Life Advocacy Briefing

November 10, 2014

Bingo! / Big Abortion’s Hottest Candidate Implodes / Some Other Gubernatorial Outcomes
State Legislative Romp / Big Win in Tennessee / Congress to the Rescue?
Oklahoma Advances in Protecting Mothers / Full Conversion


OUR READERS NO DOUBT KNOW BY NOW that last week’s election brought about big changes in Congress, notably moving the Senate from Democratic control to majority-Republican. Voters added several GOP seats to the US House, turning out incumbents as well as taking open seats.

Though this is not a partisan publication – and we are well aware that not every Republican winner is an advocate for Life – we take note of the changes because of the Democratic Party’s regrettably thorough commitment to the abortion cartel. Not only have the party’s exceptions to that rule been few and far between, but last Tuesday’s election made the House Democratic Caucus more solidly pro-abortion than ever; that is the regrettable result from Tuesday’s voting. We will miss Rep. Nick Rahall (WV), defeated Tuesday, and Representatives Mike McIntyre (NC) and Jim Matheson (UT), who were not on Tuesday’s ballots; each of these Democratic Members cast votes – though inconsistently – for Life.

We can only hope the winners – from both parties – will take a cue from voters and move toward America’s founding principle: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Amen.


Big Abortion’s Hottest Candidate Implodes

AMONG THE RACES WITH THE SWEETEST OUTCOME on election night – from an abortion-issue perspective – was the victory of vigorously pro-life Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) over Democratic State Sen. Wendy Davis.

Ms. Davis rose to national media stardom in 2013’s summer special session in Austin, staging a one-girl filibuster against legislation to outlaw post-20-week abortions and to clean up the abortion industry with health-and-safety regulations on abortuaries. Her marathon drew the attention of national media and also gave abortion backers ample opportunity to demonstrate – through capitol mayhem – their over-the-top fanaticism. The legislation passed and has since secured a remarkable shrinkage of the abortion cartel in Texas, as one shoddy shop after another has closed its doors.

Though Sen. Davis was seen by media types as the likely star of 2014, her lackluster, stumbling campaign fell far short of stardom or even election. Indeed, on Oct. 29, syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin (who is pro-life) characterized the Texas gubernatorial candidate as “on fire. And I don’t mean that in a good way. I mean it in a five-alarm, set-her-own-skirt-aflame, billowing human-torch kind of way. To say that [Ms.] Davis is smokin’ hot,” she wrote just days before the election, “is not a compliment; it’s a campaign incineration status update. … Her single-issue campaign,” noted Mrs. Malkin, “has combusted.”

Once Tuesday’s votes were counted, Gov.-elect Abbott was declared the winner with 59.27% of the vote (2,790,227); the abortion lobby’s star of the year scored just 38.92% (1,832,254), with two minor candidates trailing with just under 75,000 votes between them.


Some Other Gubernatorial Outcomes

FORMER U.S. SEN. SAM BROWNBACK WON THE TIGHTEST RACE in his life last Tuesday, securing a second term as governor of Kansas despite a reported split within his Republican Party, as the “moderate” wing deserted and sought to unseat him. It was a cliff-hanger late into Tuesday evening, but Gov. Brownback pulled out a victory, without doubt because of the robust backing of pro-life voters and activists.

The pro-life community was also a key support group for embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), whose 53% win stunned many across the country and delighted many otherwise-discouraged conservatives in neighboring Illinois.

Maryland’s surprising results, with anti-tax GOP businessman Larry Hogan defeating the state’s Democratic lieutenant governor, pivoted around tax-and-spend issues, but on the abortion front, the Washington Post, on Oct. 30, tipped off voters about Mr. Hogan: “During earlier runs for public office, [Mr.] Hogan supported restrictions on abortion,” noting also that his opponent “and Democratic groups [had] tried to paint [Mr.] Hogan as a ‘dangerous politician’ with a history of opposing gun control and abortion rights, who, if elected, would turn back the clock on social issues.” Shrugging that the clock had run on such issues, Mr. Hogan may or may not rise to lead for Life, but the “charge” does not appear to have hurt him.

On the downside, the new Republican governor of Illinois is long-time financial backer, according to his wife, of the ACLU’s so-called “Reproductive Rights Project.” Facing no choice in the “social-issue” arena, Illinois voters defeated their Democratic abortion-rights backer with Republican Bruce Rauner, the husband of a major Emily’s List activist. Mr. Rauner’s lack of coattails, furthermore, left both houses of the Illinois General Assembly in the hands of abortion-backing Democrats with super-majority control.

In Massachusetts, GOP Gov.-elect Charlie Baker, is radically pro-abortion and anti-marriage.


State Legislative Romp

ILLINOIS WAS, THANKFULLY, EXCEPTIONAL in its state legislative elections Tuesday.

Remarkably, the GOP expanded its already impressive number of state legislative seats nationwide, with 10 legislative bodies switching from Democratic to Republican control, offering wider opportunities for pro-life legislation at the already robust state level. Those legislative chambers, reports WND’s Jerome Corsi, based on information provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), include the Colorado Senate, Maine Senate and House, Nevada Assembly and Senate, New Hampshire House, New York Senate, New Mexico House, Washington Senate and West Virginia House. “The West Virginia Senate,” adds Mr. Corsi, “is now deadlocked, and two chambers still undecided are the Colorado House and the Washington House.

“In addition, Democrats lost their super-majorities,” he reports, “in the California Senate, the Vermont House and the Maryland House of Delegates.

“Republicans now control 67 state chambers,” reports Mr. Corsi, “while Democrats control 28. Prior to Tuesday,” he writes, “Republicans had a 57-to-41 advantage.”

Given the commitment of the Republican Party to the right to Life, as embodied in its national platform, pro-life citizens have a two-year opportunity now to further the advance of Life-protective laws at the state level. We look forward to two years of progress toward stemming the tide of legalized abortion and protecting vulnerable mothers and their even more vulnerable babies from the abortion cartel. And two years of the abortion industry’s state-level agenda being stymied out of the gate.


Big Win in Tennessee

VOTERS IN TENNESSEE HAVE RATIFIED a constitutional amendment to give their state lawmakers authority to enact abortion regulations into state law, a fundamental authority which had been overturned in a 2000 court decision which claimed the state constitution precluded such action.

The “yes” vote on Amendment 1 came in at 728,560, substantially exceeding the requirement, reports Charlie Butts for, of a majority of votes on the proposition which, further, “equals half the votes cast in the governor race plus one.” Adding up the votes for Tennessee’s multiplicity of gubernatorial candidates means the “yes” votes had to equal at least 676,755.

“Backers of the amendment were jubilant,” writes Anita Wadhwani for the Tennesseean, “embracing at the offices of Tennessee Right to Life (TRtL), the campaign headquarters for the effort. ‘Obviously for those of us who believe life is sacred,’” said Brian Harris, TRtL president, quoted by Ms. Wadhwani, “‘this was the necessary first step toward protection not only for the unborn but for women and girls who fall prey to people looking to profit from untimely or unexplained pregnancies.’”  Mr. Harris was the coordinator for “Yes on 1” and has, reports Ms. Wadhwani, “devoted much of the past 14 years fighting for the measure to get on the ballot.

“[Mr.] Harris said his group’s next step,” reports the Tennesseean, “is returning to the legislature to persuade lawmakers to restore a package of laws stricken by a 2000 state Supreme Court decision, including requiring a short waiting period for women seeking an abortion, a requirement to provide educational materials and greater regulation of abortion facilities.”

Before that court ruling 14 years ago, Tennessee was considered one of the better states for protection of vulnerable mothers and their babies. But with Life-protective legislation swept off the books in 2000 and neighboring states adopting abortion restrictions, the state became a southern mecca for the abortion industry.

Now, thanks to the votes of Tennessee citizens, the state constitution will explicitly read, quoting the Tennesseean: “‘Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.’”

Voters in North Dakota and Colorado rejected statewide pro-life referendum questions.


Congress to the Rescue?

IN THE FACE OF A CONGRESSIONAL TAKE-OVER Tuesday by the more conservative of the two national parties, the governing powers of the District of Columbia are inviting enhanced scrutiny of their decisions and policies by Congress, which has the power under the Constitution to review and overturn actions taken by the government of the nation’s Capital district.

Not only is last Tuesday’s referendum legalizing marijuana likely to be taken up by DC oversight committees in the next Congress; the DC City Council has spent much of this year working on an unconscionable ordinance forcing employers in the district to hire individuals who support legalized abortion and to cover abortion in their employee health plans.

The twisted minds on the DC panel call their scheme a “Reproductive Health Nondiscrimination Act,” clearly discriminating against the many pro-life/family non-profits which operate from offices near the Capitol.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, objecting to the proposal, asks in his Oct. 29 FRC Washington Update, “In what alternative universe would the government force businesses to hire the competition – or, in our case, opposition?”

Declared Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Casey Mattox, quoted by Mr. Perkins, “‘As the video of the committee hearing demonstrates, this is a cynical bill targeted at religious and other pro-life groups. It is illegal and doomed to defeat. The District,’” he said, “‘should spare its taxpayers the expense of defending it.’”

Or Congress should spare those taxpayers by overturning it when performing DC oversight, preferably as soon as the 114th Congress convenes in January.


Oklahoma Advances in Protecting Mothers

OKLAHOMA’s BAN ON CHEMICAL ABORTIONS HAS BEEN UPHELD by state District Judge Robert Stuart, who in late October turned back a lawsuit by “abortion rights groups,” reports Heide Brandes for Reuters, which sought “to halt the measure from taking effect” on Nov. 1.

Reproductive Services of Tulsa and the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Services claimed the legislation “would lead to increased use of surgically induced abortions for cases where drugs can be used,” reports Ms. Brandes, who quotes a lawyer for the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR): “‘This law is contrary to protecting women’s health and will force doctors to use an outdated and less safe medical procedure.’” Nice to see an abortion industry lawyer acknowledging that surgical abortion is “outdated” and “less safe.”

Protecting the health and safety of Oklahoma women, of course, was the main reason advanced by legislators in passing the measure.

That is the case as well with a new Oklahoma law requiring doctors committing abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of their shops, improving the outcomes for their customers in the event of complications. That law was also challenged in court, in this case by a “doctor;” but Oklahoma County District Judge Bill Graves tossed out the case.

“In a terse four-page ruling,” reports Dave Andrusko in National Right to Life (NRL) News Today, Judge Graves “held that SB-1848 could take effect” Nov. 1.   “Judge Graves clearly was not happy with abortionist Larry Burns,” notes Mr. Andrusko, “whom CRR says performs nearly half the abortions in the state.

“For example, after holding that [Mr.] Burns did not have standing to sue on behalf of his patients,” writes Mr. Andrusko, “Judge Graves noted that Burns had taken his sweet time applying for admitting privileges. After outlining the chronology,” reports the NRL News Today editor, “[Judge] Graves wrote: ‘This means Plaintiff waited 77 days before applying for admitting privileges. If he has not heard back from all of the places to which he has applied, it is his own fault, and there is no violation of due process.’

“[Judge] Graves also noted that SB-1848 does [not] require Burns himself to have admitting privileges, just someone on the premises. ‘Plaintiff has not testified or demonstrated that he has made any attempt to locate or hire a physician with admitting privileges who can be on the premises when abortions are performed.’”


Full Conversion

THE BRYAN, TEXAS, PLANNED PARENTHOOD SHOP where pro-life champion Abby Johnson worked – and which she left to repent of her involvement in the trade – is one of the Texas abortuaries to have lately closed under Texas’s new regulatory structure, and the building has a new owner: 40 Days for Life. This is the same “clinic,” notes John Jalsevac for, “where 40 Days for Life got started, running their first-ever prayer campaign, before becoming a global pro-life movement with hundreds of thousands of participants. [And it is] the same clinic where Abby Johnson once worked for eight years, before her dramatic conversion to the pro-life cause,” writes Mr. Jalsevac, “after encountering members of 40 Days for Life. …

“‘This news shows what God can accomplish when His people pray,’ said Shawn Carney, campaign director of 40 Days for Life,” quoted by LifeSiteNews. “‘More than 6,400 children lost their lives in this building, but God is making “all things new.” What was once a place of death and despair is now going to be a place of life and hope. We are excited,’” he declared in Mr. Jalsevac’s account, “‘to start using this location to aid the rapid worldwide growth of 40 Days for Life and to help other cities become abortion-free.’”

The building will also house a CareNet-affiliated pregnancy center, Hope Pregnancy Center, reports Mr. Jalsevac, “as they expand their local medical services to include free sexually-transmitted disease testing.”

Launched in 2004, 40 Days for Life has spread, reports Mr. Jalsevac, “to 559 cities across all 50 American states and 27 nations, involving more than 625,000 volunteers. More than 9,500 lives have been saved from abortion” during the prayer group’s campaigns, “and 59 abortion centers have closed following campaigns outside their doors,” notes Mr. Jalsevac, “including the one in Bryan/College Station, which was the focus of 13 different 40 Days for Life campaigns.”