Life Advocacy Briefing

April 16, 2018

Rescission? / Thank You, Speaker Ryan / Students Walk Out for Life
Nebraska Blocks Funding for Planned Parenthood
Tennessee Disqualifies Abortionists / Indiana Drills Down
Wisconsin Tightens Funding Ban / Approving Back-alley Abortions
Quoteworthy / Take Heart!


MEDIA REPORTS INDICATE the House and Senate in Washington are working on a measure which would rescind some of the provisions in the recently passed trillion-dollar bill designating federal spending essentially for the balance of the fiscal year. Those reports suggest such a rescission could pass both houses on a majority vote, circumventing the Senate’s obstructive 60-vote cloture rule.

We welcome such action, and, though preparations for such a measure have been remarkably leak-proof as to particular line items that could be rescinded or reversed, we hope and urge that Planned Parenthood’s half-billion-dollar annual funding be among those removed by any such rescission action.

Thank You, Speaker Ryan

WE JOIN OTHER PRO-LIFE ORGANIZATIONS IN THANKING House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on the announcement of his intention to leave the House at the end of this term. We agree with the sentiments of Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life Committee, on this development:

“Speaker Paul Ryan has been a dedicated ally in the fight to protect the most vulnerable members of our society,” she said. “Throughout his career in the US House, and in his tenure as Speaker, he has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the cause of Life. Paul Ryan has a 100% pro-life voting record over nearly 20 years in Congress,” Mrs. Tobias noted, “and as Speaker has presided over passage of numerous pieces of legislation, including the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and various measures to ensure that taxpayer dollars do not support abortion. All of us in the right-to-life movement are grateful to Speaker Ryan for his leadership in our common cause of working for the day when all members of the human family are protected by our nation’s laws.”

If only we could say the same about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), whose fellow Senators continue to cling to a tradition – not a Constitutional principle – which prevents the passage of pro-life legislation even by a majority of those elected to serve with him in the Senate; we speak of the 60-vote “cloture” rule by which the Senate’s minority drives policy and thwarts the pro-life agenda. We are confident that Sen. McConnell’s heart is in the same place as Speaker Ryan’s, but his commitment to Senate tradition is thwarting the cause of justice and mercy for the littlest among us.

Students Walk Out for Life

THE RECENT BALLYHOOED DEMONSTRATION of high school and college students (mixed with large numbers of adult leftwing activists) in the name of gun control has now been matched – though underreported, of course – by students at more than 250 high schools and colleges walking out last Wednesday in a nationwide student protest of decriminalized abortion.

“At 10 a.m. for each school’s local time on Wednesday,” writes Calvin Freiburger for, “students left class to gather for 17 minutes of silent witness for the 10 children aborted by Planned Parenthood in that time period and the more than 60 million babies killed since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973.

“The National Pro-life Walkout,” reports Mr. Freiburger, “was devised by Rocklin High School student Brandon Gillespie of California, with organizational support provided by Students for Life of America (SFLA). Gillespie wanted the event to ‘honor all the lives of the millions of aborted babies every year.’ …

“SFLA reports enthusiastic crowds brandishing a variety of signs, as well as honks of support from passing cars,” reports Mr. Freiburger. “Several members of the Rocklin community turned out to support Brandon Gillespie as well. ‘We want to make students aware that this is an issue for their generation,’ a Frederick East administrator identified as Kim told SFLA’s Michele Hendrickson, ‘because a lot of their classmates may not even be here because of the abortion movement.’ …

“Kristan Hawkins shared a photo of a display at LosAlamitos High School,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “featuring 1,700 baby socks laid out to represent the estimated 1,700 babies lost to abortion daily.”

Mr. Freiburger reports also that students organizing the pro-life walkouts were not, in several of the schools, treated with the same endorsement and encouragement by school administrators as those who staged the gun walkouts. We applaud their courage and initiative.

Nebraska Blocks Funding for Planned Parenthood

NEBRASKA’s NEW 2-YEAR BUDGET, signed early this month by Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), disqualifies Planned Parenthood of the Heartland – or any other entity that commits or refers for abortion or promotes such an act – from receiving funding. The reform should cost Planned Parenthood “roughly $300,000 in Title X [Ten] taxpayer funding each year,” according to Nebraska Catholic Conference, reports Becky Yeh for

“The budget also,” reports Ms. Yeh, “mandates health clinics in the state to legally, financially and physically separate from abortion facilities.”

The reforms were first advanced by Gov. Ricketts in his budget proposal earlier this year. “‘Nebraska is a pro-life state, so our budget should reflect our values,’” said Gov. Ricketts, quoted by Ms. Yeh. “‘Any organization can have access to these dollars as long as they don’t provide abortions,’” he said.

Tennessee Disqualifies Abortionists

TENNESSEE’s GOVERNOR BILL HASLAM (R) SIGNED LEGISLATION last week that “strips Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities of all state funding,” reports Cassy Fiano for “The state will now,” writes Ms. Fiano, “request a federal waiver which allows them to bar TennCare, Tennessee’s Medicaid program, from giving money to any abortion facility.”

The bill’s House sponsor, State Rep. Jimmy Matlock (R-Lenoir City), “argued,” reports Ms. Fiano, “that nearly $1 million has been given to abortion facilities over the past six years, and the state has therefore been indirectly funding abortion. …

“Instead of directing funding towards abortionists,” writes Ms. Fiano, “TennCare money will now be given to legitimate healthcare providers.” Said the bill’s Senate sponsor, State Sen. Mike Bell, quoted by, “‘We have dozens of other medical clinics. … This is not a cut. It is the policy of the state to favor child birth as an integral part of the health and the welfare of the state. … This bill is a statement,’ [Sen.] Bell said. ‘It’s a statement from this legislative body. It’s a statement from the people of Tennessee, that we want our money to stop going to providers that perform elective abortions.’”

Indiana Drills Down

INDIANA GOV. ERIC HOLCOMB (R) HAS SIGNED two new laws which, writes Charlie Butts for, citing Ryan McCann of the Indiana Family Institute as source, “are forcing the abortion industry in the state to be transparent.”

“The first law,” writes Mr. Butts, “requires a new abortion clinic to disclose violations and criminal activities in other states before it can open for business” in Indiana.

“A second law requires abortionists and hospitals,” notes Mr. Butts, “to report any complications from abortion. … The new reporting requirement,” writes Mr. Butts, “will allow the state to assess the information and get a clearer idea of complications stemming from abortions, both surgical and chemical.”

Wisconsin Tightens Funding Ban

WISCONSIN GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R) HAS SIGNED legislation tightening the state’s ban on taxpayer funding of abortion. The new legislation adds a provision, notes National Right to Life News Today (NRL/NT), “ensuring that no taxpayer dollars pay for elective abortions under state employees’ health plans.”

The state has long prohibited taxpayer funding for elective abortions in welfare-related healthcare subsidies, but the funding ban did not, until now, apply to state employee insurance.

“‘Wisconsin Right to Life has been waiting 23 years for this major step to roll back taxpayer funding for abortion,’ said Heather Weininger, executive director of WRtL,” quoted by NRL/NT, “‘and we are very happy to see this long-awaited legislation signed into law.’”

Approving Back-alley Abortions

A STATE JUDGE IN MONTANA HAS MADE ABORTION MORE ACCESSIBLE and even more dangerous for the mothers undergoing the death-dealing “procedure.”

Helena-based Judge Mike Menahan, who is a former Democratic state legislator, “granted a midwife and a nurse permission to commit abortions,” reports Claire Chretien for, “while a law preventing non-doctors from practicing abortion is litigated.”

Such professional credentialing laws are common across the US, yet the so-called American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is seeking to overturn the client-protective law in Montana, claiming it “‘places unnecessary, unfounded and arbitrary barriers to Montanans’ access to abortion care [sic],’ according to Caitlin Borgmann,” the Montana ACLU unit’s executive director, quoted by Ms. Chretien.

The judge “acknowledged in his ruling,” writes Ms. Chretien, that one of the plaintiffs whose professional activity was expanded by the judge “isn’t even fully trained on how to commit abortions but ‘expects to be competent to provide abortion services (medication and aspiration abortion) within a matter of weeks or months, respectively.’” So in the meantime, she faces no legal bar to practicing on living human beings.

“One wonders,” opines Ms. Chretien, “when the abortion lobby will stop harping about how pro-life laws send women to the ‘back alley’ for unsafe abortions, given that they think non-physicians are qualified to carry out the deadly procedure.”


Excerpt from Pres. Donald Trump’s declaration of April as “National Child Abuse Prevention Month,” quoted by former Reagan domestic policy chief Gary Bauer in his April 5, 2018, End of Day Memo to supporters of his Campaign for Working Families: “We must always remember that all children are blessings from our Creator. They are endowed from conception with value, purpose and human dignity. They are a source of unmatched joy, and they represent our Nation’s future.”

Take Heart!

April 3, 2018, commentary by blogger Jonathon vanMaren

            Like many others, I was extremely disappointed that the Republican-controlled House and Senate approved a budget that handed Planned Parenthood another $500 million – again. Not only is this money aiding an organization that targets the smallest members of the human family for destruction but the abortion giant has a history of pouring millions of dollars into defeating Republican candidates. Continuing to fund Planned Parenthood is both spineless and suicidal at the same time.

            Despite this setback, it’s important to remember that the pro-life movement has been having near-unprecedented success in limiting abortion. In 2017, 19 states adopted 63 restrictions on abortion – the highest number of restrictions, according to the Guttmacher Institute (Planned Parenthood’s research arm) since 2013. And that might be just the beginning.

            As The Hill noted, “That trend could continue in 2018 – state legislatures have proposed 15 bills that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, and 11 bills that would ban abortion if the sole reason is a genetic anomaly like Down Syndrome.”

            And 2018 has already been a fruitful year for pro-life activists. Consider just a few examples:

  • On Jan. 17, Pres. Donald Trump spoke to the March for Life, addressing tens of thousands of pro-life activists gathered in Washington, DC. It was the first time a sitting President addressed the March and was yet another example of Trump’s transformation from an avowedly pro-choice [sic] New York businessman to a politician dedicated to his pro-life allies.
  • Also on Jan. 17, Congress passed the Born-Alive Survivors Act, which would protect babies who were born alive after failed attempts to abort them. The Act both prohibited medical practitioners from denying the proper care to these survivors [and] required abortion workers to immediately bring these children to the hospital for medical attention, and [it also] instituted criminal penalties for those who refused to do so.
  • On Jan. 18, Pres. Donald Trump announced extensive conscience protections for medical professionals who have ethical, moral or religious objections to performing abortions – a high priority for the pro-life movement in a cultural moment where religious liberties are under attack from every side.
  • On Feb. 26, South Dakota passed a law that requires abortionists to inform women that abortion kills a human being.
  • On Feb. 28, Iowa passed a law that would ban abortion after the baby’s heartbeat began.
  • On March 5, Tennessee passed a law that would defund Planned Parenthood, a move that came after the abortion giant was revealed to be selling baby body parts.
  • On March 19, the governor of Mississippi signed the Gestational Age Act, which bans abortion after 15 weeks; the governor of Louisiana has voiced support for a similar bill in his own state.
  • Also on March 19, Ohio legislators introduced a bill that would entirely ban abortion in their state.
  • On March 20, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter signed legislation that requires abortion workers to inform women that certain abortion procedures can be halted and reversed, should they change their mind.
  • On March 22, the Kentucky Senate passed legislation that would ban the dilation and evacuation abortion procedure after 11 weeks gestation – a procedure that accounts for 16% of abortions in the state.
  • Also on March 22, the governor of Idaho signed legislation that requires abortionists to formally report how many abortions their patients have, along with other information.
  • On March 25, the state of Indiana made it a double-homicide to kill a pregnant woman – in addition to legislation that heightened scrutiny on abortion clinics, which are notoriously lax in obeying the law.

            This wave of pro-life legislation is in addition to a steady stream of pro-life judicial appointments to the courts on every level, a scenario that concerns abortion activists so much that Vox warned that these justices will be pivotal in ensuring pro-life laws get upheld.

            Month by month, Roe v. Wade is being hollowed from the inside out – which is why the abortion rate is now at historic lows. There is much work yet to be done, but be encouraged; the pro-life movement is taking territory slowly but steadily.