Life Advocacy Briefing

January 28, 2019

Sign of Things to Come? / Late-Term Ban Filed in Senate
Where the Left Gains Control / Quick Takes / Crack in the Wall
Speaking for Life at the March Rally / Senate Voting Record

Sign of Things to Come?

THE SENATE VOTED LATE LAST THURSDAY AFTERNOON to block consideration of S-109, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which would have made the Hyde Amendment permanent law and extended it to cover all agencies of government.

Under the Senate’s stubborn “cloture” rule, which requires 60 votes to advance legislation to a vote, thereby blocking the recording of an actual vote on a proposal, S-109 fell short at 48 to 47, with two Democrats joining 46 Republicans in voting “yes” and five GOP Senators missing.

We thank Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) for his leadership on this needed proposal and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for putting the cloture motion to a vote, even as we continue to urge Sen. McConnell to end the obnoxious stranglehold on needed legislation by abandoning his obdurate embrace of “cloture” as a Senate tradition.

Readers who wish to know their Senators’ position on forcing taxpayers to underwrite the killing of developing human babies can find the voting record on the cloture motion at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing. The procedural motion will have to speak for itself as to Senators’ intent.

Late-Term Ban Filed in Senate

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC) HAS FILED S-160, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, with 43 co-sponsors. The late-term abortion ban has been sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Sen. Graham is chairman. Passage by the Senate is uncertain, given the Senate Minority’s stranglehold on the body via the “cloture” rule. It is our hope the Senate will proceed to consider and debate the legislation – even through the bog of a filibuster – for the sake of increasing public awareness of the humanity of the unborn child and of the pain experienced by developing children who have achieved 20 weeks or more of gestational development.

Co-sponsoring the bill are GOP Senators Dan Sullivan/AK, John Boozman & Tom Cotton/AR, Marco Rubio/FL, Johnny Isakson & David Perdue/GA, Mike Crapo & James Risch/ID, Mike Braun & Todd Young/IN, Joni Ernst & Chuck Grassley/IA, Jerry Moran & Pat Roberts/KS, Mitch McConnell & Rand Paul/KY, Bill Cassidy & John Kennedy/LA, Cindy Hyde-Smith & Roger Wicker/MS, Roy Blunt/MO, Steve Daines/MT, Deb Fischer & Ben Sasse/NE, Richard Burr & Thom Tillis/NC, John Hoeven & Kevin Cramer/ND, Rob Portman/OH, James Inhofe & James Lankford/OK, Pat Toomey/PA, Tim Scott/SC, Mike Rounds & John Thune/SD, Marsha Blackburn/TN,  John Cornyn & Ted Cruz/TX, Mike Lee & Mitt Romney/UT, Ron Johnson/WI and John Barrasso & Michael Enzi/WY. No Democrats yet.

Where the Left Gains Control

NEW YORK GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY) JUST COULDn’t HELP HIMSELF. He has been governor of one of the nation’s most notorious left-wing bastions for eight years, but until this month, he has been stymied by a GOP-controlled State Senate. No more. He and his party have now enacted – signed just last week – a law, writes Calvin Freiburger for, “to enshrine a ‘fundamental right’ to abortion in state law and eliminate protections for preborn babies until birth.”

Both houses of the legislature voted Tuesday – that was Jan. 22 – with the Senate leading at 38 to 24 after having blocked the same measure passed repeatedly by the Assembly for 12 years. The Assembly followed quickly that evening on a vote of 92 to 47.

Until now New York law has long prohibited the killing of gestating babies older than 24 weeks, notes Mr. Freiburger, “as potential homicide victims.” The “Reproductive Health Act,” he explains, “removes abortion from the penal code entirely and allows licensed health practitioners other than full doctors to commit abortions.”

Gov. Cuomo followed his signature achievement with a celebration wrapping One World Trade Center in pink light. “Take note,” urges BreakPoint’s John Stonestreet in a The Point commentary on Jan. 24. “The pro-choice movement just revealed its true face. It’s not about choice. It’s about glorifying, even idolizing, death as the path to a good life, with cult-like glee. Lord, have mercy.”

Quick Takes

  • KUDOS to Gov. Matt Bevin and Cong. Thomas Massie, both Kentucky Republicans, for forthright statements in defense of the Covington Catholic High School youth who politely stood their ground when confronted and harassed by radicals at the Lincoln Memorial following the March for Life in Washington. Their just and dignified endorsements of the young men involved contrasted deeply with the unfortunate – no, outrageous – response of the Covington Diocese attack on these outstanding young men.
  • STUDENTS FOR LIFE OF AMERICA PRESIDENT Kristan Hawkins made a thoughtful response to the release of an encouraging SFLA poll taken by The Polling Company, Inc./Woman Trend and reported on by “‘Millennials,’” she said, “‘have lived with the harsh realities of abortion all their lives and understand more than their parents’ generation that we must address the human rights issue of our day and make changes in defense of mothers and their preborn infants. … Our poll found that Millennials do not blindly support unlimited abortion paid for with their tax dollars, no matter what the popular culture says. Millennials may reject labels in general, but when it comes to the specifics of abortion policy, they are anti-abortion.’” And indeed, many marched for Life on Jan. 18 in Washington and on other January dates in other American cities. Reinforcements are arriving!
  • A MOBILE PHONE COMPANY HAS ANNOUNCED it is permitting customers to designate a pro-life charity to which 5% of their monthly fee will be donated by Charity Mobile. “‘Help build a Culture of Life in America with every call,’ the company’s website states,” reports The company will reach its 23rd anniversary of service this year, according to the report. The president and co-founder, David Condit, is reportedly a father of 10. Organizations which qualify for the Charity Mobile earmark are listed on the company’s Internet website at Life Advocacy has no relationship with this company. We thought our readers might find this option to be of interest.

Crack in the Wall

Jan. 22, 2019 Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            Thanks to Planned Parenthood’s annual report, more Americans are starting to understand why the country’s biggest abortion business doesn’t need taxpayer money. Texas has always thought so, which is why the state has worked for years to put the brakes on the organization’s government-funded gravy train. Now, thanks to the Trump administration, the Lone Star State finally has the right to try again.

            Under Barack Obama, it wasn’t just suggested that states send a portion of their Medicaid dollars to Planned Parenthood – it was required. Like a lot of Americans, President Trump didn’t think the government should be telling states how to spend their money. So he overturned the rule and wrote his own, insisting that legislatures could decide for themselves.

            Naturally, Planned Parenthood wasn’t exactly thrilled at the thought of losing Texas’s $3.1 million, so it took the state to court. Late last week, a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court had its say – and, to the abortion group’s surprise, it ruled on behalf of taxpayers. Writing for the majority, Judge Edith Jones explained that the lower court had no reason to issue an injunction, especially when the $3.1 million that Texas is trying to withhold from Planned Parenthood is a “smidgen” of the $57 million its affiliates earn each year.

            Just as importantly, the panel also handed a huge moral victory to the Center for Medical Progress, whose undercover videos have been ruled inadmissible in other courts. In this instance, Texas used the footage as one of its major arguments for defunding the group. “One of the incriminating videos,” LiveAction points out, “was shot inside Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Texas, where a Planned Parenthood employee explained that making it look like they didn’t profit from fetal tissue was ‘just a matter of line items.’ Another video featured abortionist Amna Dermish of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas discussing how she more effectively harvests fetal body parts during abortions.”

            The Left has argued since the first tape was released in 2015 that the videos have been “doctored.” This court disagreed, reminding everyone that the footage had undergone forensic review and weren’t “deceptively edited.” If other judges agree, that will destroy one of Planned Parenthood’s central arguments.

            For David Daleiden, who did America a favor by exposing Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts ring, the vindication was sweet. “The video camera doesn’t lie… . The Court ruled that Texas may strip Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer subsidies, finding that Planned Parenthood uses criminal partial-birth abortions to sell baby parts. Now it’s time for the Department of Justice to do its job and hold Planned Parenthood accountable to the law.”

            Until then, states have a compelling argument for taking matters into their own hands when it comes to Planned Parenthood dollars. If their policies end up in the courts, as the Left almost guarantees they will, then we can all be thankful that President Trump is putting his own stamp on those as well. With record numbers of men and women on the bench who respect the rule of law, it’s only a matter of time until America’s pro-life sentiment becomes its legal precedent.

Speaking for Life at the March Rally

Today we begin a series of speeches transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing, given at the Jan. 18, 2019, March for Life Rally in Washington, DC, with a message from Vice President Mike Pence, introduced by his wife Karen, and the President’s video message, delivered to the massive crowd.

Vice Pres. Pence:  Well, hello, America! And thank you, Karen. It’s a joy for us to be with you today. You know, my wife is many things. She’s a mother. she’s an advocate for military families, she’s traveled across this country, she’s even an art teacher at a Christian school. And I couldn’t be more proud of our Second Lady, my wife, Karen Pence.

            To Jeannie [Mancini], to members of the board, members of Congress, faith leaders, my fellow Americans, especially all of the great young people in this pro-life generation, we’re the Pences, and we’re pro-life.

            We’re proud to welcome you back to our nation’s capital. Grateful that you made the long journey here to the largest pro-life gathering in the United States of America, the 46th annual March for Life. Thank you so much.

            We gather here because we stand for Life. We gather here because we stand for compassion. And we gather here because we believe as our founders did that we are – all of us, born and unborn – endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights and first among these rights is the right to life. Forty-six years ago this month, the majority on the Supreme Court turned its back on that right. But in that moment, a movement was born. A movement defined by compassion and love, a movement animated by faith and truth, and a movement that’s been winning hearts and minds every day since. Because of all of you gathered here, all those you represent and all who’ve gone before, we know in our heart of hearts that Life is winning in America once again.

            Life is winning through the compassionate caregivers and volunteers at pregnancy centers across the country. Life is winning through the generosity of millions of adoptive families who open their hearts and their homes. And Life is winning through courageous men and women who step forward to serve in public office and who now advance the cause of Life from our nation’s capital to state houses across the country. To all the pro-life elected leaders that are gathered here today, we say from the bottom of our hearts, Thank you. Thank you for your stand. Thank you for serving for Life.

            And to all gathered here today, we urge you to stand strong. Be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have, be prepared to defend life, but do so with gentleness and respect. They will attack you. They will question your hearts to silence others. But don’t listen to them. Listen to the truth. And know that He who said, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” also said, “I will never leave you or forsake you,” as you stand for His creation, as you stand for the right to life.

            And as you stand, we’re here to tell you that you, you can be confident you do not stand alone. You are joined by tens of millions across this nation. And know that you have an unwavering ally in this Vice President, in our family, and you have a champion in the President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. From the first day of this Administration, President Trump has taken action to defend the sanctity of life. Our President reinstituted the Mexico City Policy, so now no American foreign aid flows to organizations that support or promote abortion around the world. In the last two years, President Trump kept his promise, and he appointed more conservative men and women to our federal courts of appeals than any president in American history. And this President signed legislation – and I had the privilege to cast the tie-breaking vote – to empower states to defund Planned Parenthood. The truth is, President Donald Trump is the most pro-life President in American history. And we are grateful for your support.

            From the White House to your house, Life is winning in America once again. But we gather here today because we know we still have much work to do. So we urge you to stand strong, stand with that love and compassion as you stand for Life, and know that we will stand with you until that great day comes where we restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law. But you just don’t have to take our word for it. You know, it’s an honor to address you here at this annual March for Life, but it’s our high honor and distinct privilege to introduce to you the 45th President of the United States of America. Here’s a message from President Donald Trump.

President Trump:  Today I’m very proud to welcome tens of thousands of families, students and people of all faiths and backgrounds to our nation’s capital for the 46th annual March for Life. This is a movement founded on love and grounded in the nobility and dignity of every human life. When we look into the eyes of a newborn child, we see the beauty and the human soul and the majesty of God’s creation. We know that every life has meaning and that every life is worth protecting. As President, I will always defend the first right in our Declaration of Independence: the right to life.

            During my first week in office, I reinstated the Mexico City Policy. We have taken bold action to protect the religious freedoms of doctors, nurses and charities, like the Little Sisters of the Poor. We issued a new proposal to prohibit Title Ten taxpayer funding from going to any clinic that performs abortions. We are supporting the loving choice of adoption and foster care, including through the support of faith-based adoption services. And I am supporting the U.S. Senate’s effort to make permanent the Hyde Amendment which prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion in spending bills. Today, I have signed a letter to Congress to make clear that if they send any legislation to my desk that weakens the protection of human life, I will issue a veto, and we have the support to uphold those vetoes.

            Every child is a sacred gift from God. As this year’s March for Life theme says, each person is unique from day one. That’s a very important phrase – unique from day one – and so true. I want to thank Americans who travel all across the country to march for Life, and I especially want to thank so many young people who give us hope for the future. Together we will work to save the lives of unborn children so that they have a chance to live and to love, to thrive and to dream, and to bless our nation and reach their full and glorious potential. Thank you. God bless you and your families, and God bless America.

Senate Voting Record

Cloture Motion to End Debate on S-109 – Bar Taxpayer Funding of Abortion – Failed – 48-47 (needing 60) – Jan. 17, 2019 (Democrats in italics, “Independent” marked “I”, new Senators in ALL CAPS)

Voting “yes” / pro-Life: Shelby/AL, Sullivan/AK, McSALLY/AZ, Boozman & Cotton/AR, Gardner/CO, Rubio & SCOTT/FL, Isakson & Perdue/GA, Risch/ID, BRAUN & Young/IN, Ernst & Grassley/IA, Moran & Roberts/KS, McConnell/KY, Cassidy & Kennedy/LA, Hyde-Smith & Wicker/MS, Blunt & HAWLEY/MO, Daines/MT, Fischer & Sasse/NE, Tillis/NC, CRAMER & Hoeven/ND, Portman/OH, Inhofe & Lankford/OK, Casey & Toomey/PA, Scott/SC, Rounds & Thune/SD, Blackburn/TN, Cornyn & Cruz/TX, Lee & ROMNEY/UT, Capito & Manchin/WV, Johnson/WI, Barrasso & Enzi/WY.  

Voting “no” / anti-Life: Jones/AL, Murkowski/AK, SINEMA/AZ, Feinstein & Harris/CA, Bennet/CO, Blumenthal & Murphy/CT, Carper & Coons/DE, Hirono & Schatz/HI, Duckworth & Durbin/IL, Collins & King(I)/ME, Cardin & VanHollen/MD, Markey & Warren/MA, Peters & Stabenow/MI, Klobuchar & Smith/MN, Tester/MT, Cortez-Masto & ROSEN/NV, Hassan & Shaheen/NH, Booker & Menendez/NJ, Heinrich & Udall/NM, Gillibrand & Schumer/NY, Brown/OH, Merkley & Wyden/OR, Reed & Whitehouse/RI, Leahy & Sanders/VT, Kaine & Warner/VA, Cantwell & Murray/WA, Baldwin/WI.  

Not Voting: Crapo/ID, Paul/KY, Burr/NC, Graham/SC, Alexander/TN.