Life Advocacy Briefing

November 14, 2016

What We’ve Found / Victories Across the Map / Big Abortion Scores One Win
Breakthrough in Kentucky / Righting the Ship / Another Perspective / The Road Forward

What We’ve Found

REGULAR READERS ARE NO DOUBT AWARE that we often reprint, as part of Life Advocacy Briefing, the published writings of others when we deem those useful for our readers to enjoy or gain knowledge from. In this post-election edition, now that we have reviewed the news items available to us as worthy resources, we will be including more of such reprints and/or excerpts from more than usual. We hope our readers will gain much from the perspectives of these commentators.

The news, frankly, centers this week around the results of the election and the responses of those involved in the pro-life cause, so we want our readers to benefit from the reflections of those who were deeply engaged in the recent campaigns and who will be deeply engaged in the policy battles to come.


Victories Across the Map

THOUGH A SMALL NUMBER OF SEATS CHANGED PARTIES in the US House in last Tuesday’s election, the Republican Party continued to hold a commanding majority in the lower chamber of Congress. And though many pundits had expected the Senate to change party control, the GOP maintained a small majority in the upper house, enough, seemingly, to achieve majority votes on most pro-life proposals and to secure confirmation of worthy appointees to executive and judicial offices.

Key contests in the Senate last Tuesday, in states where pundits had predicted turnovers, resulted in the re-election of pro-life incumbents in almost every case. Louisiana and New Hampshire are still undecided, but the only GOP Senator known to have lost – Mark Kirk of Illinois – voted against the pro-life cause more often than for it.

Presumably endangered pro-life incumbents Roy Blunt (MO), Richard Burr (NC), Pat Toomey (PA) and Ron Johnson (WI) all survived challenges from pro-abortion opponents, and the open seat in Indiana was won by pro-life GOP Rep. Todd Young, who bested former Sen. Evan Bayh (D), an abortion backer and media favorite.


Big Abortion Scores One Win

AMONG THE NOT-UNEXPECTED WINNERS last Tuesday was California’s radical attorney general, Kamala Harris, who was chosen by her state’s voters to succeed the retiring abortion enthusiast US Sen. Barbara Boxer (D). Her opponent was a fellow Democrat, US Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who will no longer hold elected office.

In her reign as attorney general, Sen.-elect Harris was notorious not only for her 100% rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League but also for the raid her office perpetrated on the home of David Daleiden, who leads the Center for Medical Progress and was lead investigator in CMP’s undercover video probe of the baby-body-parts trafficking scheme which exposed Planned Parenthood and its business contacts. In raiding his home, Ms. Harris confiscated not-yet-released video footage of Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting operations.

The newly elected US Senator was also, reports Lisa Bourne for, “found to have colluded with the abortion giant to craft a bill that would send pro-life journalists to jail for secretly recording ‘confidential communication with a healthcare provider,’ which would include abortions, and sharing the recording in any way.” That legislation has been signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and is being challenged in court.

In the Senate, she will be one of 100 and, at first anyway, serving in the minority. And her voice will replace that of one of the Senate’s most strident advocates for abortion by any means at any time.


Breakthrough in Kentucky

AMONG THE GAINS FOR THE PRO-LIFE CAUSE AT THE STATE LEVEL, probably none stands out more than what Fr. Mark Hodges, writing for, calls the “overwhelming Republican win in the Kentucky State House.”

The unexpected win of pro-life Gov. Matt Bevin (R) just a year ago has now been followed by the securing of a majority of the seats in the State House to go along with the already conservative State Senate. “For the first time since 1920,” writes Fr. Hodges, “Kentucky is conservative all across the board. … Observers,” he notes, “predict ‘sweeping changes’ for the state.” Among the predicted changes: “limitations,” writes Fr. Hodges, “on abortion.”

Declared Family Foundation spokesman Martin Cothran, quoted by Fr. Hodges, “‘Kentucky voters have cleaned out the Augean stables tonight and sent a hundred years of cronyism, backroom deals and abuse of legislative procedure down the river of history. … Kentucky is a conservative state that has suffered under liberal rule for decades,’ [Mr.] Cothran explained” in the LifeSiteNews story, “‘A liberal House leadership has stifled important conservative legislation at every turn.’ …

“[Mr.] Cothran pointed to the killing of popular pro-life, education and religious freedom legislation he said would have easily passed on the floors of both chambers as examples of how many good laws never saw the light of day because of what he called a ‘rigged’ process. ‘We now have a state government,’” he concluded, as reported by Fr. Hodges, “‘that is reflective of the conservative values of this state.’”


Righting the Ship

Excerpts from Nov. 9, 2016, commentary by Tony Perkins, president of FRC/Action

“Weeping may endure for the night,” the Psalmist David wrote, “but joy comes in the morning.” In the case of most Americans, those nights stretched into very long years – a nightmare from which the nation finally awoke last night with the astonishing news that voters rejected the continuation of the anti-faith, anti-family policies of Barack Obama. Instead, a nation spurned by almost a decade of a radical liberalism turned out with a vengeance – electing Donald Trump in perhaps the most stunning political upset of the modern age. In a year of surprises, the ultimate outsider delivered the biggest, tapping into the frustration that pollsters didn’t detect and liberal elites never took seriously.

… In disbelief, pundits watched the electoral map turn into a sea of red, colored by eight years of disillusionment with the President’s extremist agenda. Fueled by massive turnout – the highest in history – voters delivered a stinging repudiation not just of Hillary Clinton’s ultra-liberal agenda but of the entire Obama era. Tired of the Left’s contempt and unwilling to answer to pollsters, a silent majority propelled the GOP to a victory no one saw coming.

But the night wasn’t just a vindication of Donald Trump. It was also a validation of the evangelical movement, which once again overcame the media’s narrative of division to deliver one of the most significant political messages this country has ever seen. In nearly every election cycle for the last 40 years, liberals have tried to bury a movement they wish had never been born. And last night they learned just how impossible that prospect will be. Evangelicals, many of whom (myself included) backed other candidates during the primary, quietly assessed the perilous state of the nation and unified behind Trump in greater numbers than they had behind the last three GOP nominees. To the astonishment of everyone, Trump outperformed John McCain, Mitt Romney and even George W. Bush, winning an overwhelming 81% of the evangelical vote.  …

Turns out the press had about as much success writing the obituary of the evangelical movement as it had predicting this election. (And that isn’t much!) Anyone who traveled the country these last few months saw how values voters connected with Donald Trump, not because of shared values but because of shared concerns over the damage a Clinton Supreme Court would do to our freedom. Combine that with targeted videos like ours, and it’s no wonder the number of voters who ranked the Supreme Court as their most important issue soared to 21% by election day (and even higher among evangelicals).

… The GOP held on to its majorities in Congress, giving Donald Trump the keys to a unified Republican government – and ousting a handful of gutless moderates in the process. Of the Senate’s True Bluers (Members who voted with FRC/Action 100% of the time), 14 out of 14 won – a feat replicated in the House, where 139 of 158 also held onto their seats.  With their hands on the levers of power, Republicans finally have the mandate they need to roll back the oppression of the Obama era, defund Planned Parenthood (both of which Congress has done before), defend the ban on taxpayer-funded abortion, repeal ObamaCare, restore pulpit freedom, appoint pro-life judges, tear up the Iranian nuclear deal, invalidate Obama’s executive orders, beef up our military, protect the privacy of women and children in bathrooms and so much more. Truly, this is an unprecedented opportunity to turn back the clock on a radical administration that was on the cusp of driving America into the ground. Instead, it seems Barack Obama decimated his own party, putting Democrats in a significantly weakened position.

In states, where conservatives have made the most strides under Obama, the GOP continued its state-level dominance. The historic gains that started under this President continued, resulting in another major increase of Republican governors. By week’s end, the GOP will hold at least 33 gubernatorial seats – up from 22 in 2008. [Gubernatorial] Winners included Missouri’s former Navy Seal Eric Greitens, Vermont’s Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, Indiana’s Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, Utah’s incumbent Gary Herbert and North Dakota’s Doug Burgum (with Montana still too close to call). The celebration continued in the Kentucky legislature, which flipped to Republican control for the first time in 100 years. Iowa’s Senate was next, leading the New York Times to mourn that, “At least 20 chambers were seen as highly competitive in the election, and a majority of those are now controlled by Republicans.”

… In the end, what we witnessed wasn’t just the revenge of the “deplorables” but the collapse of the Obama legacy. After the spectacular failures of ObamaCare, the demoralization of our military, the explosion of lawlessness, tolerance of corruption and obsession with social engineering, Americans finally have the opportunity to rebuild the country they once knew. But the election is just the starting gun. Donald Trump may open the door to America’s solutions, but he was never meant to be the solution. The true transformation of a society starts in the hearts and minds of men. And under an administration with no interest in continuing the eight-year war on the First Amendment, we may finally see what the Church is capable of. In the meantime, one thing about this historic uprising is clear: Americans are looking for leaders of conviction. And as last night’s results show, they will accept no substitutes.


Another Perspective

Excerpts from Nov. 10, 2016, BreakPoint commentary by John Stonestreet

… Relief? Yes. But I’d caution against elation, because what happened on Tuesday was more of a reprieve than a vindication. A close read of Tuesday’s results – beyond the Presidential race – shows that the cultural trends we’ve been talking about on BreakPoint for years continue unimpeded.

The saddest example is Colorado voters’ approval of doctor-assisted suicide by a two-to-one margin. I warned on this broadcast that so-called “right to die” invariably becomes a duty to die. I reminded my fellow Coloradans that in a state currently in the midst of an epidemic of teen suicide, approving doctor-assisted suicide sends the wrong message. But it didn’t matter. The siren song of unlimited personal autonomy and self-definition proved irresistible to a large majority of Coloradans.

And a similar dynamic was at work in the various ballot initiatives concerning marijuana. Voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada joined Colorado and Washington in legalizing marijuana outright. As of this writing, the result in Maine is too close to call, although supporters of legalization have already declared victory. Meanwhile, voters in Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota approved so-called “medical marijuana” use. I say “so-called” because if history is any indication, these laws amount to legalization by just another name. Only Arizona, thanks largely to the efforts of the Council for Arizona Policy, bucked the trend for legalized weed.

So all in all, this was a bad night for the idea that human good involves something other than unlimited personal freedom and pleasure. And no matter how much relief we feel over the defeat of what would certainly have been a radically pro-choice, anti-religious freedom Clinton Administration, the serious moral concerns about the man who was just elected President remain, as do the serious moral concerns about the nation that elected him … .

So where does all this leave us today? How will we use this reprieve? Well first of all, we should, as the Bible instructs us, pray for those in authority. We should also pray for President-elect Trump to surround himself with wise and godly counselors, and to act justly, wisely and rightly.

Beyond that, we should support any of his policies that promote the common good. We should urge him to protect the unborn, as well as those who believe in traditional marriage, and to safeguard religious freedom. …

Prophets we must be. The church’s duty is to speak truth to power, especially when the power doesn’t want to hear it. If Jesus is Lord, no one else is. …


The Road Forward

Nov. 9, 2016, commentary by Jason Scott Jones, reprinted from

We pro-lifers have been saying it for decades and working to make it even truer: America is a fundamentally pro-life country. Its cultural and Constitutional DNA are coded with deep respect for the human person as the free image of God, no matter what lies the appointed judges on our courts decide to tell us. We might sin like other people in [other] nations, but in the long run we lean toward justice. The moment that Americans saw Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Freedom Riders brutalized by police for their peaceful protests, segregation’s fate was sealed. And I believe that the release of the Planned Parenthood videos drove the first nails into the coffin of Roe v. Wade.

Donald Trump was not the first choice of most pro-lifers. But I believe that his conversion on our issue was heartfelt and sincere. The fact that for all his embrace of other socially liberal positions, he came around to support for our country’s most vulnerable people says much about our culture It says that it’s moving our way, that even someone as contrarian and stubborn as Donald Trump can get the message. He can come around and see that basic goodness is on our side. In the last debate, when he talked about partial-birth abortion, what was visible on his face was deep and natural disgust – in contrast to Clinton’s robotic recital of false talking points.

I think that Donald Trump will help defund Planned Parenthood, every dollar. I think he will stick to his promise of choosing Constitutional conservatives for the courts. Beyond what I think is his newfound but real conviction, I believe that he will reward us for rallying behind him – despite the many excellent excuses he offered us to walk away, in the form of his crass comments and dubious past.

What should pro-lifers do now? We should thank God for sparing us the ruthless abuse of power which Hillary Clinton would have employed to silence us. When we’re finished with that thanksgiving, we should revert to our natural state – as a ruthlessly focused special interest group with only one job: protecting the interests of unborn Americans, the handicapped and the terminally ill. If you are innocent and threatened by violence, we are your advocate. We take no other stands and bow to no outside pressure. We won’t listen to bishops who smoosh together our crucial and urgent cause as of equal weight to items on their “seamless garment” wish list. We won’t get sucked into support for foreign wars that backfire and end up turning millions of Christians into refugees. Let others debate the climate or the best levels of spending for Medicaid. We are there to protect the weak from doctors who will kill them. That’s quite enough.

Just as the National Rifle Assn. rewards those who back its policies and punishes those who betray it, so we should treat every politician, regardless of party. As I wrote in “The Prolife Art of War,” we have for too long failed to adopt this level of professionalism and seriousness, and our cause has suffered for it.

Beyond legislative battles, we must work to convert the culture. The sexual revolutionaries were able in one generation to take “abortion” from being a profanity no one uttered in mixed company and dress it up as a fundamental right of every American. They didn’t accomplish that via clever legal reasoning – at least not at first. No, first they scorched the earth with a thousand movies and popular songs, TV shows and phony popular science, to convince the West that sex really ought to be a harmless leisure activity – kind of like bridge or Canasta. Then they trumped up a phony population panic. It was only once both these falsehoods had lodged in the minds of elites and leaked down into the culture, that something as monstrous as abortion could win in the courts. Now it’s our task to backwards-engineer that process and reverse it.

I hope you will join me in holding Donald Trump accountable for his promises, and in making the culture an ever friendlier place for that fragile and persecuted creature: the human person.