Life Advocacy Briefing

May 7, 2018

The Bottom Line / Self-Exposure
Our Children at Stake in Confirmation of Federal Judges
Sponsors of HR-1322 & S-10 / Acknowledging Reality

The Bottom Line

IT IS NOT OUR CUSTOM TO COMMENT on the commentaries of other writers which we frequently reprint in our Life Advocacy Briefing. Today, we make an exception as respects “Acknowledging Reality,” a commentary by a writer for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which we have reprinted at the close of this week’s Briefing.

The writer concludes that “it’s up to us” to ensure that Americans know about the extremism of the abortion industry and its attendant lobbies and fellow travelers in public office. We emphatically agree with this statement and take it one step further: It is up to active pro-life citizens and organizations – which we believe is what he means – but it is needed also from pro-life front-liners: candidates and public officials, most particularly those who are standing electorally against candidates who are backed by the abortion lobby.

The writer makes the point that “most Americans would be appalled by – and oppose – an industry that embodies such extremism, if only they [knew] about it.” True. In the rare public opinion polls that burrow into actual questions of public policy, digging beneath the euphemistic labels, substantial majorities of Americans are in agreement with the pro-life position and oppose the abortion lobby’s demands and preferences.

But you wouldn’t know it from the typical approach to campaign communication. The pro-life candidate or official is cautioned to “admit” being “pro-life” and then to scurry on as quickly as possible to the next topic, permitting the abortion advocate to hide behind his or her own euphemistic label of “pro-choice” or “pro-woman’s health” or some such lie.

Life Advocacy was founded to aid pro-life communicators in speaking strategically about issues that boil down to this reality: Life is a winning issue when the distinctions are clearly delineated.

One reality we have found in many years of working toward a more informed electorate is that the abortion lobby’s use of euphemistic labels tends to handcuff pro-life communicators who seem to think they cannot define their debate opponents unless their debate opponents speak frankly and openly about their own agenda. As the writer of the “Acknowledging Reality” commentary seems to realize, that is not going to happen! It is up to the pro-life communicator to draw out the definitions, and he or she is not without resources to assess the opponent’s true positions, as he or she may think.

The pro-life communicator does not have to wait for the abortion advocate to openly advocate the commercialized practice of intentionally killing preborn boys and girls before (or even during) their birth or for the abortion advocate to oppose such commonsense reforms as parental notification or informed consent. (Wait not: it won’t happen!) Once a candidate is endorsed by EMILY’s List or the National Abortion Rights Action League or the NOW or Planned Parenthood – or the local PACs like “Personal PAC” in Illinois, for example – that abortion lobby candidate’s positions on commonsense pro-life reforms are known and can be asserted to contrast the candidates or officials before the public. (The abortion lobby’s political apparatus is absolutist and demands 100% fealty in order for a candidate to secure endorsement.)

As the commentary writer declared, it is up to the communicators on our side of these issues to define the goals of both sides in a truthful way which will appeal to the average, less motivated voter. When we shed our labels and speak in real terms, we can call upon our opponents to do the same. (That’s when they duck and hide.) And then the American people will have a better grasp of who is taking up the commonsense values they themselves believe in, if only they are presented realistically with their options.


AMONG THE POINTS RAISED in the commentary we have published at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing is the “extreme” nature of a Capitol Hill proposal euphemistically titled “Women’s Health Protection Act” and crafted to “invalidate almost every state or federal law that seeks to restrain or regulate abortion by demanding that the law treat abortion like a routine women’s health procedure.”

The measure rings bells to pro-life advocates who have been paying attention during the past 20 or more years; it appears to us to be a rerun of the long-ago failed “Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA),” which faded away after the departure of the Clinton Regime.

We have zero expectation that this proposal will clear committee this year, either as HR-1322 in the House or as S-510 in the Senate. But we do find its introduction a useful guidebook to identifying the most loyal, most lobby-able and most definable adherents of the unregulated, commercialized killing of preborn boys and girls in American politics – at least in the Congress. The radical, no-regulation-allowed, taxpayer-enslaving nature of this legislation ought to be an aid to any pro-life candidate who is opposing a publicly acknowledged co-sponsor of this proposal regardless of whether it ever sees a vote. 

We list the co-sponsors of these two bills – House and Senate – near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing, just ahead of the Acknowledging Reality commentary. We commend it to our readers as a roster of abortion radicals.

Our Children at Stake in Confirmation of Federal Judges

April 25, 2018, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            If you need help getting motivated for the midterm elections, two words ought to do the trick: Planned Parenthood. America’s biggest abortion business is back in court, demanding money that they don’t need – and, more importantly, don’t deserve! And unfortunately, some judges seem all too willing to help.

            In the real world, no one would keep paying for a service that didn’t work – or worse, hurt the people using it. But that’s exactly what US District Court Judge Thomas Rice is insisting of taxpayers. When President Trump pulled the plug on Planned Parenthood’s teen pregnancy Prevention (TPP) grants at HHS, Cecile Richards’s group was enraged. After all, sex ed is the organization’s best way to build up future clients. They encourage promiscuous sex, and then, when the birth control they suggest fails (as the group expects it will), those same teenagers become the next generation of abortion consumers.

            When you frame it that way, it’s really no wonder that Richards would sue the President’s team at HHS, desperate to keep her pipeline to future clients open. “The Trump Administration is clearly trying to push their abstinence-only agenda,” argued Planned Parenthood attorney Carrie Flaxman. Well, guess what? That’s the President’s prerogative! If Planned Parenthood wanted the White House to push another agenda, it should have persuaded more Americans to vote for Hillary Clinton. Elections have consequences, and one of 2016’s is that President Trump is finally taking an honest look at the country’s approach to sex ed. And guess what he discovered? The same thing as Obama’s CDC: the Left’s strategy isn’t working.

            Unfortunately, Judge Rice couldn’t put aside his own activism long enough to realize it. Instead, he ruled that HHS can’t sever ties with Planned Parenthood, no matter how little good it’s doing. “The Court finds that HHS arbitrarily and capriciously terminated the TPP program,” he wrote. Hardly! Reams of HHS’s data found that, “More than 80% of teens in the program fared either worse or no better than their peers who were not a part of the program.” Even Obama’s officials admitted as much, explaining in the largest CDC study of its kind that abstinence education was a much better choice. “The virginal students rate significantly and consistently better in nearly all health-related behaviors and measures than their sexually-active peers.”

            Still, Judge Rice insists that, “The public interest weighs in favor of [Planned Parenthood], as it would prevent harm to the community… and prevent loss of data regarding the effectiveness of teen pregnancy prevention.” Translation: We should still throw your hard-earned money at a program that’s failing students, because – after all – it’s Planned Parenthood.

            Attorneys for Trump’s Justice Department pushed back. “The plaintiffs are here claiming legal rights they do not have,” one fired back. “There is no legal entitlement to further funding beyond each funding year. It’s the agency’s discretion.” Apart from the fact that it’s not effective, radical sex ed isn’t what parents want! Believe it or not, this is something both parties agree on. 75% of Democrats and 78% of Republicans think schools should teach kids to wait to have sex. And they believe it so strongly that they’re willing to pull their kids out of class to prove it. Monday’s Sex Ed Sit Out should have been all the encouragement Pres. Trump needed to keep fighting on this front. Based on the outpouring of support for the idea, parents are sick and tired of groups like Planned Parenthood sinking their talons into kids – and using our tax dollars to do it.

Elsewhere, a group of 15 attorneys general are trying to keep Planned Parenthood’s mitts off their state Medicaid accounts. In a brief to the Supreme Court, they urge the Justices to let states decide how their money should be spent. Now that the circuit courts are split on the question of whether states like Kansas can defund the abortion business, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming are hoping SCOTUS will take the case that decides the issue.

            “By the terms of the Medicaid Act federal-state contract,” they write, “the states, not federal courts, are empowered to determine the qualifications for eligible health care providers.” What’s more, they go on, “the meaning of ‘qualified’ provider is found not in the Medicaid Act itself, but in state regulations and state Medicaid plans, which set forth the reasons that a provider’s Medicaid agreement may be terminated. The Medicaid Act provides discretion for states in designing and administering their programs within broad federal guidelines.”

                Kansas had four good reasons – from its own regulations – for severing ties with Planned Parenthood: “noncompliance with applicable state laws, administrative regulations or program issuances concerning medical providers; noncompliance with the terms of a provider agreement; unethical or unprofessional conduct; and other good cause.” It’s astonishing that any court would argue that this state – or any other – should keep throwing money at an organization that violated local laws. Unfortunately, several have. It’s one of the many reasons President Trump is working so fast to appoint judges who uphold the rule of law. If pro-lifers didn’t understand the importance of judicial confirmations before, they certainly do now!

Sponsors of HR-1322 & S-10

In the House: Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), chief sponsor, and Democratic Representatives Gallego, Grijalva, Sinema/AZ; Aguilar, Bera, Brownley, Carbajal, Cardenas, Davis, DeSaulnier, Eshoo, Garamendi, Gomez, Huffman, Khanna, Lee, Lieu, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Matsui, McNerney, Napolitano, Panetta, Peters, Ruiz, Sanchez, Schiff, Speier, Swalwell, Takano, Torres, Vargas, Waters/CA; DeGette, Perlmutter/CO; DeLauro, Himes/CT; Blunt-Rochester/DE; Castor, Crist, Demings, Deutch, Frankel, Hastings, Lawson, Murphy, Soto, Wasserman-Schultz, Wilson/FL; Johnson, Lewis, D.Scott/GA; 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; Cummings, Raskin, Sarbanes/MD; Capuano, Clark, Keating, Kennedy, McGovern, Moulton, Tsongas/MA; Kildee, Lawrence, Levin/MI; Ellison, McCollum, Walz/MN; Clay/MO; Kihuen, Rosen, Titus/NV; Kuster/NH; Norcross, Pallone, Pascrell, Payne, Watson-Coleman/NJ; Lujan, Lujan-Grisham/NM; Clarke, Crowley, Engel, Higgins, Jeffries, Lowey, C.Maloney, S.Maloney, Meeks, Nadler, Rice, Serrano, Slaughter, Suozzi, Tonko, Velazquez/NY; Adams, Butterfield, Price/NC; Beatty, Fudge, Ryan/OH; Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio/OR; Brady, Evans/PA; Cohen/TN; Castro, Doggett, A.Green, Jackson-Lee, O’Rourke, Vela, Veasey/TX; Welch/VT; Beyer, Connolly/VA; DelBene, Heck, Jayapal, Kilmer, Larsen, Smith/WA; Cicilline/RI; Kind, Moore, Pocan/WI. No Republicans.

In the Senate: Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), chief sponsor, and Democratic Senators Feinstein & Harris/CA; Bennet/CO; Murphy/CT; Coons/DE; Hirono & Schatz/HI; Duckworth & Durbin/IL; Cardin & VanHollen/MD; Markey & Warren/MA; Peters & Stabenow/MI; Klobuchar & Smith/MN; McCaskill/MO; Tester/MT; Cortez-Masto/NV; Hassan & Shaheen/NH; Booker & Menendez/NJ; Heinrich & Udall/NM; Gillibrand & Schumer/NY; Brown/OH; Merkley & Wyden/OR; Whitehouse/RI; Leahy & Sanders/VT; Kaine & Warner/VA; Cantwell & Murray/WA; Baldwin/WI. Also, Sen. King/ME, who caucuses with Democrats but is elected as an “Independent.” No Republicans.

Acknowledging Reality

Commentary from April 26, 2018, National Right to Life News Today, reprinted from Life Issues Forum, by Greg Schleppenbach, associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life activities of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops

            To those who see abortion for what it is – an abortionist purposefully and brutally killing an innocent, defenseless human life in her or his mother’s womb – advocating for its legality (even as a Constitutional “right”) is nothing less than extremism. So it seems hard to imagine an even greater level of extremism being advanced by the abortion industry and its adherents in elected office, the media and elsewhere. But the evidence is clear and plentiful.

            For starters, the abortion industry has been shifting its euphemistic mantras from “freedom of choice” and “if you don’t like abortion, then don’t have one” to “abortion is health care.” This rhetorical shift is necessary for its pursuit of a more extreme policy agenda to force Americans to embrace abortion as mainstream health care and to pay for it. This agenda includes forcing healthcare providers and institutions to provide, participate in or refer for abortion – and to force all Americans to pay for abortions through their healthcare plans. Tragically, we can already see this agenda becoming reality.

            Just in the past few years, California, New York, Oregon and Washington have begun forcing churches and/or others who oppose abortion to provide coverage for it in their healthcare plans. A growing number of healthcare providers are being forced to choose between involvement in abortion via participation or referral or losing their jobs. Several states and municipalities have passed laws forcing pro-life pregnancy centers to tell women where they can get abortions.

            The abortion industry also wants to force taxpayers to fund abortion by repealing the Hyde and Helms Amendments and any other laws that prohibit use of taxpayer funding for abortions. Abortion advocates oppose bills that ban late-term abortions or prohibit abortions solely because a child is disabled or is the “wrong” sex. They even oppose bills that would require providing the same degree of care to a child born alive following an abortion as is provided to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.

            All of these pro-life policies enjoy overwhelming public support that transcends an individual’s party affiliation, sex, race and economic status. Yet, in line with its inherent extremism, the abortion industry opposes or wants to eliminate these policies.

            Equally extreme is the “Women’s Health Protection Act” (S-510, HR-1322), a federal bill with a title as deceptive as its provisions are dangerous. It would invalidate almost every state or federal law that seeks to restrain or regulate abortion by demanding that the law treat abortion like a routine women’s health procedure.

            Abortion extremism goes beyond policy advocacy. Just one example was in the recent March 9 edition of the Washington Post [wherein] an opinion columnist proudly declared that she “would’ve aborted a fetus with Down Syndrome” because, she said, “that was not the child I wanted.” It’s hard to imagine a more extreme, cold and grotesque view than that.

                I believe that most Americans would be appalled by – and oppose – an industry that embodies such extremism, if only they [knew] about it. It’s up to us to make sure that they do.