Life Advocacy Briefing

March 5, 2018

Did You Miss Us? / Conflicted Priorities
Endangered Hero? / Progress Reversed / Holding Out Hope
March for Life Speech: Rep. Herrera-Beutler / Solidarity

Did You Miss Us?

WE MISSED PUBLISHING LIFE ADVOCACY BRIEFING last week because of illness and, to top it off, a major computer problem. We are glad to be back and appreciate our readers’ patience.

Conflicted Priorities

JUST A WEEK AFTER HIS LOCAL CATHOLIC BISHOP REINFORCED an earlier disqualification of Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) from communion in the Springfield diocese where he officially resides, Georgetown University heralded the alumnus with its “‘Timothy S. Healy SJ Award for Exemplary Public Service,’” reports Claire Chretien for

Citing among other supposed achievements his sponsorship, years ago, of legislation banning smoking on airplanes, the prominent, Washington-based Jesuit school saluted Sen. Durbin’s alleged “‘exemplary service … in support of humanitarian causes.’”

The university forgot to mention Sen. Durbin’s decades-long voting record against the right to life of innocent preborn children formed by their Creator in their mothers’ wombs. But Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki appeared very much aware of the Senate Minority Whip’s consistent record and pointed specifically, in a mid-February declaration, to “the catalyst for [his] announcement,” noted Ms. Chretien: “The US Senate’s failure to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would have made most abortions after 20 weeks illegal … .”

Saying he “‘agree[s] completely with His Eminence Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities,’” writes Ms. Chretien, Bishop Paprocki joined Cardinal Dolan in “‘call[ing] the US Senate’s failure to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act “appalling.” …

“‘Because [Durbin’s] voting record in support of abortion over many years constitutes “obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin,” the determination continues,’” said Bishop Paprocki, quoted by LifeSiteNews, “‘that Sen. Durbin is not to be admitted to Holy Communion until he repents of this sin. … This provision,’” he said, “‘is intended not to punish but to bring about a change of heart.’”

Endangered Hero?

THE ABORTION CARTEL’s DRIVE TO DUMP Rep. Dan Lipinski in Illinois’s March 20 Democratic primary election picked up steam last week with reports that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) – which normally sides with the party’s incumbents – “has held back on endorsing [the southwest Chicago Democrat] despite promises, reported by Politico, that it would do so,” writes Laura Barron-Lopez for the Washington Examiner.

“Members of the Blue Dog Coalition” in the US House, “which [Rep.] Lipinski co-chairs,” writes Ms. Lopez, “have bristled at the snub by DCCC and are stunned by their Democratic colleagues fundraising for his opponent.”

The seven-term incumbent is being challenged by a radical abortion advocate, who is drawing support from such Left-wing Representatives as Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), because of his frequent support for pro-life legislation. Thanks to Rep. Lipinski’s leadership for Life, such radical entities as EMILY’s List, NARAL, and Planned Parenthood are generating funding and voter-contact troops for left-wing activist Marie Newman, a business consultant with no background in public service.

“The DCCC’s decision to remain out of the race and not endorse [Rep.] Lipinski,” writes Ms. Lopez, “baffled not just official Blue Dog members but moderates in [the Democratic House] caucus. ‘Not getting involved is getting involved,’ said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH),” in the Washington Examiner report. “‘I hope we’re not going down the road of purity tests.’”

Said Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA), quoted by Ms. Lopez, “‘DCCC should be protecting its incumbents.’”

Prominent pro-life leader Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life told Claire Chretien of he is not surprised by the DCCC’s refusal to endorse Mr. Lipinski, given the party’s “‘radical alliance with the abortion industry.’” But he noted “he has ‘witnessed how Rep. Lipinski lives out his commitment to his constituents, born and unborn.’”

Rep. Lipinski could prove to be an unintended victim of a vigorous fight within his state’s Republican Party, in which a pro-life state lawmaker is mounting an aggressive campaign to unseat the party’s pro-abortion governor, Bruce Rauner. Without that complication, Rep. Lipinski could unquestionably count on a significant crossover by primary election voters who put Life ahead of party.

Progress Reversed

NEW JERSEY’s NEW GOVERNOR KICKED OFF HIS ADMINISTRATION with a public signing ceremony of legislation forcing his state’s taxpayers to kick in funds to Planned Parenthood’s already swelling coffers.

After repeated annual stripping of Planned Parenthood grants from the state’s budget by former Gov. Chris Christie (R) since 2010, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) “made it a point,” notes National Right to Life News Today writer Dave Andrusko, “that the first bill he would sign into law … would be to restore ‘$7.5 million in grants for health clinics and Planned Parenthood’” that Gov. Christie refused to endorse.

“‘I don’t have to tell you all that today has certainly been a long time coming,’ [Gov.] Murphy said,” quoted by Mr. Andrusko, who credits “reporter Matt Arco” as his source. “‘New Jersey will once again stand strong for Planned Parenthood and reproductive rights. … Signed, sealed, delivered.’”

Outgoing Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards was standing by at the signing ceremony. Quoted by Mr. Andrusko, she declared, “‘Elections do have consequences, and nothing has been more exciting than to see this governor in action,’” claiming, “‘today marks a new era.’”

Holding Out Hope

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE (R) LAST TUESDAY PREDICTED “that abortion will end in America ‘in our time,’” reports Doug Mainwaring for

Saying he was “‘encouraged today … after having been in the cause all of my adult life,’” Mr. Pence told a Nashville luncheon hosted by Susan B. Anthony List and Life Issues Institute, reports Mr. Mainwaring, “‘I truly do believe, if all of us do all that we can, we will once again, in our time, restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law. …

“‘I just know in my heart of hearts,’” he declared, quoted by LifeSiteNews, “‘that this will be the generation that restores Life in America.’”

March for Life Speech: Rep. Herrera-Beutler

Jan. 19, 2018, March for Life speech by Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler (R-WA), transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing

            All right. Oh, my goodness, it’s a privilege to be here with my family, yeh, come on over, Hon.

            I’m going to share with you a story. This is my daughter Abigail, my son Ethan, my husband Dan. Let me take you back to a memory we have: “See that? That is her practice breathing.” I will never forget those words, as our doctor – courageous doctor – offered a medical explanation for the miracle that we are witnessing. [Little Abigail is waving to the crowd, bringing on cheers.]

            You see, unborn babies are almost magical; they’re literally swimming in stem cells. They’re in this perfect incubator, and they’re regenerative, and as my husband and I saw firsthand, they are responsive to the breakthrough medical treatment that we had convinced our doctor to try.

            You see, about a month earlier – a few months into my second term in Congress – my husband Dan and I went for our first – our twenty-week – ultrasound as excited, first-time parents. And we were not prepared for what we were told. We were told that our unborn baby had zero percent chance of survival. Zero.

            She had no kidneys; it was a condition called bilateral renal agenesis, and as a result, our baby would either miscarry or she would be born unable to breathe because her lungs did not develop. She would literally suffocate upon arrival. And there was nothing anyone could do about it. Talk about hopeless – Oh, my heavens! [Abigail interjects a question, and Mom says ‘No,’ followed by laughter.] One hundred percent fatal. Our diagnosing doctor told us often that when women get this news they’re heading across the street to schedule a termination.

            At a second-opinion consult, I was offered the option not to abort but to induce early. I was around twenty weeks at this point, and I said, “So what is early?” And she said, “Like today, like this week. The sooner you start over, the better off you’re going to be emotionally.” That’s what we were told.

            So, Dan and I prayed, and we cried, and we learned to contend. And in that, in that devastation [Abigail: Why were you crying? Rep. Herrera-Beutler: I’m telling everybody], we saw hope. What if God would do a miracle? What if a doctor was willing to try something new? What if we could get saline infusion in utero to mimic the amniotic fluid so the baby could develop even without kidneys? What if?

            We would never have known if we hadn’t tried. And through Divine intervention and some very courageous doctors who were willing to take a risk, we now get to experience our daughter Abigail [huge cheers, and she waves to the crowd], who is a healthy, happy four-year-old big sister who says that some day she’s going to be the boss of Mommy’s work. [Rave cheers.] Look out, Speaker Ryan!

            And now because others have heard our story about Abigail, she’s no longer – she’s just the first – she’s no longer the only. I was told there was no chance of survival, but they were wrong. And they weren’t bad people. They just had never seen a baby with this condition survive. But that’s the point. What if they’re wrong about others, too?

            What if, together, we can break new ground and find new treatments that will benefit more than just our own families. What if the baby won’t have that significant medical condition or disability? Or even if she does, what if every baby was given at least a shot to reach their true potential? Who would we be as a nation, what richness would we get to see? Instead of the equivalent of two generations missing because of that choice, would we have already witnessed one of these individuals finding a cure for cancer or the key to eradicating extreme poverty?

            What if we had spent the last forty-five years pouring that time and that money into finding cures in the womb for medical conditions like spina bifida or microcephaly or congenital heart defects. What if that money was used to end the baby’s disease and not the baby’s life? [Huge cheers.] What if instead of spending millions of dollars every year on abortion, we invested that money into caring for the babies who are born with significant health condition or disability?

            We can all think of people we know with serious illness or disability who have enriched us immeasurably. And it’s difficult to imagine a world where they were never born. We should embrace full diversity, which includes physical and mental abilities – all different ones – different abilities. What if we celebrated disability instead of letting fear make it our mortal enemy?

            Today, we have come together to say, there’s hope – for every expectant mother who’s been given a devastating diagnosis, for every woman who feels fear or anger or anxiety because she doesn’t know how she can afford to care for that child, for every woman who feels hopeless: Jesus loves you. And for every baby that’s been given up on by the status quo, Jesus still does miracles.

            We must recognize the unborn child as a miracle that he or she is, a person developing with extraordinary potential and purpose, who deserves a fighting chance to live and just maybe reach that extraordinary potential. After all, I believe it’s the only way our society ever truly is going to reach ours. Thank you, and God bless. [Abigail shouts “thank you!”]


Feb. 16, 2018, BreakPoint commentary by Eric Metaxas

            At the United Nations, two women were squaring off: one, a Danish abortion advocate, the other, African scientist Uju Ekeocha. Their opinions expose the deep clash of civilizations across the globe: the culture of life versus the culture of death.

            The Danish feminist admitted that she was “a bit provoked” by Uju’s claim that Western countries are once again engaging in colonialism. In her view, she announced, African women should be able to decide for themselves what to do with their bodies, including how many babies they want, and whether to have abortions.

            Uju was quick to respond: “Culturally, most of the African communities actually believe, by tradition, by their cultural standards, that abortion is a direct attack on human life,” she explained. “So, for anybody to be able to convince any woman in Africa that abortion … can be a good thing, you first of all have to tell her that what her parents and her grandparents and her ancestors taught her is actually wrong.

            “And that, Madame, is colonialism.”

            Bravo, Uju! She is absolutely right. What else can you call it when secular Western organizations fly into Africa with bundles of birth control and abortion equipment, determined to convince African women that these things are good for them?

            Uju, by the way, is the founder of Culture of Life Africa, an organization dedicated to defending African values, including the sanctity of life, the honoring of motherhood and the dignity of family life. When Westerners launch assaults on these values, Culture of Life Africa responds with the voices of African women.

            And what are these women saying? That they love and celebrate their children. That they despise abortion. That they want their authentic needs met, such as the safe delivery of their babies. They want their values respected – especially their belief that motherhood is a blessing, not a burden, even within a poor family.

            But Western do-gooders are not listening. Their ultimate goal is the drastic reduction of children born to poor Africans.

            For instance, in the wake of President Trump’s decision to reinstate the pro-life Mexico City Policy, Western governments from Canada to Holland raised money not, as Uju puts it, “for food in Africa, not funds for water… and not funds that the Africans can use as they want,” such as for education. Instead, they’re attempting to raise billions of dollars “dedicated to the so-called safe abortions.”

            Routinely, African cultural values are aggressively pushed aside – which is why Uju calls fundraising for African abortions “cultural” and “philanthropic imperialism.”

            We shouldn’t be surprised that the biggest anti-life groups, such as Planned Parenthood International and Marie Stopes International, are so eager to cut down on the number of African babies. Both were established on a platform of virulent racism. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger once wrote, “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” Marie Stopes was an enthusiastic eugenicist whose goal was to decrease the number of babies born to so-called “inferior” races.

            Is it any wonder that those who follow in their footsteps are determined to pressure African governments to legalize abortion?

            You and I need to speak up and speak out – to our lawmakers, friends, and church groups about what the West is doing to Africa. And come to and I’ll link you to the Culture of Life Africa website – please share the articles there with others.

            Africans are right to be angry with Western attempts to impose the Western love of abortion on them. We need to stand with them as they fight this battle, recognizing that every baby is precious in the eyes of God.