Life Advocacy Briefing

July 21, 2014

Taking a Break / U.N. Treaty Is Back, Bad as Ever / ‘FOCA’ Is Back!
Victory in the Senate / Ban Human Cloning Now! / Shame at Last / Progress
Misplaced Priority / Senate Voting Record: Abortifacient Mandate

Taking a Break

OUR EDITOR IS TRAVELING, and we anticipate that our next edition of Life Advocacy Briefing will be the one dated Aug. 11, published around Aug. 8. We appreciate your patience and look forward to being back in touch with our readers. Thank you for understanding.


U.N. Treaty Is Back, Bad as Ever

THAT U.N. TREATY THAT WAS BEATEN BACK IN 2012 – it’s back. The UN “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is front-and-center in a hearing tomorrow (July 22) before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

This treaty is a threat to US sovereignty, a threat to parents’ rights and a threat even to some of the US state laws that limit abortionists.

Americans do not need international law to govern our relationships and responsibilities within American families. So we ask our readers please to call your home-state US Senators – as you did in 2012 – and ask for a “no” vote on the UN Disabilities Treaty. They may be contacted via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121.


‘FOCA’ Is Back

A MAJOR ABORTION INDUSTRY BILL IS BEGINNING TO MOVE in the US Senate. The so-called “Women’s Health Protection Act” – which should more truthfully be titled “The Abortion Cartel Protection Act” – “took center stage [last] Tuesday,” reports, in a Judiciary Committee hearing “in which the realities of S-1696 became clear.”

Filed by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), S-1696 is an echo of the sad, old, dead “Freedom of Choice Act” (FOCA) of the ’90s. We ask our readers to call your home-state US Senators (1-202/224-3121) and ask them please to vote “no” on S-1696.

Among other effects, LifeSiteNews reports “enactment of S-1696 would invalidate hundreds of abortion-related laws, including:

  • Abortion bans (e.g. 20-week or five-month gestational limits, sex-selection bans, etc.),
  • Health-and-safety standards for abortion clinics,
  • Admitting privileges requirements,
  • Regulations on abortion-inducing drugs,
  • Reflection periods and other informed-consent requirements,
  • Ultrasound requirements,
  • Limitations on the use of state funds and facilities for abortion.”

Need we say more? This bill – which National Review’s David French is calling “the Kermit Gosnell Enabling Act” – must be stopped, and voters must take note of the actions taken by their US Senators to rip out every limitation on America’s disgraceful baby-killing industry.

We list here the co-sponsors of S-1696; all of them are Democrats. With Sen. Blumenthal, Senators Mark Begich/AK, Barbara Boxer & Dianne Feinstein/CA, Christopher Murphy/CT, Christopher Coons/DE, Mazie Hirono & Brian Schatz/HI, Dick Durbin/IL, Tom Harkin/IA, Edward Markey & Elizabeth Warren/MA, Benjamin Cardin & Barbara Mikulski/MD, Carl Levin & Debbie Stabenow/MI, Al Franken & Amy Klobuchar/MN, Claire McCaskill/MO, Jon Tester & John Walsh/MT, Jeanne Shaheen/NH, Cory Booker & Robert Menendez/NJ, Martin Heinrich/NM, Kirsten Gillibrand & Charles Schumer/NY, Sherrod Brown/OH, Jeff Merkley & Ron Wyden/OR, Sheldon Whitehouse/RI, Bernard Sanders (“I”)/VT, Maria Cantwell & Patty Murray/WA, and Tammy Baldwin/WI.


Victory in the Senate

THE U.S. SENATE WEDNESDAY REJECTED S-2578, the Murray/Reid proposal to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling in Hobby Lobby and to force employers to subsidize their employees’ use of abortifacient drugs.

The motion to bring the bill to a vote – known as a “cloture” motion – needed 60 votes, but Senators Reid and Murray were able to secure just 56. Majority Leader Reid reserved the right to renew the cloture motion at a later time by casting a “no” vote; when a Senator votes on the prevailing side, he can later move to reconsider the roll call. It is unlikely that Mr. Reid will file such a motion before the Senate recesses for the month of August.

We publish the voting record on the cloture motion at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing, and we thank God for the outcome. We thank also those readers who heeded our request to contact your Senators about this critical issue.


Ban Human Cloning Now!

REPEATEDLY DURING THE PAST DECADE, Congress has had opportunities to enact bans on human cloning, and repeatedly Congress has failed to bother.

Now the experimenters have seemingly moved past the animal cloning projects and the fraudulent claims of success in human cloning. Human cloning for cell and tissue “creation” appears to have been achieved; the next step – development unto birth – has not yet been taken, but the window of time is closing for Congress to act.

We are distressed to read, via a July 16 bulletin from FRC/Action, that “human cloning is already happening. Over the last 14 months, there have been three published successes at creating human clones in the laboratory.” And, reading further, that “The FDA is now considering allowing a technique very similar to human cloning to create genetically designed human beings.”

We are encouraged to note that Family Research Council featured Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), who is one of the distinguished medical doctors serving these days in Congress, in a lecture last Thursday “on the state of human cloning and the reality vs. the fantasy of cloning science, ethics and legislative proposals, including the Human Cloning Prohibition Act sponsored by Dr. Harris and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL)” under the bill number HR-2164.

We urge our readers to contact your Member of Congress (1-202/224-3121) and ask him or her to co-sponsor and promote HR-2164. It is past time for Congress to act on this disturbing march of anti-ethical scientists. God will not be mocked.


Shame at Last

EVEN WHILE SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV) & HIS SENATE FOLLOWERS are bowing to the abortion cartel and rushing to do the election-year bidding of the abortion lobby, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has discovered that the nation’s most powerful abortion-flack PAC, Emily’s List, and its client candidates are leaving the abortion issue out of this year’s campaigns.

The major newspaper “reported,” writes Kirsten Anderson for, “that candidates funded by Emily’s List … are keeping mum on the abortion issue in this election cycle, in marked contrast to 2012’s heated pro-choice [sic] rhetoric. … In fact,” she writes, “the candidates who’ve received the most money from Emily’s List don’t seem willing to talk about abortion at all.

“According to the WSJ, not a single one of Emily’s List statewide candidates in southern states mention their pro-choice [sic] views in either TV advertisements or the ‘issues’ portion of their websites,” writes Ms. Anderson. “That includes Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis, the would-be Texas governor who shot from obscurity to national infamy practically overnight after filibustering a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks and requiring abortion facilities to maintain the same safety standards as other surgical centers.”  Ms. Davis, in fact, is finding her embrace of abortion such an embarrassment on the campaign trail that she has taken to calling herself “pro-life,” but lying – even in defense of Life – is not an attractive tactic. She faces disaster in November; what a shame.



July 8, 2014, commentary by Dave Andrusko, editor, National Right to Life News Today

The Guttmacher Institute express rolled out another report today, interesting not just because GI is a leading pro-abortion think-tank but also because of what it said and didn’t say.

The overall two-fold thrust is (1) the pace of the passage of pro-life legislation has slowed in 2014, but (2) the “landscape” is (from GI’s perspective) considerably rougher than it was in 2010.

Overall, GI tells us, 226 abortion “restrictions” have been passed since 2011, following the election of many pro-life state legislators and governors. (Bear in mind that what GI and other pro-abortion organizations score as “restrictions” usually vary from the tally provided by National Right to Life’s State Legislation Department.)

“So far this year, 13 states have adopted 21 new restrictions designed to limit access to abortion, about half the number (41) of similar restrictions that had been enacted by this point last year,” according to “States Continue to Enact Abortion Restrictions in First Half of 2014, but at a Lower Level Than in the Previous Three Years,” produced by GI’s media center.

On the flipside, pro-abortionists have passed three laws “to protect abortion services.” Sarah Kliff, writing at, conceded that the report shows that “abortion restrictions still hugely outnumber laws liberalizing access.” (Kliff is wired into the Abortion Establishment.)

GI offers several thoughtful explanations. The push of other issues (fights over the Common Core curriculum and implementation of ObamaCare, for example), the cyclical nature of legislative sessions “as states historically have shorter sessions in election years and some state legislatures that have been particularly active on abortion issues (Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas) are not in session in even-number years” together “perhaps limit[ed] legislative attention to abortion.”

But having found (for GI) a possible bright spot, the report then begins by noting, “Nonetheless, access to abortion will become even more difficult in many states because of actions taken this year and, once again, restrictions known as targeted regulations of abortion providers (TRAP), are taking center stage.” TRAP is abortion-speak for requiring abortion clinics to meet the kind of minimal thresholds that are needed to increase safety of women.

GI laments, “Altogether, 26 states have some sort of TRAP law, a sharp increase from 2000, when only 11 states had such requirements. With the addition of these new laws, 59% of women of reproductive age live in a state that has enacted TRAP provisions.”

The report also examines three other categories of pro-life initiatives such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (without naming it); requirements that abortionists be in the same room as the woman when she receives her chemical abortifacients; and state laws that affirmatively prohibit coverage of abortions under the qualified health plans offered through the health “exchanges” established by ObamaCare.

Bottom line? “Abortion access has changed dramatically,” Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute told Kliff. “The debate at the federal level affected what happened at the state level, and accessing abortion is much more difficult in 2014 than it was in 2009.”


Misplaced Priority

Commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in his July 14, 2014, Washington Update

There are just three weeks on the legislative calendar before November, and Democrats plan to spend all of them fixing the nonexistent “crisis of contraception.” The world is literally falling to pieces, along with the US economy, and liberals think we’re obsessed with social issues? Democratic liberals think the future of the free world hinges on employers being forced – under the threat of crippling fines – to provide drugs that can end a pregnancy.

Days after a new report showed that free birth control is being covered in record numbers, liberals are complaining that the Supreme Court won’t trample the First Amendment to deliver even more. Tossing aside tax, diplomatic, ObamaCare, military, and other reforms, Senate liberals are plowing ahead with their ridiculous agenda to overrule the Supreme Court.

Under a new bill from Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), liberals want to re-impose the ObamaCare mandate on the same family businesses the justices just exempted. Murray’s cleverly named Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act would make companies the ideological hostages of the federal government, ordering them to ignore their deeply held religious beliefs on contraception and abortifacients or pay crippling fines. And they’ll resort to outright lies to do it. Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) showed shades of desperation when she wrongly implied that the justices had outlawed birth control altogether.

“Really, we should be afraid of this court,” she insisted. “The five guys who start determining what contraceptions are legal.” It was the kind of whopper that makes Pinocchio look honest. At the prompting of Fox News’s Megyn Kelly, even PolitiFact wouldn’t let Pelosi off the hook. Using its truth-o-meter, the media’s referee called the California Democrat’s statement patently “false.”

And of course the irony, as Megyn points out, is that Pelosi is guilty of the same sexism she accused the Court of. “Does Ms. Pelosi think those justices were ill-equipped to fairly decide that case? Or is it only when a judge disagrees with Ms. Pelosi that his gender is an issue?” Pelosi’s office, which was on clean-up duty after PolitiFact’s reading, insisted the Minority Leader “misspoke.” Of course, had a conservative male “misspoken” like Pelosi, we all know how that story would have ended.

In the meantime, birth control won’t solve the problems in the Middle East, grow the GDP, or create jobs. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to matter to the president’s party, who seems content to chuck the country’s real priorities for its own political gain.


Senate Voting Record: Abortifacient Mandate

Cloture Motion to bring S-2578 to a vote – Murray/Reid bill to Overturn Hobby Lobby Ruling – July 16, 2014 – Failed – 56-43 (needing 60) (Democrats in italics; “Independents” marked with “I”)

Voting “no”/pro-Life/pro-religious-freedom: Sessions & Shelby/AL, Flake & McCain/AZ, Boozman/AR, Rubio/FL, Chambliss & Isakson/GA, Crapo & Risch/ID, Coats/IN, Grassley/IA, Moran & Roberts/KS, McConnell & Paul/KY, Vitter/LA, Cochran & Wicker/MS, Blunt/MO, Fischer & Johanns/NE, Heller & Reid/NV, Ayotte/NH, Burr/NC, Hoeven/ND, Portman/OH, Coburn & Inhofe/OK, Toomey/PA, Graham & Scott/SC, Thune/SD, Alexander & Corker/TN, Cornyn & Cruz/TX, Hatch & Lee/UT, Johnson/WI, and Barrasso & Enzi/WY.

Voting “yes”/anti-Life/anti-religious-freedom: Begich & Murkowski/AK, Pryor/AR, Boxer & Feinstein/CA, Bennet & Udall/CO, Blumenthal & Murphy/CT, Carper & Coons/DE, Nelson/FL, Hirono/HI, Durbin & Kirk/IL, Donnelly/IN, Harkin/IA, Landrieu/LA, Collins & King(I)/ME, Cardin & Mikulski/MD, Markey & Warren/MA, Levin & Stabenow/MI, Klobuchar & Franken/MN, McCaskill/MO, Tester & Walsh/MT, Shaheen/NJ, Booker & Menendez/NJ, Heinrich & Udall/NM, Gillibrand & Schumer/NY, Hagan/NC, Heitkamp/ND, Brown/OH, Merkley & Wyden/OR, Casey/PA, Reed & Whitehouse/RI, Johnson/SD, Leahy & Sanders(I)/VT, Kaine & Warner/VA, Cantwell & Murray/WA, Manchin & Rockefeller/WV, and Baldwin/WI.

Not voting: Schatz/HI.

[Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was actually a moving force behind this measure and its cloture motion; it was Sen. Reid who chose to put this bill on a fast-track, bypassing committee and putting this proposal to an immediate vote ahead of pressing matters of government. The sole reason for his vote against the cloture motion was a parliamentary maneuver to qualify him to later pose a motion to reconsider the vote by which this motion lost. Though he is listed along with Senators who voted “pro-life” in voting “no” on cloture, his vote should not be read that way.]