Life Advocacy Briefing

September 25, 2017

ObamaCare Replacement Back Up in Senate
Spending Battle Looming in Senate? / House Acts for Life
Blumenthal Dream America’s Nightmare
President’s Son Recoils from Abortion Truth
House Voting Record / Is ObamaCare Nightmare Ending?

ObamaCare Replacement Back Up in Senate

THE CLOCK IS TICKING, as this is written, on the newly fashioned effort to “repeal and replace” ObamaCare, as the massive government healthcare coverage framework teeters toward collapse. If the Senate – where deliberation is currently centered – fails to muster 50 votes for the latest iteration of the legislation by Oct. 1, the filibuster-proof “reconciliation” process is no longer available in the near term. And the next “reconciliation” available under the Budget Reform Act is likely to be needed for tax reform.

The current ObamaCare alternative proposal has been advanced by GOP Senators Bill Cassidy (LA) and Lindsey Graham (SC), who were accompanied by pro-life champion former Sen. Rick Santorum. Included in this proposal – as in the previous one which was rejected in narrow defeat – is a provision excluding abortionists like Planned Parenthood from federal funding, reallocating Planned Parenthood’s half-billion-dollar grants and contracts to federally qualified community health centers, which do not commit abortions and do offer more comprehensive care.

The Graham/Cassidy proposal is based on shifting healthcare underwriting policies to the states and excludes subsidization of health insurance plans which cover abortions.

We encourage our readers to review the Family Research Council’s Washington Update commentary which we have reprinted at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing for more details. Those who wish to encourage their Senators to vote for the measure may do so by calling via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121.

Spending Battle Looming in Senate?

THE SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE HAS ADVANCED a Fiscal Year 2018 State & Foreign Operations Appropriation bill which, reports Lisa Correnti for the Center for Family & Human Rights (C-Fam), “would wipe out all of Pres. Donald J. Trump’s pro-life protections in foreign aid.”

The poison pill came in the form of an amendment by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) “that reverses the prohibition on overseas abortion funds,” reports Ms. Correnti, “increases [overseas] family planning funding and restores funding to the controversial United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).”

The amendment was adopted on a 16-to-15 vote, drawing support from GOP Senators Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) and was opposed by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (WV).  (Mrs. Collins has recently hinted at a possible 2018 run for governor of Maine; unfortunately, she would not have to give up her Senate seat unless she actually won the post.)

Should the Senate fail to overturn the Shaheen amendment when it considers the measure on the floor, it would, notes Ms. Correnti, “restore $37.5 million in funding to UNFPA and increase international family planning to $623 million, a $161 million increase over the House bill. The House State & Foreign Operations bill capped family planning at 2007 levels,” she reports, a still unacceptable “$461 million, and eliminated any funding to UNFPA,” whose complicity in Red China’s depopulation pogrom has long been known.

House Acts for Life

THE U.S. HOUSE VOTED in mid-September on a major appropriation bill, HR-3354, in which several pro-life provisions had been included. Because the measure incorporated a host of unrelated matters, we will not be publishing the final-passage roll call for the “Make America Secure & Prosperous Appropriations Act,” but we will publish the House voting records on two amendments which were considered in full House debate (one this week; the second in a future edition).

The first Life-related floor amendment was offered by second-term Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL). It was adopted by a vote of 214 to 194; several Members were absent because of their need to be in their hurricane-ravaged home states.

The Palmer Amendment constituted a Congressional veto – provided for in the Constitution because of the District of Columbia’s unique status as the nation’s capital – of a vicious local law enacted late last year and titled the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act. The ordinance forces DC-based pro-life organizations and faith-based employers to make employment decisions without regard to the views of their workers or prospects. Groups like Family Research Council or National Right to Life Committee, both of which are headquartered in DC, would have been forced to hire or retain radical anti-Life, anti-family staff.

Also voted on in the House on Sept. 14 was an amendment by DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes-Norton, who is granted certain privileges in the House – such as offering amendments – despite her lack of voting status as a Member. The radical Democrat sought, reports Jennifer Popik JD for National Right to Life News Today (NRTL/NT), “to restore the so-called ‘budget autonomy’ law enacted by local officials of the District of Columbia. … The Norton Amendment would have allowed District officials to hijack over $8 billion annually in funds that the Constitution and the Home Rule Act place under Congressional authority, opening the door to use of these funds to pay for elective abortions or other illicit purposes.” Mrs. Norton’s effort fell by a vote of 186 to 222, again with several hurricane-induced absences.

Pro-life provisions incorporated in the bill itself – without respect to amendments – were listed by Dr. Popik in NRTL/NT. They include a “new provision [to] prevent federal funding for fetal tissue research from induced abortion. Additionally,” she reports, “there is a provision to defund abortion providers receiving large federal grants, including Planned Parenthood … . Another provision eliminates funding for the Title X [Ten] Family Planning Program, wherein Planned Parenthood receives a large sum of money in most states.”

Another provision relating to the District of Columbia is a reform offered by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) which, reports Dr. Popik, “would nullify DC’s dangerous and recently enacted assisted suicide law.”

And a new section relates to the Conscience Protection Act, which, Dr. Popik explains, “would prohibit any level of government from mandating that healthcare providers participate in abortion. That would protect doctors, nurses, hospitals and health plans,” writes Dr. Popik, “and employers who purchase the plans. Most importantly,” she adds, “the language in the Conscience Protection Act empowers those who are affected by abortion mandates to file private lawsuits in federal courts without the need for intervention by the pro-abortion activists who draw paychecks at the federal Dept. of Health & Human Services.”

Because both houses have already adopted a Continuing Resolution to fund the government until mid-December, Senate action on HR-3354 is unlikely in the next few weeks, but the House passage of the measure with its pro-life provisions does establish the House’s negotiating posture in appropriations deliberations with the Senate leading up to the mid-December expiration of the current funding authority.

Blumenthal Dream America’s Nightmare

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT) USED HIS COLLEAGUE’s NEWS CONFERENCE launching his “single-payer” (read: outright socialized) medicine plan to tout his own embrace of taxpayer-funded, regulation-free abortion on demand.

When the Senate Democrats’ admitted Socialist, Bernie Sanders (VT), was joined by Mr. Blumenthal at his “Medicare for All Act” news conference, the Connecticut Democrat declared, writes Matt Hadro for Catholic News Agency (CNA), “the bill would protect women’s ‘reproductive rights’ and would do away with the Hyde Amendment, a long-standing federal policy prohibiting tax dollars from paying for elective abortions.

“‘I want to single out two groups of people,’” Mr. Blumenthal declared, quoted by Mr. Hadro. “‘Number one, the women of America. They have been denied health care for too long because of restrictions like the Hyde Amendment,’ [Sen.] Blumenthal said. ‘Consider the Hyde Amendment history if we pass Medicare for All, and all those other restrictions on reproductive rights,’ he said,” writes Mr. Hadro.

Apparently the Sanders version of socialized medicine is also the Sanders version of the old, oft-rejected “Freedom of Choice Act,” at least according to the Blumenthal vision of justice and mercy.

But then, as Mr. Hadro notes, the Blumenthal dream apparently mirrors that of his party – or at least of the pooh-bahs who participated in the Democratic National Convention of 2016. “Democrats,” writes Mr. Hadro, “called for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment in their party’s platform.

“‘We believe unequivocally, like the majority [sic] of Americans,’” the platform claimed, “‘that every woman should have access to quality reproductive healthcare services, including safe and legal abortion – regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes or how she is insured,’” reports Mr. Hadro. “‘We will continue to oppose – and seek to overturn – federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment.’”

President’s Son Recoils from Abortion Truth

IT’s NICE TO KNOW that the truth about abortion can settle in if offered – even in high places.

When Donald Trump Jr. saw a Twitter message from the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), reports Claire Chretien for, which “contained a petition to defund Planned Parenthood,” he reacted to a quote from “a late-term abortion worker … saying, ‘they come out crying and looking for their mama.’”

In a responding “tweet,” the President’s son wrote, reports Ms. Chretien, “‘I don’t care what side of the [aisle] you sit on regarding the issue. … If true, we should all agree that this is disgusting and sub human.’”

The message prompted Ms. Chretien to recall and reprint a retort to Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton from Mr. Trump’s father, the GOP nominee, during a televised debate in October, 2016.
“[Mrs.] Clinton’s support of late-term abortion means ‘you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month on the final day’ of pregnancy,” now-President Trump said, writes Ms. Chretien. “‘If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby,’ said [Mr.] Trump. ‘It’s not okay with me.’”

Pres. Trump concluded that segment of the debate, Ms. Chretien reported on Oct. 19, 2016: “‘Honestly, nobody has business doing what I just said, doing that as late as one or two or three or four days prior to birth; nobody has that.’”

House Voting Record

Palmer Amendment to HR-3354 – Overturning District of Columbia’s “Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act” forcing pro-life organizations to employ anti-life workers – Sept. 14, 2017 – Passed – 214-194 (Democrats in italics) (new Members in ALL CAPS)

Voting “yes” / pro-Life: Aderholt, Brooks, Byrne, Palmer, Roby, Rogers/AL; Young/AK; Biggs, Franks, Schweikert/AZ; Crawford, Hill, Westerman, Womack/AR; Calvert, Cook, Denham, Hunter, Issa, Knight, LaMalfa, McCarthy, McClintock, Nunes, Rohrabacher, Royce, Valadao, Walters/CA; Buck, Lamborn, Tipton/CO; Bilirakis, Buchanan, DeSantis, Dunn, Gaetz, Mast, Webster/FL; Allen, Collins, Ferguson, Graves, HANDEL, Hice, A.Scott, Woodall/GA; Labrador, Simpson/ID; Bost, R.Davis, Hultgren, Kinzinger, LaHood, Lipinski, Roskam, Shimkus/IL; Banks, Brooks, Bucshon, Hollingsworth, Messer, Rokita, Walorski/IN; Blum, King, Young/IA; ESTES, Jenkins, Marshall, Yoder/KS; Barr, Comer, Guthrie, Massie, Rogers/KY; Abraham, Graves, Higgins, Johnson/LA; Harris/MD; Amash, Bergman, Bishop, Huizenga, Mitchell, Moolenaar, Trott, Upton, Walberg/MI; Emmer, Lewis, Paulson, Peterson/MN; Harper, Kelly, Palazzo/MS; Hartzler, Long, Luetkemeyer, Smith, Wagner/MO; GIANFORTE/MT; Bacon, Fortenberry, Smith/NE; Amodei/NV; Frelinghuysen, Lance, LoBiondo, MacArthur, Smith/NJ; Pearce/NM; Collins, Donovan, Faso, King, 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, Turner, Wenstrup/OH; Cole, Lucas, Mullin, Russell/OK; Walden/OR; Barletta, Kelly, Marino, Murphy, Perry, Rothfus, Shuster, Smucker, Thompson/PA; Duncan, Gowdy, NORMAN, 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, Love, Stewart/UT; Brat, Comstock, 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, McSally, O’Halleran, Sinema/AZ; Aguilar, Barragan, Bass, Bera, Brownley, Carbajal, Cardenas, Chu, Correa, Davis, DeSaulnier, Eshoo, Garamendi, GOMEZ, Huffman, Khanna, Lee, Lieu, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Matsui, McNerney, Napolitano, Panetta, Peters, Roybal-Allard, Ruiz, Sanchez, Schiff, Sherman, Speier, Swalwell, Takano, Thompson, Torres, Vargas, Waters/CA; Coffman, DeGette, Perlmutter, Polis/CO; Courtney, Esty, Himes/CT; Blunt-Rochester/DE; Castor, Curbelo, Demings, Deutch, Hastings, Murphy, Soto, Wasserman-Schultz, Wilson/FL; Bishop, Johnson, Lewis, D.Scott/GA; Gabbard, Hanabusa/HI; Bustos, D.Davis, Foster, Gutierrez, Kelly, Krishnamoorthi, Quigley, Rush, Schakowsky, Schneider/IL; Carson, Visclosky/IN; Loebsack/IA; Yarmuth/KY; Richmond/LA; Pingree,Poliquin/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, Walz/MN; Thompson/MS; Clay/MO; Kihuen, Rosen, Titus/NV; Kuster, Shea-Porter/NH; Gottheimer, 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, Reed, Rice, Serrano, Slaughter, Stefanik, Suozzi, Tonko, Velazquez/NY; Adams, Butterfield, Price/NC; Beatty, Fudge, Kaptur, Ryan/OH; Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio, Schrader/OR; Boyle, Brady, Cartwright, Costello, Dent, Doyle, Evans, Fitzpatrick, Meehan/PA; Cicilline, Langevin/RI; 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: Gosar/AZ; Costa, Pelosi/CA; DeLauro, Larson/CT; Crist, Diaz-Balart, Frankel, Lawson, Posey, F.Rooney, T.Rooney, Ros-Lehtinen, Ross, Rutherford, Yoho/FL; Carter, Loudermilk/GA; Scalise/LA; Cleaver, Graves/MO; Tiberi/OH; Bridenstine/OK; Clyburn/SC; Garrett/VA; Ryan/WI.

Is ObamaCare Nightmare Ending?

Sept. 14, 2017, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            After eight years of promises, Senate GOP leaders continue to scramble to put an end to what Pres. Trump often describes as the “nightmare” of ObamaCare. Yesterday, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced a replace bill that gets rid of ObamaCare’s individual and employer mandates and sends block grants to the states. States would be allowed to use their block grants to create innovative state-specific programs to provide health insurance.

            Pres. Trump praised the Senators “for continuing to work toward a solution to relieve the disastrous ObamaCare burden on the American people. … I sincerely hope that Senators Graham and Cassidy have found a way to address the ObamaCare crisis.” The President is right. ObamaCare has been a nightmare everywhere you look – and that is especially true for unborn children, more of whom lose their lives every day that repeal is delayed.

            Family Research Council endorses the Graham/Cassidy bill because it reapplies to federal healthcare law the principle contained in the Hyde Amendment, that abortion is not health care and should not be subsidized, removes taxpayer funding from certain abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, allows states to opt out of the coercive HHS contraception mandate and provides better state-based health insurance solutions for families than ObamaCare.

            In a stark contrast yesterday, Senate Democrats led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) and Richard Blumenthal (CT) unveiled a healthcare plan that would, in Blumenthal’s words, get rid of “restrictions like the Hyde Amendment. Consider the Hyde Amendment history. And all those other restrictions on reproductive rights.”

            You read that right. Senate Democrats, if given the opportunity, would wipe away “all” of the hard-fought pro-life advances of the past 44 years – including the decades-old bipartisan Hyde Amendment which, in most cases, prevents taxpayers from being forced to pay for abortions. You may find it hard to believe that a politician is so bold in calling for forced taxpayer funding of abortion, but Blumenthal is just echoing what is in the most extreme pro-abortion party platform in history. But the Democratic Party is way out of step with 61% of Americans who are opposed to it. …

            The time for results is now. Lives depend on it.