Life Advocacy Briefing

December 10, 2018

Getting Ready / Priorities Unveiled / Quick Takes
Lesson Taught / Confronting the Next Wave of Abortion
Where Is the Justice Department?

Getting Ready

HOUSE DEMOCRATS – soon to take “Majority” status in the US House – released the session schedule for 2019 last week, which, reports Roll Call, “includes 130 days in session over 33 weeks. …

“The House will be in recess – or a ‘district work period’ – for at least a week each month, except for June,” Roll Call reports. “That will be partially offset by a late summer break from the Capitol that is scheduled to go from July 29 to Sept. 6.”

The new House and Senate is expected to convene at noon on Thursday, Jan. 3, when all 435 House Members and the newly elected Senators will take their oaths of office for the 116th Congress, followed by election of the Speaker of the House.

Priorities Unveiled

AMONG MANY SHIFTS THAT ARE CERTAIN TO COME when Democrats assume control of the US House early in January, fanatical and comprehensive advocacy for the abortion cartel is a cherished goal of the new Majority, though, as a report in Roll Call last week notes, the so-called “Pro-Choice Caucus … faces an uphill battle against a Republican Senate and [an] Administration with strong ties to the anti-abortion lobby. …

“House Democratic Leadership aides have said that women’s reproductive health [sic] issues will be a priority in the next Congress,” reports Roll Call, which goes on to quote Pelosi spokesman Henry Connelly, “‘Women’s right to comprehensive health care and affordable family planning is still under assault from the GOP Senate, the White House and the states.’” Oh, may it be! But he goes on to vow, “‘The new House Democratic Majority will fight back against these attacks and work to reverse the damage inflicted by years of GOP attacks on women’s right to choose and access to affordable contraception.’” Does anyone notice how repetitive this so-called spokesman is? His words are a mere mantra.

Roll Call notes that the “Pro-Choice Caucus” is co-chaired by Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Barbara Lee (D-CA); no surprise.

“‘In our new majority, we will continue to fight for every woman’s right to freely access reproductive health care,’ said [Rep.] DeGette in a statement,” quoted by Roll Call. “‘The Trump Administration has made numerous attempts to throw up ideologically-driven road blocks to women’s health care, and we will stand up to every one of those attempts for as long as we have to.’ …

“Going forward, [Ms.] DeGette said that the caucus plans,” notes Roll Call, “to advocate for policies that would make health care more accessible regardless of an individual’s socio-economic situation so that contraception ‘and the right to choose when and where to have a family is finally a reality for all women,’ a reference to recent Administration actions. The Trump Administration issued two final rules in early November,” reports Roll Call, “that would allow any employer the option to forgo covering birth control by citing a moral or a religious objection. Democrats have opposed these rules,” notes Roll Call, “saying they would reduce women’s access to care.”

Rep. DeGette’s “counterpart, [Rep.] Lee,” speculates Roll Call, “is likely to continue efforts to advocate for a bill that would expand access to abortion under federally funded programs like Medicaid and Medicare as well as private employer-sponsored plans,” a proposal which, notes Roll Call, “would face opposition in the Senate.”

The Roll Call story also reports priorities by lobbyists they call “reproductive health advocates,” who, reports Roll Call, “said two big issues they plan to lobby on next year are protecting the Title X [Ten] family planning program and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program,” which pushes teen sexual activity by pushing contraception.

“Other goals cited by groups,” reports Roll Call, “include strengthening the 2010 [ObamaCare] healthcare law, overseeing Medicaid and reversing the so-called Mexico City policy, which bars federal funding for international non-governmental organizations that provide abortion referrals or counseling or engage in abortion-rights advocacy.”

Fasten your seatbelts, pro-life advocates. It comes as no surprise since the disappointing House election results emerged, but the 116th Congress will be a challenging two years in which the Senate will have to stand tall.

Quick Takes

  • A baby born to a British couple at just past 30 weeks was born “totally healthy,” reports Dave Andrusko for National Right to Life News Today, after in-utero spina bifida surgery in Germany.
  • Fears of political fallout from a possible government shutdown have put calls for defunding Planned Parenthood into limbo for the balance of the 115th Congress, reports Calvin Freiburger for
  • Planned Parenthood executive salaries continue to rise, despite the abortion cartel’s exposed involvement in a baby-body-parts harvesting scheme, reports’s Calvin Freiburger, citing Jim Sedlak of American Life League’s STOPP International as source. “Planned Parenthood paid all 56 of its affiliate CEOs a total of $14.3 million,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “from which all made six figures annually. … Between 2015 and 2017, the average compensation for a PPFA affiliate CEO rose from $237,999 to $255,523. … The average compensation to top PPFA executives during that same period rose from $389,514 to $394,893. … As of 2017, former president Cecile Richards and outgoing executive vice president Dawn Laguens made $744,833 and $683,532, respectively.”
  • Family Research Council president Tony Perkins has singled out US Rep. Brad Wenstrup as a leading life-saver in the coming Congress. “Cong. Wenstrup knows there will be challenges,” writes Mr. Perkins in a Dec. 5, 2018, Washington Update commentary, “but he said that ought to make Republicans work even harder to hold the line. It’s up to us, he said,” writes Mr. Perkins, “to be ‘as persuasive as we possibly can to bring up the negative aspects’ of abortion and try to change hearts and minds. At the very least, he insists, they should try to find common ground on other pro-life issues like ‘assisted suicide’ or ending the gruesome practice of fetal tissue experiments.” The three-term Ohio Republican is also a medical doctor.
  • In the same year that Illinois’s GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation forcing taxpayers to underwrite abortions and repealing Illinois’s unenforceable pre-Roe abortion ban, abortions in the Midwest abortion magnet rose 0.5% to 39,329, according to the state health department’s 2017 Abortion Statistics data, reports Illinois Federation for the Right to Life. Out-of-state abortions committed in Illinois increased by more than 21%, totaling 5,528.

Lesson Taught

Dec. 5, 2018, Commentary by Bradley Mattes, president, Life Issues Institute

            Much of the world is watching as the state funeral of former President George H.W. Bush unfolds. America does a good job of honoring our nation’s highest leaders when God calls them home.

            Both as Vice President and President, George H.W. Bush was strongly pro-life. But in the early days of the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan that was far from the case.

            George H.W. Bush supported abortion as a candidate for President, one of the reasons Reagan prevailed. When Ronald Reagan named Bush to run on the ticket with him during the Republican Convention, there was considerable disappointment from rank and file pro-lifers.

            Dr. Jack Willke, my former colleague and founder of Life Issues Institute, was then president of the National Right to Life Committee. Upon hearing the news of a Reagan/Bush ticket, he went to the hotel that served as the Republican headquarters and asked to see Mr. Bush. Instead he was introduced to Bill Casey, Reagan’s campaign manager who went on to be Director of the CIA. Jack explained the need to see Mr. Bush, and Casey agreed. He was ushered into a room where it was just the two of them.

            Jack stressed to Bush the need to elect Ronald Reagan; he conveyed the complication of having a running mate who supported abortion and suggested to the candidate that he brief him on the abortion issue. Mr. Bush began to share his opinion on the issue, but Jack interrupted him, saying that he’d rather hear Mr. Bush’s position on abortion after the briefing.

            Then Jack added, “I need four hours to thoroughly brief you.” Bush reacted with mild shock, but he pressed on. “We represent a lot of pro-life Americans. If we can tell them that you thought this issue was so important, you dedicated a substantial amount of time to be briefed, it will make a favorable impression on our people.” Bush responded, “You make a valid point. Let’s do it.”

            Jack pressed even further, asking to bring in a few pro-life leaders after lunch to discuss the campaign. Bush agreed. A few weeks later Jack was seated on the couch in Bush’s Kennebunkport, Maine, home with a slide projector between them.

            Using effective imagery, Jack introduced the Vice-Presidential candidate to the beauty of life in the womb, as well as the shocking reality of what abortion does to babies and their mothers. They also discussed key arguments for and against abortion.

            At the end of their time together, Jack then asked Mr. Bush where he was on abortion. Mr. Bush smiled, realizing the strategy of their time together. “I wasn’t here before, but I am now. I will support an amendment to the Constitution to forbid abortion and overturn Roe v. Wade, as a state’s rights amendment.” Mission accomplished!

            That meeting changed the course of history, and many babies are alive today because of the pro-life policies of Pres. George H.W. Bush’s administration. … President Bush was good to his word.

            As President, he directed his attorney general to ask the Supreme Court to overrule its pro-abortion decisions in Roe v. Wade and a later case that reaffirmed Roe’s holdings, Webster v. Reproductive Health Services.

            Pres. Bush worked to limit Title X funds from going to organizations that promote abortion and maintained the Mexico City policy, which stops US taxpayer funding of the abortion industry overseas.

            Pres. Bush also used his veto pen to protect unborn babies. He vetoed an entire spending bill when Congressional Democrats sought to loosen the Hyde Amendment. Overall, he lodged 10 vetoes of bills that lacked protections for the unborn.

            And he issued sanctity-of-life proclamations annually. Pres. Bush’s 1991 proclamation told Americans his Administration “championed compassionate alternatives to abortion, such as helping women in crisis through maternity group homes, encouraging adoption, promoting abstinence education and passing laws requiring parental notification and waiting periods for minors.”

            We join the nation in mourning this good and decent man. His pro-life conversion is a lasting testimony to the power of education, the foundation on which pro-life political and legislative victories are built. …

Confronting the Next Wave of Abortion

Nov. 30, 2018, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            For the last several years, businesses like Planned Parenthood have done everything they can to make abortion more appealing. They’ve added spa robes and hot tea. They made it available by carry-out, through pills, and on video conference. And while Americans can order plenty of things over the Internet, most people agree: abortion shouldn’t be one of them.

            Fortunately, the Michigan Senate agrees and just voted to ban one of the worst ideas in modern medicine: prescribing abortion pills over a webcam. By a 25-to-12 vote, Michigan leaders decided that abortions are dangerous enough with a doctor’s supervision; they don’t need to jeopardize more women by making pills like RU-486 more “convenient.” In most cases, chemical abortions are so dangerous that some physicians won’t even prescribe the drugs – let alone Skype them.

            In some states, though, women can video-conference with doctors instead of meeting them face to face. As one reporter says, “The doctor can … tap a button on the computer to [open] a special drawer at the [other] location that’ll … allow the patient to receive [RU-486].” It’s like a remote vending machine – except that these drugs are lethal to a baby – and potentially to her mother as well.

            Getting high-risk abortion drugs without a doctor’s direct supervision is bad enough. But if these women have complications – and many do – they’re on their own. In the latest report, the FDA admitted that there were more than 1,446 … cases of “adverse events from the abortion pill” between 2012 to 2017. That can mean anything from blood loss that requires transfusions to infections (with many categorized as “severe”), hospitalizations, and at least 22 women deaths. Despite all of this, Planned Parenthood and others continue to argue that “the abortion pill is a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy.” Tell that to the 22 families who will never see their daughters, mothers and sisters again.

            Now that chemical abortions are becoming more popular, we applaud the Michigan Senate for doing what it can to keep women as safe as possible. Let’s hope the State House – and more states – follow suit!

[For more information on the dangers of these pills, check out our [brochure] publication “Planned Parenthood Is Not Pro-Woman” (available on the Internet at]

Where Is the Justice Department?

Dec. 5, 2018, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            America’s biggest abortion chain may have been rocked by scandals – but they certainly haven’t been bad for business. Despite some of the worst three years for Planned Parenthood’s brand, local branches are proving that revenue hasn’t exactly been a problem. Apparently, the only thing Planned Parenthood has more of than controversy is money. And San Jose’s location is Exhibit A.

            Out at California’s Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, there was probably a time when things looked bleak. Thanks to David Daleiden, the office was swept up in a series of undercover videos showing the group selling baby body parts for profit. After Congressional investigators got involved, the evidence against the group was so compelling that Mar Monte was referred for criminal investigation.

            Now, almost two years later, it looks like Mar Monte isn’t just surviving – it’s thriving. Micaiah Bilger of Life News dug into the branch’s paperwork and was astounded to see that the location was bursting with cash. On the group’s 990 form, the San Jose area Planned Parenthood reported an income of $109.7 million during its last fiscal year (July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017). Not bad for a “nonprofit!”

            Of course, if the group was suffering after its brush with the law, you wouldn’t know it. Even though abortions are down across the country, it looks like forced taxpayer dollars more than made up for it. Of the $109 million income, two-thirds – $70.4 million – came straight from taxpayers. Unfortunately, that’s not a surprise in a state like California, one of 12, Bilger points out, where Americans are forced to pay for abortion-on-demand.

            Even so, the branch’s bulging bank accounts are leading a lot of people to wonder: how much of that money is still coming from the group’s black market for body parts? Two years ago, when the branch was exposed for its starring role in Planned Parenthood’s horror show, Daleiden “outlined how much money the affiliate could make selling aborted baby parts in a year: ‘Planned Parenthood Mar Monte did 18,035 abortions [in 2015] – if each abortion yielded just one “usable” “product of conception” for StemExpress, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte stood to gain nearly $1 million every year from its sale of tiny baby hearts, lungs and brains.’”

            There’s no proof that Mar Monte is still trafficking in baby body parts, but without a full investigation, who can be sure? No wonder Americans are so determined to cut the organization’s taxpayer ties. They know, like we do, that if Planned Parenthood is raking in millions of dollars in revenue, it certainly doesn’t need any help from us!