Life Advocacy Briefing

April 1, 2019

Talking Tough & Meaning It / Lawmakers Weighing In on Medicaid Ruling
Starting to Get It Right in Puerto Rico / In the States / Go See the Truth!

Talking Tough & Meaning It

THE STATE DEPT. ANNOUNCED last week it is expanding enforcement of the Reagan-era Mexico City Policy, which Pres. Trump reinstated on his first day in office and has since broadened. The policy bars our tax dollars from contractors or grantees who commit or advocate or refer for abortion in other countries. US Agency for International Development (USAID) funds routinely subsidized such outfits as International Planned Parenthood Federation during the Obama Regime.

“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said [last] Tuesday that he is reducing the US contribution to the Organization of American States (OAS), an ally in the pressure campaign on Venezuela,” reports Carol Morello for the Washington Post, “because of its advocacy of abortion rights.

“[Sec’y] Pompeo’s decision to cut $210,000 in funding came after nine Senators sent him a letter last month pointing out OAS organs that campaign for legalized abortion across the Americas,” notes Ms. Morello. “Luis Almagro, the OAS secretary general, has called for repealing restrictions on abortion throughout much of Latin America and the Caribbean.”

“‘This Administration has shown,’” said Sec’y Pompeo, quoted by former Reagan domestic policy advisor Gary Bauer in his March 26 End-of-Day Memo, “‘that we can continue to meet our critical global health goals, including providing health care for women, while refusing to subsidize the killing of unborn babies.’”

More than the Mexico City Policy is involved in this decision, it appears. The Secretary of State, reports Ms. Morello, “said he had ordered the full enforcement of a 1981 law, the Siljander Amendment, that prohibits the use of US funds to lobby for or against abortion rights.

“‘The institutions of the OAS,’” declared Secretary Pompeo, quoted by the Post, “‘should be focused on addressing crises in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, not advancing the pro-abortion cause.’

“[Sec’y] Pompeo said the State Dept. will be on the lookout,” writes Ms. Morello, “to prevent ‘backdoor funding schemes and end runs around our policy. … This is decent. This is right,’ [Mr.] Pompeo said. ‘And I am proud to serve in an Administration that protects the least among us.’”

According to a Reuters report on the move, the State Department’s spokesman, Robert Palladino, explained the $210,000 OAS cut would be taken from the international organization’s Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which Reuters explains is “an autonomous group that promotes human rights within the regional organization. …

“‘We will refuse to provide assistance to foreign non-government organizations that give financial support to other foreign groups in the global abortion industry,’ [Sec’y] Pompeo told reporters,” according to the Reuters report. “‘American taxpayer dollars will not be used to underwrite abortions.’”

Lawmakers Weighing In on Medicaid Ruling

AMERICANS UNITED FOR LIFE (A.U.L.) HAS FILED AN AMICUS BRIEF signed by 77 Members of the US Congress in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ consideration of a lawsuit challenging the power of Texas to exclude Planned Parenthood from state Medicaid funding. The case is being taken up by the full 5th Circuit, after a three-judge panel ruled, following what it claimed was precedent, essentially that individuals using taxpayer-subsidized health care have a right to designate their provider without forfeiting their supposed right to their taxpayer-provided coverage.

AUL argued on behalf of the Congressional Members, according to a news release from the pro-bono law group, “that implying a private right of action would greatly undermine the purpose of the Medicaid Act by hamstringing the flexibility of individual state Medicaid programs envisioned by the Medicaid Act and eliminating states’ ability to determine the best way to allocate their limited public funds to those in need.”

The securing of Congressional signatures on the brief was led, according to AUL, by Sen Steve Daines (R-MT) in the Senate (12 signers) and Rep. Michael Burgess MD (R-TX) in the House (65 signers).

The Congressional signers, all Republicans are Senators Daines, James Risch (ID), Mike Braun (IN), Joni Ernst (IA), Cindy Hyde-Smith & Roger Wicker (MS), Roy Blunt (MO), James Inhofe (OK), Marsha Blackburn (TN), John Barrasso & Michael Enzi (WY). And Representatives Burgess, Robert Aderholt & Bradley Byrne (AL); Andy Biggs & Paul Gosar (AZ); Bruce Westerman (AR); Doug LaMalfa (CA); Doug Lamborn (CO); Gus Bilirakis & Greg Steube (FL); Rick Allen, Barry Loudermilk & Jody Hice (GA); Russ Fulcher (ID); Jim Banks (IN); Steve King (IA); Roger Marshall & Steve Watkins (KS); Andy Barr (KY); Ralph Abraham, Clay Higgins, Mike Johnson & Steve Scalise (LA); Andy Harris (MD); Jim Hagedorn (MN); Michael Guest, Trent Kelly & Steven Palazzo (MS); Vicki Hartzler (MO); Jeff Fortenberry & Adrian Smith (NE); Chris Smith (NJ); Ted Budd, George Holding, Mark Meadows & David Rouzer (NC).

Also, GOP Representatives Steve Chabot, Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson, Jim Jordan, Robert Latta & Brad Wenstrup (OH); Kevin Hern & Markwayne Mullin (OK); Mike Kelly (PA); Jeff Duncan, Ralph Norman & William Timmons (SC); Phil Roe & John Rose (TN); Jodey Arrington, Brian Babin, Michael Cloud, Michael Conaway, Bill Flores, Kenny Marchant, Pete Olson, John Ratcliffe, Roger Williams, Randy Weber & Ron Wright (TX); Ben Cline (VA); Carol Miller & Alex Mooney (WV), Glenn Grothman (WI).

Starting to Get It Right in Puerto Rico

PUERTO RICO’s LEGISLATURE APPEARS ON THE EDGE OF OVERRIDING its liberal governor’s veto of an abortion restriction bill (PS-950), which originally passed both the House and the Senate there with “overwhelming majorities,” according to Martin M. Barillas, reporting for As a US territory, Puerto Rico’s traditional laws curbing abortion became unenforceable with the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton edicts. In light of recent personnel changes in the USA’s high court, the legislature is, as have so many legislatures in the States, seeking to put reasonable restrictions in place to curb the abortion industry in the island.

PS-950 would require parental consent for abortions on mothers who are under 18, reports Mr. Barillas. And it “recognizes the humanity of babies who survive abortion,” he writes, “requiring that they receive appropriate medical care.

“In addition, if the bill is passed,” writes Mr. Barillas, “doctors would be required to obtain written consent from mothers requesting abortion while also informing them of the realities of abortion. The bill would require minimal health and safety standards for abortuaries, while also preventing parents, legal guardians or a boyfriend from forcing a girl to have an abortion against her will.”

The sponsor of the measure is an evangelical Christian preacher, Mr. Barillas notes, “who is from the governor’s New Progressive Party,” which, Mr. Barillas reports, “generally supports the agenda of the Democratic Party of the mainland.”

Lawmakers quoted in the LifeSiteNews story appear anxious to deflect any impression that their support for the veto override is in any way to be seen as a challenge to the governor. Yet the House has already overridden the veto, and the Senate is within one vote – unofficially at this point – of achieving the needed 20 override votes. The bill’s original Senate passage was with 20 “yes” votes, and the Senate president has said, reports Mr. Barillas, “he will impose a rule that will require his fellow party members to vote en bloc” for the override.

The controversy drew this comment from Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List, quoted by LifeSiteNews: “‘Puerto Ricans, like most Americans, reject the extreme status quo of abortion on demand through birth and even beyond. They are speaking clearly through their representatives, and the governor should respect their will. We are honored to stand with them and urge the Puerto Rican Senate to press forward to enact this vital bill.’” Amen!

In the States

  • THE RHODE ISLAND HOUSE HAS PASSED a radical abortion bill, patterned after the unpopular 2019 New York law, by a 44-to-30 vote. The Democratic Party dominates the chamber by a 66-to-9 margin. H-5125A would, reports Martin M. Barillas for, “strike down the modest abortion restrictions currently on the books and allow abortion for practically any reason.” It has not moved in the Senate since being referred to the Judiciary Committee on March 19. House consideration of the measure brought “hundreds of pro-life advocates” to the capitol to protest.
  • MISSISSIPPI GOV. PHIL BRYANT (R) SIGNED the state’s new ban on aborting babies with a detectable heartbeat, taking to Twitter when the Center for Reproductive Rights threatened to sue the state to block the Heartbeat Ban. “‘We will all answer to the good Lord one day,’ [Gov.] Bryant tweeted in response” to the threat, reports Calvin Freiburger for “‘I will say in this instance,’” tweeted Mr. Bryant, “‘I fought for the lives of innocent babies, even under the threat of legal action.’” Violators of the new law, notes Mr. Freiburger, “could have their medical licenses suspended or revoked.” State Sen. Angela Hill (R), a lead co-sponsor, “told LifeSiteNews: ‘The pro-life community has waited years for the courts to recognize the obvious … that a baby with a beating heart is deserving of its life being legally protected. … I remember how thrilled I was to first hear the heartbeats of my own children. I knew that they were unique individuals growing inside my body,’” said the lawmaker. “‘I was just their shelter and their food for (nine) months.’”
  • UTAH GOV. GARY HERBERT (R) SIGNED INTO LAW on March 22 a law to ban abortions committed in response to a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome. The new law does not take effect, however, notes Calvin Freiburger for, “until after a ‘court of binding authority holds that a state may prohibit the abortion of an unborn child’ sought for Down Syndrome, meaning,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “not until similar bans in other states have overcome legal challenges,” a unique provision we hope never to see repeated! The bill passed the Utah House 54 to 15 and the Senate 20 to 6. “The law’s trigger language,” opines Mr. Freiburger, “means that it shouldn’t provoke a legal battle, but the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently filed a federal lawsuit against KENTUCKY for its ban on abortions based on Down Syndrome as well as race, sex and other disabilities, which could lead to the Utah measure either taking effect or being tabled indefinitely.”
  • OHIO’s NEW BAN ON DISMEMBERMENT ABORTIONS has been put on hold for two weeks, stayed by US District Judge Michael Barrett, who, reports Calvin Freiburger for, “did not offer a verdict on the law’s constitutionality but said the factual and legal concerns raised by Planned Parenthood deserve further consideration.” Ohio Right to Life president Mike Gonidakis, notes Mr. Freiburger, “expressed the group’s frustration that the order thwarts the will of the ‘large consensus’ that passed the measure. ‘The gruesome nature of dismemberment abortions can’t be denied,’” he said in the LifeSiteNews report. “‘We don’t stand for that sort of treatment of any other living creature, and we won’t stand for it when it’s being done to the most vulnerable among us.’”
  • OHIO’s DEPT. of HEALTH HAS NOTIFIED PLANNED PARENTHOOD SHOPS, reports Calvin Freiburger for, “that their state funding is coming to an end.” The notices come after a ruling by the full 6th Circuit Court of Appeals “that an (alleged) constitutional right for women to obtain abortions doesn’t automatically entail a constitutional right for abortionists to commit them,” writes Mr. Freiburger. “Planned Parenthood previously received state funding under the auspices of services related to sexual assault, breast and cervical cancer, sexually transmitted diseases and infant mortality,” Mr. Freiburger notes. Ohio’s Health Director Amy Acton has assured Ohioans, LifeSiteNews reports, “‘that the department would arrange for the ‘orderly transition of services to new subrecipients or contractors not affected by’ the new law, ‘thus ensuring continuity of services to Ohioans’ by redirecting tax dollars from abortionists to providers not involved in abortion. According to the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute, as of 2015, Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Centers outnumbered Planned Parenthood locations 280 to 28.”
  • THE INDIANA SENATE IS EXPECTED any day to take final action to send S-201 to the governor. The bill would strengthen the state’s Medical Conscience Protection Act, extending protection to nurses, physician assistants and pharmacists. The bill passed the Senate 39-1 in February and cleared the House in mid-March by 69 to 25, going back to the Senate for concurrence with House changes.
  • FORMER U.S. REP. KRISTI NOEM (R) HAS ADDED TO HER PRO-LIFE RECORD as South Dakota’s new governor, signing a package of bills, reports Dave Andrusko for National Right to Life News Today “to strengthen the rights of unborn children” in her state. “The panoply of laws,” writes Mr. Andrusko, “ranges from ‘cracking down on abortion providers’ to offering women a chance to see a sonogram of their unborn child to making sure the woman is giving an informed consent and not being coerced into an abortion.” Quoting Gov. Noem from her signing message, “A strong and growing body of medical research provides evidence that unborn babies can feel, think and recognize sounds in the womb. These are people,” she wrote, “and they must be given the same basic dignities as anyone else.”

Go See the Truth!

March 18, 2019, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            The Motion Picture Assn. of America (MPAA) doesn’t mind slapping a PG-13 label on movies with sex, language and violence. But when it comes to a film about abortion? They’ll give it an R-rating, whether it deserves one or not! Anything to keep more people from knowing the truth about a procedure taking millions of lives a year.

            The makers of Unplanned, the true story about former Planned Parenthood worker Abby Johnson, learned that the hard way. A few weeks before their film is set to debut [March 29], producers got the shocking news that Hollywood decided the film needed to be restricted to people 18 and older. They insisted it was for “some disturbing, bloody images.” But co-director Chuck Konzelman thinks the reason is simpler: politics.

            “We made a pro-life movie in a pro-choice town,” he told Breitbart. Just as the film industry did with Gosnell, Hollywood seems intent on doing everything it can to limit the impact of their message. It’s so hypocritical, fumed Unplanned author Cary Solomon. “The standard used to rate our movie is being applied inconsistently as it relates to bloody images on-screen,” he said. “In fact, Happy Death Day 2U (a “slasher” film with several violent murder scenes) has far more blood and gore than our film, and it received a PG-13 rating.”

            Like Konzelman, he’s worried the rating will scare families away – and at exactly the wrong time. After what happened in New York and the new nationwide debate over abortion, Americans [have] never been more primed to hear and see the truth. Movies like this one are exactly what we need to keep the conversation going. In an open letter, a mix of 29 conservative leaders, actors and Academy Award-winners ask parents not to be deterred by the MPAA’s rating. “[We] are urging our fellow citizens to, just as they did with The Passion of the Christ, ignore the MPAA’s Restricted rating and watch the film anyway when it is released in theaters March 29th.”

            Who decides what’s appropriate for your family to watch, we ask? “Is it a group of unelected parents from Beverly Hills who meet together, watch a film and vote, and ultimately decide for you what is appropriate for your family and what’s not? Or is it you, your family, your pastor or priest, and other leaders you respect? Let’s not project the values of the 90210 zip code upon the rest of America.”

            “Abortion is the great evil of our time, resulting in the loss of 50 million-plus of our fellow citizens – and we believe this film has the potential to be what Uncle Tom’s Cabin was to slavery: the catalyst for ending it. While we have tremendous respect for the work of the MPAA, in this case we agree with the film’s distributor – that R stands for Recommended. And while we don’t think this film is for young children, we strongly recommend that this film be seen by as many Americans as possible – including older children.”

[Check out the Unplanned movie at its Internet website:]