Life Advocacy Briefing

March 26, 2018

Supreme Court Mulls Pregnancy Center Appeal
Squeaker / Illinois Becoming Abortion Magnet?
‘Heartbeat’ Bill Gets Hearing in Iowa
Mid-Abortion Reversal? / Emergency in Mississippi?
Nebraska Seeking to Cut Off Planned Parenthood

Supreme Court Mulls Pregnancy Center Appeal

THE SUPREME COURT HEARD ORAL ARGUMENTS last Tuesday in the appeal of the National Institutes of Family & Life Advocates vs. Becerra, “one of four cases,” notes Liberty Counsel (LC), “brought by crisis pregnancy centers challenging a California law as a violation of the First Amendment. Argument inside the Court, reports LC, lasted for one hour.” A ruling in the case is expected by the time the Supreme Court adjourns its current session, late in June.

LC’s chief counsel Mat Staver attended the oral argument while hundreds of pro-life advocates demonstrated outside on the Supreme Court steps. In LC’s news release, Mr. Staver commented, “‘The majority of justices voiced concerns that the law violated the First Amendment. The justices boxed in the state attorney when he had to admit that the mere words ‘Choose Life’ on a billboard and the name of the pregnancy center requires the mandated contrary message in 48-point font in 13 languages in LosAngeles County.’”

At stake is the right of pro-life pregnancy care centers to serve clients without having to advertise for abortion and offer referrals for the killing of preborn boys and girls.

Under the California law, notes LC, any licensed pregnancy counseling service in the state is “required to post the following government-prescribed message in their facilities and in their advertising or be fined $500 for the first violation and $1,000 for each additional violation: ‘California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number].’ The notice must be written in 48-point type” in a wide variety of languages, depending on the county. (48-point type is significantly larger than the type used for most news headlines.)

Said former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) in commenting on the Supreme Court’s oral arguments session Tuesday night on Fox News at Night with Shannon Bream: “It was a very powerful moment, because the Supreme Court’s most liberal Justices had to just admit that this was a ridiculous law that California had passed. … To say that if you’re a pregnancy center primarily designed to save a human life and you have to tell people how to kill a human life – to make you do that, it’s like saying that Weight Watchers has to tell people how to overeat in case they’d really rather have that option. I mean, it’s that absurd.

“And the most liberal Justices, including Kagan and Sotomayor and others – Ginsburg, even,” said Gov. Huckabee, “recognized and pretty much said, this doesn’t make sense. So, I think that this law is going to be struck down. I can’t imagine how it would stay.”


WE WERE HEARTENED to see US Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) edge out his radical, pro-abortion opponent in last Tuesday’s Illinois primary election for nomination from his southwest Chicago/suburban district. In a narrow victory, the co-chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus weathered a storm of opposition from the left wing of his party to secure his party’s presumed backing for an eighth term.

Among the factors in the Lipinski win was the involvement of Susan B. Anthony List, one of the nation’s leading pro-life political operations. Though SBA List prioritizes recruitment and election of pro-life ladies to public office, the PAC does get involved in defending pro-life champions like Rep. Lipinski, regardless of party.

“We are thrilled with Cong. Lipinski’s victory over Marie Newman and the abortion industry, which is increasingly pushing the Democratic Party left on abortion,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA List in a news release from the PAC. She called the Lipinski victory “a win not only for Rep. Lipinski and the pro-life movement but for the majority of Americans who support common-ground pro-life policies like limiting abortion after five months. Several national polls,” she noted, “have found that as many as 51% of Democrats support limiting abortion after this point.”

The SBA List news release notes the “winning margin was in part provided by pro-life Democratic primary voters reached in the days leading up to [last Tuesday’s] election. Among Democratic primary voters targeted by SBL List in Illinois-3, 64% said they oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, and 58% committed to voting for [Rep.] Lipinski, with 8% voting for [his opponent] or pulling the GOP ballot; 24% were undecided, and 9% refused.”

SBA List pointed out in its release that Rep. Lipinski is “not just a pro-life vote in Congress [but] a leader on our issue. In 2010,” reports SBA List, “he stood firm against Obamacare’s expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion even under intense pressure from party leaders to give in.” The group called it “an honor and a privilege for our team to support him, and we look forward to continuing to work with him in Congress.” His GOP opponent for the November election is not believed to be a serious candidate.

Illinois Becoming Abortion Magnet?

THE ABORTION CONTROVERSY IS INTENSIFYING in Illinois, and so, apparently, is the death toll. Thanks in part to state policies which are increasingly welcoming the abortion cartel – such as the Medicaid abortion mandate which was signed by the state’s GOP governor last year – Planned Parenthood is opening four new locations in Illinois, according to Illinois Right to Life Committee’s executive director, quoted in a report by Charlie Butts for  

“The [new] Illinois law, she argues,” writes Mr. Butts, “is ‘encouraging and attracting people from other states to come to Illinois to circumvent their state laws and, in some cases, to get illegal free abortions through our Medicaid system, because there aren’t the checks and balances in place that there need to be. …

“‘All other states are declining in the number of abortions,’” Illinois Right to Life’s Emily Troscinski said in the OneNewsNow report, “‘and [Illinois Planned Parenthood is] trying to capitalize on being the abortion oasis of the Midwest, just pulling people in from every different state possible.’

“One of the new Planned Parenthood abortuaries,” reports Mr. Butts, “is located to the south of Chicago close enough for easy access by abortion seekers from Indiana, which has many Life-affirming laws in place.”

Notes Mrs. Troscinski in the OneNewsNow report, “Planned Parenthood engages in a ‘pay-for-play’ campaign by helping to financially back political candidates who play the game their way and, once in office, pass laws that send more money the abortion giant’s way.”

‘Heartbeat’ Bill Gets Hearing in Iowa

FORMER U.S. HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER TOM DeLAY (R-TX) WAS AMONG the witnesses who testified in favor of Iowa’s “Heartbeat Bill” at a hearing last Tuesday before a State House committee considering the proposal. It passed the Iowa Senate Feb. 28 by a party-line vote of 30 to 20. The party division in the House is 59 to 41, according to reporter Doug Mainwaring, citing the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier as source and noting that “Republican House leaders haven’t said publicly if they will support the bill. …

“If put into law,” writes Mr. Mainwaring, the Heartbeat Bill “would outlaw aborting babies with detectable heartbeats.” Since, as he reports, “pre-born babies’ hearts begin to form around 21 days into pregnancy and are detected on ultrasounds just a few weeks later,” the proposal would effectively protect nearly all developing babies within the state.

Similar legislation at the federal level is sponsored by Iowa’s GOP Rep. Steve King, along with 169 co-sponsors. It has resided in a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee since its introduction in January of 2017.

Mr. DeLay “thanked the Iowa legislators pushing the strong anti-abortion bill, which he said recognizes the humanity of a fetus with a beating heart,” writes Tony Leys in the DesMoines Register. “‘It’s not a piece of flesh,’” he told lawmakers. “‘It’s not a bug. It’s not a parasite,’” he said in the Register story. “‘It’s a little baby.’”

The Register report also cited testimony by retired obstetrician Kathi Aultman, who told the committee she had “performed many abortions,” writes Mr. Leys, “before realizing after she gave birth to her own child that the procedure was wrong. ‘I love to meet adults that I delivered,’” she said, “‘but it’s always bittersweet, because I’m reminded of all the people I’ll never meet because I aborted them. It also reminds me,’” she said, quoted in the DesMoines Register, “‘that I am a mass murderer.’”

Besides hearing from an array of pro-abortion witnesses, lawmakers also heard, reports Mr. Leys, from a lady “who told them about having three abortions, starting when she was a teenager. [The witness] said her abortions fed a spiral of depression, guilt, alcohol and drug use and physical problems that made it impossible for her to become pregnant after she turned her life around, married and wanted to have a family. ‘I lived through the reality,’” said the witness, holding up a tiny plastic model of an unborn child while speaking, according to Mr. Leys, “‘that the only children I ever carried, I killed.’”

Mid-Abortion Reversal?

THE IDAHO HOUSE PASSED LEGISLATION on March 12 to “update[e] their informed consent packet,” writes Dave Andrusko in National Right to Life News Today (NRL/NT), “so that women will know they may change their mind about a chemical abortion half-way through the two-drug technique.” Similar legislation has been enacted in Arizona, Arkansas, South Dakota and Utah.

The measure, often termed the “Abortion Pill Reversal Act,” was approved by a vote of 55 to 11 in the House, following Senate passage by a vote of 29 to 6. “In both houses,” notes Mr. Andrusko, “the vote was straight party-line: all Republicans in favor, all Democrats opposed.

“Chemical abortions (‘RU-486’) involve two drugs,” explains Mr. Andrusko: “Mifeprex, taken at the abortion clinic, and then 48 to 72 hours later, misoprostol, a prostaglandin.” Mifeprex, the actual RU-486 pill, acts to kill the baby; the prostaglandin, which is actually a drug designed to alleviate ulcers but used by abortionists in an off-label twist, expels the dead baby.

“The Abortion Pill Reversal technique,” writes Mr. Andrusko, “is premised on the woman not taking the second drug and being given large dosages of progesterone in order to counteract the effect of the first pill.”

More than “300 healthy babies,” reports NRL/NT, “have been saved by this reversal protocol” and have been born. Another 100 reversed-abortion mothers are currently pregnant, according to the report, and are awaiting delivery.

Urging “‘Please vote Life,’” State Rep. Barbara Ehardt said in debate, reports Mr. Andrusko: “‘What a humbling and historic opportunity we have right now … to give them hope again … to restore life, to be a mother. … Truly this is historic; why wouldn’t we want to be a part of this today? Why wouldn’t we want to be a part of something that could potentially change lives? … Life is precious, and we should know that.’”

Noting that the decision whether to interrupt the abortion would still rest with the aborting mother, Right to Life of Idaho explained to lawmakers, notes Mr. Andrusko, “A woman has the right to know if she changes her mind after taking the first abortion pill, RU-486, that there is a possibility that she may be able to reverse the chemical abortion procedure.”

The Idaho legislation, expected to be signed by Gov. Butch Otter (R), does not require mothers to interrupt a chemical abortion but does require abortionists to inform chemical-abortion customers of their option to seek a reversal.

Emergency in Mississippi?

MISSISSIPPI GOV. PHIL BRYANT (R) LAST MONDAY signed the state’s new post-15-week abortion ban into law, only to see it enjoined the next day in a temporary restraining order issued by federal District Judge Carlton Reeves, an Obama appointee who came to the bench after serving on the board of the Mississippi branch of the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union.

His order “block[s] the law from taking effect for 10 days,” reports CNN, “while the court considers further action.”

The temporary order claims, reports CNN, “‘The law threatens immediate, irreparable harm to Mississippians’ abilities to control their “destiny and … body.’”” The liberal news network indicated the judge was “citing another ruling” in that dramatic quote. His ruling continued, reports CNN, “‘A brief delay in enforcing a law of dubious constitutionality does not outweigh that harm, and in fact serves the public’s interest in preserving the freedom guaranteed by the United States Constitution.’”

What “freedom” is that? Where is it found in the Constitution? Certainly not in the equal protection clauses!

The challenge to the new Mississippi law was brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights, which also sought the temporary order, reports CNN, “because a woman was scheduled to have a 15-week abortion Tuesday afternoon.”

Nebraska Seeking to Cut Off Planned Parenthood

March 15, 2018, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            It was well past dinner time when members of Nebraska’s famous one-chamber legislature finally called it quits on their debate. They’d been arguing for hours over a $2 million piece of their budget that had normally been reserved for Planned Parenthood. Under Barack Obama, Nebraskans didn’t have a choice about funding abortion providers. Thanks to Pres. Trump, that’s all changed. And this state, like every other, is trying to figure out what to do next.

            For Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), the choice is simple. Defund Planned Parenthood and every other abortion business and redirect the money to community health centers that won’t use the money to destroy human life. “Nebraska is a pro-life state,” he pointed out, “so our budget should reflect our values. Any organization can have access to these dollars as long as they don’t provide abortions,” he told reporters. At the moment, Title X (Ten) funds 42 clinics in Nebraska – three of which perform abortions.

            For Planned Parenthood, the pot of Title X money is important, since it’s one of two ways the group gets federal and state dollars. Last April, Pres. Trump made it easier to turn off the taxpayer-funded spigot to Planned Parenthood when he put the decision of who[m] to fund back in states’ laps. Iowa and Arizona canceled their checks to Cecile Richards’s group completely. “Thanks [to this action],” Ricketts explained, “Nebraska can now take new steps to protect unborn life by ensuring that these dollars are not used to fund abortion.”

            And while liberal groups insist that Planned Parenthood doesn’t use the money for the abortion side of the business, Karen Bowling, the Executive Director of the Nebraska Family Alliance, can prove otherwise.

            “In 2015 and 2016, a Nebraska statewide audit report found that Planned Parenthood of the Heartland had improperly used Title X funds for abortion services. In 2015, the sample tested in the audit showed more than $1 out of every $20 was misappropriated for abortion services. This misuse of taxpayer funds jeopardizes the entire Title X program in Nebraska, demonstrating the need for greater accountability and transparency.”

            In other words, Nebraska taxpayers have been directly funding abortion in violation of federal law. If that isn’t a good reason to stop funneling money to Planned Parenthood, what is? They’ve lied about their care, they’re seeing fewer patients and they’re offering fewer services. As we speak, Richards’s empire is under investigation for the illegal sale of baby body parts. So, what reason have they given Nebraskans – or anyone – for trusting them with their hard-earned dollars?

            Fortunately, Nebraska’s leaders had enough skepticism to keep the governor’s language until the next round of debate. By a 38-to-6 vote, they sent the bill over the first of three hurdles. Although it still has a ways to go, the Cornhuskers are one step closer to giving women in the state the real care they deserve. And Pres. Trump deserves as much credit for that as anyone!