Life Advocacy Briefing

January 7, 2019

Welcome Back / 116th Congress Begins / The Games Begin
Will You March for Life? / The Leading Cause of Death / So Close
Quick Takes / End Nazi Science Now / Predictable Dysfunction

Welcome Back

WITH THIS EDITION OF LIFE ADVOCACY BRIEFING, we return from a brief holiday hiatus, and we begin our 26th year of bringing our readers news you can use in the cause of Life. We thank our subscribers and support team for the financial support which makes this possible. And we thank the Lord for His many blessings to us and our readers and to the United States of America.

116th Congress Begins

WHEN THE U.S. HOUSE CONVENED at noon last Thursday, the presiding officer announced receipt of 434 certificates of election, making clear that the House was opening with one vacancy, as the election in the 9th District of North Carolina has yet to be certified; the dispute arises over fraud allegations.

Among the 434 seated were 235 Democratic Members and 199 GOP Members. Former House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-SanFrancisco) was elected House Speaker for the 116th

Congress, and GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy, also from California, will serve as Minority Leader.

In the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will continue in the role of Majority Leader, and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) will continue as Minority Leader. The GOP continues to hold the majority in the Senate, with a majority of 52 to 45 Democrats. Two operational Democrats were elected as “Independents,” and a vacancy last Thursday will be filled as of tomorrow, Jan. 8, when the 53rd Republican Senator takes the oath of office, completing the membership of 100.

(Incoming GOP Sen. Rick Scott chose to delay taking office until completing his term as Governor of Florida; his successor, former GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis, is scheduled to take office Jan. 8. Florida law does not permit officeholders to serve in two offices simultaneously, and Sen.-elect Scott had pledged he would complete his gubernatorial term.)

The Games Begin

ON DAY ONE OF NANCY PELOSI’s SPEAKERSHIP and control of the US House by the Democratic Party, one of the first measures put before the House was a spending bill, referred to by the Majority as a bill to re-open the government, supposedly seeking to end the border security impasse which stalemated Congressional attempts in December to pass appropriations bills for agencies whose funding ran out just before Christmas.

It turns out the lack of funding for a border wall was not the only controversy within that first-day measure. According to House GOP Conference Chairman Rep. Liz Cheney (WY), it also contained a poison pill on the matter of taxpayer-funded abortion promotion.

“The American people don’t want to see these games,” Rep. Cheney told Ed Henry on the Fox News Channel’s “Special Report” program Thursday evening. “You know, the appropriations bill that the Democrats are putting on the floor today includes things like stripping out all of the protections – the so-called Mexico City protections – that protect Life, that prevent US taxpayer money from being used to support international aid programs that would allow abortion. So of course, we’re not going to support that.”

Will You March for Life?

THE ANNUAL MARCH FOR LIFE WILL OCCUPY THE NATIONAL MALL and streets of the nation’s capital on Friday, Jan. 18, four days before the 46th anniversary of the destructive Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton edicts by which the US Supreme Court rendered unenforceable every law in America governing the intentional killing of innocent preborn children. Theme for the March this year is “Unique from Day One.”

We will endeavor to publish a schedule of events closer to the date, as we usually do, but for now, we urge readers to make plans now to undertake this national witness for Life. The March for Life organization has a helpful Internet website at, which features a page listing organizing efforts for travel of groups from various locations from as far away as California; that page can be found at, and additional listings will be published as the March organizers are made aware of local opportunities.

The Leading Cause of Death

AN INTERNATIONALLY RESPECTED TRACKER OF STATISTICS called Worldometers published a statistic at the end of 2018 which prompted many news outlets to take note, a statistic which can be cited by advocates for Life as a critical indicator of the deadly implications of legalized abortion worldwide.

“On Dec. 31, a number of media outlets including Breitbart,” reports Calvin Freiburger for, “reported that as of the end of the year, Worldometers’ statistics page for abortion showed that more than 41 million induced abortions (as distinguished from ‘spontaneous abortions,’ better known as miscarriages) had taken place globally in 2018. …

“Worldometers’ estimate,” writes Mr. Freiburger, again citing Breitbart as source, “makes legal abortion deadlier than ‘cancer, malaria, HIV/AIDS, smoking, alcohol and traffic accidents combined.’ 2018 saw 8.2 million deaths from cancer, five million from smoking and 1.7 million from HIV/AIDS.”

Recognizing that everyday Americans – regardless of their attitudes on abortion – see “cause of death” as an indicator of something wrong, something which should be resisted, something whose alleviation would justify efficacious public policy or even the spending of tax dollars, the fact that abortion is the leading cause of death is something which can leverage an awakening and even a change of heart.  

The fact is, when one takes into account the scientifically unquestionable fact that the act of abortion is the killing on an unborn human being, abortion is the leading cause of death in America and has been ever since Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton turned America’s professed values upside down.

Whether or not one wishes to comment on the Worldometers report, an advocate for Life can develop persuasive statistics closer to home by acquiring public information as to the leading causes of death in a given state and as to incidence of induced abortion in that same state. The shocking, disturbing results will be the same, place by place.

Pro-life advocates can use such information to open eyes among their fellow citizens. We urge the use of such fact-based argument to swell the ranks of Americans who stand for the fundamental right to Life which is cited in the nation’s Declaration of Independence and protected in the 5th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution.

We can only hope our Supreme Court Justices have read the Worldometers report and will examine their consciences before the next opportunity arises for them to set right what seven Justices initiated in 1973.

So Close

OHIO’s ‘HEARTBEAT’ BILL FELL under the veto pen of Gov. John Kasich (R) last month, and the veto override motion has fallen short by one vote in the State Senate. The bill would have banned abortions on babies whose heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early, notes Catholic News Service (CNS), as six weeks of gestation. The 19-to-13 veto override vote came on Dec. 27; it needed 20 votes to pass after having passed the state House earlier that day by a sufficient override vote of 61 to 28, needing 60.

The Senate President, Sen. Larry Obhof (R) pledged, reports CNS, that “the legislation would come up again – and with a better chance of passing – in the next session.” It will also have a better chance of surviving gubernatorial scrutiny, as Gov. Kasich will leave office Jan. 14 and be succeeded by Gov.-elect Mike DeWine (R), who has said he supports the legislation and always had a pro-life voting record while serving in Congress in both the House and Senate.

“‘We will have a supermajority that is pro-life in both chambers in the next General Assembly,’” said Sen. Obhof, quoted by CNS. “‘We’re getting sworn in in less than two weeks, and we have a governor coming in who has said he would sign that bill,’ he told reporters,” as CNS reports.

The groundbreaking nature of the proposed legislation – which would no doubt be blocked in lower courts but could provide a mind-changing opportunity for the US Supreme Court – has caused something of a split among pro-life groups in the state, where “Heartbeat” has been debated more than two years. But the persistence of its backers, the bill’s popularity within the legislature and the improvements in the federal judiciary via Pres. Trump’s appointments appear to be moving Ohio Life advocates into a more unified stance.

The CNS story notes a new commitment to the measure by Ohio Right to Life, noting its board chairman, Marshal Pitchford said “in a Dec. 27 statement prior to the Senate vote that if the General Assembly did not override the governor’s veto, Ohio Right to Life would support the pro-life organizations working tirelessly to pass this bill during the next General Assembly. ‘We make this public commitment today,’ to get this bill to Gov.-elect Mike DeWine’s desk, he said,” reports CNS.

Quick Takes

  • WE TOOK NOTE DURING THE CHRISTMAS BREAK of the constant insistence of House Minority Leader (now Speaker) Nancy Pelosi’s charge that “the wall” proposed by Pres. Donald Trump is somehow “immoral.” We find it sadly ironic that one of the abortion cartel’s most powerful and insistent advocates in public life would see an inanimate object as “immoral” and yet wear blinders in denying the horror of legalized abortion in America.
  • IT DIED WITH ADJOURNMENT OF THE 115th CONGRESS, but a bill filed Dec. 10 by Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) could be an indication of a fight to come in the 116th. HR-7668, the Reproductive Rights are Human Rights Act of 2018 was co-sponsored by 55 House Democrats and died in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The bill was a direct response to the Trump State Department’s inclusion, in its 2017 human rights report, “statistics on ‘coercion in population control,’” reports the Catholic News Agency (CNA), “rather than ‘reproductive rights.’” When the State Department’s move “was applauded by pro-life leaders,” notes CNA, the abortion lobby and its fellow travelers in Congress just had to respond. But filing legislation in December of an even-numbered year? Might as well have left it at issuing a news release; oh, Rep. Clark did that, too, of course. And she has now been elected vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.
  • OUTGOING MICHIGAN GOV. RICK SNYDER (R) HAS VETOED SB-1198 on his way out of office. The legislation would have extended indefinitely the state’s ban on telemed abortions. Since the legislature is adjourned until the new lawmakers take office Jan. 9, the governor’s action paves the way for the abortion cartel to set up shops where baby-killing pills can be dispensed without the customer ever being examined in person by a physician. The telemed scheme calls for prescription-by-computer-screen-interview. The state law, which had a sunset provision ending its effect at the close of 2018, is now expired, unenforceable.
  • OPRAH WINFREY has put herself on a lot of pro-life prayer listsafter giving an interview to People magazine, reports Live Action’s Anna Reynolds, “about the time she was able to spend with her mother in her final days, time she called ‘sacred’ and ‘blessed.’” Here is what the spiritually confusing celebrity told People she said to her mother, quoted by Ms. Reynolds: “‘What I said was, “Thank you. Thank you, because I know it’s been hard for you. It was hard for you as a young girl having a baby, in Mississippi. No education. No training. No skills. Seventeen, you get pregnant with this baby. Lots of people would have told you to give that baby away. Lots of people would’ve told you to abort that baby. You didn’t do that. I know that was hard. I want you to know that no matter what, I know that you always did the best you knew how to do. And look how it turned out.”’” Look, indeed, Ms. Winfrey.
  • A MICHIGAN WOMAN IS BEING CALLED ‘A LIVING MIRACLE’ after surviving both a heart attack and the pessimism of her medical team. Michele DeLeeuw, 57, was without oxygen for 15 minutes after suffering the heart attack last August, reports Nancy Flanders for Live Action. “When paramedics got her to the hospital,” writes Ms. Flanders, “her husband Karl thought she was dead.” But she was alive, maintained by what doctors called 5% brain function and 25% heart function. “They told Karl, ‘The woman that you know as your wife is not there any more,’” writes Ms. Flanders. “He decided to turn off the ventilator. … But [Mrs.] DeLeeuw began breathing on her own. … She was put into ‘comfort care’ for patients who are believed to have little time left to live.” It was two days later when Mr. DeLeeuw got a call from his wife’s doctor. “‘We’ve had an unexpected event happen,’ said Karl DeLeeuw,” quoted by Ms. Flanders. His wife “was opening her eyes. Two days after that, she was speaking. ‘She told the nurse she’s hungry. I said, “Well, feed her,”’ said Karl DeLeeuw,” quoted by Live Action. “‘Two days later, she was sitting up in bed feeding herself.’”

End Nazi Science Now

Dec. 14, 2018, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            HHS may not have made up its mind about fetal tissue research, but House conservatives have! While the Trump Administration finishes up its review of any projects that use aborted babies, the House decided to do a little investigating of its own. And pro-lifers are hoping NIH was listening.

            Thursday’s hearings, hosted by a pair of Government Oversight subcommittees, zeroed in on the grisly practice of using taxpayer dollars to experiment on tiny human bodies. With the legislative session winding down, Chairmen Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) joined forces to highlight the problem before the new Democratic Majority takes over. People in their districts, they said, were furious that their tax dollars not only support these kinds of gruesome projects but also go to organizations like Planned Parenthood, who profit from the sale of baby body parts.

            “This is pretty simple,” said Rep. Jordan. “We don’t need the fetal body parts from babies to achieve scientific and medical achievements, because we have alternatives that can do it.” A familiar face to Family Research Council, Dr. David Prentice agreed, testifying that “There is no scientific necessity for the continued taxpayer funding of fresh fetal tissue, organs and body parts from induced abortion. Ample scientific alternatives exist, and modern alternatives have overtaken any need for fresh fetal tissue.”

            As most bioethicists would tell you, “If you’re surprised to find that fetal tissue has been used to treat and cure these diseases, you wouldn’t be alone, because it’s simply not true.” Still, Democrats insisted, this tissue has “unique properties that are ‘necessary’ to test HIV cures. One of the party’s witnesses, Dr. Temple, did confess that the undercover footage of Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts ring was “disturbing,” but also admitted that her company had purchased fetal tissue from one of the groups caught on David Daleiden’s videos.

            While a lot of pro-lifers are encouraged by the news that the National Institutes of Health may put another $20 million into fetal tissue alternatives, their biggest goal remains the same. “I think emphatically there should be a wall built between the taxpayer dollars and the use of those dollars going toward aborted baby parts and the research thereof,” Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA) reiterated yesterday. He and GOP leaders are right. It’s time to put the government’s money where it belongs: in research that’s ethical and effective.

Predictable Dysfunction

Dec. 31, 2018, The Point commentary by BreakPoint’s John Stonestreet & Roberto Rivera

            With nearly 1.4 billion people and one-fifth of the entire human race, it may surprise you to learn there are 50 million empty houses in China. By “empty” I don’t mean “abandoned” or “uninhabitable.” They have owners and by Chinese standards are perfectly acceptable places to live.

            So why are they empty?

            China’s “one-child policy,” which was in place for decades before being slightly modified, combined with the Chinese preference for boys, created a gender imbalance. The number of never-married men in their thirties in China is now larger than the population of Canada.

            This means that competition for wives is fierce. To even stand a chance, a potential groom must own a home. Thus, families often chip in to buy lonely Chinese bachelors a concrete-and-steel-advantage in the marriage lottery.

            But empty structures aren’t the only way that China’s “one-child policy” has come up empty.

            Demographics shape destiny, and denying this truth never ends well. We in the West should take note.