Life Advocacy Briefing

January 9, 2017

Session Begins / Beginning to Peel the Onion / Schumer Signals Obstruction
Baby-Body-Parts Probe Report Filed / Be There!
March for Life Schedule of Events / Saving Babies / Senate Voting Record

Session Begins

THE 115th CONGRESS OPENED ITS SESSION LAST TUESDAY with the swearing-in of Members elected in the 2016 general elections and organization of the House, where Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) was re-elected to lead the chamber. In the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) resumed his role as Majority Leader, but a change came on the Democratic side, where Sen. Charles Schumer (NY) was announced as successor to the retired Sen. Harry Reid (NV) as Minority Leader.


Beginning to Peel the Onion

THE SENATE’s FIRST ORDER OF ACTUAL BUSINESS was to begin the process of advancing the 2017 Budget Reconciliation Resolution, Senate Concurrent Resolution 3, which, among many other provisions, would defund ObamaCare. The vote to advance the resolution to floor consideration – which required a simple majority – passed 51 to 48 with one not voting. We publish this procedural roll call at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing as our first roll call of the 115th Congress, as ObamaCare repeal would begin the rollback of the Obama Regime’s anti-Life agenda. Debate and further votes are anticipated as early as this week. By using the “budget reconciliation” process, the Senate Majority precludes a filibuster to stall ObamaCare repeal.

Senate Democrats plan, according to Bridget Bowman for RollCall, to seek to amend S-ConRes-3 to bring on extensive debate during this week. The “vote-a-rama” was forecast last week, according to Ms. Bowman, by Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL), who said, she writes: “‘We’ll have test votes on some basic issues.’”

This “Fiscal 2017 budget resolution [which Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY)] unveiled on the first day of the 115th Congress,” reports Ms. Bowman, “includes instructions to two House and two Senate committees to craft legislation reducing the deficit by $1 billion over the next 10 years. To do so,” she writes, “those committees will draft bills repealing portions of the healthcare law.”

It could be that other money-saving options – such as defunding Planned Parenthood – would be available to those committees as they draft the actual bills. Last week’s vote was just the opening shot in what promises to be a major battle. According to Ms. Bowman, the deadline for the committees to act in proposing actual budgetary bills is Jan. 27. That deadline happens to coincide with the anticipated, massive March for Life in Washington.


Schumer Signals Obstruction

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY) VOWED LAST WEEK to fight Senate confirmation of several of the incoming President’s cabinet designees while acknowledging his party does not have the votes – on their own – to block any such votes through the Senate’s “cloture” rule. Executive branch and lower judicial office confirmations were exempted several years ago from the 40-some-year-old Senate rule which requires 60 votes to overcome objections to ending debate. That reform came via now-retired Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (NV) in order to aid President Barack Obama in forming his cabinet.

Fights against several Cabinet picks – including Attorney General-designate Jeff Sessions, Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos and Health & Human Services Secretary-designate Tom Price – have been specified by the Schumer faction.

But the most potentially consequential warning Sen. Schumer leveled last week was his intention to block virtually anyone nominated by President-elect Donald Trump (R) to fill the Supreme Court vacancy caused by the death early last year of the revered Justice Antonin Scalia. Supreme Court nominations continue to be subjected to the 60-vote rule, which Senate Republicans could change but have not indicated an intention to do so.

In a televised interview last Tuesday night, reports Bridget Bowman for RollCall, Sen. Schumer “told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow … ‘It’s hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose that would get Republican support that we could support.’ … Asked if he would do his best to hold the seat open, [Mr.] Schumer responded, ‘Absolutely.’” In making that vow, Sen. Schumer dispelled any notion that Senate Democrats would, under his leadership, be performing their duties with any sense of objectivity or fairness.

Though Pres.-elect Trump released a list of potential nominees as part of his 2016 campaign, he has given no recent indication as to whom he will nominate for the critical post.


Baby-Body-Parts Probe Report Filed

THE HOUSE SELECT INVESTIGATIVE PANEL ON INFANT LIVES LAST WEEK issued its final report, as the 114th Congress closed. The 418-page report, which documents Planned Parenthood involvement in baby-body-parts trafficking, can be viewed on the Internet.


Be There!

THE ANNUAL MARCH FOR LIFE, drawing hundreds of thousands of earnest Americans to the streets of our nation’s capital, is being planned for Jan. 27, a week after the Presidential Inauguration whose occupation of Washington necessitates this year the moving of the March from the actual anniversary of the unconscionable Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton edicts, which decriminalized abortion in America.

We urge our readers to participate in this public outpouring of hope in the dawn of a new Administration, claiming a commitment to Life, as a massive public prayer to the sovereign Lord and a reminder to Congress, the Supreme Court and the White House that our founding charters, in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, do indeed acknowledge the right to Life and equal protection under the law for every innocent human being.

Many local and/or state pro-life organizations are marshaling group travel opportunities – buses, carpools, even airline travel – to participate in the March. We urge our readers to check such local groups to learn of such opportunities and make plans now to be in Washington on Jan. 27 to call America back to greatness in our unique, cherished system of justice and equality.


March for Life Schedule of Events

8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. – Anglicans for Life Summit
Falls Church Anglican, 6565 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church, VA
9 a.m. to Noon – March for Life Conference, Renaissance Hotel, Washington, DC
9 a.m. to 8 p.m. – March for Life Exhibit Hall, Renaissance Hotel, Washington, DC
1 to 4 p.m. – Law of Life Summit, Renaissance Hotel, Washington, DC
2 to 4 p.m. – March for Life Youth Rally, Renaissance Hotel, Washington, DC
5:30 p.m. – Opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life,
National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC
6 to 10 p.m. – Celebrate Life with Audrey Assad and CFRs
Mother Seton Parish, Germantown, MD
7 to 9:30 p.m. – OneVoiceDC, Renaissance Hotel, Washington, DC
7:30 to 10 p.m. – Diocese of Arlington’s Life Is Very Good evening prayer
Patriot Center at George Mason U., 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax, VA

Friday, Jan. 27
7 to 10:30 a.m. – Archdiocese of Washington Youth Rally
Verizon Center, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC
7:30 a.m. – Closing Mass for the Solemn Prayer Vigil for Life
National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC
8 to 10:30 a.m. – March for Life Exhibit Hall, Renaissance Hotel, Washington, DC
8:30 to 10:30 a.m. – National Prayer Service
DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D Street NW, Washington, DC
9 a.m. to Noon – Diocese of Arlington’s Life Is Very Good Morning Rally
Patriot Center at George Mason U., 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax, VA
11:30 a.m. to Noon – Liturgy for the Preborn at the Time of Death
In front of the Supreme Court, 1 First St. NE, Washington, DC
11:45 a.m. – March for Life Rally begins at the National Mall
Between 7th & 9th Streets
Followed by March up Constitution Avenue to Supreme Court
4 to 7 p.m. – March for Life Exhibit Hall, Renaissance Hotel, Washington, DC
6 p.m. – March for Life Rose Dinner, Renaissance Hotel Grand Ballroom, Washington, DC
7:30 to 9:30 p.m. – Latinos por la Vida Concierto
Sheraton Tysons Hotel, 8661 Leesburg Pike, Tysons, VA

Saturday, Jan. 28
7 a.m. to 6 p.m. – LCMS Life Conference
Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel, 801 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Students for Life of America East Coast Conference
1st Baptist Church of Glenarden, 600 Watkins Park Dr., Upper Marlboro, MD
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Latinos por la Vida Conferencia
Sheraton Tysons Hotel, 8661 Leesburg Pike, Tysons, VA
9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Cardinal O’Connor Conference for Life
Georgetown University, Washington, DC


Saving Babies

Dec. 20, 2016, BreakPoint commentary by John Stonestreet

Did you know that babies can be born again? No, it’s not theology I’m talking about but science, and the implications are enormous.

While in her mother’s womb, Lynlee Boemer developed an exceedingly rare tumor that grows near the tailbone at the base of the spine. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, the tumor appears in only one out of 30,000 to 70,000 live births.

Now in about half these children, the tumor is harmless. But for the rest, like little Lynlee, the tumors can create stress on their developing hearts. In Lynlee’s case, the tumor had grown as big as her body. Her mother, Margaret, said, “It almost looked like a baby with two heads.” While other specialists recommended an abortion, those at Texas Children’s Fetal Center said there was a chance the child could be saved.

There was no time to lose. “Little Lynlee’s heart showed signs of failing, so we knew that it was urgent,” said Dr. Darrell Cass.

Lynlee was just 24 weeks along and weighed only one pound. During the emergency operation, Cass and another pediatric surgeon made an incision, pulled Luynlee from the uterus, exposing her tiny frame from her legs to her torso. At one juncture, Lynlee’s heart almost stopped. The doctors resuscitated her, removed the massive tumor, gently place Lynlee back inside her mother, stitched up the womb, and then waited. Three months later, on June 6, a very healthy Lynlee Boemer was born via C-section.

Margaret Boemer understandably is thrilled. “It was her second birth, basically,” she told a local TV station. Such procedures are becoming more and more commonplace across the country.

Since 1995, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has performed more than 1,400 fetal operations, including one three years ago that saved the life of Tucker Roussin, who at 24 weeks of gestation was diagnosed with intrapericardial teratoma, an extremely rare, rapidly growing tumor in the sac surrounding the heart. Today Tucker is a normal, thriving three-year-old.

Fetal surgeries today – in which the baby is in or out of the uterus – can treat or cure a growing variety of problems, including spina bifida, lung malformations, bowel obstructions, and many other conditions.

Such born-again babies have much to teach us. First, of course, they remind us of the preciousness of every human life and the need to continually improve our medical skills and technology in order to protect them.  J. William Gaynor, a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon at Children’s, says, “The pioneering fetal surgery to remove a tumor from a baby’s heart is an incredible breakthrough and an innovation … that can be provided to a family who receives this devastating diagnosis.” Praise God that hope increasingly isavailable!

Second, they remind us of the double-talk of the so-called “pro-choice” movement. Note that Dr. Gaynor removed a tumor from “a baby’s heart.” But those who support abortion rights often use modern euphemisms such as fetus, clump of cells, or product of conception to disguise the identity of the unborn child. Yet this highly qualified physician, and others like him, call it what it is – a baby!

Third, born-again babies expose the insanity of abortion. Isn’t it ironic that Baby Lynlee could have been aborted without legal consequence before her surgery, then would have been protected during the surgery, and then would have been able to be aborted at any time in the three months after the surgery? As I said, this is insane.

Babies in utero who can be dismembered legally up to the very moment before emerging from their mother’s womb can, with a little more thought and care, be brought into God’s world and live a life that glorifies Him. As Mother Teresa said so powerfully, “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”

Friends, thank God for the growing number of born-again babies among us – and let’s redouble our efforts for the cause of life.


Senate Voting Record

S-Con Res. 3 – Budget Reconciliation Act of 2017, including ObamaCare Repeal – Motion to Proceed – Jan. 4, 2017 – Adopted – 51-48 (needing a simple majority) (Democrats in italics; “Independent” marked “I”; new Members in ALL CAPS)

Voting “yes” / pro-Life: Sessions & Shelby/AL, Murkowski & Sullivan/AK, Flake & McCain/AZ, Boozman & Cotton/AR, Gardner/CO, Rubio/FL, Isakson & Perdue/GA, Crapo & Risch/ID, YOUNG/IN, Ernst & Grassley/IA, Moran & Roberts/KS, McConnell/KY, Cassidy & KENNEDY/LA, Collins/ME, Cochran & Wicker/MS, Blunt/MO, Daines/MT, Fischer & Sasse/NE, Heller/NV, Burr & Tillis/NC, Hoeven/ND, Portman/OH, Inhofe & Lankford/OK, Toomey/PA, Graham & Scott/SC, Rounds & Thune/SD, Alexander & Corker/TN, Cornyn & Cruz/TX, Hatch & Lee/UT, Capito/WV, Johnson/WI, Barrasso & Enzi/WY.

Voting “no” / anti-Life: HARRIS/CA, Bennet/CO, Blumenthal & Murphy/CT, Carper & Coons/DE, Nelson/FL, Hirono & Schatz/HI, DUCKWORTH & Durbin/IL, Donnelly/IN, Paul/KY, King(I*)/ME, Cardin & VanHOLLEN/MD, Markey & Warren/MA, Peters & Stabenow/MI, Franken & Klobuchar/MN, McCaskill/MO, Tester/MT, CORTEZ-MASTO/NV, HASSAN & Shaheen/NH, Booker & Menendez/NJ, Heinrich & Udall/NM, Gillibrand & Schumer/NY, Heitkamp/ND, Brown/OH, Merkley & Wyden/OR, Casey/PA, Reed & Whitehouse/RI, Leahy & Sanders*/VT, Kaine & Warner/VA, Cantwell & Murray/WA, Manchin/WV, Baldwin/WI.

Not voting: Feinstein/CA.

*Sen. Sanders was elected to his post as a “Socialist Party” candidate, which in the Senate results in his listing as an “Independent.” He and Maine’s “Independent” Sen. King have, during their entire tenure, joined the Democratic Party conference for purposes of Senate business. That is why we italicize Sen. King’s name as if a Democrat while identifying him as an Independent. Since Sen. Sanders sought the nomination of the Democratic Party in 2016 – his most recent ballot designation – we will, during the 115th Congress, identify him as a Democrat regardless of the third-party designation under which he was elected to the Senate for the current term.