Life Advocacy believes restoration of America’s culture of Life will be achieved only through a better informed electorate. The public’s supposed support for the anti-life agendas of readily available abortions, utilitarian medical experimentation and quality-of-life approaches to disability, stems largely from misperceptions about the radical nature both of the so-called “pro-choice,” biotech and right-to-die lobbies and of current laws on abortion and medical decision-making in America.

Average citizens are deceived because the anti-Life lobbies and their media accomplices have effectively clouded the true issues. Restoring justice and mercy to our nation’s laws requires a change of mind, along with a change of heart.

The most certain way to change minds is relentless truth telling through strategic rhetoric and appeal.

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Leftists resurrecting ‘Equal Rights Amendment’ to make US Constitution pro-abortion


By Bob Marshall | November 7, 2019

Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) proponents have been misleading the public about the purpose and consequences of the ERA for close to 50 years!

Their current three-state ERA ratification ruse is a revolutionary act on the part of progressives to place the legal authority for the killing of unborn children into our Constitution, and not to simply rely on the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court decisions. In fact, at a shadow hearing on the ERA on June 6, 2018, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chair of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, said:

We cannot trust the Supreme Court not to go back. What the Supreme Court giveth, the Supreme can taketh away[.] … [W]e are worried now that another Supreme Court nominee might overturn Roe v. Wade.

Further, state and federal courts have concluded that state ERAs or similar “equal treatment” provisions of state constitutions require tax-paid abortions in Connecticut, Alaska, Arizona, Indiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Colorado [Doe v. Maher, Conn., 1986; State v. Planned Parenthood of Alaska, 2001; Simat Corp. v. Ariz. Health Care Cost Containment Sys., 2002; Humphreys v. Clinic for Women, (Indiana 2003); Right to Choose v. Byrne, (N.J. 1982). New Mexico Right to Choose — NARAL v. Johnson, (1998); Colorado Civil Rights Commission v. Travelers Insurance Co. (1988)].

The ERA failed in 1982 because 35, not 38 states, as required by Article V of our U.S. Constitution, ratified the ERA by its ratification deadline. Undeterred by a simple thing like our Constitution, in 2019, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) introduced H.J. Res. 38, pretending the congressionally established 1982 ERA ratification deadline could simply be scrapped almost four decades later! This maneuver would fraudulently count the 35 almost 40-year-old state ratifications of the ERA secured before 1979 toward adoption of the ERA now and permit only three additional states to ultimately “ratify” the ERA. If you can believe this, ERA advocates also claim that Nevada ratified the long expired ERA in 2017 and Illinois in 2018.

This pie-in-the-sky maneuver has nothing to do with reality and everything to do with political machinations, but in the Left’s handbook, the ends justify the means. Thus, ERA proponents now claim that with House and Senate passage of H.J. Res. 38, only three more state “ratifications” will add the ERA to our Constitution!

The ERA has been sold to Americans as promoting simple “equality” and “putting women into the Constitution,” and mandating “equal pay for equal work” but this explanation is far from the truth!

The ERA’s basic language reads, “Equality of rights under law shall not be denied or abridged … on account of sex.” The ERA was sent to the states on March 22, 1972 and would become, in the words of the ERA resolution, “part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years of its submission by the Congress.”

When ERA advocates realized they would not gain enough states to ratify by the deadline, they convinced Congress in 1978 to extend the ratification deadline three additional years and three months. Despite the extension, the ERA failed to gain the required state ratifications.

A review of the ERA hearings in Congress, floor debate, court cases, law review articles, and written goals of pro-ERA organizations proves that at least the following legal consequences would follow if the ERA were to be adopted licitly or illicitly:

The ERA would:

  • prohibit any restrictions on abortion or its tax funding;
  • compel women/girls to compete against men/boys in sports;
  • abolish female privacy in prisons, locker rooms, women’s shelters, nursing homes, hospitals;
  • subject women to selective service registration and front-line ground combat;
  • end all incentives for women-owned businesses;
  • end female scholarships;
  • end women-only sports programs;
  • abolish alimony guidelines;
  • end lower auto and other insurance rates for women;
  • treat any legal distinction based on sex the same as racial discrimination.

Another serious issue that was not specifically addressed during consideration of the ERA in the 1970s was “transgenderism.” Surely, adoption of the ERA would cement same-sex “marriage” and “transgender rights” into our Constitution to provide a much firmer foundation than court opinions.

The ERA Means Identical, Not Equal, Treatment of Men and Women

ERA proponents insist they want men and women to be treated identically. However, sexual differences flowing from the Creator’s handiwork cannot be changed by human laws.

At a September 15, 1970 Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing, Yale Law professor Thomas Emerson, the legal “brain trust” for ERA proponents, affirmed this ERA thesis:

The proposed amendment states clearly and simply the fundamental objective: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. … The term ‘equality,’ as used in the amendment … means that women must be treated by the law in the same way as other persons, that is, their rights must be determined on the basis of the same factors that apply to men. The factor of femaleness or maleness is irrelevant. … [F]or much the same reasons as in the racial area, the clause would not sanction ‘separate but equal’ treatment. Power to deny equality of rights on account of sex is wholly foreclosed.

In March 1971, ERA-supporter Congresswoman Bella Abzug (D-N.Y.) testified before a House of Representatives Judiciary subcommittee that “the amendment itself … would wipe the slate clean … eliminate all present legal distinctions based on sex, and would reject the presumption that sex is ever a reasonable legal classification.”

A month later, in April 1971, William Rehnquist, later chief justice of the Supreme Court, also testified before the House Judiciary subcommittee on behalf of President Nixon’s Justice Department. He said the ERA’s “broad general language … would … add substantial uncertainties in this area of constitutional law which would probably require extensive and protracted litigation to dispel[.] … We would have some doubt as to whether there is a national consensus for compelling all levels of government to treat men and women across the board as if they were identical human beings.”

The next day, Harvard Law professor Paul Freund told the same House Judiciary subcommittee that for more than forty years, ERA absolutists had pursued the strict scrutiny ERA but that many women’s rights organizations had opposed the ERA as strictly interpreted. Freund pointed out: “This course has been opposed by individuals and groups whose commitment to civil rights and women’s rights is not in question: groups that include the National Council of Negro Women, the National Council of Catholic Women, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Association of University Women, and the Commission on the Status of Women, appointed by President Kennedy and chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt.”

University of Chicago Law professor Philip Kurland noted that the controversy surrounding the ERA “derives from the fact that the movement for ‘women’s rights’ is Janus-faced. The proposed amendment presented one aspect, while much of it was voiced in terms of its other visage. The first would command the treatment of men and women as if there were no differences between them[.] … It was a demand for legal ‘unisex’ by constitutional mandate[.] …

The second attitude towards ‘women’s rights’ would only seek the elimination of discrimination against women, a ban on treating females as a disabled class[.] … The debate … is seriously hampered by its supporters’ indecisiveness about its effects and duplicity about its meaning” (Harvard Civil Rights — Civil Liberties Law Review, Vol. 6, 1971).

The “indecisiveness” mentioned by Kurlund was over not what the pro-ERA feminists wanted, but how candid they would be with the general public about the legal effects of the ERA as they did not want to generate organized opposition in states that were yet to consider ERA ratification. Thus, as Professor Kurlund noted, ERA proponents resorted to duplicity, a tactic that continues to this day.

All Proposed Amendments to the ERA Fail

In both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, all amendments to blunt the radical legal effects of the ERA failed.

Sen. Samuel Ervin (D-N.C.) offered amendments that would have prevented the ERA from being applied to state and federal laws. His amendments sought to exempt women from compulsory military service and assignments to combat; exempt wives, mothers, and widows from being treated in the law as men; continue to require child support by fathers; protect personal privacy for men, women, boys, and girls; and keep on the books sexual crimes such as rape, seduction, and other sexual offenses. All of these amendments failed in the U.S. Senate by wide margins.

Amendments in the U.S. House of Representatives met with a similar fate. Congressman Charles Wiggins (R-Calif.) offered an amendment: “This article shall not impair the validity of any law of the United States which exempts a person from compulsory military service or any other law of the United States or of any State which reasonably promotes the health and safety of the people.”

Congressman Wiggins gave his reasons for the modified ERA as follows:

“This recommendation of the committee does two things. One, it makes it clear that Congress may continue to exempt women from compulsory military service; and two, neither Congress nor State legislatures would be paralyzed from taking differences between the sexes into account when necessary and reasonable to promote, in fact, the health and safety of the people” (Congressional Record 10/6/71).

The Wiggins Amendment lost.

The loss of those amendments left the ERA’s radical feminists in complete charge of the future of the ERA. The Senate passed the House-originated ERA on March 22, 1972, and it was sent to the states for ratification, with the seven-year time limit imposed by Congress ending on March 22, 1979. Passage of the ERA seemed inevitable in light of the thirty states that had ratified the ERA within the first year of its passage by Congress.

Attempts to Rescue the ERA from Failure

But the feminists hit a ratification brick wall in Phyllis Schlafly and the women of Eagle Forum, who exposed the real agenda of the ERA, bringing the ERA ratification efforts to a sluggish crawl. Only five states ratified the ERA in the next six years. Mrs. Schlafly and her followers also convinced five states to rescind their prior ratifications: Nebraska in 1973, Tennessee in 1974, Idaho in 1977, Kentucky in 1978, and South Dakota in 1979.

By 1977, the following 15 states had not yet ratified the ERA: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.

With panic rising, ERA groups hit upon a novel ERA rescue effort. They would “extend” the ERA ratification time limit, a tactic that had never been tried. They sought to do so by a simple majority vote, not a two-thirds vote, required for constitutional amendments to pass. Pro-ERA groups demanded seven more years to ratify the ERA.

No amendment added to the Constitution had ever taken more than four years to be ratified by the states at that time. Congress nevertheless held ERA extension hearings in 1978 with pro-ERA leaders as leading witnesses.

Eleanor Smeal, then president of the National Organization of Women (NOW), told a House Judiciary subcommittee in May 1978, “The reason why we are currently in a state of emergency on the ERA in our organization is that we believe the life of the equal rights amendment is indeed in peril. … So we implore that you do not close the door on constitutional equality for women in this century; and that you vote to extend the time limit[.]”

Smeal also stated, “Congress has the unreviewable authority … as interpreted by the Supreme Court, to determine in advance the time (emphasis added) within which a proposed amendment must be ratified[.]”

During the 1978 House Judiciary ERA hearings, NOW’s Eleanor Smeal referred to its legal brief prepared by ERA “brain trust” Thomas Emerson of Yale, Lawrence Tribe of Harvard, Ruth Ginsburg (now U.S. Supreme Court justice) of Columbia, and others. The NOW brief cited Dillon v. Gloss (1921) which stated in part:

Congress has the unreviewable authority … as interpreted by the Supreme Court, to determine in advance the time within which a proposed amendment must be ratified.

Also testifying before the same House Judiciary committee was an associate of Smeal’s, Marjorie Bell Chambers, American Association of University Women president, who said:

We do not ask for unlimited time … (emphasis added). Failure to extend now the time limit for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment would terminate … what Congress initiated six years ago.

Today, pro-ERA groups, including NOW, have completely reversed themselves. They now want to remove all time limits on ERA ratification. They no longer believe that Congress must re-pass the ERA with a two-thirds vote and re-submit the ERA to the states for approval by 38 states, as required by Article V of the Constitution. Proponents now claim that the previous state ratifications can be revived decades after expiration, and they refuse to recognize rescissions by states of their prior ERA ratifications.

In short, heads, they win; tails, we lose!

What’s the Constitution among Friends?

This ERA “shortcut” tactic formally surfaced in a 1997 William and Mary Journal of Race, Gender and Social Justice article (Vol. 3, Issue 1, Article 5) that falsely claimed that only three more states were needed to “ratify” the ERA, as 35 other states had already ratified the ERA and their past expired ratifications could be applied without starting over! They based this theory on the adoption of the Madison Amendment affecting congressional pay, introduced in 1789 and not ratified until 1992. However, the Madison Amendment never had a time limit! The ERA had two different time limits set by Congress.

Moreover, during congressional debate certifying the Madison Pay Amendment as part of the Constitution, Congressman Don Edwards (D-Calif.), Chair of the House Judiciary subcommittee that also held hearings on the ERA, stated (emphasis added):

Mr. Speaker … I will certainly support the [Madison] resolution before us today. … But there is another, broader issue here that must not be lost sight of, and that is the Constitution itself. The House may decide today to make an exception to the principle of contemporaneous consensus that has been a guiding constitutional principle for most of this century. But it should be clear that this is an exception, not a precedent. (Congressional Record, House of Representatives, 05/20/92, p. 3,397)

This “three-state” ploy was cooked up because the last time pro-ERA forces were able to muster two thirds of Congress to submit the ERA to the states was in 1972, when it first passed Congress.

When the “extended” ERA also failed to be ratified by enough states by June 1982, proponents had no choice but to reintroduce the ERA in Congress, which it did in 1983 with identical wording from 1972. Amendments offered in the House Judiciary Committee included language to make the ERA abortion-neutral, to exempt women from the military draft and front-line ground combat, to allow different insurance rates for men and women, and others. All of the amendments failed. The ERA was reported by the Judiciary Committee to the House but failed to secure a two-thirds vote in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1983.

The Senate Judiciary Committee did not even bother to report the ERA out of committee to the full Senate in 1983 or 1984. Since then, the ERA has been reintroduced into every Congress but has never passed. Thus, ERA proponents needed a devious, unconstitutional way to advance their agenda.

ERA proponents who lobbied Congress in the late 1970s to extend the ratification deadline, when they feared it would expire, now claim that ratification deadlines do not even exist! Obviously, they do not care about publicly contradicting themselves. Pro-ERA forces actually convinced two state legislatures, Nevada in 2017 and Illinois in 2018, to go through the motions of allegedly “ratifying” the ERA decades after Congress imposed the ratification deadline of June 30, 1982.

Nevada and Illinois passed their meaningless ERA “ratifications” some 35 or 36 years too late to be counted legitimately, and they obviously ignored H.J. Res. 688, introduced in 1978, which purported to add 39 months and a few days to the ERA ratification period. That joint resolution stated that the ERA “shall be part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States not later than June 30, 1982.” The Progressive Left must believe, “What is the Constitution among friends?” Did they think Congress was kidding when it established deadlines?

Justice Ginsburg and the Three-State ERA Ratification Ploy

Some prestigious conservative media appear to be taking a comment made by Justice Ginsburg at Georgetown Law School (9/12/19) as an indication that the justice has expressly rejected the three-state tactic.

Justice Ginsburg simply told Georgetown Law School students: “I hope someday it [ERA] will be put back in the political hopper and we’ll be starting over again collecting the necessary states to ratify it.”

According to press reports, she said nothing for or against the ERA three-state ratification tactic. Nor did she say the only way the ERA can become part of the Constitution is by Congress starting over by reintroducing a new ERA, passing it with a two-thirds vote, and securing ratification by the legislatures of 38 states.

Moreover, while I would like to believe that Justice Ginsburg would indeed respect our Constitution, we have no assurance that she would actually oppose adopting the ERA with three more states “ratifying” after the 1982 deadline expired, should a court dispute arise from a “third” state legislature “ratifying” the ERA.

Has Justice Ginsburg Really Changed Her Mind on ERA Ratification?

Justice Ginsburg has advocated for the ERA over her professional lifetime. In 1971, when she was a law professor at Rutgers, she wrote in support of the ERA to Congressman Don Edwards, who chaired the House Judiciary subcommittee that held hearings on the ERA. She calls the ERA her favorite amendment. In 1977, she co-authored Sex Bias in the US Code based on passage of the ERA. I am just not convinced that she would abandon the ERA “shortcut.”

None of the hard-line ERA proponents or pro-ERA feminist organizations mention Justice Ginsburg’s alleged abandonment of the three-state tactic. None of these pro-ERA organizations or members of Congress has stopped lobbying for the “three-state strategy.” I could be wrong, but my experience from serving 26 years as an elected Virginia state legislator and six years as a congressional aide to both Republican and Democrat members of Congress, gives me no confidence that Justice Ginsburg could be counted upon to reject the three-state tactic should the matter be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

At the Judiciary Committee hearing to confirm Supreme Court justice Ginsburg, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told then federal Appellate Court judge Ginsburg:

The thing I am worried about is that it appears that your willingness to discuss the established principles of constitutional law may depend somewhat on whether your answer might solicit a favorable response from the committee.

She stated:

The courts don’t react to public opinion polls. They do react to what Professor Freund described as, not the weather of the day, but the climate of the age [emphasis added]. I tried to explain that when I talked about the 19th amendment and the 14th amendment.

In Sex Bias in the U.S. Code, co-authored by Justice Ginsburg, she states:

Supporters of the equal rights principle firmly reject draft or combat exemptions for women as congress did when it refused to qualify the Equal Rights Amendment by incorporating any military service exemptions.

At her Supreme Court nomination hearing, Judge Ginsburg responded to a comment from Senator Kohl:

You are right in pointing out that the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction is discretionary[.] … The Justices must look at what issues need to be decided most for the Nation, and that’s the basis on which the judges make their decisions about what to take.

Article III of the Constitution describes and defines federal judicial powers. The Constitution provides federal judges no legal authority to resolve “what issues need to be decided most for the Nation.”

The Supreme Court’s Dred Scott v. Sanford decision did not solve the slavery controversy or prevent the Civil War, and Plessy v. Ferguson established “separate but equal” racial segregation for generations. Federal judges will usurp legislative authority if legislators allow them to do so.

Clear majorities of Americans reject the policies and laws that the ERA would mandate:

80% oppose abortion a day before birth, (You.Gov poll for AUL, February 2019); 54% oppose tax funded abortion, 59% oppose abortion after 20 weeks, 62% oppose abortion for Down Syndrome (Marist Poll, January 2019).

Nevertheless, Justice Ginsburg might consider the “climate of the age” and simply rely upon a June 17, 2016 PR Newswire poll conducted for ERA Coalition/Fund for Women’s Equality that claims that 94% of Americans think the ERA should be ratified. This poll did not mention the actual legal or social consequences of the ERA, which are widely opposed by the public.

Judge Ginsburg specifically told Senator Simon at her hearing:

I can only tell you the code of conduct I would adopt for myself wherever I am, here or abroad, and that is the Constitution of the United States. I would consider it binding on me.

Yet Foreign Policy magazine (2/6/12) published an interview from Al-Hayat TV in which Justice Ginsburg stated:

I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the Constitution of South Africa.

I am not willing to bet my family’s future and that of our grandchildren on a very thin hope regarding what a very liberal justice might or might not decide regarding the ERA.

What if Justice Ginsburg’s statement is a “false flag” aimed at convincing anti-ERA forces to relax their opposition and to stop campaigning against pro-ERA candidates for office at both the state and federal levels?

Justice Ginsburg’s words about “starting over” could simply refer to passing H.J. Res. 38 in the current Congress to eliminate the second ERA ratification deadline of June 30, 1982, thus erasing any deadline for ERA ratification. ERA-supporters continue to claim that the original 35 state ratifications should count, while the five states that rescinded their ERA ratifications should not be recognized.

But Robert Jackson, U.S. solicitor general, argued in the 1938 case of Coleman v. Miller (re: Child Labor Amendment): “It is perhaps enough to say that distinguished authority, can be found for the view that, until an amendment has been adopted by the ratifications of three-fourths of the States, the States do have power to rescind their ratifications” (Brief for the U. S. Amicus Curiae, 10/8/1938).

Robert Jackson later served as U.S. attorney general, justice of the Supreme Court, and chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Trials and was the last justice appointed to the Supreme Court who read the law but who never graduated law school.

Perhaps most important, in 1982, then–U.S. solicitor general Lawrence G. Wallace petitioned the Supreme Court to dismiss all ERA cases, including the federal district court case of Idaho v. Freeman, because not a sufficient number of states had ratified the ERA. Idaho v. Freeman actually ruled that the congressional extension of the ERA was unconstitutional. Wallace’s July 1982 memo on behalf of the General Services Administration specifically stated that “the Amendment has failed of adoption no matter what the resolution of the legal issues presented here, and the Administrator informs us that he will not certify to Congress that the Amendment has been adopted.” The cases were dismissed.

John Harmon, assistant A.G. at the Justice Department under President Carter, wrote (10/31/77) to the Hon. Robert Lipshutz, President Carter’s counsel, that “[c]ertainly, if a time limit has expired before an intervening Congress has taken action to extend that limit, a strong argument could be made that the only constitutional means of reviving a proposed amendment would be to propose the amendment anew by two-thirds vote of each House[.]”

For congressional Democrats, most of whom believe that men can “become” women, their disregarding Article V of the U.S. Constitution, and thinking that three instead of 38 states are enough to ratify the ERA, is a snap.

“Ratification” by one more state would clearly trigger a federal court challenge. Exactly how Justice Ginsburg and her progressive colleagues would decide is anyone’s guess. While the Left does not now have a majority on the U.S. Supreme Court thanks to President Trump’s nominees, a Democrat president would certainly appoint “progressive” judges and justices. Recall that liberal former justice Thurgood Marshall, in a 1987 speech, called the Constitution a “Living Document.”

Anyone who doubts such judicial “flexibility” should ponder that the U.S. Supreme Court has reversed its prior decisions more than 230 times since 1790, according to the Library of Congress.

Citizen Action to Stop the ERA

I strongly advise caution in reading too much into Justice Ginsburg’s comments, given her decades of advocacy for the ERA and the ERA’s failure to pass Congress year after year since being “put in the hopper” after it expired in 1982.

Might “conservative” state legislators think it would be “safe” to “ratify” the ERA because it is only a “symbolic vote” at this point? That call for legislators to cast a “symbolic vote” was touted by the Republican state senator and author of the 2019 resolution to “ratify” the ERA in the Virginia General Assembly. I highly doubt that the ERA proponents expected that vote to be merely “symbolic.”

In 1972, everyone understood that the word “sex” meant male and female in their biological aspects. “Sex” had a clear meaning when used in the Nineteenth Amendment securing women’s suffrage. But today the word “sex” has been expanded to include “sexual orientation” or so-called “gender identity.”

Today’s ERA advocates hope to bluff their way to ERA passage, hiding the underlying horrendous policies that would result by adopting the ERA. There are currently 211 co-sponsors of H.J. Res. 38, the legislation that pretends the ERA deadline can be removed after it expired almost 40 years ago.

If you live in any of the states that never ratified the ERA by or after 1982 (Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, or Virginia) you must contact your state legislators and express unequivocal opposition to any version of “ratifying” the ERA by the fraudulent three-state process.

Also, please contact your U S. congressman and U.S. senators and explain your unwavering opposition to the three-state ERA ratification ruse. Your U.S. senators and representative will be voting yes or no on any effort to strip the 1982 deadline. If they do not agree with you, work to defeat them in the next election.

The ERA, if enacted, will further erode efforts to legally protect unborn children for decades. We must act and speak out in the face of this threat. Children’s lives and the future of Judeo-Christian institutions in America are truly at stake.

ERA zealots have made it clear they will not quit pushing their agenda. We must lobby state and federal legislators with the truth about the unconstitutional three-state ratification ruse as well as bring to light the ERA’s legal consequences. If legislators fail to see the light, they need to feel the heat in their next election.

Attorneys general of the states must be contacted and persuaded to oppose all congressional efforts to “legalize” previous state ERA ratifications, which expired decades ago, as part of the bogus three-state process.

These actions are needed because ERA proponents will undoubtedly claim that one more state ratifying the ERA will provide the 38th state needed to adopt the ERA into our Constitution.

There is a phrase in front of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., which houses copies of the original Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. It reads, “Eternal Vigilance is the price of Liberty. We must take these words to heart.

Bob Marshall won 13 general elections to serve 26 years in the Virginia House of Delegates. He formerly worked for three members of Congress. He co-authored, with Charles A. Donovan, Blessed Are the Barren, a Social History of Planned Parenthood (Ignatius Press, 1991) and Reclaiming the Republic: How Christians and Other Conservatives Can Win Back America (TAN Books, 2018). He is married 43 years to Cathy (Fonseca), is father of five and grandfather of nine children.

Abby Johnson: Planned Parenthood isn’t about health care, it’s about abortion – That’s why I quit

Fox News

By Abby Johnson | July 28, 2019

Planned Parenthood ousts president amid ‘differences’
Dr. Leana Wen, the first physician to lead Planned Parenthood in nearly 50 years, is out of a job less than a year after she took over; Garrett Tenney reports.

I am not prone to shedding tears or being overly emotional. I prefer to use my innate sarcasm and wit instead of crying when emotion hits harder than I expect. But when I read Dr. Leana Wen’s tweet about being shoved out of Planned Parenthood, where she served as president, I cried.

Tears seemed like an appropriate response as I stood in solidarity with Wen. I was reminded of my own loss of security and friendships when I left Planned Parenthood 10 years ago.

While I never rose to become president of Planned Parenthood, I was on track to a high position in the nonprofit when I started thinking that my own philosophy wasn’t the same as my employer’s.

I became director of the clinic I started out volunteering for and stayed on for eight years. Like Wen, I became aware of the abortion-centric mentality of Planned Parenthood and wasn’t comfortable with it. It took me a lot longer than Wen to figure that out. She came to the conclusion mere months after signing on as president of the organization.

I left after I assisted in the ultrasound-guided abortion of a 13-week-old fetus and realized humanity in the womb existed – humanity that I had shoved aside for years. But when I left, I also left all my “friends” behind, the people in the clinic I worked with daily, my supervisors, and even my pro-choice church family.

It was hard. I imagine Wen is experiencing similar feelings of betrayal. I know exactly what that betrayal feels like. I know exactly what kind of “secret meetings” Wen was referring to when she tweeted out she was leaving Planned Parenthood.

Perhaps Wen didn’t leave because of a profound conversion, but she did make it clear she left because Planned Parenthood has too many problems that she can’t ignore. And that is amazing. As a doctor, I’m sure the rose-colored glasses were ripped off pretty quickly once she was inside. And now she’s out.

What I didn’t realize was that the people I saw all the time at the fence outside my Planned Parenthood office were silent prayer warriors, praying for my conversion and my departure from the abortion giant. I joined them when I walked out and soon came to learn that it wasn’t only the Coalition for Life in Texas that was praying for me, but a whole network of people who were begging God to change hearts. Hearts like mine.

Once I started telling my story, I began to meet more and more people who couldn’t wait to tell me that they had been praying for me. Some for years.

At first, it was a little disconcerting and surreal. I didn’t even know these people, yet, here I was, a living breathing answer to their prayers. But once I began to find more of my own healing and experienced a conversion and a deeper understanding within my own spiritual life, I got it. I started praying for my former boss, Cecile Richards, then-president of Planned Parenthood.

I had admired and respected Richards when I worked at Planned Parenthood. I enjoyed being with her and felt like I had learned a lot from her. So I prayed for her to quit.

My conversion was God’s victory. What a victory it would be if God pulled on Cecile’s heart the same way He did mine. And I prayed for that, day after day, after I left Planned Parenthood.

When Richards resigned, I felt defeated because it seemed she had not experienced the same conversion I had. I felt like God wasn’t listening to me. Doesn’t everyone of faith feel like that at some point in their lives?

I was sad because I wanted Richards to have the same freedom I did: that moment when you walk out the door and you know you’ll never look back.

Of course, God’s timing isn’t our timing. There is still time for Richards’ conversion. But what about Wen?

Because Wen is a physician, many of our former abortion workers that I now work with through And Then There Were None paid particular attention to what she was saying about Planned Parenthood. We were interested in knowing how she would react once she was exposed to the group’s constant mantra of pushing abortion over all else. Would she visit clinics and sit in on abortions or perform them herself?

Wen knows what real health care is and perhaps doesn’t put abortion in that category. With Planned Parenthood’s terrible track record of failed clinic inspections, a good doctor is not what the group is looking for. Forget health care, this is about abortion, which to Planned Parenthood is a political issue.

Many of our former workers started praying for Wen’s conversion the moment it was announced she would be president of Planned Parenthood. I started praying for her conversion too. If we profess to be Christians, we have to act as such.

Degrading memes and snarky responses to Wen’s sudden departure won’t help her. She recently suffered a miscarriage, which she discussed publicly only a few weeks ago. And now she’s lost her job.

At a time when Wen’s co-workers should be supporting her healing, they simply disregarded her recent loss and expected her to soldier on. Wen needs a community that will surround her and care for her right now in her time of need.

I don’t expect that Wen is pro-life or even anything that resembles pro-life. I wasn’t either when I first walked away from Planned Parenthood.

But the chance for a real conversion is so much greater now that Wen is away from that organization. And when that moment does come, I am ready. I am ready to chat with her for hours, to hear her story, to grieve with her, and to mourn the loss of her own child. I am here, arms open.

It’s my prayer that her moment of clarity comes quickly. And when it does, she will need a safe place to land. I urge the pro-life movement to be sure we are that place.

The Unborn’s Transcendent Right to Life: A Personal Letter to the Pro-Life Movement from President Ronald Reagan

Reprinted from National Right to Life News, Oct. 11, 1984, Page One

As America looks forward to the second half of the 1980s and beyond, our Nation faces a clear political choice. Two very different views about America – who we are and what we can become – are competing to lead our great country into the future.

I think that Americans involved in the noble work of the pro-life movement will agree that the difference between those competing views is no more striking than on the tragic issue of abortion.

Recently, some of our political opponents have tried to further their cause by belatedly assuming the mantle of traditional family values. They talk about family, about concern for less fortunate Americans. And they portray themselves as the “party of compassion.”

But where are those high-minded ideals when it comes to the issue of abortion? Where are the new defenders of the family when it comes to the taking of innocent human life? And what have we heard from them while more than 15 million unborn children – over 10 times more Americans than have been lost in all our nation’s wars – had their lives snuffed out by legalized abortions? [NRLN Editor’s note in 2019: The total is now over 61 million.]

Recently much of America agonized through reports of the Baby Doe case in Bloomington, Indiana. Baby Doe, handicapped by Down’s syndrome, needed a routine surgical procedure to unblock his esophagus and allow him to eat. But a doctor testified, and a judge concurred, that even with the physical problem corrected, Baby Doe would have a “non-existent” possibility for a “minimally adequate life.” The judge let Baby Doe starve and die, and the Indiana Supreme Court sanctioned his decision.

The death of that baby infant touched our consciences, cutting through all the political rhetoric and claims of compassion, and focused a nation’s attention on one infant. Protecting the lives of handicapped infants comes down to a basic question of whether or not we recognize the sanctity of human life.

That’s the same basic question that underlies the issue of abortion. And it’s a question we can rightfully ask those who profess to defend the American family: Where is your compassion when the unborn and the handicapped need it?

The responses one hears to that question are often complicated and legalistic. But, of course, the real answer is often quite simple. Many of those who now proclaim their support for traditional family values were blocking all efforts to curtail abortion-on-demand.

Well, no matter what politicians say, they can’t change their values in response to weekly opinion polls. And they can’t set up a weathervane to test the political breezes, and then start talking seriously about the American family.

For the last four years, our Administration has never hesitated to argue forcefully its position on the abortion issue. We believe abortion is a national tragedy.

Some have claimed the abortion issue is too controversial, too volatile for a President to get involved in. I disagree. Abortion is among the primary moral issues of our times.

In addition, our Administration has taken positive steps to assist the mother and child in need. We have increased tax credits for child care. We have also tried to encourage the adoption of “unwanted” children. The budget for food assistance for pregnant or nursing mothers and their babies has doubled since 1980.

This November, opponents of the pro-life movement are sure to stick by their position on abortion. And I intend to stick by mine. We have not only an opportunity, but an obligation, to make our voices heard in the electoral process.

In the Spring of 1983, at the time of the 10th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, I authored the article “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation.” I felt it was important for a sitting President to reflect on a judicial decision that so radically changed our nation. Not a single state had a policy of unrestricted abortion until after that Supreme Court decision.

The Roe v. Wade decision was not the first time the Supreme Court made a decision that divided the nation by denying the value of certain human lives.

Recall, the Dred Scott decision was not overturned in a day, a year, or even a decade. At first, only a minority of Americans recognized and deplored the moral crisis brought on by denying the full rights and humanity of Black Americans. But that minority persisted in their vision, and finally prevailed. Americans prevailed against slavery by appealing to the hearts and minds of their countrymen, and to the truth of human dignity under God.

From their example we know that respect for the sacred value of human life is too deeply engrained in the human heart to remain forever suppressed. And from their example we take comfort, knowing that our cause is right, and we can succeed.

My Administration is dedicated to the preservation of America as a free land, and to the protection of all citizens’ rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

There is no cause more important to preserving our freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of the unborn.

Thank you for your support over the last four years. I look forward to working with you in the support of prolife measures to reverse the effects of the Roe v. Wade decision and to restore the full protection of law to the unborn and the handicapped. And God bless you.

The Tragedy in ‘Reproductive Technology’


By Katy Faust | February 5, 2019

Between its extreme abortion bill and the governor’s racist photos, the state of Virginia has been headlining the news. But in the midst of the media frenzy, proposed changes to its parenthood laws were approved in the Virginia House today. Before my tweetstorm about it last night, #HB1979 had only a handful of tags. But it deserves serious attention because it turns children into products, all in the name of “progress.”

The Family Foundation of Virginia calls HB1979the most anti-family bill they’ve ever seen.” It aims to “update” Virginia’s laws on parenthood. “Updating” in 2019 means stripping parenthood laws of all references to “mother” and “father.” Gender neutral is so progressive, don’t ya know? The thing is, while we may be able to remove references to mother and father in law, we just can’t seem to remove the longings children have for their mother and father in their hearts.

Here are some kids with same-sex parents sharing how much they wanted their missing mother or father:

  • I have two moms and am constantly wondering what it would be like to have a father and who my biological dad is. I’m wondering is there any way to find who he is? I’m not expecting him to jump and be some sort of active dad to me i just want to know who he is…
  • Father’s Day sucks, and my mom thinks it’s society when really it’s just her. I love her but yeesh. She talks about genders like they don’t matter when raising kids. I want to know who my dad is. I need to bond with him and do daddy-daughter things. He’s half of who I am… We’re flesh and blood. If he and my mom were a couple, he’d be my dad. But when my mom is gay and asked him not to be there, he’s just my “donor”? Really? Where is my say in this?
  • I’m a 15 year old girl and I have two moms. They’re wonderful and the best parents my sister and I could have asked for. But still, I want a dad… and I feel bad for saying that.
  • I don’t really know if people understand how kick-ass it is that moms like mine had the strength to bring a child into this world on their own. You know, at first, that’s the only way I would look at my situation, that way things were more positive. But in reality, my kick-ass mom never knew and never will know the damage that not having a father has caused me.
  • I am an only child who lives with my single lesbian mother. I never really even had a father figure in my life. It angers me because I feel like a missed out on so many opportunities that children with fathers have. Growing up without a father sucks. I mourn the loss of a childhood without a dad.
  • Me, my baby brother, Dad, and Billy. We were a family. It was the only family I had ever known… [I watched] The Land Before Time. It is a classic movie. But for me it was a traumatic experience. I watched, eyes glued, as Littlefoot lost his Mother. Littlefoot had a “Mother” and she died saving his life. Littlefoot spent the entire movie mourning the loss of his “Mother.” It was in that moment, as a five year old girl, that I realized there was such a thing as a mother. It was also in that moment that I realized that I did not have one. I spent the rest of our free day at the gym crying into the arms of a teacher I would never see again for a mother that I never knew I never had.

Darn those kids. Why are they so un-progressive? So un-2019? Why do they have to want what every other human has wanted throughout history…to be known and loved by both their mother and father?

Now, before you start quoting “studies” that show that kids raised by same-sex couples fare “no different” than their peers raised by married mothers and fathers, take a look at the serious methodological flaws in that research. First study the studies, then we can talk.

HB1979 also expands the availability of surrogacy. I wrote about surrogacy last month when Ben Shapiro did a strange thing and…got something wrong. If you skip the article, here are the Cliff Notes: surrogacy is not pro-life or pro-child. It involves surplus embryos, abortion, eugenics, and sex selection. Surrogacy isn’t about babies – it’s about on-demand, designer babies. Turns out, even the babies that survive the surrogacy process are harmed as commodification doesn’t do much for children’s self-image:

  • I am told, look how much your parents wanted you, they planned and saved to have you… When you know that a huge part of the reason that you came into the world is due solely to a paycheck, and that after being paid you are disposable, given away and never thought of again, it impacts how you view yourself. –Jessica Kern (Child of Surrogacy)
  • I don’t care why my parents or my mother did this. It looks to me like I was bought and sold. You can dress it up with as many pretty words as you want… But the fact is that someone has contracted you to make a child, give up your parental rights and hand over your flesh and blood child. When you exchange something for money it is called a commodity. Babies are not commodities. Babies are human beings. –Brian C (Child of Surrogacy)
  • …being “wanted” can sometimes feel like a curse, like I was created to make you happy, my rights be damned. I’d be lying if I said I never felt commodified. – Bethany (donor-conceived)
  • I have to live everyday with the full knowledge that I’m the product of a eugenic science experiment; – Nicholas Isel (donor-conceived)
  • I knew from an early age that I was purchased and selected from essentially a catalog. I knew that my blonde hair and blue eyes was somehow valued above other colorations—because my mother never fell in love with my father, he was never a full human being to her only a handful of breeding details. I always knew that I was purchased and created precisely to make her happy, that was my raison d’etre. – Alana Newman (donor-conceived)

And finally, this bill swaps biology for “intent” as the basis of parenthood. And here we’re really playing with fire. Because “intent” to parent neither provides children with the biological identity that they crave, nor does it give them the adults who, statistically, are the most likely to provide the stability and love that children deserve. When it comes parenting, biology matters especially when protecting children from abuse.

Children conceived via sperm donor who are being raised by even one “intended” parent fare worse than their peers raised by biological parents on important outcomes such as depression, delinquency, and substance abuse. The largest study on outcomes for donor conceived children, My Daddy’s Name is Donor, reveals that, on average, young adults conceived through sperm donation are hurting more, are more confused, and feel more isolated from their families. Moreover, the study found that:

  • Two-thirds agree, “My sperm donor is half of who I am”;
  • About half are disturbed that money was involved in their conception;
  • Two-thirds affirm the right of donor offspring to know the truth about their origins;
  • About half of donor offspring have concerns about or serious objections to donor
    conception itself, even when parents tell their children the truth.

If this is how sperm-donor children feel, can you imagine how children created with donor sperm and eggs, or those who are created with donated gametes and also intentionally mother- or father-less, or those who are donor-conceived and also separated from their birth mother are going to fare? We are experimenting on children and only beginning to see the devastating fall-out. HB1979 endorses that experimentation.

You may have questions about how you can support adoption and oppose HB1979 so let me say this: a just society cares for orphans – it doesn’t create them. While it is sometimes impossible to be raised by both biological parents, those situations are tragic for children and they should never be intentionally replicated through reproductive technologies. And certainly not codified in law. Here’s a detailed rundown on how bills like HB1979 go against adoption best practice.

When it comes to family, children have universally-recognized rights. At the very top of the list: children have a natural right to a relationship with both biological parents whenever possible. When these rights are respected, it maximizes their chances for a physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy life. We harm children when we disregard their rights and turn them into products that can be swapped and traded, cut and pasted into any and every household configuration.

I’m tired of policymakers allowing the desires of adults to drive legislation, because it’s the children who pay…for life. Regardless of how legitimate the longing to become a parent may be, it’s unjust to strip children of their fundamental rights to satisfy the desires of adults.

Repeat this phrase over and over:

Children are not commodities.
Children are not commodities.
Children are not commodities.

And then act, and vote, accordingly.

Concerned Virginians may click here to contact their representatives to express their opinions on HB1979.

Katy Faust is the founder and director of Them Before Us, the only organization solely devoted to defending a child’s rights in family structure.

New York’s new abortion law has pricked consciences…and awakened gruesome abortion defenders


By Jonathan Van Maren | January 29, 2019

Not since the Center for Medical Progress videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby body parts has there been so much widespread outrage against abortion. Despite New York State’s already-liberal abortion regime – feticide was permitted up until 24 weeks – Governor Andrew Cuomo hailed the recent passage of the so-called “Reproductive Health Act,” which essentially allows abortion up until birth by adding “health,” a term that is nearly always used to rubber-stamp all abortions, as a justification for any late-term abortion. Cheering and a standing ovation greeted the passage of the bill, and Cuomo ordered New York landmarks lit up in pink to celebrate the expansion of abortion.

Perhaps it was this ghoulish grave-dancing that triggered the outrage. Across social media, tens of thousands of people who rarely (or never) speak out about abortion were suddenly posting incredulously about the New York legislation. I saw many people who usually do not post about abortion on my own social media feeds sharing articles, videos, and photos condemning the callousness of the celebration and the gruesomeness of abortion itself. Thousands shared posts by medical professionals explaining why abortion, and especially late-term abortion, is never necessary to save the life of the mother. Others posted descriptions of late-term abortion procedures, which include crushing the baby’s head in. New York pro-life groups have reported an overwhelming number of requests from people who would like to get involved, with even the BBC taking note of the backlash.

Or maybe it is because New York’s abortion legislation highlights just how radical today’s abortion advocates actually are. There is no such thing as too many abortions for them – in a state where more African American babies are aborted than are born and where abortion is already legal past the point of the child’s ability to survive outside the womb, Democrats did not see an opportunity to pass legislation ensuring that abortion is not necessary for the many women who choose it out of desperation. They saw an opportunity to expand New York’s abortion regime even further. And not only that, they then dispensed with the language of “safe, legal, and rare” and decided to hold a light show to celebrate the deepening of the darkness, with the One World Trade Center lit up in pink. It reminded me of a few lines penned by author (and veteran pro-life activist) Karen Swallow Prior last year:

Tonight on Instagram
Someone posted an image of an unborn child
Torn limb from limb.
At first glance I thought it was
A picture of delicate pink rose petals
Scattered by the wind.

It is always interesting to see what provokes people to outrage and pricks their consciences. It has also been depressing to see the primary defense of late-term abortion that has emerged in response to this outrage. Both on social media and in the press, stories of children who would not have survived birth or would have died soon thereafter are being pushed as an apparent justification for the dismembering and skull-crushing of late-term abortion. There are actually people posting photos of children who died soon after birth, saying that they were crushed with grief by the passing of their beautiful baby and thus should have had the right to kill her before she was born.

I have never understood the logic behind this. The argument is that because the child will not live long, we should be able to shorten the child’s life further by violent means. Those putting forward this supposed justification seem to be saying that the admitted trauma of late-term abortion (with all its accompanying guilt) is preferable to the grief of losing a loved one naturally. A child who will die during birth, they are saying, should meet her end at the hands of a doctor who will use tools to pull her body apart rather than breathing her last in the arms of her loving parents. This defies natural affection. When we know that we have but a short time with a loved one, do we endeavour to shorten that time even further? Or do we treasure and cherish the precious moments we are given? How is death the solution to a short life?

Every so often, people are stopped in their tracks by the realization that our abortion regime has spawned countless evils and watered them carefully with the blood of the most precious and innocent ones among us – the babies. Abortion advocates cry compassion, but their version of compassion takes a child who has a short time to live and ensures that her short existence will end in a moment of mangled horror, with limbs being twisted from her writhing body, ribs being snapped, and her skull being emptied. That is the compassion abortion advocates are demanding we respect. And that is the procedure Governor Cuomo exulted in by lighting up the One World Trade Center in pink – not to celebrate the beginning of a baby girl, but to triumph in her ugly end.


The Scandal of Cuomo and New York’s Horrific Abortion Law

Human Life International

By Fr. Shenan J. Boquet | January 28, 2019

Gov. Cuomo Terms Unadulterated Evil “Light” & “Progress”

I can’t imagine a more horrible irony. On Tuesday, January 22, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered that the spire of the One World Trade Center be lit pink. The reason why? To celebrate the passage of a new law that radically liberalizes abortion in New York State – in some cases allowing abortion up until the moment of birth, permitting non-doctors to perform abortions, and removing recognition of preborn babies older than 24 weeks as potential homicide victims.

The new One World Trade Center is built on the same ground where thousands of innocent Americans – including eleven unborn babies – lost their lives on 9/11. The new building is supposed to stand as a symbol of America’s resilience in the face of evil, a memorial to those who lost their lives. Yards away from the building, the 9/11 memorial explicitly honors the “unborn child” of each of those eleven pregnant women who died on that infamous day.

And yet, Gov. Cuomo – who considers himself a Catholic – had the gall to use this self-same building to “celebrate” a profoundly divisive and extreme law that will ensure that far more innocents will lose their lives in the coming years in New York. Bizarrely, this is the same man who announced last fall that – “in solidarity with Pope Francis” – he was going to end the death penalty in New York. Get that? He’s with Pope Francis on not giving lethal injections to convicted murderers – but innocent unborn babies? That’s a different story.

Cuomo hailed the new law – passed on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision – as “a historic victory for New Yorkers and for our progressive values.” He also ordered the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, the Kosciuszko Bridge, and the Alfred E. Smith Building in Albany to be lit pink in order – as he said – to “celebrate this achievement and shine a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow.”

God forbid!

God’s mercy is infinite. Even the most extreme and hardened of sinners must be given the opportunity to repent – and yet I can well understand why some Catholic leaders are raising their voices asking when New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan will formally and publicly excommunicate Gov. Cuomo.

By all means, privately offer Gov. Cuomo every opportunity to recant. But if he is allowed to so publicly flout the absolute most basic of Catholic moral teachings by going so far as to co-opt some of New York’s most visible land-marks to express his boundless enthusiasm for the legalized murder of innocents, without any consequences from Church leaders, what message does this send?

More New York Babies Aborted Than Born

The new law – the so-called Reproductive Health Act – replaces the 1970 law that made New York the first state in the nation to legalize abortion. Although the 1970 law was more restrictive than the new law, it was more than enough to allow abortion to flourish – if death can be said to “flourish”– in New York.

New York’s abortion rate is already double that of the national average. According to the New York State Department of Health, 285,127 induced abortions were committed in the state between 2012 and 2014. In that same period, there were only 237,499 live births. In other words, there were twenty percent more abortions than live births in those three years.

And yet, at a time when the birth rate in the United States is plummeting, so that we’re no longer even replacing our population, Gov. Cuomo and other pro-abortion politicians think we need to open the door to more abortions?

The previous abortion law had banned abortions after 24 weeks, except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. The new law significantly expands the exception to include cases where the mother’s “health” is in danger, or the unborn child isn’t deemed viable. But if there is anything that pro-lifers have learned over the last few decades, it’s that any so-called “health” exception can be exploited to cover just about any excuse an abortionist can think up. The new law will almost certainly permit the indescribable barbarity of late-term abortions to take place with increasing frequency in New York – the painful scalding of babies to death with saline solutions, or the administration of lethal injections and the cruel dismemberment of sometimes-still-living babies.

And then, there’s the bizarre decision to permit nurse practitioners and midwives to perform abortions in some cases. “We’re saying here in New York, women’s lives matter. We’re saying here in New York, women’s decisions matter,” pro-abortion Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said after the law passed. And yet, what does it say about pro-abortion concern for women that New York is opening the door to less-trained health-care workers to perform abortions on vulnerable women?

And if by any “accident” any such late-term babies should survive the abortion process – as happens far more often than the abortion industry would like us to know – the new law ensures that news of any such slip-up almost certainly won’t see the light of day by revoking the requirement that a second physician be present during late-term abortions. As the New York State Right to Life Committee lamented, this provision effectively has the effect of “authorizing infanticide.”

And again, the law now ensures that if an unborn child over 24-weeks gestation – even if the baby is wanted! – is killed during a violent crime, that the perpetrator cannot be charged for the baby’s murder.

And this is the “light” that Gov. Cuomo hopes will spread from New York across the country!

The Mystery of Evil

Moments after the new law passed the New York Senate, pro-abortion legislators and observers burst into raucous cheers. “Until a few minutes ago,” wrote pro-life Professor Robert George after watching the video, “I had never felt physically ill as a result of watching something on television. But the video footage of New York legislators applauding and cheering the monstrous late-term abortion bill they passed … on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade literally nauseated me.”

“What kind of people are we?” he asked. “How can so many be utterly blind to such gross and manifest evil? These people were cheering. They were cheering. Where did this fanatical commitment to ensuring that the lives of children in the womb count for nothing–indeed less than nothing–come from? How did this contempt for human life insinuate itself into people’s hearts?”

I don’t know the answer to that question. The mystery of evil is precisely that – a mystery. We must pray for every one of those pro-abortion legislators, that they will experience conversion of heart, and that God will forgive them the grave crime they perpetrated last week. And we must work and pray to overturn this despicable, unjust law.

“Words are insufficient to describe the profound sadness we feel at the contemplated passage of New York State’s new proposed abortion policy,” wrote New York’s Catholic bishops in a statement shortly before the law passed. “We mourn the unborn infants who will lose their lives, and the many mothers and fathers who will suffer remorse and heartbreak as a result.”

“Our Governor and legislative leaders hail this new abortion law as progress. This is not progress. Progress will be achieved when our laws and our culture once again value and respect each unrepeatable gift of human life, from the first moment of creation to natural death. Would that not make us truly the most enlightened and progressive state in the nation?”



Preborn babies sense not just pain, but light and temperature

Live Action News

By Kelli | February 4, 2018

This past week, Students for Life of America’s Western Regional Director Reagan Barklage shared a post on the SFLA Facebook page, discussing her recent trip to see a massage therapist about some sciatica pain due to her pregnancy. She describes how her preborn baby boy did not like being moved out of his position, which was causing his mother pain. She then tells how her massage therapist calmed her baby for the rest of the session — and it’s amazing:

Barklage writes:

Before I left for DC a few weeks ago, I got a massage as Baby Barklage was sitting on my sciatic nerve and causing a lot of pain…. While getting the massage, he started freaking out and kicking really hard, because the therapist was kindly evicting him from his current living situation. The therapist stopped and said, “Hang on! We gotta calm baby down first.” The therapist then put some warm towels on me to get Baby B to calm down, and within seconds, he could feel the warmth and instantly settled down. The therapist was then able to gently move him without any stress from the baby. Here is why that situation blew my mind. 1) My therapist put my baby first, making sure he was calm and relaxed before working on me. 2) My baby could feel the warmth of a towel! WHAT?!

It really is mind-blowing to learn about the development of preborn children. According to the Endowment for Human Development, which released a prenatal video series in partnership with National Geographic, by nine weeks after fertilization (according to six different studies), “the nerve receptors in the face, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet can sense and respond to light touch. Following a light touch on the sole of the foot, the fetus will bend the hip and knee and may curl the toes.” Between 12 and 13 weeks after fertilization (according to three different studies), the preborn child’s “whole body surface, except the top of the head and the back, responds to light touch.” By 24 weeks in the second trimester, the preborn baby “responds to pressure, movement, pain, hot and cold, taste, and light.”

Yes, even while still in the womb, babies can feel temperature changes.

In The Federalist this past week, Robin Pierucci, a neonatologist, described how premature babies in the NICU react to painful stimuli — and said she’s personally witnessed this at 23-24 weeks. While those in the pro-abortion camp attempt to downplay fetal development and possible pain perception, Pierucci wrote:

… [A] growing body of scientific research demonstrates that fetal CNS maturation is not required for pain perception. In 2016 the Journal of Pain Research published a summary of multiple different scientific studies all leading to the conclusion that “an early form of pain may appear from the 15th week of gestation onward.” This early physiologic response “is different than emotional pain felt by the more mature fetus,” but it is still a form of physical pain.

Pierucci adds that for this reason, anesthesia is used on all preborn babies undergoing surgery:

Importantly, just the physiologic stress alone can cause long-term developmental changes to an unborn child’s brain, “ultimately leading to adverse neurological outcomes” for that unborn child. Thus, fetal anesthesia is now standard of care for all surgeries performed on unborn children.

Pierucci is correct. A 2002 study, titled, “Anaesthesia for fetal surgery,” shows that for varying types of fetal surgery, beginning at 18 weeks gestation, children in utero are routinely administered anesthesia. The Charlotte Lozier Institute notes this as well, stating in their well-sourced fact sheet on fetal pain that, according to at least four cited studies, “Perinatal medicine now treats unborn babies as young as 16 weeks post-fertilization (18 weeks gestation). Pain medication for unborn patients is routinely administered as standard medical practice.” Lozier also points out that “[t]he leading textbook on clinical anesthesia says: ‘It is clear that the fetus is capable of mounting a physiochemical stress response to noxious stimuli as early as 18 weeks gestation (16 weeks post-fertilization).’”

But the abortion industry, as always, seems to be at odds with science. One counselor at the New Mexico late-term abortion facility Southwestern Women’s Options was caught in Live Action’s InHuman investigation claiming, “I don’t believe so,” when asked by a prospective patient if her 27-week-old preborn baby would be able to feel a lethal injection into his heart or cranium. “I don’t know if it’s developed enough to feel that,” the counselor adds. But clearly, the patient’s baby is developed enough and has been able to feel such sensations for weeks already. Watch the video below, beginning at 1:15:

SFLA’s Barklage remarked in her post, ” If my baby could feel the heat of a towel on my skin, how dare you say that he cannot feel the excruciating pain of being dismembered with forceps. If you claim to believe in science and common sense, don’t just believe in it when it’s convenient, and then ignore it when you won’t get a huge check for your next political campaign from the abortion industry.”

Barklage is right. The science of preborn human life is clear.

These babies not only feel pain, but so much more. They sense even soft touch, taste, light, and temperature. They are human beings, just like the rest of us, and they should have the right to continue to live and grow.


Video on Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Scandal – “PROFIT”

Undercover video footage released by The Center for Medical Progress shows medical directors and executives from the top leadership of Planned Parenthood admitting the abortion business trades baby body parts for money and indicating the profit motive undergirding these illicit sales. To date, Planned Parenthood has offered no convincing explanation for the money that has poured into its affiliates from fetal tissue procurement companies like StemExpress, which performs the work of fetal tissue collection yet still pays abortion clinics per harvested part.

Planned Parenthood’s recent assurances that it has ceased accepting payment for fetal tissue are an admission of guilt and a last-ditch effort to avoid scrutiny for these indefensible transactions. As Congress, the Health and Human Services Department, and numerous state and local law enforcement agencies continue to investigate Planned Parenthood’s barbaric abortion and baby body parts business, this footage is a clear reminder of why there is a broad public mandate for the investigations to continue and for public money to be reassigned from Planned Parenthood to ethical, mainstream medical organizations.

Dr. Coburn Gives Tribute to His Chief of Staff, Michael Schwartz

Note: At the time of this speech to the U.S. Senate, Michael Schwartz was chief of staff to Sen. Tom Coburn MD. He was the founding editor of Life Advocacy Briefing in 1994. We will always be grateful to the Lord for our friendship with Mike and for his inestimable value to the development and eventual victory of the American campaign to restore the right to life. Mr. Schwartz passed away Saturday, February 3, 2013.