Life Advocacy Briefing

October 9, 2017

Pain-Capable Abortion Ban Clears House
Ladies for Life Speak Up / Betrayed / Taking a Stand
Still Waiting / Beyond Question / House Voting Record
Endorsing Precious Lives

Pain-Capable Abortion Ban Clears House

THE U.S. HOUSE VOTED LAST TUESDAY to send the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HR-36) to the US Senate; we are publishing the roll call near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing. This major pro-life proposal, which would outlaw abortions past the fifth month of a baby’s gestation, has passed the House in previous sessions of Congress, only to be turned down in the Senate.

In those previous sessions, of course, the Life-saving measure would have been vetoed by Pres. Barack Obama if the Senate had passed it, judging by Mr. Obama’s consistent public record of antipathy to preborn American children. In the case of the current proposal – offered by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) – Pres. Donald Trump has reportedly pledged to sign the bill if it arrives at his desk.

For that to happen, the Senate Majority Leader and his more hide-bound Members would likely have to yield from their embrace of the 60-vote cloture rule which thwarts even consideration of proposals that would pass with a normal majority of Senators. We are not holding our breath for this course change, even for a major pro-life proposal.

Nevertheless, with re-election contests facing a significant number of Democratic Senators next year in states which now have Republican governors or GOP-controlled legislatures – signaling potentially challenging election battles – calls from constituents to their own Senators could be productive, even to Senators whose party platform is miserably pro-abortion. We can always hope a dawn of common sense – or political wisdom – could break upon enough Senate Democrats to make up the magic 60. Calls favoring passage of HR-36 can be placed via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121; the House having warmly endorsed this pro-life reform, calls to the Senate are in order any time now.

After all, the proposal does enjoy the backing, the Senators should be reminded, of substantial majorities of Americans. Dave Andrusko, writing in National Right to Life News Today, summarizes “a nationwide poll taken Election Day by The polling company, inc./WomanTrend for the Susan B. Anthony List [which] found almost two-thirds support” for the proposal “– well more than double those who opposed: 64% to 28%.” Among “millennial” voters, notes Mr. Andrusko, the poll found “78% support” for the measure.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has indicated he will file the Senate version of the bill, as he did in the 2013-14 and 2015-16 Congressional sessions.

Ladies for Life Speak Up

DEBATE ON THE PAIN-CAPABLE RESCUE proposal was dominated – on the pro-life side – by articulate pro-life ladies who have been sent to DC by voters in recent years.

Missouri’s Rep. Ann Wagner (R) “showed her colleagues a large ultrasound image of her granddaughter at 17 weeks old,” reports Claire Chretien for And, notes Ms. Chretien, she “explain[ed] her heartbeat began three weeks after conception and she began kicking her mother at seven weeks old.” (That is true, we would note, for every Member of the US House as well, whether designated “R” or “D.”)

And GOP Rep. Mia Love of Utah “noted the [current] law’s ‘double standard,’” reports Ms. Chretien, “in how it treats pre-born babies. It’s double homicide to kill a pregnant woman, yet abortion isn’t considered murder, she noted. ‘This begs the question: when does the unborn have a right to protection just like their mother?’ asked [Rep.] Love.”

Rep. Liz Cheney, a first-termer from Wyoming and the daughter of the former GOP Vice President, weighed in as well, noting, writes Ms. Chretien, “that in a ‘very unusual step,’ the Congressional Budget Office determined the bill would save at least 2,000 lives.”

Declared newly elected Rep. Karen Handel (R-GA), who came to the House via special election this summer: “‘HR-36 is humane legislation, for innocent babies and for mothers,’” reports Ms. Chretien. “At 20 weeks,” she said, “babies ‘can hear music,’ and ‘they can even respond to human voices. … This bill,’” noted Rep. Handel, “‘reflects today’s medical understanding about a baby’s ability to feel pain.’”

The lady from North Carolina, Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx said, reports Ms. Chretien, “she considers it her ‘solemn duty’ to stand up for life. ‘We must care for these unborn children, not cruelly inflict pain … by treating them as objects.’” Amen.


ILLINOIS PRO-LIFERs ARE STUNNED by the Sept. 28 action of their GOP governor, Bruce Rauner, in signing into law a measure which forces taxpayers to underwrite elective abortions via Medicaid and state employee health benefits.

As a state whose legislature for decades was bipartisan in repeated passage of pro-life legislation and consistent resistance to the abortion lobby, Illinois has fallen a long way. Democratic lawmakers in both houses are primarily – though not exclusively – pro-abortion; Republicans in both houses united in opposing the anti-Hyde legislation, faithfully, in this case, following the state GOP platform.

Yet the governor – who had pledged to veto the measure last spring while the bill was being debated in the legislature – signed the radical proposal despite having benefited from his own party’s pro-life posture.

All seven of the Republican Congressmen from Illinois issued a statement last week tying their support for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to their rejection of their governor’s action. 

“In a reversal of long-standing Illinois policy,” concludes the statement led by US Rep. Peter Roskam, “Gov. Rauner has let down Illinois taxpayers and the unborn by signing [IL] HB-40. Today,” reads the statement, “the Illinois delegation stands together in our support of HR-36 to protect human life.”

Rep. Roskam, who succeeded the late Rep. Henry Hyde upon his retirement, was joined in the statement by Representatives Mike Bost, Rodney Davis, Randy Hultgren, John Shimkus, Adam Kinzinger and Darin LaHood.

Taking a Stand

FINALLY A ‘LIFE’ ISSUE ON WHICH MORE THAN THREE HOUSE DEMOCRATS can take a stand in favor of preserving the human race! Five House Democrats are co-sponsoring with Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH)a “sense-of-the-Congress” resolution opposing doctor-abetted suicide. Introduced Sept. 26, the resolution is currently residing in the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, which has yet to schedule action on it.

The Wenstrup resolution, HConRes-80, contains lengthy language supporting its conclusion and urges “that the federal government should ensure that every person facing the end of their life has access to the best quality and comprehensive medical care, including palliative, in-home or hospice care, tailored to their needs, and that the federal government should not adopt or endorse policies or practices that support, encourage or facilitate suicide or assisted suicide, whether by physicians or others.”

The co-sponsors, at this writing, include GOP Representatives Darin LaHood (IL), Ralph Abraham (LA), Andy Harris (MD) and Keith Rothfus (PA). Plus Democratic Representatives Luis Correa & Juan Vargas (CA), Dan Lipinski (IL), Thomas Suozzi (NY) and James Langevin (RI); of that group, only Rep. Lipinski has shown an inclination to protect human beings before their birth.

All the sponsors participated in a news conference announcing the resolution and issued a statement, quoted by a report in National Right to Life News Today, which included the following point: “‘When governments support, encourage or facilitate suicide – whether assisted by physicians or other – we devalue our fellow citizens, our fellow human beings. That should not be who we are.’”

Introduction of the Congressional resolution followed shortly after the American College of Physicians, which MercatorNet editor Michael Cook identifies as “the second largest physician group in the US,” issued its own declaration that doctor-abetted suicide is “unethical.” The ACP statement, notes Mr. Cook, appears “in the latest issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.”

Still Waiting

Oct. 3, 2017, memo from Liberty Counsel

            The US Senate Judiciary Committee recently learned that the FBI confirmed that it received the criminal investigation referrals of Planned Parenthood and other groups involved in the aborted baby-body-parts trade, according to Breitbart News.

            The FBI’s assistant director of the Office of Congressional Affairs, Gregory Brower, sent a letter to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley [R-IA], informing him the FBI received the committee’s criminal referrals of Planned Parenthood and that it is reviewing its recommendations. The letter, dated June 19, 2017, was never publicized by the Judiciary Committee. In the letter, Brower apologizes to Grassley “for the delay in responding to your inquiry” and indicates receipt of the chairman’s letter, dated April 24, to both former FBI Director James Comey and Atty. General Jeff Sessions “concerning criminal referrals you made on Dec. 13, 2016, to the FBI and Dept. of Justice.”

            The Senate committee and the US House Select Panel on Infant Lives both opened investigations into the abortion industry after the Center for Medical Progress [CMP] first exposed its baby-body-parts trade in 2015. Late last year, both committees concluded their investigations by recommending that the FBI investigate and potentially file criminal charges against Planned Parenthood.

            Liberty Counsel represents Sandra Merritt, one of the two journalists with the CMP, whose courageous undercover work exposed Planned Parenthood’s barbaric practices of harvesting organs from babies and selling them to StemExpress and other organ procurement organizations for extreme profit. The videos show Planned Parenthood officials selling the body parts of aborted babies, flippantly negotiating prices and criminal abortion methods to sell aborted baby hearts, lungs, livers and brains.

Beyond Question

Sept. 26, 2017, statement by US Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), reprinted from National Right to Life News Today

            Pain. We all dread it. We avoid it. We fear it. Our healthcare providers, who have taken an oath to “do no harm,” go to extraordinary lengths to mitigate the severity and duration of pain.

            And yet, it is currently legal in the United States to not only kill very young children but to inflict excruciating pain on them as well. Abortionists all over America decapitate, dismember and chemically poison babies to death each and every day.

            The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is a modest but necessary attempt to at least protect babies who are 20 weeks old – and pain-capable – from having to suffer and die from abortion. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act recognizes the medical evidence that unborn children feel pain.

            It is no wonder that 60% of Americans believe that abortion should not be permitted after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is shocking that the United States is one of only seven countries on Earth – including North Korea and [Red] China – that allows abortion-on-demand after 20 weeks.

            American citizens and nearly every other nation recognize the truth; it is past time for our nation to do the right thing and end this violence against children.

House Voting Record

HR-36 – Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act – Final Passage – Oct. 3, 2017 – Passed – 237-189 (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, Carter, 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, Scalise/LA; Poliquin/ME; Harris/MD; Amash, Bergman, Bishop, Huizenga, Mitchell, Moolenaar, Trott, Upton, Walberg/MI; Emmer, Lewis, Paulsen, Peterson/MN; Harper, Kelly, Palazzo/MS; Graves, Hartzler, Luetkemeyer, Smith, Wagner/MO; Gianforte/MT; Bacon, Fortenberry, Smith/NE; Amodei/NV; 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; Cole, Lucas, Mullin, Russell/OK; Walden/OR; Barletta, Costello, Fitzpatrick, Kelly, Marino, Meehan, 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, Cuellar, 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, 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, Gomez, 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, Larson/CT; Blunt-Rochester/DE; Castor, Crist, Demings, Deutch, Frankel, Hastings, Lawson, 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/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, Cleaver/MO; Kuster, Shea-Porter/NH; Frelinghuysen, Gottheimer, Norcross, Pallone, Pascrell, Payne, 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, Dent, Doyle, Evans/PA; Cicilline, Langevin/RI; Clyburn/SC; Cohen, Cooper/TN; Castro, 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: Himes/CT; Loudermilk/GA; Long/MO; Kihuen, Rosen, Titus/NV; Bridenstine/OK; Ryan/WI.

Endorsing Precious Lives

Oct. 1, 2017, Statement by Pres. Donald J. Trump on Down Syndrome Awareness Month

            During Down Syndrome Awareness Month, we celebrate the significant contributions that people with Down syndrome make to their families, to their communities and to our nation. We also salute the family members, caregivers, medical professionals and advocates who have dedicated themselves to ensuring that these extraordinary people enjoy lives filled with love and increasing opportunity. As a result of these remarkable efforts, people with Down syndrome are living longer, more enriching lives than ever before.

            This month we renew our nation’s strong commitment to promoting the health, well-being and inherent dignity of all children and adults with Down syndrome. Through sustained advancements in education, research and advocacy, we will further empower those with Down syndrome to pursue the American Dream of independence, pride in work and full participation in civil society. We will also continue to increase public awareness regarding the true nature of this condition and to dispel the stubborn myths about the degree to which it is disabling.

            Sadly, there remain too many people – both in the United States and throughout the world – that still see Down syndrome as an excuse to ignore or discard human life. This sentiment is and will always be tragically misguided. We must always be vigilant in defending and promoting the unique and special gifts of all citizens in need. We should not tolerate any discrimination against them, as all people have inherent dignity.

            The approximately 250,000 Americans with Down syndrome truly embody the great spirit of our nation. They inspire joy, kindness and wonder in our families, our workplaces and our communities. We will always endeavor to make sure that their precious gifts are never maligned or taken for granted.