Life Advocacy Briefing

March 27, 2017

Waiting for ObamaCare Repeal Vote / Gorsuch Nomination Facing Possible Filibuster
Judge Gorsuch on the Senate Grill / Clinging to ‘Roe
Offering Facts to a National Audience / Just Ban It! / One by One
How a Judge Is Supposed to Act / House Voting Record

Waiting for ObamaCare Repeal Vote

THE HOUSE LEADERSHIP DELAYED THE OBAMACARE REPEAL VOTE as of our press deadline for this edition of Life Advocacy Briefing. It had been scheduled for Thursday, but late in the afternoon, bill managers acknowledged the required number of “yes” votes were not yet pledged to the complicated “reconciliation” bill. Once there is a vote on the measure, we will publish the roll call. At the close of this edition, we continue our “catch-up” effort to publish roll calls from a series of earlier votes, this time a procedural vote on the Rule for consideration of legislation which clarifies that states have the power to disqualify Planned Parenthood from state-administered Medicaid funding.

Gorsuch Nomination Facing Possible Filibuster

FULLY EXPECTING JUDGE NEIL GORSUCH TO EMERGE from the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D) announced Thursday first that he would vote against the distinguished jurist and then that Judge Gorsuch’s nomination will face a filibuster.

“‘After careful deliberation,’” he said, quoted by Claire Chretien in, “‘I have concluded that I cannot support Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court’” – a position which every sentient observer expected from the moment his name was released.

“‘His nomination will have a cloture vote,’” added Mr. Schumer, quoted by Ms. Chretien. “‘He will have to earn 60 votes for confirmation. My vote will be “no,” and I urge my colleagues to do the same.’ …

“Republicans may change procedural rules,” writes Ms. Chretien, “so that [Judge] Gorsuch only needs 51 votes to be confirmed.”

Reports earlier Thursday indicated Democrats were willing to negotiate a deal with Republicans to support Judge Gorsuch in return for a pledge that the 60-vote “cloture” rule would not be changed for a future nominee, should another vacancy occur offering Pres. Trump an opportunity to advance a second nominee. The Schumer announcement suggests that the GOP did not agree to take such an outrageous offer and may have opened the door to a change in the cloture rule even sooner in order to secure the Gorsuch confirmation. Such a rule change could be adopted with votes only from Republicans, who control the majority of the upper chamber.

Readers are urged to contact home-state Senators – especially Democrats – now to seek a “yes” vote on bringing the Gorsuch nomination to a vote and ultimately to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch. (Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121)

Judge Gorsuch on the Senate Grill

THE PENDING NOMINATION OF JUDGE NEIL GORSUCH to the US Supreme Court was the focus of the Senate Judiciary Committee hour after hour in hearings filling all of last week.

Judge Gorsuch acquitted himself well and showed both remarkable patience and measured cordiality in listening to hours of opinion from Senators of both parties, eventually even answering questions from those who sit in judgment of his credentials, qualifications, character and judicial temperament.

Democrats on the panel, led by Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (CA), pulled out the judge’s written opinions as a federal appellate judge in the 10th Circuit and showed frustration at their inability to pin him down on such unjudicial questions as whether Roe v. Wade constitutes some sort of “super precedent,” a term which Sen. Feinstein employed as though it had any meaning in law. (There is no such thing!)

What was apparent to any reasonable person is that Judge Gorsuch is a man of deep intellect and faithful commitment to the duty of a judge to apply the law (including the Constitution) as written and not necessarily as might be desired by the judge himself.

Clinging to ‘Roe

SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA) BETRAYED A DEEP, RADICAL DISDAIN for human life in her extensive remarks during the Gorsuch nomination hearings last week.

During the first day of the hearings, reports Claire Chretien for, the Judiciary Committee’s Ranking Member “argued against confirming [Judge] Gorsuch because of his belief that ‘the intentional taking of a human life by private persons is always wrong.’ …

“Judge Gorsuch has not had occasion to rule directly on a case involving Roe,” notes Ms. Chretien. “However, his writings do raise questions. Specifically,” she reports, “he wrote that he believes there are no exceptions to the principle that ‘the intentional taking of a human life by private persons is always wrong.’”

The LifeSiteNews reporter also notes that Sen. Feinstein herself “used words like ‘baby’ and ‘mother’ as she argued,” writes Ms. Chretien, “that abortion is about ‘a woman’s fundamental and constitutional right to privacy.’ …

“‘President Trump repeatedly promised to appoint someone in the mold of [the late] Justice Scalia and said that the nomination of Judge Gorsuch illustrates he’s a man of his word,’ said [Sen.] Feinstein. ‘The Supreme Court has the final say on whether a woman will continue to have control over her own body or whether decisions about her health care will be determined by politicians and the government.’”

Offering Facts to a National Audience

AMONG THE SENATORS WHO USED THE GORSUCH NOMINATION HEARINGS as a platform for their own views was Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who spent several minutes of the widely watched proceedings to lay out his case for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill currently pending in the House Judiciary Committee for later hearing.

“‘We’re one of seven nations that allow wholesale, on-demand, unlimited abortion at 20 weeks, the fifth month of pregnancy. I’d like to get out of that club,’ said [Sen.] Graham,” quoted by Claire Chretien in a Gorsuch hearing report for

“‘The standard medically is, if you operate [on an] unborn child at 20 weeks, the medical protocols are such that you have to apply anesthesia because you don’t want to hurt the child in the process of trying to save the child,’” Sen. Graham told the committee, quoted by Ms. Chretien. “‘My theory is, well, let’s look at it the other way, should you allow abortion on demand of a child that can feel excruciating pain?’”

Sen. Graham next tied his exposition of the measure to the purpose of the hearing. Directing his remarks to Judge Gorsuch, he said, quoted by Ms. Chretien: “‘I’m just letting everybody know that if this legislation passes, it will be challenged before you, and you will have to look at a new theory of how the state can protect the unborn,’” said [Sen.] Graham. “‘And here is what I think. You will read the briefs, look at the facts and make a decision. Am I fair to conclude that?’

“‘Senator,’” replied Judge Gorsuch in the Chretien report, “‘I can promise you no more than that, and I guarantee no less than that in every single case that comes before me.’”

Sen. Graham persisted in his exposition. “‘This is a real-world situation,’” he said, quoted by Ms. Chretien, “‘that may develop over time, because 70-something percent of the American people side with me on the idea that at 20 weeks we should not be in the club of seven nations that allow abortion on demand. … That’s in the fifth month, and that doesn’t make us a better nation,’” he said. “‘There’ll be people on the other side saying no, that’s an erosion of Roe, and it will go to the [Supreme] Court, maybe, if it ever passes there.’ …

“Before detailing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” notes Ms. Chretien, Sen. “Graham asked [Judge] Gorsuch if he thinks it is okay for precedent to be challenged. [Mr.] Gorsuch affirmed that people have the right to challenge precedent.”

Just Ban It!

THOUGH MANY AMERICANS ARE CHEERED that the new Administration in Washington is looking into somehow bringing down the costs of prescription drugs, advocates for Life have a renewed cause for vigilance when it comes to government regulation of RU-486, or “mifepristone.” We fear the drug-cost-control argument will be used to promote a flooding of the abortion drug onto pharmacy shelves.

Though the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) already, “a little less than a year ago,” notes Charlie Butts for, “eased restrictions on use of the drug, reduced the dosage, extended use of it from the seventh to the 10th week of pregnancy and loosened qualifications for prescribers,” a spokesman for National Right to Life Committee – Dr. Randall O’Bannon – told the reporter “a group of medical professionals want restrictions further reduced.

“‘They’ve got a group of folks together,’” Dr. O’Bannon said in the OneNewsNow story, “‘who signed this article in the New England Journal of Medicine arguing that they want it to be able to be sold at retail pharmacies or be available through online mail order instead of having to go through procedures that are there for the safety of women.’”

This is not a drug that is useful for curing disease or relieving pain. Its purpose is to kill. As a consequence, Dr. O’Bannon noted in his interview with Mr. Butts, “‘relatively few doctors are willing’” to prescribe the drug, as “‘relatively few doctors are willing to terminate the lives of preborn babies. … That is why that group,’” he said, “‘hopes to make it more easily available without a doctor’s prescription.

“‘Are these doctors [who signed the article] going to tell [policymakers] about the 19 women who have taken these drugs and died?’” Dr. O’Bannon asked in the OneNewsNow interview. “‘Are they going to tell them about the thousands who end up hospitalized with ruptured ectopic pregnancies or with hemorrhaging?’”

In view of the sole purpose for the drug’s marketing and use, it cannot be argued that such risks are outweighed by any benefit.

One by One

PLANNED PARENTHOOD HAS HAD TO CLOSE AN ABORTUARY in Silver Spring, Maryland, reports Cheryl Sullenger in a column for Operation Rescue (OR), “after the property’s management team realized that abortion is bad for business.”

The shop had perpetrated surgical abortions at the facility for more than 20 years in the same office, but a “narrowly targeted educational campaign,” writes Ms. Sullenger, “persuaded the property management company not to renew Planned Parenthood’s lease.”

The closing “comes just days after Planned Parenthood in Easton, Pennsylvania, announced,” reports OR, “it would shut down on March 30.”

Some of the Texas abortuaries which closed after the state tightened health-and-safety regulations have begun, however, to reopen, in the wake of court rulings striking down the sensible legislation.

Still, OR president Troy Newman declared in Ms. Sullenger’s report: “‘Twenty-one abortion facilities shut down in Texas as the result of HB-2, and the vast majority of them will never reopen. … For nearly four years, those 21 abortion businesses were prohibited from killing babies, and as a result, the abortion rate dramatically dropped in Texas, saving thousands of lives. Those closures will continue to spare lives through the coming years.’”

How a Judge Is Supposed to Act

Excerpt from March 23, 2017, Washington Update by Tony Perkins, president, Family Research Council

            If you thought your job interview was tough, try being Neil Gorsuch. The President’s Supreme Court pick has spent three grueling days under the microscope of nitpicking Democrats who seem more interested in finding a super-legislator than a replacement for Antonin Scalia. Today, after hours of grilling, the 49-year old finally got a breather from the hot seat, where liberals desperately tried to pin him down on political topics meant to draw out his personal opinions. He didn’t take the bait.

            “I’ve declined to offer any promises, hints or previews of how I’d resolve any case,” Gorsuch told them. “When I put on the robe,” he explained on day one, “I am also reminded that under our Constitution, it is for this body, the people’s representatives, to make new laws … and for neutral and independent judges to apply the law in the people’s disputes. If judges were just secret legislators, declaring not what the law is but what they would like it to be, the very idea of a government by the people and for the people would be at risk.”

            For Gorsuch, the frustration with judicial activism runs deep. Twelve years ago, he blasted the Left for using the courts, not elected officials, to advance its “social agenda.” More than a decade later, liberals like Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are quite open about their cozy relationship with the courts, gushing that they never could have redefined marriage otherwise. Enter Gorsuch, who shows the kind of deference for the Constitution that his job calls for, and liberals come unglued. In announcing his opposition earlier today, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) actually used Gorsuch’s restraint as a reason to vote no! Amazingly, points to “serious concerns about Judge Gorsuch’s rigid judicial philosophy.” That’s exactly why the US Senate should confirm him!

House Voting Record

H-Res-123 – Rule for consideration of HJ-Res-43 Overturning Obama Regulation Forcing States to Fund Planned Parenthood – Procedural motion to close debate on Rule – Feb. 15­, 2017 – Passed – 233-190 (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, Rutherford, Webster, Yoho/FL; Allen, Collins, Ferguson, Graves, Hice, Loudermilk, A.Scott, Woodall/GA; Labrador, Simpson/ID; Bost, 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, 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, Bera, Brownley, Carbajal, Cardenas, Chu, Correa, Costa, Davis, DeSaulnier, Eshoo, Garamendi, Huffman, Khanna, Lee, Lieu, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Matsui, McNerney, Napolitano, Panetta, Pelosi, 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, Frankel, Hastings, Lawson, Murphy, Wasserman-Schultz, Wilson/FL; Bishop, Johnson, Lewis, D.Scott/GA; Gabbard, Hanabusa/HI; Bustos, D.Davis, Foster, Gutierrez, Kelly, Krishnamoorthi, Lipinski, Quigley, Rush, Schakowsky, Schneider/IL; Carson, Visclosky/IN; Loebsack/IA; Yarmuth/KY; Richmond/LA; Pingree/ME; Brown, 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, Sires, Watson-Coleman/NJ; Lujan, Lujan-Grisham/NM; Clarke, Crowley, Engel, Espaillat, Higgins, Jeffries, Lowey, C.Maloney, S.Maloney, Meeks, Meng, Nadler, Rice, Serrano, Slaughter, Suozzi, 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: Soto/FL; Carter/GA; R.Davis/IL; Cummings/MD; Zinke/MT; Payne/NJ; Mulvaney/SC; Poe/TX; Ryan/WI.