Life Advocacy Briefing

November 12, 2018

Mixed Results / Woo-hoo!
‘Life’ a Winner on the Ballot / What’s with Joe Manchin?
Planned Parenthood Crosses Campaign Finance Line?
Presidential Proclamation: National Adoption Month 2018
Feelin’ Good

Mixed Results

THE ELECTION IS OVER – except for the ridiculous, potentially corrupt post-election counting of “mail” and “provisional” ballots in a growing number of jurisdictions. (A few Congressional races are still undeclared as a result.) We are reprinting a commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, published by his political action arm FRC/Action, at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing. We expect our readers will find encouragement in it, as we did. But we cannot overlook the half of the glass that is empty, as Mr. Perkins nearly did.

Certainly the United States Senate will be less inhospitable to the cause of Life, so, hurrah there. But we take the loss of the House to the abortion-complicit Democratic Party more sadly than does Mr. Perkins, in part because of the transfer of committee power to – in most cases – radical abortion advocates and in part because of certain House losses we find hard to cheer.

Mr. Perkins does acknowledge that “a couple [of conservative leaders lost] in difficult districts.” But we notice with some grief who these now-fallen pro-life heroes are. Two of them, Republican Representatives Peter Roskam and Randy Hultgren, are from Illinois, where Life Advocacy has always been based. These are friends whose stewardship in Congress we have long appreciated.

We must thank also Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), whose participation in a Life Advocacy Winning with Life seminar helped him grasp the common-sense reality of abortion law reform, and who has played a key role in the House over the past several terms, first as chairman of the House GOP campaign committee and more recently as chairman of the Rules Committee.

And then there is two-term Rep. Mia Love (R-UT), whose district’s election officials are still counting ballots in a tight race; we can hope the outcome will change, but at this writing, this talented young lady is behind; seeing her travail on election night, our minds cast back promptly to her March for Life speech, and we are saddened.

So while the news from the Senate is good, and while we agree that most House GOP Members who lost tend to be on the more “moderate” side within the conference, we must pause to thank those who have served well the cause of Life and ended up paying the price in states where the pro-life movement was less active in the precincts than it needed to be. We hope the lesson has been learned. Anticipating Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is simply not an occasion for celebration.


WE DO CELEBRATE WITH SPECIAL JOY the re-election of GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania’s 1st District. Though the race has not yet been called as of this writing, the results appear to us to be solid enough to expect he has defeated the depopulation fanatic Scott Wallace (D), about whom we warned our readers in last week’s Life Advocacy Briefing.

Rep. Fitzpatrick has a solid pro-life voting record. His wealthy left-wing opponent would surely have brought a determined dedication to baby-killing into the Congress of a sort which goes well beyond the more typical, less motivated anti-Life Members whose votes more often reflect their apathetic complicity with Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s List as funders of their campaigns.

‘Life’ a Winner on the Ballot

VOTERS IN TWO OF THREE STATES WHERE ‘LIFE’ WAS ON THE BALLOT voted to affirm the right to life – in fact, Alabama and West Virginia voters added pro-life provisions to their state constitutions. The Oregon effort to bar public funding for abortion via statewide referendum was the only pro-life proposition to fall short.

Adopted in West Virginia was a constitutional amendment which, reports Live Action, “‘clarif[ies] that nothing in the ST constitution “protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.”’” The new provision is very similar to one recently adopted by Tennessee voters amending their own constitution. In West Virginia, the amendment would also, reports Kelli for Live Action, citing as source, “‘ban state Medicaid funds from going to abortion except in cases like rape, incest, a fetal anomaly or threats to the life of the woman.’”

Alabama’s new provision, which was endorsed by 59% of voters, reports Live Action, “is what is referred to as a ‘trigger law,’ meaning that it would go into effect should the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide ever be overturned.

“According to the Montgomery Advertiser,” writes Kelli, “‘Amendment 2 essentially declares Alabama a “pro-life” state, affirming that it is “the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children.”’”

What’s with Joe Manchin?

THOUGH SEN. JOE MANCHIN (WV) WAS THE ONLY SENATE DEMOCRAT to vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh – whose confirmation was supported by many as a “pro-life priority” – and though he likes to fashion himself a pro-life Democrat, the 2018 election campaign raised some questions about his commitment.

Sen. Manchin openly opposed the ballot proposition clarifying that the West Virginia state constitution does not confer a right to abortion. In a pre-election debate with his opponent, reports Calvin Freiburger for, citing Breitbart as source, Sen. Manchin claimed, in fielding a question about the amendment, “‘I was born into a pro-life family. I was raised pro-life, and I have always voted pro-life my entire public career, with the exceptions of the life of the mother, rape and incest.’” (Life Advocacy Briefing’s Voting Record Index shows Sen. Manchin to have compiled a “mixed” record on Life issues, which puts him ahead of his Democratic colleagues but hardly qualifies as a consistent record.) What is more, LifeSiteNews reminds us “he also voted against a budget amendment to defund Planned Parenthood in August.”

He accus[ed] state GOP lawmakers,” reports Mr. Freiburger, “of ‘decid[ing] to make it political’ by leaving those exceptions out of the amendment. ‘The only thing I’ve said, if those exclusions are not in there it is not something we should be voting on.’”

But “[Sen.] Manchin’s litmus test is a curious one,” notes Mr. Freiburger, “as the amendment doesn’t ban any abortions for any reason and in fact doesn’t even challenge Roe v. Wade; it simply declares that the state constitution leaves the question to the voters and the legislature.”

To make matters worse – and to us, more importantly – “West Virginia’s Mountaineer Journal reported,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “that it had uncovered a previously overlooked photo of [Sen.] Manchin posing with pro-abortion volunteers from a 2015 Facebook post by Planned Parenthood Votes South Atlantic. It shows [Mr.] Manchin smiling with a group of young women in ‘We are the Planned Parenthood Generation’ t-shirts, holding a box that says, ‘West Virginia Supports Women’s Rights.’”

That revelation echoes a report in 2017, notes Mr. Freiburger, of Mr. Manchin’s “holding an ‘I Stand with Planned Parenthood’ sign in another photo with a constituent, while elsewhere happily posing with a Students for Life sign proclaiming, ‘We don’t need Planned Parenthood.’”

Now that Sen. Manchin appears to be narrowly on his way to a second full term, in a contest too close to call as of two days past election day, we hope he will take more stock of his claimed upbringing and that he will more faithfully reflect the image he so often tries to project as the Senate’s sole remaining pro-life Democrat. The people of West Virginia deserve representation and deserve to have a Senator who levels with them in deeds and not just words.

Planned Parenthood Crosses Campaign Finance Line?

NEW HAMPSHIRE ATTORNEY GENERAL GORDON MacDONALD HAS RECEIVED an official complaint from “a New Hampshire-based social conservative group,” writes Calvin Freiburger for, “accusing Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) of using tax dollars obtained in its non-profit capacity for election-related activity without reporting it.

“‘Planned Parenthood has unlawfully taken taxpayer dollars granted to their 501/c/3 (tax-exempt organization) and used that money for opposing candidates for New Hampshire state offices,’ NH Cornerstone Action’s Jay Christopher told” the New Hampshire Union Leader, cited as source by Mr. Freiburger. “‘Specifically, Planned Parenthood has failed to report this activity and obscured where the money came from and how it was used.’

“The group claims,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “that PPNNE’s action fund, which received $422,192 from its taxpayer-financed parent organization, spent $38,500 on political donations as of the third week in October, despite receiving only $14,500 in private donations.”

The complaint also cites mischaracterizing of the political contributions as “independent expenditures,” though the political spending, reports Mr. Freiburger, quoting the complaint, “‘do[es] not appear to actually be independent but rather coordinated with the candidate,’” strictly forbidden in campaign finance laws. “‘Prior to expending these funds,’” the complaint reads, “‘Planned Parenthood met with the candidates and had the candidates pose with PP t-shirts and signs.’”

Quoting a local political newsletter called NH Political Buzz, Mr. Freiburger reports, “‘Planned Parenthood has increased their political payouts and politicking (for mostly Democrats) exponentially since the early ’90s.’” That was the era when the abortion lobby took its propaganda into state-level political campaigns across America in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Webster decision which upheld sections of Missouri state law constraining the abortion cartel.

Presidential Proclamation: National Adoption Month 2018

            During the National Adoption Month, we recognize the immeasurable love and support that adoptive parents and families provide to hundreds of thousands of children each year. We celebrate the life-changing act of adoption, bring attention to the millions of Americans who are eager to adopt and express our gratitude to the families who have welcomed children into their lives and homes. My Administration also acknowledges the courage of those mothers and fathers who place their child for adoption. Our Nation grows stronger because of the love and sacrifice of parents, both birth and adoptive.

            Adoption is a blessing for all involved. It provides needed relief to birth parents, who may not, for whatever reason, be in a position to raise a child. It fosters loving homes for children. It enables individuals to grow their families and share their love. And it fosters strong families, which are integral to ensuring strong communities and a resilient country. To secure the benefits of adoption, we must continue to assist families who are willing to adopt children in need of a permanent home and support the adoptive families already formed. We must also encourage all Americans to recognize that adoption is a powerful way to show women they are not alone in an unexpected pregnancy.

            My Administration is dedicated to supporting the children in foster care who are seeking permanent homes. Unfortunately, many youth leave foster care at the age of 18 without lasting family connections. These children deserve a permanent family, which can provide them with love,

stability, support and encouragement as they pursue personal, educational and employment goals and confront life’s opportunities and challenges.

            Adoption affirms the inherent value of human life and signals that every child – born or unborn – is wanted and loved. Children, regardless of race, sex, age or disability deserve a loving embrace into families they can call their own. This month we honor the thousands of American families who have grown because of adoption. We also stand with those children in foster care, and we appeal to families, communities and houses of worship across our great nation to help these children find a permanent home.

            NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2018 as National Adoption Month. I encourage all Americans to observe this month by helping children in need of a permanent home secure a more promising future with a forever family, so they may enter adulthood with the love and support we all deserve.

Feelin’ Good

Nov. 7, 2018, Washington Update commentary by Tony Perkins for FRC/Action

            If there were any takeaways everyone could agree on this morning, it’s this: Pro-lifers won big. New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters noted that it was hard to ignore how much ground values voters gained by electing not just Republicans but solid, reliable conservatives. In the most hotly contested Senate races, where evangelical turnout was highest, pro-lifers were rewarded in a big way that, even the Times points out, “will help the party advance one of its bedrock issues.”

            Obviously, the election of Josh Hawley in Missouri, Mike Braun in Indiana, Kevin Cramer in North Dakota and Rick Scott in Florida is significant for a lot of reasons but mainly because they help make for a more ideologically conservative Senate.

            And evangelicals deserve a lot of credit for that. Nationally, they were within a point of their average turnout in the midterm elections – 26% – but in states where a battleground Senate seat was in play, they outperformed almost every other demographic. As CBN’s David Brody tweeted last night, the power of the evangelical was on full display in the four races that snatched the Senate out of the Left’s reach.

            Evangelicals’ enthusiasm turned out 30% in Florida, 38% in Missouri, 37% in North Dakota and a whopping 40% in Indiana – all states where FRC/Action was in action. These turnout numbers are anywhere from a four-to-13-point participation boost in states that flipped conservative!

            Some of that excitement had a spillover effect on governors’ races, delivering two very important states in advance of 2020: Ohio and Florida, where Mike DeWine (R) and Ron DeSantis (R) will now have a major say in abortion funding and election redistricting.

            In the three states where voters had the opportunity to directly decide Life issues, Alabamans and West Virginians did – giving the green light on two ballot initiatives that will officially spell it out in both state constitutions that abortion is not a fundamental right.

            Even in the House, where Republicans experienced the biggest setbacks, most – not all – of the GOP Members who lost were not strong conservative leaders. There were a couple in difficult districts. But by and large, what these midterms did was squeeze out the moderates. “Voters have sent 19 House Republican incumbents and counting home …,” Roll Call explains. “The losses cut across all factions of the Republican Conference, but most of the incumbents going home after this term are moderate Members. With the number of House Republicans shrinking next year, conservatives are poised to become a larger portion of the conference.”

            So what we’re witnessing – and this has been happening over the last 12 years – is a refinement of the House, where the GOP is actually becoming a more condensed block of ideological conservatives.

            Of course, Democrats chased the moderates out of their party years ago, so in many ways, the margins are gone. That only helps position movements like ours to act. When Congress reconvenes – even with the gavel in Democratic hands – Americans may begin to see true conservative leadership emerge. And that may be the greatest victory of all.