Life Advocacy Briefing

February 27, 2017

Too Busy for Life? / ‘Next Up’ on the House Pro-Life Agenda
Judge Backs Planned Parenthood / McAuliffe Casts His Veto
Norma McCorvey, ‘Roe’ No More / March for Life Speech: Rep. Chris Smith
Senate Voting Record / House Voting Record

Too Busy for Life?

WE REGRET TO REPORT that last Friday’s deadline passed without Congressional action to protect Life in the nation’s capital district, the District of Columbia, in the need to overturn the DC ordinance fostering doctor-abetted suicide.

Our thanks to Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) for offering the needed joint resolution to exercise legally authorized Congressional oversight in blocking the unconscionable ordinance. Our thanks to the House Committee on Government Reform & Oversight for advancing the resolution early last week. Our thanks to Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), who had undertaken an effort in the Senate to muster votes for quick passage there in the event of timely House action, according to a leader of the Able Americans advocacy group, quoted by Claire Chretien of

Now that the House Majority Leadership has somehow failed to include this urgent resolution in the pre-recess agenda for the usually pro-life body, we urge the Speaker and his lieutenants to find a means even now to thwart the death-in-DC lobby through the budget process, as suggested, reports Ms. Chretien, by Arina Grossu, director of Family Research Council’s Center for Human Dignity.


‘Next Up’ on the House Pro-Life Agenda

WHEN THE HOUSE PRO-LIFE CAUCUS CHAIRMAN ADDRESSED the March for Life rally in January, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) declared (as readers may note in the transcript we publish below) that the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is “next up” on the agenda of pro-life lawmakers in the US House. This measure would outlaw the abortion killing of unborn babies who have reached the 20-week mark in their gestation, a time when medical experts have testified to the excruciating pain they can suffer.

Readers are encouraged to contact their own House Members – via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121 – as they return from recess this week, to request them to co-sponsor and support HR-490, whose chief sponsor is Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ).

The measure is currently pending in the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution & Civil Justice, of which Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is chairman, joined by GOP Representatives Trent Franks, Ron DeSantis (FL), Trey Gowdy (SC) and Louie Gohmert (TX). Democrats on the subcommittee are led by Ranking Member Steve Cohen (TN), who is joined by Representatives Jamie Raskin (MD) and Jerrold Nadler (NY).


Judge Backs Planned Parenthood

A FEDERAL DISTRICT JUDGE HAS BLOCKED – for now – the law enacted by the State of Texas to allocate Medicaid funding to actual healthcare delivery agents, disqualifying committers of abortion, like Planned Parenthood.

78-year-old Judge Sam Sparks declared in his ruling, quoted by Claire Chretien for, “‘These [Planned Parenthood] centers are the only family planning specialists in the state and provide a wide variety of services in a manner specifically designed to be convenient for vulnerable populations.’”

On the strength of that “convenience,” Texas is not supposed to be authorized to exercise its own authority over tax funds it has been authorized to administer.

Further betraying his own prejudice concerning the state-enacted policy, Judge Sparks wrote, reports Ms. Chretien, “There is not ‘even a scintilla of evidence’ that Planned Parenthood did anything wrong. … ‘A secretly recorded video, fake names, a grand jury indictment, Congressional investigations – these are the building blocks,’” he opined, “‘of a best-selling novel rather than a case concerning interplay of federal and state authority through the Medicaid program. Yet,’” he continued, “‘rather than a villain plotting to take over the world, the subject of this case is the State of Texas’s efforts to expel a group of healthcare providers from a social healthcare program for families and individuals with limited resources.’”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, vowing to appeal the order, politely called it “‘disappointing,’” reports Ms. Chretien, and appropriately declared it “‘flies in the face of basic human decency.’” 

And Attorney Gen. Paxton used his disappointment as an opportunity to inform the public of the realities which prompted the State’s action to disqualify the abortion goliath from taxpayer funding which the state administers. Quoting Mr. Paxton from the LifeSiteNews report: “‘The raw, unedited footage from undercover videos exposed a brazen willingness by Planned Parenthood officials to traffic in fetal body parts, as well as manipulate the timing and method of an abortion. Even the remains of the most vicious criminals are treated with respect,’” he noted.

“‘But the children who never had a chance at life become so-called medical waste or, alternatively, a commodity to be bartered for. No taxpayer in Texas should have to subsidize this repugnant and illegal conduct,’” Mr. Paxton urged. “‘We should never lose sight of the fact that, as long as abortion is legal in the United States, the potential for these types of horrors will continue.’”


McAuliffe Casts His Veto

VIRGINIA GOV. TERRY McAULIFFE (D) FOLLOWED THROUGH last week on his threat to veto legislation to exclude Planned Parenthood from taxpayer cash for non-Medicaid state-funded services.

The bill “would have given healthcare programs that don’t perform or promote abortion priority state funding,” reports Claire Chretien for, “over organizations that commit abortions.” Its passage was by insufficient margins to anticipate even an attempt at override. The governor’s term expires next January.


Norma McCorvey, ‘Roe’ No More

WE JOIN THOUSANDS OF PRO-LIFE CITIZENS across America in mourning the passing of Norma McCorvey, a champion for the cause of overturning the hideous Supreme Court edict Roe v. Wade.

Ms. McCorvey was used by a cabal of Texas lawyers, nearly 50 years ago, to initiate the litigation which ultimately decriminalized abortion. The “Jane Roe” plaintiff in the lawsuit never did undergo an abortion and, in recent years, worked tirelessly to seek the overturning of the court-imposed law handed down in her case. “‘I long for the day that justice will be done,’” said Ms. McCorvey, quoted by, “‘and the burden from all of these deaths will be removed from my shoulders.’”

“I got to know Norma in 1995 when she first became pro-life and was baptized by my friend Rev. Flip Benham,” said Priests for Life national director Fr. Frank Pavone upon learning of her passing. “We stayed in touch regularly. Three years later I was privileged to bestow upon her the Sacrament of Confirmation as she entered the Catholic Church. Over the years,” noted Fr. Pavone, “our executive director Janet Morana and I connected with Norma regularly, both on a personal and professional basis.

“Despite the heaviness on her heart over the killing of some 58 million children since Roe v. Wade, she always knew how to take the Lord’s hand,” said Fr. Pavone, “and let His grace lift her up.” The loved and respected Priests for Life leader declared, “She devoted herself in ways big and small to bring an end to the tragedy of abortion.”

And, Fr. Pavone declared, “[her] story will live on. It is a story of hope. If she can convert and find forgiveness from her involvement with abortion, then anyone can.”


March for Life Speech: Rep. Chris Smith

Jan. 27, 2017, Address to March for Life Rally by House Pro-Life Caucus Chairman Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), transcribed by Life Advocacy from televised coverage by EWTN

       Thank you, Jeanie. I’m joined by my dear wife Marie and our youngest daughter Elyse. You know, when Mike Pence’s car pulled up – and especially when he was speaking – my wife turned to me and said, “This is truly historic. This is the turning point for the right to Life movement.”

       You know, ex-President Barack Obama, the abortion President, did serious harm. But no human rights abuse, however, need be forever. You and I are part of the greatest human rights struggle on earth, and you are – we are – backed by a team of lawmakers; we’ve been – I’ve been in Congress since 1981 – they are the most effective, articulate and compassionate Members of Congress that we have ever seen, and I want to please give them a round of applause. It is all about teamwork.

       We are very and profoundly grateful that President Trump and Vice President Pence are already accomplishing amazing things, including reinstatement and expansion of the Mexico City Policy, which was first put into place by President Reagan in 1984. However, the new Trump Human Rights Policy expands it and will protect more babies overseas from the violence of abortion. So, thank you, President Trump, for that leadership.

       Growing numbers of Americans are indeed shocked to learn that the methods of abortion include dismemberment of a child’s body or the literal starvation through RU-486. I ask the press, please tell the truth about the deed of abortion and what it does to babies and what it does to the mother.

       This week, under the extraordinary leadership of Paul Ryan and the Republican leadership in the House, HR-7 was passed. Every Member here sponsored that legislation that will end taxpayer funding for abortion and make the Hyde Amendment permanent. The Hyde Amendment has saved two million babies’ lives; the empirical data is clear. So what you have done all these years has made an enormous difference.

       Finally, next up will be legislation to protect pain-capable unborn babies, authored by Trent Franks of Arizona, and then defunding Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood destroys an unborn child every two minutes and has killed over seven million babies since 1973. That’s more than all the people living in the State of Massachusetts.

       Undercover videos have exposed Planned Parenthood leaders gleefully talking about procuring baby parts but also enabling child sex trafficking and the discriminatory practice of sex selection abortion. The most dangerous place in the world today for a child is in a Planned Parenthood clinic.

       Finally, someday, future generations of Americans will look back and wonder how and why such a seemingly enlightened society could have permitted the extermination by abortion of over sixty million babies. But history – and the survivors – will note that you stood your ground, you pushed back and you endured any and every sacrifice, any and every smear, so that the least of these might live.

       Thank you, and God bless you.


Senate Voting Record

Confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education – Procedural motion to close debate – Feb. 3, 2017 – Confirmed – 52-48 (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 & Paul/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: Feinstein & Harris/CA, Bennet/CO, Blumenthal & Murphy/CT, Carper & Coons/DE, Nelson/FL, Hirono & Schatz/HI, Duckworth & Durbin/IL, Donnelly/IN, 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.


House Voting Record

H-Res-48 – Rule for Consideration of S-ConRes-3: Reconciliation Measure to Establish Repeal of ObamaCare and other purposes – Procedural motion to adopt Rule – Jan. 12, 2017 – Passed – 235-188 (Democrats in italics)

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, McClintock, 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; Labrador, 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, Massie, Rogers/KY; Abraham, Graves, Higgins, Johnson, Scalise/LA; Poliquin/ME; Harris/MD; Amash, Bergman, Bishop, Huizenga, Mitchell, Moolenaar, Trott, Upton, Walberg/MI; Emmer, Lewis, Paulsen/MN; Harper, Kelly, Palazzo/MS; Graves, Hartzler, Long, Luetkemeyer, Smith, Wagner/MO; Bacon, Fortenberry, Smith/NE; Amodei/NV; Frelinghuysen, Lance, LoBiondo, MacArthur, Smith/NJ; Pearce/NM; Collins,
Donovan, Faso, Katko, King, Reed, Stefanik, Tenney, Zeldin/NY; Budd, Foxx, Holding, Hudson, Jones, 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, Dent, Fitzpatrick, 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, Wittman/VA; Herrera-Beutler, McMorris-Rodgers, Newhouse, Reichert/WA; Jenkins, McKinley, Mooney/WV; Duffy, Gallagher, Grothman, 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, Khanna, Lee, Lieu, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Matsui, McNerney, Napolitano, Panetta, Peters, Roybal-Allard, Ruiz, 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; Bustos, D.Davis, Foster, Gutierrez, Kelly, Krishnamoorthi, Lipinski, Quigley, Schakowsky, Schneider/IL; Carson, Visclosky/IN; Loebsack/IA; Yarmuth/KY; Richmond/LA; Pingree/ME; Brown, Cummings, Delaney, Hoyer, Raskin, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes/MD; Capuano, Clark, Keating, Kennedy, Lynch, McGovern, Moulton, Neal, Tsongas/MA; Conyers, Dingell, Kildee, Lawrence, Levin/MI; Ellison, McCollum, Nolan, Peterson, Walz/MN; Thompson/MS; Clay, Cleaver/MO; Kihuen, Rosen, Titus/NV; Kuster, Shea-Porter/NH; Gottheimer, Norcross, Pallone, Pascrell, Payne, Sires, Watson-Coleman/NJ; Lujan, Lujan-Grisham/NM; Clarke, Engel, Espaillat, Higgins, Jeffries, Lowey, C.Maloney, S.Maloney, Meeks, Meng, Nadler, Rice, Serrano, Slaughter, Tonko, Velazquez/NY; Adams, Butterfield, Price/NC; Beatty, Fudge, Kaptur, Ryan/OH; Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio, Schrader/OR; Boyle, Brady, Cartwright, Doyle, Evans/PA; Cicilline, Langevin/RI; Clyburn/SC; Cohen, Cooper/TN; Castro, Cuellar, Doggett, Gonzalez, A.Green, G.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: Huffman, Pelosi/CA; Frankel, Rutherford/FL; Price/GA; Rush/IL; Pompeo/KS; Zinke/MT; Crowley, Suozzi/NY; Mulvaney/SC; Ryan/WI.