Life Advocacy Briefing

November 28, 2016

Our Apology! / Speak Up for Sessions! / Haley a Plus, Too
Speaker Ryan Gives Nod to Defunding Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood Goes Back to Campaigning – for Cash / Starting Early
Mourning the Dem Party’s Abortion Commitment

Our Apology!

WE TRY ALWAYS TO NOTIFY OUR READERS in advance when we need to take a week off from publishing Life Advocacy Briefing. We were traveling last week, and to be honest, in the wake of the election, it did not occur to us that our trip would mean “skipping” a week for our publication. Please forgive us! All is well; we were just not focused on our schedule when we should have been!


Speak Up for Sessions!

THE PRO-LIFE COMMUNITY WAS CHEERED by the announcement that President-elect Donald Trump will nominate Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to direct the Justice Department as Attorney General.

What a difference such an appointment would make, given the radical, pro-abortion orientation of Obama Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch.

Resistance to the Sessions nomination is expected for political and ideological reasons, and it is not too soon for pro-life Americans to contact those Senators who will serve when the new Congress takes office early in January. Current Senators may be contacted via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121 with a message urging confirmation of Sen. Sessions as Attorney General.

Among the Senator’s credentials, from our point of view, are his determined opposition to ObamaCare and his votes against Pres. Obama’s radical Supreme Court appointees.

And we appreciate the declaration on Sen. Sessions’s official Senate website: “Sessions has been a consistent supporter of pro-life policies. He is an original co-sponsor of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 and believes that sanctity of life begins at conception.” Fresh air!

His voting record reflects a consistent commitment to the right to life, as shown by Life Advocacy Briefing’s annual voting record index, year in, year out. And he “has a 100% voting record from National Right to Life,” reports Claire Chretien for, who further notes that Sen. Sessions “helped [Pres.-elect Trump] vet his list of potential pro-life Supreme Court nominees,” a list which has drawn enthusiasm from the pro-life community.

“Following the Center for Medical Progress’s videos showing Planned Parenthood trafficking in fetal body parts,” reports Ms. Chretien, “[Sen.] Sessions joined with Republican colleagues asking Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch and the Dept. of Health & Human Services to investigate the abortion giant.”


Haley a Plus, Too

IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN whether the President-elect’s announced intent to nominate Nikki Haley will be targeted by the leftish forces that are already going after Sen. Sessions. At this point, the pro-life community can be thankful and pleased that the South Carolina GOP governor has been tapped by the Trump transition process as US Ambassador to the United Nations, a post where the Obama Regime’s “diplomacy” has seriously boosted the abortion lobby’s determined campaign to overturn international recognition of the right to life as a fundamental human right.

Gov. Haley ran for office as a pro-life Republican and was endorsed by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List; in 2016, she signed her state’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bars abortions on babies who have reached 20 weeks in gestation.


Speaker Ryan Gives Nod to Defunding Planned Parenthood

AT A PRESS BRIEFING in mid-November, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) told reporters he expected the US House to pass a legislative ban on federal funding of Planned Parenthood, according to Peter LaBarbera, who apparently represented in the news conference and whose report was published by

“At [Speaker] Ryan’s press briefing [Nov. 17],” writes Mr. LaBarbera, “CNS News asked the Speaker if he would submit a bill ‘that prohibits any federal funds from going to any Planned Parenthood affiliate until Planned Parenthood stops doing abortions.’ [Mr.] Ryan answered,” notes Mr. LaBarbera, “‘We’ve already shown what we believe with respect to funding Planned Parenthood. We put a bill on Pres. Obama’s desk in reconciliation. Our position has not changed.’

“That bill sent to [Mr.] Obama,” writes Mr. LaBarbera, “would have defunded Planned Parenthood for one year, rather than permanently.” The measure was vetoed by the abortion-backing current President. The President-elect, Donald Trump, has indicated he would favor blocking government funding of the outfit as long as it commits abortions.

Operation Rescue has raised another pro-life issue with the soon-to-be-re-elected Speaker, asking him to extend the Select Panel on Infant Lives, an investigatory panel chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) which has been probing Planned Parenthood’s involvement in baby-body-parts trafficking but which has not yet completed its work, chiefly because of resistance to the probe on the part of some entities being asked to provide evidence.


Planned Parenthood Goes Back to Campaigning – for Cash

PLANNED PARENTHOOD HAS BEEN QUICK TO CLAIM a strong boost in fundraising, following the stunning election of President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, a long-time champion of Life from his days in the US House.

Indeed, the abortion giant claimed, in a Nov. 17 report by Fr. Mark Hodges, that “160,000 abortion supporters have given Planned Parenthood donations … since the election of a pro-life President. … Twenty thousand of them,” claimed Planned Parenthood in the report, “have been ‘in honor of’ Vice Pres.-elect Mike Pence.”

Of course, nothing says those are new donors; indeed, Operation Rescue (OR) vice president Cheryl Sullenger issued her own report about Planned Parenthood’s post-election fundraising, in which she related a telephone solicitation she had received begging her support. In her report, Mrs. Sullenger notes that PP’s solicitors apparently think she is a supporter of the abortion goliath and opined that the telephone campaign was intended to gin up backing from dispirited past supporters.

“For some reason,” writes Mrs. Sullenger, “they think I am a past donor, probably from several donations that were made in my name by abortion supporters as a kind of joke last year” [like the current “honor” Planned Parenthood is giving to Mike Pence!]. “Now I’m on their fundraising list,” she writes, “and routinely receive their fundraising letters.”

The OR writer reports the call she received on Nov. 14 “was a first. The lady on the phone, who said she was calling from New York City,” writes Mrs. Sullenger, “was urging me to make a commitment to monthly donations to Planned Parenthood. I decided not to tell her she was barking up the wrong tree and [instead] listened patiently as she first read off a prepared script then launched into a personal appeal. She described to me what a dangerous time we were facing.

“With Donald Trump as the President-elect and both houses of Congress solidly in the hands of ‘anti-choice’ politicians, she insisted,” reports Mrs. Sullenger, “that we, as women, face losing our reproductive health care, our health insurance and our birth control. She told me how the ‘anti-abortion’ folks aim to defund and close Planned Parenthood and end abortion.

“It was a high-pressure sales pitch for every dime they could potentially wring out of me,” Ms. Sullenger reports. “She simply did not want to take ‘no’ for an answer. ‘Can they really do all those things?’ I asked,” writes Mrs. Sullenger, “understanding full well that women are in no danger of losing their legitimate health care or their birth control drugs, if that is what they want. ‘They are going to try,’ was her response, while emphasizing once again what dangerous times we face.

“Dangerous for whom, I wondered,” writes Mrs. Sullenger, “remembering that Planned Parenthood is the largest source of abortion deaths in the US. …

“To listen to the grim tone of her voice,” notes Mrs. Sullenger, “you would have thought my unwillingness to contribute to Planned Parenthood was the most disappointing news she had ever heard. She acted,” writes the OR observer, “like I had personally let her down. I was sure that extra helping of guilt manipulation was intentional.”

Mrs. Sullenger closed her insightful report with a comparison of “the public manipulation and misrepresentation of the facts” by Planned Parenthood’s telemarketing drive to the “pro-life movement that is characterized by tight budgets, volunteerism and personal sacrifice to save babies, protect mothers and influence the culture.

“I am proud,” she writes, “to stand on the side of these fearless men and women in the fight to end abortion and restore respect for Life to our society. We stand together,” she said, “on the side of truth.”


Starting Early

WHEN INDIANA’s LEGISLATURE BEGINS ITS NEW SESSION on Jan. 4, 2017, it will reportedly have legislation before it to ban abortion in the conservative Midwest state.

GOP State Rep. Curt Nisly announced in mid-November, reports Claire Chretien for, his plans “to introduce a bill banning all abortions in the state, which could be a potential challenge to Roe v. Wade if it passed and abortion advocates fought it all the way to the Supreme Court.” The lawmaker has titled the measure the “Protection at Conception Act.”

In Texas, the “Pre-Born Protection & Dignity Act” has already been filed as SB-8, to be considered by the new legislature which opens session on Jan. 10. The proposal, pre-filed by State Sen. Charles Schwertner (R), “would ban the sale of aborted baby parts,” reports Fr. Mark Hodges for, “and codify a partial-birth abortion ban into state law.”

Sen. Schwertner, a medical doctor who chairs the Senate’s Health & Human Services committee, said the bill “‘will put a definitive end to the sale or exchange of fetal tissue,’” reports Fr. Hodges, and that it will “‘outlaw the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion in state law.’”

Partial-birth abortion has been outlawed in federal law since 2003, but federal prosecution under that law has been of too low a Justice Dept. priority for the penalties to be effective. State-level laws are more likely to be heeded and need to be enacted in every state.

The filing of this legislative proposal follows hearings by Sen. Schwertner’s committee concerning Planned Parenthood’s involvement in baby-body-parts trafficking, hearings which the chairman convened in 2015 after the Center for Medical Progress exposed the abortion giant’s scandal. The senator commented at the time, quoted now by Fr. Hodges, “‘People of conscience can’t stand by while unborn babies are monetized and traded like some sort of perverse commodity. … The state has a moral obligation to protect our most vulnerable Texans – a group that certainly includes the unborn.’”


Mourning the Dem Party’s Abortion Commitment

Nov. 11, 2016, report by Matt Hadro, reprinted from Catholic News Agency (CNA)

In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s electoral defeat in Tuesday’s Presidential election, pro-life Democrats and faith voters criticized the party’s pro-abortion support and lack of religious outreach. “Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party decisively lost Tuesday’s election, thanks in large part to the party’s extreme abortion position, which alienated would-be Clinton voters,” the group Democrats for Life of America stated in a press release on Wednesday.

“We cautioned in our DNC Report – Make Room for Pro-Life Democrats & Achieve Party Goals Nationwide – that the party is slowly dying and on the way to being irrelevant if it does not start a dialogue with its pro-life members,” Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life of America, stated.

On Nov. 8, Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, earning a majority of electors to become the next President, although Clinton narrowly won the popular vote.

Trump, who in 1999 had supported partial-birth abortion, campaigned on a pro-life platform that included promises like a late-term abortion ban and the appointing of pro-life Supreme Court justices. Clinton, meanwhile, championed access to abortions for women and supported the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, a 40-year-old policy that prohibits federal tax dollars from funding abortions.

Democrats lost many potential voters because of their party’s extreme pro-abortion platform, Day insisted. She said that in key traditionally Democratic states that Trump picked up like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Clinton lost many voters like “soft Republicans, anti-abortion Independents and millions of pro-life voters in her own party” who might have listened to her had she not supported abortion so staunchly. “One of the reasons she lost these groups is that she championed an extremist abortion platform,” Day said.

The abortion plank of the platform – criticized even by Pres. Obama’s 2012 campaign director of faith outreach Michael Wear as “morally reprehensible” – supported late-term abortions, the repeal of the Hyde Amendment and also the repeal of the Helms Amendment, which prohibited the funding of abortions in foreign aid.

Abortion was mentioned 19 times in the party’s [2016] platform, Dr. Matthew Bunson, EWTN senior contributor, told EWTN News Nightly during the Democratic National Convention in July, adding “that itself gives us an idea of the seriousness of this issue for them.”

Many voters – especially those in traditionally Democratic Rust Belt states that surprisingly fell for Trump – were turned off by this “extremist abortion platform,” Day said. “Americans want to see wages rise, and they want to see more people protected with health insurance, and they want to protect the environment, but they absolutely do not support abortion on demand,” she said. “The Democratic Party is going to be the party of coastal, urban elites if it does not change course and respect the social conscience of pro-life voters.”

One young voter agreed that the pro-abortion platform and rhetoric from Democratic circles was toxic to many Democrats and Republicans. “The abortion plank of the platform was a figurative middle finger, not only to the 21 million-plus pro-life Democrats but also to those who vote Republican purely because of abortion and the tens of millions of other Democrats who favor some restrictions on abortion,” Robert Christian, editor of Millennial Journal, told CNA/EWTN News. “In a tight election, a lot of things would have pushed Hillary over the top, but we can be certain that abortion absolutism was one that cost her the election,” he added.

Christian said that he heard “from dozens upon dozens of fellow pro-life Democrats and progressives” and “young Catholics who sincerely believe in Catholic moral and social teaching” who could not vote for Hillary due to her pro-abortion policies and rhetoric.

Others complained that the Clinton campaign had overlooked certain religious voters. For example, Clinton lost white Catholics to Trump by 23 points, the largest margin of defeat for that voting bloc for a major Presidential candidate since at least the 2000 election. Clinton lost Catholics overall by seven percent.

Michael Wear tweeted on Thursday that “The most basic understanding of religious demographics in America suggested Trump’s only path to victory was Rust-Belt White Catholics.”
Wear also implied that the Democrats’ support for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment hurt their standing with Evangelical voters.

“I believe there was an absolute failure to reach out to people of faith by the Clinton campaign,” Christian said, noting that Clinton “rarely talked” about her faith. “It is tough to overstate how foolish this decision was,” he added.

“Bourgeois liberalism, rooted in enlightened self-interest, social libertarianism and technocratic pragmatism is not the right answer to populist nationalism. Democrats need to recommit to solidarity, human dignity and genuine human equality, and rebuild the party around a shared vision of social, economic and global justice; this can only be done by working with religious humanists of all faith traditions to rebuild the party from the ground up.”

Christopher Hale, executive director of the group Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, tweeted that last year, “one Dem official told me that they were going to pursue a ‘post-Christian’ outreach strategy. That worked well,” he tweeted sarcastically.