Life Advocacy Briefing

April 8, 2019

Calls Needed Now / Big Victory at the Polls in Wisconsin
Kentucky ‘Heartbeat’ Law Blocked for Now
Democrats Can Be Pro-Life / In the States / Pet Priorities
The Success Planned Parenthood Didn’t Plan

Calls Needed Now

THE CAMPAIGN TO PROTECT BORN-ALIVE ABORTION SURVIVORS continues apace in the US House, where GOP lawmakers take turns seeking “unanimous consent” that HR-962, sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and 187 co-sponsors, including three Democrats, be brought to a vote.

House GOP Whip Steve Scalise (LA) has now formally introduced a discharge petition to have the bill taken from committee and brought to a full House vote. If the petition is signed by 218 Members, House rules will force Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-SanFrancisco) to call up the measure for consideration. Whip Scalise has secured a petition signature from every one of the 197 House Republican Members and is seeking to persuade Democratic colleagues to sign on. Two – Representatives Dan Lipinski (IL) and first-term Rep. Ben McAdams (UT) – have signed the petition. Democratic Representatives Henry Cuellar (TX) and Collin Peterson (MN) are co-sponsoring HR-962, so they are likely candidates to join the petition. But so are several other Democratic Members, particularly those who were first elected in 2018 from districts which have traditionally sent pro-life Republicans to Congress.

We urge our readers who live in districts which have sent Democrats to the House to call their Representative now and urge him or her to sign the discharge petition for the Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act, HR-962. To fail to do so is to embrace infanticide. [Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121] Those who live in Republican-represented districts – or in the Cuellar, Lipinski or McAdams district – might wish to call to say “thank you for signing the Born-Alive discharge petition.”

Big Victory at the Polls in Wisconsin

WISCONSIN CONSERVATIVES ELECTED ONE OF THEIR OWN to a seat on the state supreme court last Tuesday, shifting the balance of the high court to a conservative majority. Judge Brian Hagedorn, former chief counsel to conservative former Gov. Scott Walker, defeated left-wing Judge Lisa Neubauer by a narrow margin, “beat[ing] the odds,” according to Calvin Freiburger of

Judge Hagedorn “was attacked during the campaign,” notes Mr. Freiburger, “for past writings in which he forcefully denounced both abortion and pro-LGBT judicial activism. ‘The Lord has laid three fundamental passions on my heart,’” he wrote in 2005, according to LifeSiteNews: “‘1) Protecting the dignity and sanctity of human life, 2) Defending and preserving the institution of marriage and 3) Promoting racial reconciliation in the church and culture.’ …

“[Judge] Hagedorn called Planned Parenthood a ‘wicked organization’ more devoted ‘to killing babies than to helping women’ and condemned the US Supreme Court’s 2003 decision finding a Constitutional right to sodomy as a ‘travesty.’ … ‘My job as a judge is to say what the law is and not what I think the law should be,’ [Judge] Hagedorn responded in February when the writings resurfaced,” reports Mr. Freiburger. “‘I’ve said that from the very beginning […] If you’ve even been a Catholic or a Christian of various stripes, you’re going to get attacked.’”

Kentucky ‘Heartbeat’ Law Blocked for Now

A FEDERAL JUDGE HAS ISSUED A TEMPORARY INJUNCTION against enforcement of Kentucky’s new Heartbeat Abortion Law, ruling within hours of the signing of the law by Gov. Matt Bevin (R). The notorious American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenged the new law as attorneys for Kentucky’s sole licensed abortuary, EMW Women’s Surgical Center, based in Louisville.

Judge David J. Hale of the Western District of Kentucky “halted enforcement for at least 14 days to ‘prevent irreparable harm’ until he could hold a hearing,” reports Sarah Mervosh for the New York Times.

Commented the governor’s general counsel Steve Pitt, quoted in the Times, “‘This case or others like it from other states will result in major changes in abortions in the US in the near future. … The ACLU, Planned Parenthood and others favoring unlimited abortions know this and are in a panic.’”

The report also quotes Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU’s “Freedom Project,” saying the ruling “came as a ‘tremendous relief. …The clinic sees patients today, and before we got the ruling yesterday,’” she said in the Times story, “‘they were in the process of canceling appointments.’”

Democrats Can Be Pro-Life

A DEMOCRATIC STATE REPRESENTATIVE IN TENNESSEE was featured in a recent Daily Caller report by Grace Carr. How did Rep. John DeBerry Jr. rate space in a national news outlet? He voted for the Tennessee Heartbeat Abortion bill when it passed in March. Two other Democrats also voted “yes;” it was Mr. DeBerry who became vocal, explaining he did so, reports Ms. Carr, citing The Tennessean as source, “so that women ‘don’t feel that their bodies are just a vessel for somebody to play with. I think that’s what’s being lost. Personal responsibility, pride, self-esteem – it makes a person walk away from those situations that get them in this position. …

“‘This was the first chance in 25 years that I had to go on record and say I disagree with abortion,’ [Rep.] DeBerry also said, according to The Tennessean,” writes Ms. Carr.

Tennessee has joined the ranks of life-affirming states following voter ratification of a state constitutional amendment in 2014. The amendment reads: “Nothing in this constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including but not limited to circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”

In the States

  • INDIANA LAWMAKERS HAVE FOLLOWED THROUGH on expanding the state’s Medical Conscience Protection law to include nurses, pharmacists and physicians’ assistants, sending to Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) the legislation we reported on last week. By a vote of 38 to 8, the Senate concurred with House amendments, finalizing the legislation which first passed the Senate 39 to 1 two months ago and the House in mid-March by a vote of 69 to 25. The governor is expected to sign it.
  • LEGISLATION TO OUTLAW DISMEMBERMENT ABORTIONS – the most commonly used tactic in post-first-trimester abortions – passed the Indiana Senate last Tuesday by a vote of 38 to 10. HB-1211 passed the House 71 to 25 in late February. The prospective law, reports the Associated Press (AP), “would make it illegal for doctors to use instruments such as clamps, forceps and scissors to remove a fetus from the womb unless there’s ‘serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function’ to the woman.” (Why lawmakers find such an exception to this specified procedure prohibition necessary is a mystery to us; still, its deterrent potential is clear.) The legislation defines such an abortion, according to AP, as “a felony punishable by one to six years in prison.” Gov. Holcomb’s signature is expected.
  • THE TEXAS SENATE HAS PASSED a bill, reports KVUE-TV, to bar “cities and counties from using taxpayer dollars to fund or partner with abortion providers or any of their affiliates,” extending to local governments the state’s taxpayer protection policy. One Democratic Senator voted with the GOP majority on the 20-to-11 roll call. The state capital city, Austin, is among those expected to be affected, as, according to KVUE, the city has a “partnership with Planned Parenthood to provide women’s healthcare services.” Though some Democratic Senators sought to defend cities like Austin with their questioning, sponsoring Sen. Donna Campbell (R) held her ground, “pointing out,” writes KVUE reporter Ashley Goudeau, “Planned Parenthood has a contract with the City of Austin to lease a building for $1 a year, with a 20-year extension, and the contract has been in existence since 1979. No abortions are performed at the facility,” writes Ms. Goudeau, “but under [SB-22], these types of partnerships would be banned.” Though the sponsor indicated the law would not affect the existing Austin/Planned Parenthood agreement, notes KVUE, “any similar agreements wouldn’t be allowed.”
  • A HUMAN LIFE PROTECTION BILL HAS BEEN FILED IN ALABAMA, implementing last year’s voter approval of a state constitutional amendment “declaring Alabama as a pro-life state,” writes Calvin Freiburger for, quoting the sponsor of HB-314, State Rep. Terri Collins (R), citing (Alabama Media Group) as source. GOP Sen. Greg Albritton has filed the companion bill – SB-211. Rep. Collins called the proposal “‘the next logical step in the fight to protect unborn life,’” in the report. The proposal would make abortion a Class A felony, punishable by from ten years to life imprisonment. “‘With liberal states like New York rushing to approve radical late-term and post-birth abortions,’” said Rep. Collins, quoted by in the LifeSiteNews report, “‘passage of this bill will reflect the conservative beliefs, principles and desires of the citizens of Alabama, while at the same time providing a vehicle to revisit the Constitutionally-flawed Roe v. Wade decision.’”
  • SOUTH CAROLINA’s HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WILL LIKELY VOTE soon on a Heartbeat Abortion bill, outlawing abortion on babies whose heartbeats can be detected. The bill has emerged from the Judiciary Committee on a 15-to-7 vote. But the bill has a troubling defect; as amended in committee, it excuses the abortion killing of a baby conceived in the commission of a sex crime. The sponsor of the measure, State Rep. John McCravy (R), now has a dilemma, as he appears to oppose the amendment, bless him! “‘Do we terminate that person because of someone else’s criminal act?’” he asked, reports, citing The State newspaper as source.
  • NEARLY 7,000 VIRGINIANS SHOWED UP AT THE STATE CAPITOL in Richmond last Wednesday, reports, “to demonstrate to ‘stop pro-abortion extremism’ in the Commonwealth.” Observers noted the youthfulness of the crowd, which heard prominent pro-life speakers such as saline abortion survivor Melissa Ohden, Radiance Foundation founder Ryan Bomberger and Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life. “Almost all of the speakers jabbed [at] Gov. Ralph Northam’s extreme infanticide remarks in January,” reports LifeSiteNews.

Pet Priorities

April 3, 2019, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            Democrats might not lift a finger to help a newborn, but when it comes to kittens? They pounce. Just two weeks after Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-SanFrancisco) party started crusading to end cat abuse, the USDA [Dept. of Agriculture] had good news. A policy of humane treatment is now in full effect – just not, unfortunately, for children.

            While Democrats cheered the announcement, 197 Republicans were marching down the House floor to try to get Pelosi’s party to give the same protection to perfectly health infants. Even Tuesday, after 25 tries, only two Democrats – Representatives Dan Lipinski (IL) and Ben McAdams (UT) – had the moral clarity and courage to sign on to the discharge petition that would force the House to go on the record about the practice of killing innocent babies. Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up!

            Even the Democrats’ statements were shockingly tone deaf. While the GOP scrambled to find liberals with the decency to fight infanticide, Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) praised the government for ending the brutality against cats. “I commend the USDA for their decision to end this type of testing on kittens,” he said with absolutely no sense of irony. “They listened to the people and responded appropriately to our concerns. This is how our institutions, our government and our democracy should work.” Just replace the word “kittens” with “newborns,” and you’ll see how indefensible the Left’s position on infanticide sounds.

            Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), the Senate sponsor of the [cat protection] bill, argued, “The KITTEN Act will protect these innocent animals from being needlessly euthanized … and make sure that they can be adopted by loving families instead.” Now imagine him saying, “The [Born-alive Survivors’ Protection Act] will protect these innocent [infants] from being needlessly [killed] … and make sure they can be adopted by loving families instead.”

            Unfortunately, that’s the duplicity of the Left. They worry about the humane treatment of pets only to turn around and lobby for newborns to be killed on a table. At least KITTEN co-sponsor [Rep.] Brian Mast (R-FL) has the dignity to oppose all kinds of violence. He may have championed the cats, but he also signed the discharge petition.

            Making the story even more incredible, the USDA points out in its statement that it’s in the process of adopting “these 14 cats.” Democrats complain that there aren’t enough abortion survivors to worry about, but they started a national campaign based on a handful of animals?

            There are literally hundreds of infants being thrown out like garbage every year – a fact we know, thanks to eye witnesses like Jill Stanek. When the CDC says there were 143 cases of babies born alive between 2002-14, the agency is only basing that number on the reports from six states! Factor in the other 44 – and the hundreds of undocumented “snippings” by monsters like Kermit Gosnell and Douglas Karpen – and we’re talking about entire schools of born children disappearing because Democrats won’t act.

            Maybe if they started meowing, Democrats would care.

            Help send Nancy Pelosi’s party a message about their upside-down priorities. Join [Family Research Council’s] End Birth Day Abortion Campaign and add to the tens of thousands of newborn hats that will be flooding the Democrat’s office. []

The Success Planned Parenthood Didn’t Plan

April 3, 2019, BreakPoint commentary by John Stonestreet & David Carlson

            The movie Unplanned, a Pureflix biopic about former Planned Parenthood director-of-the-year Abby Johnson, had more than a few “unplanned” obstacles to overcome for its opening weekend.

            First the Motion Picture Assn. of America gave the film an R-rating because of its depiction of abortion. … How tragically ironic that in many states a teenage girl doesn’t need parental permission to get an abortion but needs it to see a movie about abortion.

            Then, by some weird “coincidence” (yes, I’m using scare quotes there), the movie’s Twitter account was suspended on the day of the movie’s release. And of course, CNN, the Hallmark Channel and almost every other major network refused to accept advertising dollars for the movie. Even a major Christian music network refused to promote the film. Even so, Unplanned brought in $6.1 million over the weekend, and Forbes magazine predicts it will gross $16 million, which would be a “solid win” for a limitedly distributed film.

            I took my daughter to see Unplanned, and I was moved. Even more, I left convinced that it teaches an incredibly important lesson: Silence about abortion is unacceptable, and the reasons Christians give to justify their silence – like abortion being too “political” or too “negative” – are tragically bogus.

            Abby Johnson was the youngest Planned Parenthood director in the country. Over her eight years with the organization, she grew increasingly uncomfortable. As she says at her website, she realized “abortion was a product Planned Parenthood was selling, not an unfortunate necessity they were fighting to decrease.” Then, she was asked to assist with an abortion and watched the abortionist kill a 13-week-old baby. That was the final straw, and the rest, as they say, is history. A history now on film for all to see.

            Of course, it’s no surprise that Planned Parenthood and its allies don’t want you to see behind the curtain of this national evil. As long as abortion remains hidden, they can continue to peddle their talking points, half-truths and lies: that abortion is not really the taking of a human life; that abortion is a compassionate choice for women; that Planned Parenthood isn’t in this for the money, and that this is about helping women, and on and on.

            What is surprising and what Unplanned exposes in a powerful way is how misguided – and even cowardly – it is for Christians to remain silent. We have our reasons, of course: “It’s not Christian to protest abortion clinics,” we are told. Abortion is a “political issue,” and we don’t want to make those who have had an abortion feel bad. Unplanned unmasks just how misguided each of those talking points is. First, it contrasts harmful protesting with the incredible power of prayer and consistent presence; when Abby escaped Planned Parenthood, she ran directly to the Human Coalition, people she met day after day after day outside of her clinic.

            Second, the film earned its R rating because it showed the realities of both surgical and medical abortions. See it for yourself if you still think this is about “politics” and not about the ending of innocent human life.

            And finally, in a particularly poignant scene in the movie, Abby begins to realize the enormity of the evil she’s participated in – 20,000 abortions; 20,000 lost lives. Her only recourse is forgiveness.

            Churches that are silent about abortion – because it ruins the positive vibe they want to have or whatever – aren’t dealing in reality. To ignore this issue because we don’t want people to feel badly is to literally leave them in their guilt and shame. Why would any Christian who’s been forgiven want to do that? Why wouldn’t we want to point others to the love and forgiveness of Jesus that we’ve found, so they can find the redemption and the help that they truly need?

            I’m thankful to see Abby Johnson’s Unplanned story finally make it to the big screen. I’m thankful that it’s exceeded so many expectations. And I pray that we will seize the opportunities we have, like the one this movie presents to us, to speak up loudly about abortion.