Life Advocacy Briefing

January 23, 2017

House Moves on ObamaCare Repeal / Confirmations Coming
Planned Parenthood Defunding on House Agenda / Standing Up for Justice
Short-Lived Setback? / Looking Back / The Essence of Civilization
House Voting Record

House Moves on ObamaCare Repeal

THE U.S. HOUSE VOTED Jan. 13 to move forward the Senate Concurrent Resolution which initiates repeal of ObamaCare under the Budget Reconciliation process. By this process, the Congressional Majority is bypassing the Senate’s 60-vote cloture rule, paving the way for repeal by a simple majority – the same means by which Democrats in 2010 passed ObamaCare by party-line vote.

We publish the House roll call on final passage of S-ConRes-3 at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing. We will later publish, as space permits, two procedural roll calls leading to this vote.


Confirmations Coming

THE SENATE WAS SET TO GO INTO SESSION after the Presidential inauguration last Friday – after our deadline – to take up confirmation of Cabinet officials. Though the Presidential Transition team had hoped to have a substantial number of department heads in place by the end of the first day of the new Administration, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) signaled last week his intention to slow down most confirmation deliberations. Three appointees were expected to be confirmed last Friday – Defense Secretary-designate James Mattis, Homeland Security-designate John Kelly and CIA Director-designate Mike Pompeo, who is leaving his seat in the US House to take the post, opening a vacancy in Kansas.

We will publish Senate roll calls as soon as space permits on votes to confirm North Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador, Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, US Rep. Tom Price as Secretary of Health & Human Services and US Sen. Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. We encourage our readers to contact their home-state Senators (Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121) and seek “yes” votes on these nominees.


Planned Parenthood Defunding on House Agenda

HOUSE SPEAKER PAUL RYAN (R-WI) MADE IT CLEAR last week: The US House will vote to disqualify from federal funding the leading abortion business in America, Planned Parenthood.

More than $500 million of annual taxpayer funding will be redirected, the Speaker pledged, to community health centers. “‘For every Planned Parenthood,’” noted Speaker Ryan, quoted by Claire Chretien for, “‘there are 20 federal community health centers. They are vastly bigger in network, there are so many more of them, and they provide … [medical] services without all the controversies surrounding this issue.’”

When CNN moderator Jake Tapper “interjected,” reports Ms. Chretien, “accusing [Mr.] Ryan of ‘[believing] in providing more choice for people when it comes to health insurance – except for Planned Parenthood,’” Speaker Ryan retorted, “‘Well, there’s a long-standing principle that we’ve all believed in … that we don’t want to commit taxpayer funding for abortion and Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider. … So we don’t want to effectively commit taxpayer money to an organization providing abortions but we want to make sure that people get their coverage.’”

Readers are encouraged to contact their home-district Representative (Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121) to ask for a “yes” vote to defund Planned Parenthood.


Standing Up for Justice

ONE OF KENTUCKY’s TWO NEW PRO-LIFE LAWS, on which we reported last week, has already been taken to court by the American Civil Liberties Union (sic), which has suggested it might also seek to block enforcement of the second as well. The result: re-opening of a hot political battle.

Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has “unleashed a blistering critique,” reports Claire Chretien for, “of the state’s Attorney General, Andy Beshear, for refusing to defend” the new Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which outlaws abortions on babies who have gestated 20 weeks or more, and which has not yet been challenged. Oddly, the Democrat has said he would defend the new informed consent law, which is already being litigated.

“‘Our attorney general apparently is under the impression that he gets to pick and choose when he does his job,’ [Gov.] Bevin said in a Facebook live video,” writes Ms. Chretien. “‘He was elected and is in fact being paid by you, the taxpayers of Kentucky and the voters of Kentucky, to defend the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He’s not allowed to just pander to his base’ and ‘liberal pro-abortion supporters of his and his party’s.’ This,” Gov. Bevin noted in his video message, as reported by LifeSiteNews, “is not Beshear’s ‘prerogative.’”

For his part, Atty. Gen. Beshear called the Pain Capable child protection law “‘clearly unconstitutional,’” reports Ms. Chretien, a comment which certainly could encourage the left-wing lawyers’ group to undertake the challenge.

Gov. Bevin noted, according to LifeSiteNews, that the 20-week ban “is ‘widely popular. …. This bill banning abortions in Kentucky after 20 weeks was passed with nearly 80% of support in the legislature,’” he noted, “‘including 20 Democrats.’”

But this is not the opening round of contention between the two public officials. “In his Facebook video,” writes Ms. Chretien, Gov. “Bevin promised to ‘do what I’ve unfortunately had to do for the last 13 months – my job as governor and also the attorney general’s job when … he drops the ball, as he has promised to once again do.

“‘I had to defend you as it related to the federal government trying to dictate who used which bathrooms and locker rooms in your children’s schools,’ [Gov.] Bevin noted, explaining [A.G.] Beshear wanted nothing to do with the issue. ‘I had to defend the commonwealth of Kentucky …. when the federal government tried to … dictate that doctors would … be forced to perform sex-change operations, whether or not they wanted to. I had to defend the doctors of Kentucky.

“‘We won all three of those lawsuits,’ said [Mr.] Bevin,” quoted by LifeSiteNews. “‘Shame on our Attorney General for playing partisan politics rather than doing his job.’”


Short-Lived Setback?

THE ABORTION INDUSTRY WON A COURT BATTLE in the Boston-based US 1st Circuit Court of Appeals early this month, but the victory could well prove short-lived, thanks to voters’ decision last November in electing a new governor for New Hampshire.

Among the written commitments made by Gov. Chris Sununu (R), who took office Jan. 3, was a promise to sign a bill to repeal New Hampshire’s law authorizing abortuaries to establish buffer zones. The bill has been filed, reports Lianne Laurence for, and will face hearings in the House in January and the Senate in February; the Republican Party holds the majority in both houses.

The controversial state law, signed into law in 2014 by then-Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) – who is now a US Senator from New Hampshire – “permits 25-foot ‘censorship zones outside abortion facilities,’” reports Ms. Laurence, “in which no person may speak, stand or even enter on public ways and sidewalks.” It has been challenged in court via the pro-life pro-bono law firm, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which has indicated it will await legislative developments this spring before deciding whether to take further action in court.


Looking Back

YESTERDAY, JAN. 22, BROUGHT THE 44th ANNIVERSARY of the unconscionable Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton edicts of the Supreme Court, by which the Court ushered into America a nationwide regime of abortion, legalized regardless of the humanity of the unborn child, and thereby established a decriminalized racket of white-coated body choppers.

The anniversary was observed in many churches which annually note Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on or near Jan. 22. In Washington, DC, the annual observance will feature church services, prayer vigils, conferences and a banquet, all organized around the Friday, Jan. 27, massive public event marshaled by the non-profit March for Life ( Hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to rally at noon Friday on the National Mall and then march to the steps of the Supreme Court. Among speakers at the rally will be Presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway.

In past years, Presidents have issued proclamations, letters and greetings noting the Roe/Doe anniversary, and Dave Andrusko of National Right to Life News featured quotes in a recent column “comparing what two Presidents said on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.” The two quoted Presidents were Barack Obama and George W. Bush. Having heard and seen enough from Mr. Obama, we reprint below just the greetings of Pres. George W. Bush to the 2005 March for Life, directed personally to the March founder and leader at the time, Nellie Gray, who has since passed away.

We hope readers will enjoy the words of Pres. Bush and will find in them inspiration for your own contributions to sustaining the cause of Life. Miss him? You bet we do!


The Essence of Civilization

Message, via video hookup, to the March for Life and its founder Nellie Gray in January, 2005, from Pres. George W. Bush, reprinted from Dec. 12, 2016, NRL News Today

Nellie, thank you. Thanks a lot for inviting me to speak. I know it’s chilly there in Washington, but weather hasn’t stopped thousands of participants from marching for Life for the past 32 years, and it did not this year, either. And so I’m honored to be a part of this tremendous witness that is taking place in our nation’s Capital, and it’s good to hear your voice again.

You know, we come from many backgrounds – different backgrounds, but what unites us is our understanding that the essence of civilization is this: The strong have a duty to protect the weak.

I appreciate so very much your work toward building a culture of Life, a culture that will protect the most innocent among us and the voiceless. We are working to promote a culture of Life, to promote compassion for women and their unborn babies. We know that in a culture that does not protect the most dependent, the handicapped, the elderly, the unloved or simply inconvenient become increasingly vulnerable.

The America of our dreams, where every child is welcomed in law – in life and protected in law – may still be some ways away, but even from the far side of the river, Nellie, we can see its glimmerings. We’re making progress in Washington. I’ve been working with Members of the Congress to pass good, solid legislation that protects the vulnerable and promotes the culture of Life. I’ve signed into law a ban on partial-birth abortion. Infants who are born despite an attempted abortion are now protected by law. So are nurses and doctors who refused to be any part of an abortion. And prosecutors can now charge those who harm or kill a pregnant woman with harming or killing her unborn child.

We’re also moving ahead in terms of medicine and research to make sure that the gifts of science are consistent with our highest values of freedom, equality, family and human dignity. We will not sanction the creation of life only to destroy it.

What I’m saying now is, we’re making progress, and this progress is a tribute to your perseverance and to the prayers of the people. I want to thank you especially for the civil way that you have engaged one of America’s most contentious issues. I encourage you to take heart from our achievements, because a true culture of Life cannot be sustained solely by changing laws. We need, most of all, to change hearts. And that is what we’re doing, seeking common ground where possible and persuading increasing numbers of our fellow citizens of the rightness of our cause.

This is the path to the culture of Life that we seek for our country. And on its coldest days and one of our coldest days, I encourage you to take warmth and comfort from our history, which tells us that a movement that appeals to the noblest and most generous instincts of our fellow Americans and that is based on a sacred promise enshrined in our founding document, that this movement will not fail.

And so on this day of compassion, where warm hearts are confronting the cold weather, I ask that God bless you for your dedication, and may God continue to bless our great country.


House Voting Record

S-ConRes-3: Reconciliation Measure to Establish Repeal of ObamaCare and other purposes – Jan. 13, 2017 – Passed – 227-198 (Democrats in italics; new Members in ALL CAPS)

Voting “yes”/pro-Life: Aderholt, Brooks, Byrne, Palmer, Roby, Rogers/AL; Young/AK; BIGGS, Franks, Gosar, McSally, Schweikert/AZ; Crawford, Hill, Westerman, Womack/AR; Calvert, Cook, Denham, Hunter, Issa, Knight, LaMalfa, McCarthy, Nunes, Rohrabacher, Royce, Valadao, Walters/CA; Buck, Coffman, Lamborn, Tipton/CO; Bilirakis, Buchanan, Curbelo, DeSantis, Diaz-Balart, DUNN, GAETZ, MAST, Posey, F. ROONEY, T. Rooney, Ros-Lehtinen, Ross, Webster, Yoho/FL; Allen, Carter, Collins, FERGUSON, Graves, Hice, Loudermilk, A. Scott, Woodall/GA; Simpson/ID; Bost, R. Davis, Hultgren, Kinzinger, LaHood, Roskam, Shimkus/IL; BANKS, Brooks, Bucshon, HOLLINGSWORTH, Messer, Rokita, Walorski/IN; Blum, King, Young/IA; Jenkins, MARSHALL, Yoder/KS; Barr, Comer, Guthrie, Rogers/KY; Abraham, Graves, HIGGINS, JOHNSON, Scalise/LA; Poliquin/ME; Harris/MD; BERGMAN, Bishop, Huizenga, MITCHELL, Moolenaar, Trott, Upton, Walberg/MI; Emmer, LEWIS, Paulson/MN; Harper, Kelly, Palazzo/MS; Graves, Hartzler, Long, Luetkemeyer, Smith, Wagner/MO; BACON, Fortenberry, Smith/NE; Amodei/NV; Frelinghuysen, Lance, LoBiondo, Smith/NJ; Pearce/NM; Collins, Donovan, FASO, King, Reed, Stefanik, TENNEY, Zeldin/NY; BUDD, Foxx, Holding, Hudson, McHenry, Meadows, Pittenger, Rouzer, Walker/NC; Cramer/ND; Chabot, Davidson, Gibbs, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Latta, Renacci, Stivers, Tiberi, Turner, Wenstrup/OH; Bridenstine, Cole, Lucas, Mullin, Russell/OK; Walden/OR; Barletta, Costello, Kelly, Marino, Meehan, Murphy, Perry, Rothfus, Shuster, SMUCKER, Thompson/PA; Duncan, Gowdy, Rice, Sanford, Wilson/SC; Noem/SD; Black, Blackburn, DesJarlais, Duncan, Fleischmann, KUSTOFF, Roe/TN; ARRINGTON, Babin, Barton, Brady, Burgess, Carter, Conaway, Culberson, Farenthold, Flores, Gohmert, Granger, Hensarling, Hurd, S. Johnson, Marchant, McCaul, Olson, Poe, Ratcliffe, Sessions, Smith, Thornberry, Weber, Williams/TX; Bishop, Chaffetz, Love, Stewart/UT; Brat, Comstock, GARRETT, Goodlatte, Griffith, TAYLOR, Whittman/VA; Beutler, McMorris-Rodgers, Newhouse, Reichert/WA; Jenkins, McKinley, Mooney/WV; Duffy, GALLAGHER, Grothman, Ryan, Sensenbrenner/WI; CHENEY/WY.

Voting “no”/anti-Life: Sewell/AL; Gallego, Grijalva, O’HALLERAN, Sinema/AZ; Aguilar, BARRAGAN, Bass, Becerra, Bera, Brownley, CARBAJAL, Cardenas, Chu, CORREA, Costa, Davis, DeSaulnier, Eshoo, Garamendi, Huffman, KHANNA, Lee, Lieu, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Matsui, McClintock, McNerney, Napolitano, PANETTA, Pelosi, Peters, Roybal-Allard, Ruiz, Linda Sanchez, Schiff, Sherman, Speier, Swalwell, Takano, Thompson, Torres, Vargas, Waters/CA; DeGette, Perlmutter, Polis/CO; Courtney, DeLauro, Esty, Himes, Larson/CT; BLUNT-ROCHESTER/DE; Castor, CRIST, DEMINGS, Deutch, Hastings, LAWSON, MURPHY, SOTO, Wasserman-Schultz, Wilson/FL; Bishop, Johnson, Lewis, D. Scott/GA; Gabbard, Hanabusa/HI; Labrador/ID; Bustos, D. Davis, Foster, Gutierrez, Kelly, KRISHNAMOORTHI, Lipinski, Quigley, Schakowsky, SCHNEIDER/IL; Carson, Visclosky/IN; Loebsack/IA; Massie, Yarmuth/KY; Richmond/LA; Pingree/ME; BROWN, Cummings, Delaney, Hoyer, RASKIN, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes/MD; Capuano, Clark, Keating, Kennedy, Lynch, McGovern, Moulton, Neal, Tsongas/MA; Amash, Conyers, Dingell, Kildee, Lawrence, Levin/MI; Ellison, McCollum, Nolan, Peterson, Walz/MN; Thompson/MS; Clay/MO; KIHUEN, ROSEN, Titus/NV; Kuster, Shea-Porter/NH; GOTTHEIMER, MacArthur, Norcross, Pallone, Pascrell, Payne, Sires, Watson-Coleman/NJ; Lujan, Lujan-Grisham/NM; Clarke, Crowley, Engel, ESPAILLAT, Higgins, Jeffries, Katko, Lowey, C. Maloney, S. Maloney, Meeks, Meng, Nadler, Rice, Serrano, Slaughter, SUOZZI, Tonko, Velazquez/NY; Adams, Butterfield, Jones, Price/NC; Beatty, Fudge, Kaptur, Ryan/OH; Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio, Schrader/OR; Boyle, Brady, Cartwright, Dent, Doyle, Evans, Fitzpatrick/PA; Cicilline, Langevin/RI; Cohen, Cooper/TN; Castro, Cuellar, Doggett, GONZALEZ, A. Green, Jackson-Lee, E.B. Johnson, O’Rourke, Veasey, Vela/TX; Welch/VT; Beyer, Connolly, McEACHIN, Scott/VA; DelBene, Heck, JAYAPAL, Kilmer, Larsen, Smith/WA; Kind, Moore, Pocan/WI.

Not voting: Frankel, RUTHERFORD/FL; Price/GA; Rush/IL; Pompeo/KS; Cleaver/MO; Zinke/MT; Clyburn, Mulvaney/SC; G. Green/TX.