Life Advocacy Briefing

May 13, 2019

Breaking / Implementing Conscience Protection / Resistance
Significant Logic / Judicial Usurpation, Again / In the States
Call to Action / They Never Stop! / Truth in a Heartbeat


BECAUSE OF A CONFERENCE TRIP, the editorial staff of Life Advocacy Briefing will not be available to write what would have been the May 20 edition. Expect a return for the Memorial Day edition of “timely news you can use in the cause of Life.”

Implementing Conscience Protection

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HAS RELEASED the finalized Conscience Rule to be enforced by the US Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS), administratively implementing various statutes which are intended to implement “‘new protections of conscience rights for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, teachers, students and faith-based charities,’” President Trump announced during a Rose Garden ceremony marking National Day of Prayer. His remarks are quoted from a report by Calvin Freiburger.

The report quotes a news release from HHS declaring “the final rule ‘ensures that HHS implements the full set of tools appropriate for enforcing’ laws that exempt healthcare workers from ‘having to provide, participate in, pay for, provide coverage of or refer for services such as abortion, sterilization or assisted suicide.’”

Quoting Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) from the LifeSiteNews story: “‘Finally, laws prohibiting government-funded discrimination against conscience and religious freedom will be enforced like every other civil rights law. … This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professionals won’t be bullied out of the healthcare field because they decline to participate in actions that violate their conscience, including the taking of human life.’”


U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRATS ARE ADDING THEIR OWN EFFORTS to those of a pair of federal judges in seeking to block the Trump Administration from implementing a rule disqualifying Planned Parenthood and other abortionists from grants and contracts under the federal government’s Title X (Ten) “family planning” program.

Besides language blocking the rule, the House’s liberal Majority is seeking to add $114 million to Title X’s budget, appropriating $400 million for Title X grantees overall. Planned Parenthood is accustomed to a share of some $60 million of the total in an average year.

Significant Logic

THE SIXTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS RECENTLY UPHELD KENTUCKY’s LAW requiring abortionists to perform an ultrasound and offer the customer an opportunity to view her baby along with an explanation of the images, reports Arthur Goldberg for Mercatornet, “as well as permitting the patient [sic] to hear the fetal heartbeat of the unborn life in utero, all at least 24 hours prior” to undergoing an abortion.

The court held that the law’s directives offer an abortion customer [our words, not theirs!] the opportunity for an informed “choice.”

“By observing that ‘the information conveyed by an ultrasound image, its description and the audible beating fetal heart gives a patient greater knowledge of the unborn life insider her,’ the court determined,” writes Mr. Goldberg, “that such ‘mandated disclosures’ are relevant to the ‘patient’s decision whether to abort an unborn life,’ because they are ‘the epitome of truthful, non-misleading information.’”

Judicial Usurpation, Again

U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE HENRY HUDSON HAS STRUCK DOWN “a decades-old Virginia requirement,” reports Calvin Freiburger for, “that only licensed physicians could commit abortions in the first trimester, dismissing concerns about increasing the medical risks to women.” The law has protected abortion customers in Virginia since 1975.

Judge Hudson “did not,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “lift the rule for second- or third-trimester abortions, nor did he render a verdict on requirements that later abortions take place in licensed hospitals, that women be offered ultrasounds before abortions or 24-hour waiting periods for abortion.” How gentlemanly of him. Oh, but wait! A ruling on those “remaining questions,” according to the Associated Press, writes Mr. Freiburger, “is slated for May 20.” So perhaps Judge Hudson will play legislator again in another week.

“‘Abortion through birth isn’t enough for the abortion industry,’ Family Foundation of Virginia president Victoria Cobb responded to the news,” writes Mr Freiburger. “‘Now it wants to increase its profit margin by not having to pay for doctors to do surgery.”

In the States

  • GEORGIA GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R) LAST TUESDAY SIGNED his state’s Heartbeat bill, forbidding abortions once a baby’s heartbeat can be detected. Unfortunately, the law contains unwise “exceptions” to allow the prenatal killing of babies conceived in sex crimes, in “physical medical emergencies,” reports Calvin Freiburger for, “and pregnancies deemed ‘medically futile.’” The law takes effect next January. Lawmakers appear to be welcoming expected legal challenges; such lawsuits are likely to lead eventually to the Supreme Court, which needs as many opportunities as it can get to recognize and acknowledge the injustice of Roe v. Wade and its 1973 companion ruling, Doe v. Bolton. Go ahead, plaintiffs – make our day!
  • IOWA GOV. KIM REYNOLDS (R) HAS SIGNED the state’s $2 billion health budget as passed by the legislature. Among provisions deemed by some to be controversial, the measure excludes abortion outfits from sex-ed funding, making $260,000 available to grantees which do not customer-shop in the classroom.
  • ALABAMA’s HOUSE HAS PASSED – on a roll call of 74 to 3 – a bill which, writes Madeline Osburn in The Federalist, “would legally recognize the life of an unborn child and therefore criminalize the act of killing an unborn child.” The Personhood bill must yet be taken up by the State Senate before it can become law. Said bill sponsor Rep. Terri Collins (R), quote by Ms. Osburn, “‘The heart of this bill is to confront a decision by the Court in 1973 that says that the child in the womb is not a human being.’” Now we’re getting, indeed, to the heart of the matter!

Call to Action

May 7, 2019, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            In the history of bad bills, there are a lot of doozies. Just in the last handful of months, we’ve had a Democratic grab bag of everything from abolishing Immigration & Customs Enforcement to the Green New Deal. But nothing – not even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) crusade against airplanes and cows – compares to the one measure that out-radicals them all: the Equality Act. And the worst mistake any of us can make is not taking the threat seriously.

            Maybe, like a lot of Americans, you think the Democrats’ HR-5 is just about sex and gender. Well, think again. This isn’t just the most extreme LGBT bill ever written. This is one-stop-shopping for the worst the far-Left agenda has to offer – including, we’ve discovered, the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion this country has ever seen. That’s right. The Equality Act doesn’t just torch religious freedom and the First Amendment; it guts every pro-life protection ever passed into law.

            On the Hill, the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus is just one of the groups frantically trying to warn Members. Now that the text of the bill has been released, staffers have had time to comb the language for landmines. And based on what our team has seen, there’s a field of them. Believe it or not, Democrats didn’t just expand the meaning of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” – they’ve also defined it to mean “pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition.” In other words, under the terms of this proposal, “pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition … shall not receive less favorable treatment than other physical conditions.”

            Under this big new umbrella of “discrimination,” any American who doesn’t want to fund, offer, perform or participate in abortion-on-demand will have no real choice. They can conform – or they can be punished. If you thought the ObamaCare mandate was bad, the Equality Act will [make it] look like a Sunday picnic by comparison. Taxpayers will be openly funding the culture of death all across America. Every wall that’s been built between abortion and the government would come crashing down, including the Hyde Amendment, the pro-conscience Weldon Amendment and several international barriers that keep our country from exporting abortion.

            And, since the Left has made sure to strip out any religious liberty protections under the Equality Act, faith-based hospitals and medical staff could find themselves completely defenseless against a sex discrimination claim for refusing to perform or offer abortions – which liberals will argue gives “a related medical condition” to pregnancy “less favorable treatment than other physical conditions.” State laws could be just as vulnerable in court, where activist judges are all too eager to expand abortion.

            Make no mistake: HR-5 isn’t just a threat to freedom, business, privacy, education, sports and faith. This is a threat to innocent human life. If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines on this bill, time is running out! Get off the fence and take a stand now – before it’s too late. Contact your Representative and urge him or her to vote NO on the Equality Act! [Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121]

They Never Stop!

May 7, 2019, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            The whole point of disaster relief is to help communities cope with loss – not create more! Too bad Democrats don’t agree. When Congress got together earlier this spring to deal with the fallout from the string of storms and wildfires, the last thing anyone should’ve worried about was a radical social agenda hijacking the entire process. But liberals can’t help themselves. They see a big pot of money, and their minds automatically go to one thing: abortion.

            For weeks, Republicans have been trying to slog through an emergency aid package for places across the Midwest, South and West Coast. Of all the things the two parties could disagree about, this bill hardly seems like a flashpoint. But then, nothing under the new House Majority is easy – including helping people rebuild and recover. Despite the catastrophes, the Left doesn’t seem nearly as concerned about coming alongside hurting families as it is about filling the pockets of Planned Parenthood. And when there’s $13 billion on the table, you can bet that Democrats will find some excuse to weasel away that money from actual storm victims and funnel it to the abortion industry instead.

            On HR-2157, the Left has been especially creative at finding a back-door way to send dollars to groups like [Planned Parenthood]. Americans saw this same thing happen a few years ago when Congress tried to divvy up money to fight the Zika virus. Instead of funding the vaccine, liberals wanted to turn a health crisis into another opportunity to direct dollars to the world’s richest abortion business. Why? No one knows, since the threat wasn’t babies – it was mosquitoes!

            This time around, Democrats are even craftier. They know there’s a portion of the measure aimed at Social Security block grants. Under those, there’s as much as $250 million available to help cities affected by Hurricanes Florence and Michael, two typhoons and the California wildfires. If liberals get their way, Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics would have just as much access to that money as other victims. If their clinics are damaged, taxpayers could be forced to help them rebuild. Although the Hyde Amendment would still apply (meaning that no government dollars could directly fund abortion), we all know that money is fungible. Whatever the government gives these clinics only frees up other dollars for the deadlier side of business.

            It’s ironic. Democrats like to complain about churches being eligible for disaster relief after any sort of national catastrophe. But how can anyone argue that faith-based groups shouldn’t be allowed to access emergency funds and businesses who destroy lives for profit should? If there’s a starker contrast between the two parties, I haven’t found it.

            And the controversy doesn’t stop there. It’s bad enough that the Left is creating competition for federal dollars that devastated families don’t need. But what’s worse is that Planned Parenthood (which is still under federal investigation) may also be entitled to “family planning” funds under these same grants. Now, most of you are probably wondering: what does storm clean-up have to do with contraception? Not much – which may be why the talks keep collapsing.

            As one Republican aide said last month, this whole deal could’ve been worked out in April if Democrats hadn’t complicated “necessary relief … with poison-pill riders.” “What do walls, detention beds and abortion [language] in the Pelosi-Schumer bill have to do with disaster relief? … They need to step off their all-or-nothing approach and work with Republicans to deliver an outcome for these storm-hit areas.”

            Of course, Democrats will keep putting the blame on the GOP for slowing things down. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) even went so far as to write a CNN column insisting that Republicans aren’t negotiating in good faith. “We have a responsibility to deliver this assistance to our fellow Americans as they work to rebuild their lives and their communities,” she argued. If liberals are so concerned about rebuilding lives, maybe they should stop trying to reward the industry committed to destroying them.

            If Congress wants to help people, that’s one thing. But it’s time to remind Democrats: one disaster shouldn’t lead to another!

Truth in a Heartbeat

May 5, 2019, commentary by Kevin McCullough

            Write it down! On May 4th, 2019, a near-perfect 70-degree afternoon, in the middle of Times Square in New York City, from three sound stages blasting thousands of decibels into the surrounding neighborhoods, the final speaker of the day said that “Soon – abortion will become – unthinkable!” The statement came after a 90-minute program that had been slated as a “public celebration of life.”

            Not content to believe the organizers, protesters attempted to disrupt the proceedings. But those protests, which began with profane chants, obscene signs and thundering drums, ended with nary a whimper and dispersed far more mysteriously than they had appeared. The reason why the 2,000 protesters evaporated wasn’t because the 20,000 Life supporters had shouted them down. In fact, the very opposite was what occurred.

            It was an amazing moment to observe yesterday. I was there, at the corner of 43rd & 7th, face-to-face with Planned Parenthood supporters flipping me off and claiming “pro-life – is – a – lie / because all they want is – women – to die.”

            Moments later I watched from the main stage as women like Jeanne Mancini of … March for Life, Dr. Alveda King (niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), multiple women whose mothers had attempted to abort them – and yet they survived – [spoke], and a former Planned Parenthood clinic, director who had volunteered, underwent a live 4D ultrasound projected on jumbotrons.

            It was even more amazing to witness Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, assert that the reason we had all gathered was to demonstrate love towards the baby in the womb for sure but also to those (protesters) who “had gathered around the edges” of Times Square. Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List took a moment out for the faithful to pray for the protesters. Jeanne Mancini expressed care and concern for them. Dr. Alveda King addressed them at one point, reminding us all that she had once undergone an abortion and had once believed very much the same as those who angrily shouted back at her.

            But the seminal moment was when Planned Parenthood’s former “director of the year,” Abby Johnson’s 4-D ultrasound appeared on the big screens. At that very moment she was on an examination table in a mobile medical unit behind the stage I was standing next to. For the first time in all my years of Times Square, I will never forget that moment.

            In the middle of literally the world’s busiest intersection, a quiet fell across the multiple blocks that was so deafening you could literally have heard a pin drop. No angry chants in protest. No applause of agreement. Just a sleepy little baby’s face, in beautiful 4-D, staring out across New York City’s busiest neighborhoods.

            The ultrasound technician’s voice, pleasant and sweet, began to talk to the little guy. And for a number of minutes, the supporters, the protesters and the various media assigned to cover the event eavesdropped on the procedure that happens in crisis pregnancy centers every day across America.

            It wasn’t angry. It wasn’t some “white male politician” “telling a woman what to do with her body.” It was a tiny little person having his picture taken for maybe the very first time.

            It was a joyous day. Nothing that the abortion protesters had been chanting turned out to be true. Flummoxed media members awaited the abortion survivors behind the main stage to follow up on their personal stories.

            And though he did not show up, rabid baby-killing Gov. Andrew Cuomo had the perfect opportunity to see and understand what real moms feel when they see their baby’s face for the first time.

            It was a moment when the brutal dismembering, saline acid washing or other methods of killing a woman’s baby – had become – literally – unthinkable!