Life Advocacy Briefing

December 18, 2017

Off ’til January / Justice Sought / Out of Business!
Backing Out of the Business / Truth in our Roots
Voting Record Index – Senate – 1st Session 115th Congress

Off ’til January

THE EDITORIAL TEAM for Life Advocacy Briefing wish all our readers a blessed Christmas and happy celebration of the new year. Since both these holidays fall this year on Mondays – our publication day – we anticipate not publishing again until our Jan. 8, 2018, edition.

In addition to some good news in this edition, we publish our annual Voting Record Index for the US Senate. We hope our readers find it useful. It includes all the Senate voting records we published in Life Advocacy Briefing this year. Expect the 2017 House Index in one of our first editions in 2018.

Looking forward to a pro-life victory year as we close out this one. Thank you for standing with us.

Justice Sought

THE U.S. JUSTICE DEPT. HAS OPENED AN INVESTIGATION – at long last – into Planned Parenthood and its involvement in the trafficking of aborted baby body parts, documented in an undercover video investigation by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), which released the first of its findings in the summer of 2015.

The Justice Dept. probe was sought not only by the pro-life community but also by investigatory committees of the House and the Senate, whose referrals were ignored by the Justice Dept. under then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The Congressional panels have undertaken their own probes and found credible evidence of violations of federal law criminalizing the sale of tissue from aborted babies. Some of the evidence developed by CMP also points to violation of the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act relating to the methods of abortion undertaken to produce untainted organs.

News of the probe broke when Fox News reported having “obtained a letter,” reports Claire Chretien for, from Stephen Boyd, who is an Assistant Atty. General for Legislative Affairs, to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The letter, Ms. Chretien reports, “asked for unredacted documents” from the panel’s own investigation of Planned Parenthood.

The news drew delight from Abby Johnson, a pro-life leader who came out of the Planned Parenthood operation, for which she was a “clinic” manager in Texas. “‘Planned Parenthood has actively participated in illegal activity,’” she told Ms. Chretien, “‘selling the body parts of aborted babies in exchange for profit. … They’ve lied,’” she declared, “‘to the very women they purport to fight for. I saw it first-hand when I worked for the abortion giant, and yet they still manage to obtain over half-a-billion dollars a year in our tax dollars.’”

CMP’s undercover videos, notes Ms. Chretien, “showed the abortion industry admitting the humanity of preborn babies in the womb by discussing their brains, livers and other organs.” Indeed, if they were not human, what good would their organs be for medical research undertaken by Nazistic scientists?

“‘The stark evidence points to the need for this further Dept. of Justice investigation to uncover the entire truth about Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby body parts,’ said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council,” quoted by Ms. Chretien. “‘The fact that DOJ is requesting unredacted information shows they are serious about its investigation.’”

Not only should DOJ findings aid in Congressional efforts to defund Planned Parenthood – long overdue and now threatened by the tightening of the already-tight party split in the US Senate – but results of the probe could – and should – result in prosecution of the abortion industry’s chief operator.

Out of Business!

MEANWHILE, ON THE WEST COAST, two California “bioscience” companies that, reports Fr. Mark Hodges for, “illegally trafficked aborted baby body parts for profit have been walloped with a $7.8 million settlement and told to close shop forever” in their home state.

The settlement comes in a suit filed by the Orange County district attorney’s office just a year after the office opened its own investigation after DV Biologics and DaVinci Biosciences were exposed as baby body parts profiteers in undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).

“‘This settlement seized all profits from DV Biologics and DaVinci Biosciences which they acquired by viewing body parts as a commodity,’” District Atty. Tony Rackauckas said in a statement quoted by Fr. Hodges, “‘and illegally selling fetal tissues for valuable consideration. … These companies,’” he added in the LifeSiteNews story, “‘will never be able to operate again in Orange County or the state of California.’ …

“Terms of the $7.785-million settlement signed [Dec. 11] include,” writes Fr. Hodges, “both research companies closing within 60-120 days. Both must also admit criminal liability for violating state and federal laws. … District Atty. Rackauckas explained,” reports Fr. Hodges, “‘This lawsuit is aimed at taking the profit out of selling baby body parts.’”

Backing Out of the Business

A MEDICAL WASTE HAULING BUSINESS HAS CEASED contracting with abortuaries. Specific Waste Industries “confirmed,” reports Lisa Bourne for, “that it no longer contracts with abortion centers.” The outfit had contracted with abortuaries in the Midwest and with Kentucky’s only remaining abortuary, EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville.

“‘We have discontinued our contract with them,’ a staffer said on the phone,” reports Ms. Bourne. “When asked again for confirmation, she said, ‘No, we are no longer in service with them.’ When asked if there are other abortion centers that the company contracts with, the staffer replied, ‘No.’”

Created Equal is conducting a campaign to separate abortuaries from service companies. “The campaign,” writes Ms. Bourne, “is fueled by the logic that if abortionists cannot dispose of the babies they abort, they may be forced to stop offering the procedure altogether. …

“‘We remain committed to ending abortion,’” said Created Equal’s national director Mark Harrington in the LifeSiteNews story. “‘Persuading every enabler of abortion to dump Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry altogether is one of many means to accomplish that goal.’”

Truth in our Roots

Dec. 6, 2017, commentary by former Reagan domestic policy chief Gary Bauer to his Campaign for Working Families

           It’s the Christmas season, and there’s a new museum opening just at the right time in Washington, DC – the Museum of the Bible. If you are planning to come to our nation’s capital anytime soon, you have to find time to visit the new Museum of the Bible.

           Of course, Washington’s movers and shakers don’t know quite how to handle the museum. Our liberal newspaper, the Washington Post, has run several articles taking shots at it.

           While the DC crowd is hyperventilating, they might want to simply take a stroll around the city. They will discover the overwhelming evidence of the Bible’s influence on our government.

           Take the US Capitol Building. In one hallway, a famous line from America the Beautiful is on the wall. It reads: “America, God shed His grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.”

           In the Capitol Building’s chapel – yes, there is a chapel in the US Capitol – there is a stained glass window depicting George Washington in prayer.

           And speaking of George Washington, the Washington Monument which dominates the skyline of the city has on its capstone a Latin phrase – Laus Deo – meaning, “Praise be to God.”

           The Jefferson Memorial, honoring our nation’s third President, features this quote on the northeast portico: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

           At the Lincoln Memorial, several of our 16th President’s most notable speeches are displayed. One is Lincoln’s Second Inaugural address. It’s only 703 words long, but Lincoln mentions God a dozen times and quotes the Bible twice.

           A few miles away at the Supreme Court, where religious liberty has been under attack, the Bible ironically is on prominent display. Images of Moses with the Ten Commandments adorn several parts of the building including the actual courtroom. When the justices enter the chambers, a marshal announces, “God save the United States and this honorable court.”

           My point is this: The Museum of the Bible fits right into Washington, DC, alongside of America’s historic record etched into the stones of Washington’s monuments.

Voting Record Index – Senate

ANTICIPATING THAT CONGRESS IS UNLIKELY to undertake Life-related votes before the new year, we have compiled our annual voting record index for United States Senators for the first year of the 115th Congress, 2017. The index takes into account every recorded Senate roll call which has been published in Life Advocacy Briefing as having an impact on the cause of Life.

We have attempted to achieve accuracy in our report and believe the index represents with fairness the Life-related voting record of every Senator.



  1. Motion to Proceed – SConRes 3 – Budget Reconciliation Act of 2017 including ObamaCare Repeal – Jan. 4, 2017 – Adopted 51-48 – S. Roll Call 1
  2. SConRes 3 – Budget Reconciliation Act of 2017 including ObamaCare Repeal – Jan. 12, 2017 – Adopted 51-48 – S. Roll Call 26
  3. Confirmation of Nikki Haley as US Amb. to UN – Jan. 24, 2017 – Confirmed 96-4 – S. Roll Call 33
  4. Motion to Close Debate on Confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Sec’y of Education – Feb. 3, 2017 – Adopted 52-48 – S. Roll Call 52
  5. Confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Sec’y of Education – Feb. 7, 2017 – Confirmed 51-50 (including tie-breaker by V.P. Pence) – S. Roll Call 54
  6. Motion to Close Debate on Confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Atty. Gen’l – Feb. 7, 2017 –  Adopted 52-47 – S. Roll Call 55
  7. Confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Atty. Gen’l – Feb. 8, 2017 – Confirmed 52-47 – S. Roll Call 59
  8. Confirmation of Tom Price as Sec’y of Health & Human Services – Feb. 10, 2017 – Confirmed 52-47 – S. Roll Call 61
  9. Motion to Proceed – HJRes 43 – Overturning Obama regulation forcing states to include abortionists in family planning spending – March 30, 2017 – Adopted 51-50 (including tie-breaker by V.P. Pence) – S. Roll Call 100  
  10. HJRes 43 – Overturning Obama regulation forcing states to include abortionists in family planning spending – March 30, 2017 – Adopted 51-50 (including tie-breaker by V.P. Pence) – S. Roll Call 101  
  11. Motion to proceed to Confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as Supreme Court Justice – April 4, 2017 – Adopted 55-44 – S. Roll Call 104
  12. Motion to end debate on Gorsuch nomination – April 6, 2017 – Lost 55-45 (needing 60) – S. Roll Call 105
  13. Reconsideration of Roll Call 105 – April 6, 2017 – Adopted 55-45 – S. Roll Call 106
  14. Schumer motion to delay Gorsuch nomination vote until April 24 – April 6, 2017 – Lost 48-52 – S. Roll Call 107
  15. Schumer motion to adjourn to block a procedural motion by McConnell on Gorsuch nomination – April 6, 2017 – Lost 48-52 – S. Roll Call 108
  16. McConnell motion to apply “nuclear option Reid rule” to reduce votes required for Supreme Court Justice nomination to Majority – April 6, 2017 – Adopted 52-48 – S. Roll Call 109
  17. Reconsidered close-debate motion to bring Gorsuch nomination to a vote – April 6, 2017 – Adopted 55-45 – S. Roll Call 110
  18. Confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court – April 7, 2017 – Confirmed 54-45 – S. Roll Call 111
  19. Confirmation of John Kenneth Bush to 6th Circuit Appellate Court – July 20, 2017 – Confirmed 51-47 – S. Roll Call 164
  20. Motion to Proceed to HR-1628 Repealing ObamaCare & Defunding Planned Parenthood – July 25, 2017 – Adopted 51-50 (including V.P. Pence) – S. Roll Call 167

  21. McConnell Perfecting Amendment to HR-1628 – July 28, 2017 – Rejected 49-51 – S. Roll Call 179
  22. Confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to 7th Circuit Appellate Court – Oct. 31, 2017 – Confirmed 55-43 – S. Roll Call 255
  23. Motion to end debate on Confirmation of Gregory Katsas to DC Circuit Appellate Court – Nov. 27, 2017 – Adopted 52-48 – S. Roll Call 282
  24. Confirmation of Gregory Katsas to DC Circuit Court – Nov. 28, 2017 – Adopted 50-48 – S. Roll Call 283


100% Pro-Life: Republicans Shelby/AL, Sullivan/AK, Flake/AZ, Boozman & Cotton/AR, Gardner/CO, Rubio/FL, Perdue/GA, Crapo & Risch/ID, Young/IN, Ernst & Grassley/IA, Moran & Roberts/KS, Cassidy/LA, 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/TN, Cornyn & Cruz/TX, Hatch & Lee/UT, Capito/WV, Johnson/WI, Barrasso & Enzi/WY; no Democrats. 

100% Pro-Life when voting (absences indicated by capital letters in parentheses after Member’s name): Republicans Isakson(K,R)/GA, Corker(X)/TN; no Democrats.  Sen. Sessions/AL voted 100% until leaving the Senate to join the Cabinet; he did vote “present” on F & G, related to his own nomination. His successor, Sen. Strange/AL, voted 100% after joining the Senate, having missed the roll calls on A-G.

Mostly Pro-Life (absences indicated by capital letters & anti-Life votes by lower-case letters in parentheses after Member’s name): Republicans Murkowski(i,j,t,u)/AK, McCain(S,X,u)/AZ, Paul(a,b)/KY, Kennedy(w,x)/LA, Collins(i,j,t,u)/ME; Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), as Majority Leader, on occasion voted opposite to the Pro-Life position because of the possibility that a “motion to reconsider” would be needed in the event of the failure of the motion on the floor. His record therefore appears “Mostly Pro-Life,” but readers should evaluate him as “100% Pro-Life.” 

Mostly Anti-Life (pro-Life votes by lower-case letters in parentheses after Member’s name): Democrats Bennet (c,k,l)/CO, Donnelly(c,k,l,m,q,r,v)/IN, Heitkamp(c,k,l,m,q,r)/ND, Kaine(c,v)/VA & Manchin(c,e,k,l,m,q,r,v,w,x)/WV; no Republicans. 

100% Anti-Life when voting except for pro-Life vote confirming Amb. Haley (c) (absences indicated by capital letters in parentheses after Member’s name): Democrats Feinstein(A,B) & Harris/CA, Blumenthal & Murphy/CT, Carper/DE, Nelson/FL, Hirono & Schatz/HI, Duckworth & Durbin/IL, King(I)/ME, Cardin & VanHollen/MD, Markey & Warren/MA, Peters & Stabenow(S)/MI, Franken & Klobuchar/MN, McCaskill(F,V)/MO, Tester/MT, Cortez-Masto(NV), Hassan & Shaheen/NH, Booker & Menendez(V)/NJ, Gillibrand & Schumer/NY, Brown/OH, Merkley & Wyden/OR, Casey/PA, Reed & Whitehouse/RI, Leahy/VT, Warner/VA, Cantwell & Murray/WA, Baldwin/WI; no Republicans.

100% Anti-Life: Democrats Coons/DE, Heinrich & Udall/NM, Sanders/VT; no Republicans.