Life Advocacy Briefing

January 16, 2017

Stand Up for Jeff Sessions / Defund Planned Parenthood While Repealing ObamaCare!
Abetted Suicide Ordinance to be Challenged in Congress? / One Down!
Kellyanne Conway to Address March for Life Rally / Back Against the Wall?
No Time Wasted / Winding Down the War / Senate Voting Record

Stand Up for Jeff Sessions

WITH THE ABORTION INDUSTRY MARSHALING GRASSROOTS OPPOSITION to the pending confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) as Attorney General of the United States, we urge our readers to contact home-state Senators (Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121) and ask for their votes to confirm Sen. Sessions to lead the Justice Department. The vote is expected as early as this week, ahead of the Jan. 20 inauguration of Donald Trump as President.

We welcome the outspoken support for Sen. Sessions by Republican Sen. Susan Collins (ME) in testimony at the opening of last week’s Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the nomination, signaling a likely unanimous Republican vote, given Sen. Collins’s usual tendency to vote with the abortion lobby. Sen. Collins was warm and firm in her endorsement.

But Sen. Sessions is deserving of an overwhelming, bipartisan Senate vote, rejecting the smear campaign being mounted by the abortion lobby and its mouthpieces in certain media outlets whose editorials have distorted the Sessions record and abetted his opponents. We commend Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) for his vow in a Fox News interview last Thursday: “‘Jeff Sessions has my vote.’”


Defund Planned Parenthood While Repealing ObamaCare!

THE SENATE ADOPTED ITS OBAMACARE REPEAL RECONCILIATION BILL early last Thursday morning after a robust round of unsuccessful amendments relating to various healthcare coverage policies. The measure will soon be taken up by the House, and we urge readers to contact their own Representatives (Capitol switchboard 1-202/224-3121) and ask them to support the repeal of ObamaCare and defunding of Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood disqualification language does not appear in the Senate-passed version of the budget reconciliation legislation, but House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced last week, reports Claire Chretien for, “that [the] upcoming budget bill designed to fast-track Republicans’ ObamaCare repeal efforts will also be used to defund Planned Parenthood.

“Planned Parenthood’s funding,” she writes, “will be reallocated to comprehensive healthcare centers. …

“‘Planned Parenthood legislation would be in our reconciliation bill,’ [Speaker] Ryan said in response to a question about how and when Congress will defund Planned Parenthood,” Ms. Chretien reports, adding, “A reconciliation bill would likely be able to make it through the narrowly-controlled pro-life Senate more easily than a regular bill.” That is because budget reconciliation is the one spending measure exempt from the Senate’s obstructive “cloture” rule, which requires 60 votes for passage of legislation in nearly every instance.

The president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), Marjorie Dannenfelser, welcomed the Speaker’s pledge. “‘Today’s commitment by Speaker Ryan to redirect the abortion giant’s taxpayer funding to community health centers is a victory for women’s health care,’” said Mrs. Dannenfelser, quoted by Ms. Chretien. “‘Community health centers provide far more services than Planned Parenthood,’” she said, “‘and outnumber them 20 to 1 nationwide. We commend Speaker Paul Ryan on his continued resolve to fund women’s health care, not abortion. His pro-life, pro-woman resolve,’” declared Mrs. Dannenfelser in the LifeSiteNews report, “‘is shared by [Senate] Majority Leader [Mitch] McConnell and President-elect [Donald] Trump, and we are confident Congress will get this important legislation to the President’s desk for his signature after the inauguration.’”

Planned Parenthood vowed to stop the reconciliation bill through marshaling of grassroots supporters. The fight is on.


Abetted Suicide Ordinance to be Challenged in Congress?

THOUGH MUCH PUBLIC ATTENTION IS FOCUSED on “big” doings on Capitol Hill – like Cabinet confirmations, the Presidential inauguration and defunding Planned Parenthood while repealing ObamaCare, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is turning the attention of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, which he chairs, to a local life-or-death issue in the District of Columbia. And rightly so.

Congress has just a month to overturn the enactment by the DC City Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) of an ordinance allowing local doctors to abet suicide.

The ordinance passed the DC City Council “easily,” reports Claire Chretien for, and the mayor signed it “quietly” on Dec. 20, notes Ms. Chretien, “just before Christmas.”

The actions were taken over the “fervent opposition to the bill from the African-American, disability rights and pro-life communities,” reports LifeSiteNews. The Rabbinical Council of America, representing, reports Ms. Chretien, “more than 1,000 Orthodox Jewish rabbis,” weighed in against the ordinance with a statement a week after the mayor signed it.

Declared Rep. Chaffetz, also in the LifeSiteNews report: “‘The assisted suicide issue is not something we take lightly. … This body [Congress], which does have jurisdiction [under the Constitution], should be given a right to vote on that.’” Deadline for Congressional action is Feb. 16.

Any measure overturning the DC ordinance would go to the President for his signature.


One Down!

THE NEW YEAR HAS BROUGHT A MUCH-HOPED-FOR VICTORY for embattled pro-life whistleblower David Daleiden. One of the lawsuits against him by a key player in the baby-body-parts scandal has been dropped.

Planned Parenthood’s middle-man StemExpress – which collects and processes the remains of aborted babies for sale to so-called medical researchers – has withdrawn its lawsuit against the Center for Medical Progress’s (CMP’s) leader after the outfit’s lawyers from McDermott, Will & Emery withdrew from representing the company.

Mr. Daleiden described the dropping of the lawsuit as “a ‘surrender’ for the baby parts vendor,” reports’s Claire Chretien, “and a ‘victory for free speech and citizen journalism.’

“‘StemExpress was the first of Planned Parenthood’s accomplices to file a retaliatory lawsuit against citizen journalists,’” said Mr. Daleiden in Ms. Chretien’s report, “‘and the first to seek an unconstitutional prior restraint on our First Amendment rights to speak and publish. … Now the video is out for all the world to see, StemExpress faces criminal referral in multiple jurisdictions and they are walking away from their own lawsuit empty-handed. …

“‘StemExpress’s surrender sends an unmistakable message,’” Mr. Daleiden said, quoted by Ms. Chretien, “‘to Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation and all their political cronies who would dare to attack the First Amendment to cover up their crimes.’”

StemExpress is the outfit which Representatives Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) have called, writes Ms. Chretien, “the ‘ of baby body parts’ because of its drop-down menu that allowed researchers to order baby body parts obtained from abortions. Congressional research and the company’s own admissions to CMP showed StemExpress was profiting from aborted baby body parts,” which appears to be in violation of federal law. “The company,” writes Ms. Chretien, “reported millions of dollars in revenue in the years after its founding.”


Kellyanne Conway to Address March for Life Rally

ORGANIZERS OF THE ANNUAL MARCH FOR LIFE ANNOUNCED last week that Kellyanne Conway will be among the speakers at the March rally on the National Mall in Washington, DC, on Friday, Jan. 27.

Mrs. Conway has long been respected in political circles as a principled, perceptive advisor on matters of public opinion, policy and strategic communication. The mother of four has been appointed by President-elect Donald Trump as his principal White House advisor and served most recently as the manager of his successful Presidential campaign. March for Life president Jeanne Mancini, in the announcement of Mrs. Conway’s appearance, said the March organizers are “thrilled” to include Mrs. Conway in the rally program. “As the first female to run a successful Presidential campaign and as a steadfast advocate for Life and family issues,” said Mrs. Mancini, “Kellyanne beautifully embodies the 2017 March for Life’s theme, ‘The Power of One.’”

Joining Mrs. Conway on the rally stage will be pro-life heroine Abby Johnson, who has devoted her life to conversion and counseling of abortion workers after having herself left managing a Planned Parenthood shop to become a pro-life activist. Author, radio host and speaker Eric Metaxas of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview will also be a principal speaker, as will New York’s Roman Catholic Archbishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan.


Back Against the Wall?

PLANNED PARENTHOOD CHIEFETTE Cecile Richards is raising the alarm in her latest effort to beg money from her fans, reports writer Claire Chretien, calling the opening of the 115th Congress “‘the most dangerous moment in Planned Parenthood’s history. …

“‘They’re ready to shut down Planned Parenthood health centers. This is the fight of our lives,’ blared text at the top” of a fundraising electronic mail appeal issued by Ms. Richards, as quoted by Ms. Chretien.

“Apparently missing the irony that innocent babies face the ‘fight of their lives’ at Planned Parenthoods,” writes Ms. Chretien, “the abortion giant explained that pro-life House and Senate majorities combined with President-elect Trump’s promise to help defund Planned Parenthood mean their coffers are in deep trouble.”  Ms. Richards vowed in her e-mail appeal to “‘fight like hell.’” Well, yes, now that you mention it.

Not to worry, though. A Planned Parenthood outfit in Portland, Oregon, has recruited 21 local bakeries to bake cookies to sell for the abortion chain at a price of $50 per bag. At that price, the Girl Scouts’ annual cookie sale – underway now in many communities – has little to fear from the competition.

No Time Wasted

KENTUCKY LAWMAKERS LOST NO TIME in their new legislative session which opened earlier this month. Two pro-life bills were introduced on Jan. 3, passed both houses by overwhelming majorities and were signed by Gov. Matt Bevin (R) on Jan. 9.

One of the new laws is the 20-week abortion ban titled the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The other is a mandate for informed consent via ultrasound before an abortion can be committed.

As we have reported previously, Kentucky has experienced years of frustration and stalemate on pro-life legislation because of political resistance. It appears the dam has broken, and Kentucky is ready to welcome the youngest and most vulnerable of its residents, to provide them legal protections, to post a not-welcome message to the abortion cartel and to offer mothers in trouble the information they need to make the choice to protect their children.


Winding Down the War

Jan. 1, 2017, Commentary by Wesley J. Smith, reprinted from National Review Online

A primary reason Donald Trump won the election, in my amateur’s opinion, was because members of faith communities voted for him as a means of self-defense. Most particularly, making Trump President was seen by these communities as the only way to prevent Hillary Clinton continuing the Obama Administration’s unremitting war against faith-based institutions practicing what their churches preach.

ObamaCare was used by rampaging bureaucrats as the assault troops in that effort, such as attempting to force Catholic nuns to cover contraceptives. Here’s another one, which I hadn’t heard about.

Apparently a regulation was promulgated that would have required abortion (and transgender issues) coverage as a means of preventing “sex discrimination.” Now a judge has enjoined enforcement under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

From the Reuters story: “A federal judge in Texas on Saturday issued a court order barring enforcement of an Obama Administration policy seeking to extend anti-discrimination protections under the Affordable Care Act [ObamaCare] to transgender health and abortion-related services. The decision sides with Texas, seven other states and three Christian-affiliated healthcare groups challenging a rule that, according to the judge, defines sex bias to include ‘discrimination on the basis of gender identity and termination of pregnancy.’”

Denying abortion coverage is sex discrimination? That kind of blatant term-redefinitionism (if you will) is one of the Left’s favorite weapons in the culture war they never cease waging. Had Clinton become POTUS, these efforts to force faith communities to embrace liberal secular values in the operation of their community institutions would have been pursued even more energetically. And once the Supreme Court was in their hands, the cultural hegemons would have prevailed.

That self-defense vote will work, I think. Whatever policies Donald Trump pursues as President of the United States, he won’t wage political war against religious institutions.


Senate Voting Record

S-Con Res. 3 – Budget Reconciliation Act of 2017, including ObamaCare Repeal – Jan. 12, 2017 – Passed – 51-48 (needing a simple majority) (Democrats in italics; “Independent” marked “I”)

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.

*We accept Sen. Paul’s public statements that his negative vote stemmed from his disagreement with the procedural strategy being undertaken by his party’s leadership in pursuing repeal and replacement of ObamaCare and that he is working to advance the same result via a different strategic approach. Nevertheless, he did cast a “no” vote; had he been joined by sufficient colleagues among usually pro-life Senators, the Jan. 12 effort to repeal ObamaCare would have been blocked, and that would undermine America’s attempt to rid ourselves of the pro-abortion, anti-religious-freedom mandates and agenda of the legislation and regulations which S-3 seeks to repeal.