute to emotional trauma for women:

    “I think the fear in the [abortion rights] movement is if we admit abortion is hard for some women, then we’re admitting that it’s wrong, which is totally not the case. I’ve heard from women who are having problems dealing with their abortion who are still ardently pro-choice.”

new-obamacare-ad

  • Down on the Pharm discusses the latest sexual research which shows how women (surprise!) don’t actually benefit in any way from casual sex.

    Funny… that’s not what the latest (and tasteless) ProgressNow Colorado ads promoting Obamacare (sample pictured left; click to enlarge) seem to portray.

  • Abortion State gives the firsthand account of being investigated by the Department of Justice simply for attempting to contact abortionist Julie Komarow, M.D., for an interview regarding her involvement with reported wrongdoings at Planned Parenthood. Komarow had previously sought legal action (unsuccessfully) to prevent her name from being mentioned in the interview, and when the writer attempted to contact her for a comment via email, landline and cell phone, she filed a restraining order for harassment.

    Soon, the DOJ began monitoring the writer’s blog and treating the case as a possible FACE Act (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) violation, which could result in heavy fines and jail time. The writer was not contacted to ask about his intentions prior to opening a federal case.

  • American Life League’s Judie Brown asks why, in this sex-saturated culture where chastity is mocked and maligned despite rising STD rates, it is the baby who is deemed the enemy of the feel-good culture:

    … [I]n order for the abortion cartel to continue raking in the money, is has to create at least one, if not two, generations of individuals who will suffer anything for the cause of sexual relations. This is why one-third of Americans today have a sexually transmitted disease.

    Professor emeritus James V. Schall, S.J., commenting on the statistic and the money spent on preventive treatments, opined, “Not only are there these diseases with us but also the millions of abortions which are also the results of failed ‘sexual transmission’ techniques that were designed to prevent the conceptions of children. Contraception methods and sexual education programs have not worked. In fact, they seem to have made the problem worse.”…

    That baby, or any preborn human being at any stage of his development, is not anyone’s enemy. Each is a flesh and blood human being just like you and me.

    The enemy is the force in society that will not rest until every expectant mother detests her child and wants nothing more than to kill him.

MassAbortPlate

  • RealChoice takes a look at some pro-choice state license plates. For some reason, they just don’t seem as pleasing as the pro-life ones.
  • Expose Abortion has many quotes from former abortion workers whose stark revelations shine a light on the mindset of the abortion industry. Former abortion provider Kathy Sparks is quoted as saying, “I remember one of the doctors stating that he could do three abortions in ten minutes and make the same amount of money as delivering one woman full term.”
  • Family Research Council blogs about the mayor-elect of New York City, who has declared war on non-profit pregnancy resource centers who provide services that are free and confidential. Bill DeBlasio shows his true liberal colors – seeking to deny true choice in communities while promoting only one “choice” – abortion.
  • Veteran pro-life educator Scott Klusendorf of Life Training Institute has must-read advice for new pro-life speakers.
  • At Catholic Vote, Michael New points out that many factors could be at fault for Ken Cuccinelli’s failed run for governor of Virginia – however, his pro-life stance isn’t one of them.
  • Live Action releases video of an Albuquerque late-term abortionist at Southwestern Women’s Options explaining the procedure and bragging that people come to Albuquerque from everywhere, due to their lax abortion restrictions. Beautiful Albuquerque, you deserve better than being the late-term abortion capital. November 19th is your chance to speak.
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BREAKING: Bombshells in Parenthood Gulf Coast’s $4.3m fraud settlement

breakingnews2The good people at Alliance Defending Freedom have forwarded me the settlement agreement between Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and the United States of America, the Texas Attorney General, and whistleblower Karen Reynolds, for charges that PPGC committed Medicaid fraud between 2003-2009. The settlement was signed by all parties on July 24 and 25.

As I wrote yesterday, PPGC has agreed to pay $4.3 million. According to the settlement, the money will be divied three ways:

$2,552,169 – United States
$1,247,000 – Karen Reynolds (bounty)
$500,831 – State of Texas

In addition, PPGC must pay Reynolds’ attorney fees. Reynolds was represented by the American Center for Law and Justice.

ADF attorney Casey Mattox was kind enough to walk me through the settlement agreement. Following are the high points, including a few bombshells. [Read ADF’s blog on this here.]

Department-Of-Justice6308The most significant component of the settlement is that the U.S. Department of Justice “contends that PPGC submitted false claims and made false statements to the United States in connection with claims submitted to” Medicaid, Title XIX, Title XX, and the Texas Women’s Health Program.

This represents the first time the U.S. Department of Justice has accused aPlanned Parenthood affiliate of fraud.

That it was Barack Obama/Eric Holder’s DOJ makes this even more newsworthy.

The WHP is the very program PP had the audacity to kick and scream about being evicted from last year, when all along at least one of its affiliates was defrauding it.

In the settlement PPGC denies the allegations are true.

But as Mattox  said, “If you believe a Planned Parenthood affiliate that has been fighting against defunding efforts, threatening lawsuits over its exclusion from the Women’s Health Program, has another Medicaid fraud case pending in federal court [Abby Johnson’s], and claims recently passed pro-life legislation is forcing it to close clinics, would pay $4.3 million just to make this case go away, I have depreciating property I’d like to show you. If PP really believed these claims were baseless, this was their chance to demonstrate that in court. Instead, they paid out a huge chunk of money.”

The settlement clearly stipulates both the State of Texas and federal government believe PPGC billed false claims.

Another huge component of the settlement is that PPGC has 90 days to identify overcharges it has made against the government and Medicaid and repay the overcharges, plus interest and penalties.

Other noteworthy points in the settlement:

  • The Inspector General and DHHS reserved the right to investigate other claims against PPGC (Abby Johnson’s lawsuit, for instance).
  • The government (state/federal) reserved the right to sue for civil or criminal liability, including “current or former directors, officers, employees, agents, or sharehoolders of PPGC.”
  • The government reserved the right to audit PPGC’s books for overcharges.
  • PPGC cannot turn around and charge former patients or insurers for government overcharges.
  • PPGC agreed to cooperate with any government investigation and turn over requested unredacted documents and reports. PPGC cannot impair employees from cooperating with the government.
  • If for some reason PPGC reneges on this settlement, such as by declaring bankruptcy, the government will increase the amount PPGC owes to “$6,432,560, which represents three times the amount the Government alleges to have be overpaid.”

The latter point means the government believes it can prove it found $2,144,186.67 million in overcharges by PPGC.

So PPGC’s $4.3 million settlement is for twice that amount. Reynold’s lawsuit alleged PPGC overbilled “several millions of dollars” over the course of six years. Mattox believes the $30 million figure mentioned by news outlets included penalties.

downloadThe amount of waste, abuse, and fraud uncovered in Planned Parenthood affiliates nationwide now totals over $12.5 million, according to Mattox. Auditors and investigators in several states have uncovered Planned Parenthood affiliate fraud.

That the federal government has identified Planned Parenthood as submitting false claims should impact the ongoing congressional hearing, said Mattox, and also help states trying to defund Planned Parenthood.

Mattox said it will be interesting to see the amount of Medicaid funds Planned Parenthood receives over the next 2-4 years. It should be tightening up its act.

We may already be seeing it. RH Reality Check complained today:

[C]laims in [the] Texas Women’s Health Program, which replaced the Medicaid Women’s Health Program at the start of this year, have declined by about 23% in the first five months of 2013, as compared to Medicaid Women’s Health Program claims during the same period last year. This is the first year the program has operated without Planned Parenthood.

RHRC was trying to claim that fewer low income women are being served. But the lower number more likely represents claims not padded by Planned Parenthood.

“It is hard to calculate the impact these lawsuits are having,” said Mattox. They are forcing Planned Parenthood to make voluntary changes in its billing practices.  My biggest hope is this will hurt Planned Parenthood by taking the Teflon off.

“Planned Parenthood knows it now has people looking over its shoulder,” Mattox said. “I can guarantee you PP went into this with the mindset, ‘How much can we bill and get away with?’ Now PP’s mindset is, ‘What can I defend to a judge?'”

Stanek Sunday funnies, “Liberals turn on Obama II” edition

This week critical mass was reached. The Benghazi, IRS, and DOJ scandals became too much for liberal cartoonists to ignore, and they came down en masse on President Obama. It appears the likely straw was spying on one of their own.

Be sure to vote for your favorite in the poll at the end of the post. And be sure to see Part I!

a twofer by Walt Handelsman at GoComics.com
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 by Jeff Danziger at GoComics.com
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 by Mike Luckovich at GoComics.com
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 by Tom Toles at GoComics.com
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 by Jack Ohman at GoComics.com
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 by Dan Wasserman at GoComics.com
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 by Signe Wilkinson at GoComics.com
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Obama administration’s harassment of pro-lifers gets personal

On July 13 FBI agents Conrad Rodriguez and William Sivley paid a visit to my son-in-law, Andy Moore, at his home.

Andy is a pro-life activist who prays and protests outside the Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center abortion mill in Dallas, where late-term abortionist Curtis Boyd freely acknowledges he “kill[s]” children.

Agents Rodriguez and Sivley told Andy three red flags prompted their visit:

  1. His use of a megaphone outside the mill, a one-time event on March 31, which he stopped and never repeated after police told him he was violating a noise ordinance.
  2. A complaint by the clinic manager that Andy trespassed, which he did not. There was no evidence, yet police gave Andy a warning: “I asked the officer multiple times, ‘Why are you giving me this warning, as I did not trespass?’ All he would tell me was, ‘I’m giving you this warning.’ He did not answer my question.”
  3. Unsubstantiated complaints that Andy may be too aggressive. “One of the agents told me it is acceptable to be aggressive, however there is a line. He gave examples of things which would cross the line, such as making threats of violence, or obstructing vehicle access – violations of the FACE act. I told him in no uncertain terms that I had never done anything like this and had not considered anything like this either.”

Obviously, the charges rose to the level of nada to begin with, certainly not above local law enforcement’s pay grade. Thankfully, Andy videotaped his one and only foray into megaphoning, which was clearly tame and polite:

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But the FBI used these as an excuse to knock on the door, nerve-wracking to begin with, and followed by asking totally inappropriate questions clearly aimed at intimidating Andy, while also launching into a  fishing expedition about me. Per Andy and my daughter, who was home at the time,  here were questions the agents asked:

  • What affiliations do you have including church groups?
  • How long have you known your wife?
  • What belief system makes you believe in your cause?
  • What is your goal in protesting?
  • Do you know why people would make complaints against you?
  • Are there friends of yours or people you’re connected with that you could confidentially tell us are aggressive or abrasive? “Don’t be afraid to tell us.”
  • Are you involved in activism in Austin, since we noticed some entries on abortionwiki?
  • They were REALLY interested in the connection to Jill Stanek – details of internship, New Zealand speaking tour visit, did you get your activist and pro-life ideas from her? Did she train or teach you? Did you meet Jill before or after you became involved in the movement? Was it Jill who “fired you up” to become so active in the movement?
  • They were overly nice saying he wasn’t in trouble and feel free to tell us anything. Encouraged him to keep going back out there, that they represent both sides. ++they are protecting his freedom of speech++ is what they kept saying.
  • They said their task force that deals with these abortion cases also handles Hate Crimes and White Supremacy. Odd grouping with pro-lifers.
  • They knew he was an immigrant.  They said a felony on his record could/would get him deported. “You wouldn’t want to be apart from your wife and newborn.”

Life Legal Defense Fund, one of the pro-life legal firms that has successfully defended pro-lifers against prosecution by Obama’s Department of Justice, has now taken Andy under its wing. Senior Staff Counsel, Allison Aranda, shared her insights in an email:

The Obama administration is essentially engaging in a witch hunt.  From the moment the new administration took office, the DOJ has been targeting peaceful pro-life sidewalk counselors.  They have come out guns blazing on several occasions often bringing allegations that could later not be substantiated or in some cases clearly proven to be false.  Their weapon of choice – the FACE act.  The DOJ is using tactics that amount to legal extortion.  They have filed these frivolous claims against innocent people who don’t have the finances to hire big shot attorneys.  The DOJ then kindly offers to settle the case if the counselor simply agrees to stay so many yards away and pay a couple thousand dollar fine.

Pro-bono legal foundations like LLDF, Alliance Defending Freedom, and Liberty Counsel have taken a stand to defend these innocent pro-lifers.  Thankfully the sidewalk counselors have either had witnesses or video evidence to defend their actions.  The DOJ has outright dismissed charges in two cases, walking away with egg on their face.  In one case, a federal court judge issued a scathing opinion questioning the motives of the DOJ for bringing such unsubstantiated charges in the first place.  The judge suggested that there might have been a conspiracy between the government and the abortion clinic to violate the free speech rights of the pro-life advocates.

It now seems that the unscrupulous Eric Holder is at it again.  This time when the government determined that the evidence wasn’t quite what they thought it would be to proceed on a FACE claim against Andy, they turned their intimidating interrogation into a fishing expedition about the personal life of Jill Stanek.  Targeted bullying by our government because of an individual’s viewpoint and willingness to share that message in the public square is intolerable.  LLDF is committed to aggressively defending the rights of pro-life advocates.  We will not back down, and we will not be threatened.  We will continue to fight so that the freedoms of all are protected and preserved.

It stands to reason that the Obama administration would be interested in me.  This has probably been a long time coming.  But to reiterate Allison’s point, we will not back down, and we will not be threatened.

DOJ drops Obama-ordered appeal against pro-life activist, will pay $120,00 legal expenses

I wrote last week that while President Obama’s Department of Justice decided not to appeal a court decision rejecting its Freedom of Access to Clinics Act lawsuit against Colorado pro-life activist Kenneth Scott, it was doubling down and appealing another adverse court decision in its case against Mary Susan Pine (pictured right) in Florida.

Well, good news comes today from Pine’s legal representation, Liberty Counsel, with very interesting tidbits, underlined:

The Department of Justice has dropped its appeal in Holder v. Pine against pro-life sidewalk counselor Mary “Susan” Pine, who is represented by Liberty Counsel. The DOJ has agreed to pay $120,000 for this improper lawsuit. The DOJ had unsuccessfully sought thousands of dollars in fines against Susan Pine, as well as a permanent injunction banning her from counseling women on the public sidewalk outside the Presidential Women’s Center abortion clinic.

After 18 months of litigation, the DOJ’s case was thrown out of federal court, and the department was chastised for filing a case with no evidence. Federal Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp stated that Holder’s complete failure to present any evidence of wrongdoing, coupled with the DOJ’s cozy relationship with PWC and their joint failure to preserve video surveillance footage of the alleged “obstruction,” caused the court to suspect a conspiracy at the highest level of the Obama Administration. “The Court is at a loss as to why the Government chose to prosecute this particular case in the first place,” wrote Judge Ryskamp. “The Court can only wonder whether this action was the product of a concerted effort between the Government and PWC, which began well before the date of the incident at issue, to quell Ms. Pine’s activities rather than to vindicate the rights of those allegedly aggrieved by Ms. Pine’s conduct.”

After this ruling the DOJ appealed on the last day possible and gave indication that President Obama ordered the appeal.

Pine also wrote in an email that the DOJ dropped the charges against her with prejudice, as it did with Scott, it cannot regurgitate this case against her again.

The news for these two pro-life stalwarts is great, although six similar lawsuits remain live.

But, wow, what is it that makes Barack Obama so obsessed with abortion?

These attempts to shut down the pro-life movement serve as more reminders how much of the people’s money and resources the Obama administration is willing to wantonly expend to make abortion as easily attainable as possible.

[Picture via Liberty Counsel]

Obama DOJ drops one FACE lawsuit, doubles down on another

I’ve been following two (of eight) Freedom of Access to Clinics Act cases brought by Obama’s Department of Justice against pro-life activists.

There is good news to report on one and bad on another.

District court judges in both lawsuits had ruled against the DOJ, and the ball was in the DOJ’s court.

In its lawsuit against Kenneth Scott, the DOJ decided to fold. Recall all those videotapes the DOJ submitted as evidence against Scott that actually vindicated him. Reported WND.com on March 22:

As part of the settlement, the government agreed to drop all charges with prejudice, meaning they can never be filed again.

The agreement is an astounding capitulation by the Justice Department, which had assigned five federal prosecutors to go after Ken Scott, a pro-life advocate, for passing out information outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Denver.

Meanwhile, the DOJ will continue to harass pro-lifer Mary Susan Pine. Recall the court all but accused the DOJ of setting Pine up. Yet the DOJ is undeterred. Acording to Liberty Counsel, which is representing Pine:

After being thrown out of federal court and chastised for filing a case with no evidence, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is back for more. He has filed an appeal in Holder v. Pine, a political prosecution of a pro-life educator.

Holder unsuccessfully sought thousands of dollars in fines against Susan Pine, as well as a permanent injunction banning her from counseling women on the public sidewalk outside the Presidential Women’s Center abortion clinic [in West Palm Beach, Florida].

Without any evidence, Holder accused Pine of obstructing the entrance to an abortion clinic in violation of FACE. Federal Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp dismissed Holder’s lawsuit because of a complete failure to present any evidence of wrongdoing. This, coupled with the DOJ’s cozy relationship with PWC and their joint failure to preserve video surveillance footage of the alleged act, caused Judge Ryskamp to suspect a conspiracy at the highest level of the Obama Administration. He wrote, “The Court can only wonder whether this action was the product of a concerted effort between the Government and PWC, which began well before the date of the incident at issue, to quell Ms. Pine’s activities rather than to vindicate the rights of those allegedly aggrieved by Ms. Pine’s conduct.”

Liberty Counsel has now asked Judge Ryskamp to award Pine approximately $140,000 in attorney’s fees and costs for having to defend herself against Holder’s political lawsuit.

Another FACE blow: Judge denies DOJ request to muzzle pro-life activist

On January 16 I reported that a Florida court had dismissed a case brought against a pro-lifer by the Department of Justice based on the Freedom of Access to Clinics Act.

Well, last week a second of the eight cases the DOJ has filed since President Barack Obama took office received a serious blow.

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Court dismisses FACE case, suspects DOJ of set-up

Quick backdrop from Our Sunday Visitor:

Passed in 1994 as a way to limit violence outside abortion clinics, the FACE [Freedom of Access to Clinics] Act has been used with greater frequency in recent years.

Since the start of President Barack Obama’s administration in 2009, the Justice Department has filed eight cases under the FACE Act, a sharp increase from the one case filed during the previous eight years.

Mary Susan Pine was one of those eight.

In August 2010 U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder filed a civil suit against Pine, accusing her of violating the FACE Act.

And on January 13, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed the case – with some interesting observations.

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