Life Advocacy Briefing

June 18, 2018

Battle Stations! / Gallup Poll Shows Progress Again
Another Probe Sought of Planned Parenthood / Breakthrough!
Making Abortion Unthinkable / Call to Action
Expanded Mexico City Policy Working Well

Battle Stations!

PUBLIC COMMENTS ARE BEING WELCOMED by the Dept. of Health & Human Services on its proposed rule to exclude from Title X (Ten) “Family Planning Grants” those providers who commit abortions. Readers are urged to file their own comments before July 31 – how about today, if possible. The comment file already exceeds 8,000 at this writing, and we can be certain that Planned Parenthood is soliciting its supporters to file negative comments; this could be one of the most critical battles of 2018, as this rule should eliminate at least 10% of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding.

The rule is posted – and comments can be made (via the “comment” button at upper right) – on the Internet website

Comments may also be submitted via mail or hand delivery at “Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Population Affairs, Attention: Family Planning, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Room 716G, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201.”

Any comment submitted will be available to the public, and the rule posting cautions commenters not to include any “personally identifiable information … or confidential business information that you do not want publicly disclosed.” Comments, the posting notes, “may be submitted anonymously.”

Gallup Poll Shows Progress Again

THE GALLUP POLL HAS ISSUED ITS ANNUAL ABORTION POLLING RESULTS, showing that a majority of Americans, reports Calvin Freiburger for, “favor banning most abortions.”

The poll shows once again the futility of employing mere labels in approaching abortion issues in political campaigns or other public discussions, as the labels “pro-choice” or “pro-life” tie at 48% despite more significant contrasts in views on actual reform proposals.

“A combined 53% of Americans favor legal abortion in ‘few’ or ‘no’ circumstances,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “while just 43% think abortion should be legal in ‘all’ or ‘most’ circumstances. …

“The number of Americans who believe abortion should be available past the first trimester is 20%,” reports LifeSiteNews, “the exact amount that would limit abortion to saving a mother’s life. Only 12% [of] Americans favor allowing abortion through all nine months of pregnancy” – though that is the effect of the combined Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton standing edicts of the Supreme Court – “and only 36% of Americans support taxpayer funding of abortion,” a radical change which was advocated for the first time openly in the 2016 Democratic National Platform.

“Majorities also say abortion ‘does more harm than good’ to a woman’s life in the long run,” notes Mr. Freiburger’s report on the Gallup poll, “and that people should not be forced to provide or insure abortions against their will.”

Another Probe Sought of Planned Parenthood

FIFTY-SIX MEMBERS OF CONGRESS SENT A REQUEST recently to Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar requesting that HHS investigate one of its major grantees, Planned Parenthood. The letter was prompted by release of a fresh report by Live Action uncovering Planned Parenthood’s abetment of child sex trafficking and was announced at a public event featuring various Congressmen at the US Capitol.

The letter, quoted by Doug Mainwaring for, notes: “‘The report’s findings suggest that abusers feel comfortable taking their victims to Planned Parenthood. We are therefore requesting an investigation into Title X [Ten] participants, particularly Planned Parenthood, to determine how widespread this failure is and if there are other instances where Planned Parenthood failed in its duty to report suspected child abuse to local authorities and to HHS.’”

According to a statement released by Live Action about the letter, writes Mr. Mainwaring, “‘Members have requested that HHS turn over records regarding all incidents of Planned Parenthood’s Title X recipients’ failures to report suspected sexual abuse of minors in their care, records of the steps taken to bring recipients into compliance with reporting laws and documentation of any disciplinary actions.’”

Said Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) at the Capitol Hill press event, “‘Abortion is not family planning; it is family destruction. …. The lies that are coming from the big abortion industry are just heartbreaking,’ [Rep.] Black continued,” in the LifeSiteNews report. And she said, “‘Live Action’s findings show us that these same lies are used to willfully neglect reporting these horrific cases of abuse, rape and sex trafficking. … It’s come to light,’” she said, “‘that Planned Parenthood performs abortions on girls as young as 12 years old and then sends them right back into the arms of their abusers without alerting the authorities. It is shameful.’”

Other speakers at the Capitol Hill event included Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), House pro-life caucus chairman, who said, reports Mr. Mainwaring, “‘I find Planned Parenthood’s complicity in sex trafficking absolutely appalling,’” and Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), who said in the LifeSiteNews report, “‘Is the greater abortion industry more important than protecting these young innocent lives? … There should be a full investigation into whether or not Planned Parenthood willfully turned over child victims of abuse back to their abuser, and if necessary, criminal prosecution.’” Amen!


RESEARCH IS OFFERING HOPE FOR BABIES suffering life-threatening blood disorders, specifically alpha thalassemia major, which, reports Chris Woodward for, “causes life-threatening swelling and an enlarged heart” and can be detected prenatally, often leading to an abortion recommendation.

The announcement comes from success in SanFrancisco-based research using adult stem cells extracted from the mother’s bone marrow and injected into the baby’s umbilical vein.

“Four months later,” reports Mr. Woodward, “the child was born and appears to doctors to be a healthy newborn.”

Better yet, he notes, “the success could lead to adult stem cell treatment for babies with similar disorders. ‘They’re also looking at the possibility of treating for sickle cell anemia and other life-threatening genetic disorders,’” said Life Issues Institute’s Brad Mattes, quoted by Mr. Woodward. “‘So this is a breakthrough not for just this particular disease or condition but for a variety of genetic disorder-type conditions.’”

Making Abortion Unthinkable

June 12, 2018, Breakpoint commentary by John Stonestreet & Roberto Rivera

            Ever since Roe v. Wade, and especially in recent years, pro-lifers are making dramatic legislative gains in restricting abortion. Thank God for that. But we should never lose sight of the fact that the ultimate goal is to change hearts and minds, not just laws.

            Why this distinction matters was illustrated in a recent op-ed in the New York Times. As you might guess, especially from the title, “What Happens When Abortion is Banned,” the piece was not a ringing endorsement of the pro-life position.

            Still, the author, law professor Michelle Oberman, made some points we need to hear. She points to Latin America as a harbinger for what might happen if abortion becomes illegal in parts of the United States. Specifically, she cited two countries, El Salvador, where abortion is banned without exception, and Chile, where the same was true until just last year.

            As Oberman wrote, when she visited Chile in 2008, she “expected to find hospitals overflowing with dying women,” victims of back-alley doctors and self-inflicted abortion attempts. But she found no such thing.

            The reason was the ready availability of abortifacients, what Oberman called a “revolution that has replaced back alleys with blister packs ordered online.” She continues, “Abortifacient drugs have become so readily available in places like Chile and El Salvador that today it is impossible to enforce abortion laws.”

            They’re “readily available” because they “cost pennies to make” and the most commonly used one, misoprostol, is also used to treat stomach ulcers. While misoprostol alone is “less effective” (i.e., less lethal to the unborn child) than the combination used in the United States, when used in the first trimester it induces an abortion 90% of the time. Thus, in Brazil, where abortion is illegal in most instances, these drugs are estimated to result in half a million abortions every year.

            Oberman’s right about one very important thing: Legally banning abortion is not the same thing as ending it. Which means: if and when – Please, God! – Roe v. Wade is overturned, the battle will be far from over.

            For starters, legally speaking, the issue of abortion most likely will be returned to the states. That’s when the political battle will begin in earnest as states debate whether and/or under what circumstances abortion will be legal within their boundaries. Some large states, such as California and New York, will probably preserve something akin to the status quo. Others likely will not.

            But complicating all of this will be the increased use of abortifacients in place of surgery. By some estimates, the number of drug-induced abortions nearly matches the number of surgical abortions in the United States. And that number will likely continue to grow.

            This means that two of the most potent tools we possess – protesting at abortion clinics and stigmatizing abortionists – will become less relevant as surgery is replaced by a prescription.

            So, the battle to protect unborn human life will not be won, at least primarily, in the courts or legislature. It will be won, as Chuck Colson used to say, over the backyard fence and at barbecues. Through pregnancy care centers, pro-life student groups, trained conversationalists, good books and raising our own children to respect life.

            That is, it will be won when Christians all join in to persuade others that each and every human life, from conception to natural death, is worthy of our protection. Persuade them of this, and we’re well on the way to making abortion unthinkable – and whatever you can purchase online irrelevant.

Call to Action

Oct. 5, 2017, “Letter” signed by South Carolina State Representative (and now GOP Congressional nominee) Katie Arrington, published by

            Nearly 60 people were killed and more than 500 were wounded in the most horrific mass shooting in our nation’s history this week. Why did it happen? Why did congressman Steve Scalise get shot a few months ago?  Why did Sandy Hook happen in 2012?

            Many extreme liberals immediately pointed the finger at guns. Meanwhile, in the case of the Scalise shooting, Congressman Mark Sanford blamed President Donald Trump. They are all wrong.

            These mass shootings and other acts of senseless violence stem from one thing – a plague that is consuming us all, a plague that neither sees nor cares about race, gender, or political affiliation. What plague am I referring to? The devaluing of human life.

            Many people in this world – including the perpetrator of this senseless act of violence in Las Vegas – have no respect whatsoever for the dignity and sanctity of human life.

            If motivated to commit such atrocities, evil people like this will attempt to kill others using whatever means are available to them – be it a gun, knife, car, bomb, etc. Guns don’t kill people, knives don’t kill people, vehicles don’t kill people; people kill people. And why do they kill people?  Because they have forgotten – or they never knew – the sacredness of human life.

            In addition to prayer, how can this problem be fixed? As a society, I believe we must re-educate (or, in some cases, educate for the first time) children and communities on the importance and value of human life. In other words we must focus on the source of this plague, not the symptoms of it. 

            The symptoms of this plague are mass shootings, domestic violence, abortions, drug overdoses, abuse of the elderly, and, sadly, a litany of other problems facing our nation and our world. The sad reality is that none of these are new problems; they have been building for decades and will require just as much positive energy to halt, and hopefully reverse.

            To cure this plague, we need to teach all that every life is precious and relevant and that all lives matter. This core belief is what drives me to serve the people of South Carolina as a member of the House of Representatives.  It drives my thinking in every decision I make as a leader – and decisions made by many others in public service who are pro-life.

            While I will continue to use my voice to promote and defend the sanctity of human life, it is not just the politicians’ responsibility to do so. While politicians create law, they don’t create personal responsibility. Each and every citizen must speak up and speak out about the value of every human life. It is up to each one of us as individual human beings to teach our children and grandchildren – and to remind others of our common morals and ethics.

            We don’t have a gun control issue in this country, we have a moral crisis that is ripping apart the fundamental fabric of our Republic. Until we recognize the root of this crisis and respond accordingly, neither political rhetoric nor legislative edict will achieve our goal – which must be getting people to stop killing each other and start working together for our common liberty, prosperity and sustainability as a nation.

            We must reassert the inherent indispensability and inviolability of life as our most essential American liberty – and we must do it now before more of our brothers and sisters are senselessly slaughtered.

Expanded Mexico City Policy Working Well

June 12, 2018, commentary by Rebecca Oas, PhD, for Center for Family & Human Rights

            For decades, the global abortion lobby has worked hard to embed abortion advocacy within a wide array of projects and agendas, from maternal health to global peace and security to humanitarian relief. During that time, one policy has worked to mute the spread of abortion: Mexico City Policy.

            On Tuesday, the Center for Health & Gender Equity (CHANGE) released a report detailing what they charge are the harms of the Mexico City Policy, enacted by Republican administrations since Pres. Ronald Reagan. The policy blocks US funding for foreign organizations that advocate for or provide abortions. Under Pres. Donald Trump, the policy was expanded from family planning to all global health funding and rebranded as Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA).

            CHANGE refers to the policy as the “global gag rule” and acknowledges that most of those interviewed for the report would never report to it by its official name, “finding the mere mention of it objectionable.”

            The report launch featured several African speakers, including a representative of a Mozambique-based International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) affiliate that refused to comply with the new guidelines, costing them $2 million, or 60% of their budget.

            Helene Chiquele, a gender program officer for Oxfam in Mozambique, spoke about how the country had relaxed its abortion restrictions in 2014, but the issue remains highly contentious among Mozambican people. According to Chiquele, the expanded Mexico City Policy has negatively impacted abortion advocacy. She says some in her country are asking, “Why are we considering losing [US health assistance] money for the sake of abortion?”

            All the speakers agreed that the loss of US funding to abortion advocacy groups was having an impact on local politics, echoing previous admissions by the Policy’s detractors that it is, in fact, effective.

            While the expansion of Mexico City Policy under Trump may have caught them off guard, abortion advocates were not surprised by the reinstatement of the Policy, nor the speed with which it was done. Nevertheless, as representatives of CHANGE pointed out, a key strategy under Pres. Barack Obama was to integrate abortion into other health programs. Since abortion has infiltrated these other areas, such as the provision of clean water and HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, expanded Mexico City provides a powerful incentive to keep abortion out. What’s more, it clearly identifies those whose commitment to abortion exceeds their dedication to more pressing issues.

            The report mentions in passing the European-led “She Decides” campaign but acknowledges that it has not been able to replace the lost US funding to abortion-promoting groups. The IPPF and Marie Stopes Int’l are the two largest groups among the four who have reportedly refused to comply with expanded Mexico City Policy and lost US foreign aid funding. …