Life Advocacy Briefing

May 27, 2019

Honoring the Fallen / Pence Stands Up for Life, for Alabama
Reining in RU on the ’Net / In the States / In the Courts
There Goes Joe / Momentum / The Real Point
Signers of FDA/RU-486 Letter

Honoring the Fallen

WE JOIN OUR FELLOW AMERICANS today, Memorial Day, in honoring the memory of those who have given their lives in service to our nation and to the principles, values and rights we all cherish. We thank God for their sacrifice.

Pence Stands Up for Life, for Alabama

WHILE MANY OSTENSIBLY PRO-LIFE POLITICIANS ARE GULPING & MURMURING over Alabama’s new declaration of personhood of the unborn child, Vice President Mike Pence is lauding Alabama’s pro-life majority for “‘embracing life.’” His comment was offered to reporters covering his visit to Wisconsin for a speech on May 16 and published in the Washington Times, quoted by Calvin Frieburger for

Alabama’s new law, signed in mid-May by Gov. Kay Ivey (R), “criminalizes abortion,” notes Mr. Frieburger, “for any reason other than to ‘avert (a mother’s) death or to avert serious risk of substantial physical impairment of a major bodily function,’” an unfortunate concession which has been adopted by some pro-life organizations over the past several years.

“The news” of Alabama’s groundbreaking legislation “has been met,” writes Mr. Frieburger, “with joy from pro-life activists, outrage from the abortion lobby and its allies and some strategic disagreement among conservatives.”

After commending Alabama, the Vice President said, reports LifeSiteNews, “‘But sadly, many states around the country are also adopting extreme pro-abortion legislation.’”  Mr. Frieburger notes the Vice President “cit[ed] a law New York enacted in January that effectively permits abortion-on-demand up until birth. …

“The Vice President also said it was ‘deeply troubling to millions of Americans’ that pro-abortion Members of Congress refuse ‘even to vote on a bill that would protect children that are born alive,’” reports Mr. Frieburger, “referencing legislation that would require infants who survive failed abortions to be shown the ‘same degree of professional skill, care and diligence’ as would be given following an intended birth and then be ‘immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.’”

The LifeSiteNews report notes Mr. Pence’s remarks as a “contrast” to unfortunate remarks by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) “that the Alabama law ‘goes further than I believe’ because it lacks rape or incest exceptions” which punish a developing baby for his or her father’s crime.

Reining in RU on the ’Net

LED BY REPRESENTATIVES MICHAEL BURGESS (R-TX) AND MARTHA ROBY (R-AL), 117 Members of the US House have sent a letter to Acting Food & Drug Commissioner Norman Sharpless MD thanking him for “taking action to address the sale of illegal mail-order abortion drugs” to US customers via online sales, which fall outside the prescribed protocol for dispensing the French abortion pill, RU-486.

Citing a March 2018 fact sheet by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, which is the research arm of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, the letter cites “at least 72 unique websites purporting to sell chemical abortion drugs online in violation of FDA requirements.”

The FDA has responded with warning letters to two of the “online entities,” notes the Congressional letter, which urges the FDA “to continue to conduct oversight of these entities to ensure that they comply” with federal law, noting also that, “according to the FDA, ‘it is illegal for individuals to import drugs into the United States for personal use.’”

Full text of the letter can be viewed on the Internet at The list of signers can be viewed at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.

In the States

  • LAWMAKERS IN MICHIGAN HAVE PASSED TWO MAJOR PRO-LIFE BILLS despite left-wing Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s veto threat. Pro-life citzens are reportedly organizing petition drives which, according to Michigan law, would authorize the legislature to pass the measures into law over the governor’s vetoes; should the legislature fail to act, the petitions would initiate voter referenda. The petition for a Heartbeat Abortion Ban is being initiated by a citizen effort organized for the purpose; the petition for a Dismemberment Abortion Ban is being proposed by Michigan Right to Life, which does not support the Heartbeat initiative.
  • MISSOURI GOV. MIKE PARSON (R) HAS SAID HE WILL SIGN the Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act passed May 17 by the State House on a 110-to-44 vote after clearing the State Senate 24 to 10. The proposal would ban the abortion of babies with detectable heartbeats.
  • THE ABORTION LOBBY’s RADICAL LEGISLATION has stalled in a Rhode Island legislative committee after pro-life citizens mounted a demonstration which included a 4-D ultrasound photo of an unborn child on a 4×4 sign declaring “Save Me.” The demonstration in the state capitol coincided with the scheduled vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which failed to advance the measure. A similar bill stalled in the Rhode Island House in March.
  • LEGISLATION TO BAN DOWN SYNDROME ABORTIONS has passed the Pennsylvania House 117 to 76; favorable consideration is still needed in the State Senate. Maria Gallagher, legislative director for Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, writing in National Right to Life News Today (NRL/NT), called the “stunning victory for children with special needs” a “colossal defeat for the abortion giant Planned Parenthood, which lobbied vigorously against the commonsense bill.”
  • TENNESSEE GOV. BILL LEE (R) HAS SIGNED a Human Life Protection Act to take effect in the event Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court. The new law puts back into place, subject to the Supreme Court’s reversal of the 1973 edict, the “full restoration of Tennessee’s protective pre-Roe laws,” reports NRL/NT.

In the Courts

  • KENTUCKY WILL APPEAL the recent decision of federal District Judge Joseph McKinley striking down the recently enacted ban on dismemberment abortion. The law was signed by Gov. Matt Bevin (R) after having passed the State Senate 31 to 5 and the State House 71 to 11. “‘We profoundly disagree with the court’s decision,” said the governor’s communications director Elizabeth Kuhn, quoted by Dave Andrusko in National Right to Life News Today (NRL/NT), “‘and will take this case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary to protect unborn children from being dismembered limb by limb while still alive.’”
  • THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT LAST WEEK REJECTED the petition of pro-life journalist David Daleiden to dismiss the criminal proceedings against him in the Superior Court of SanFrancisco County. Thus the prosecution of the baby-body-parts whistleblower will go on despite California law protecting such investigative journalists. Said Thomas More Society Senior Counsel Peter Breen, a former Illinois state legislator quoted by, “‘This decision to deny David Daleiden’s petition for review means that [California Atty. General] Xavier Becerra, as Planned Parenthood’s prosecutor-in-chief, will be able to continue his unconstitutional harassment of David, bringing charges against him that don’t pass the “red face test.”’”

There Goes Joe

May 21, 2019, FRC Action Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            If former Vice Pres. Joe Biden was supposed to be the moderate in the race, he apparently didn’t get the memo! The frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic nomination has gotten a lot of exercise sprinting to the Left since his announcement in April. First, he threw a fellow member of the Second Family club – Mike Pence – under the bus. Then he turned himself inside out to show his far-Left cred when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) challenged his environmental record. Now he’s sealing the deal as just another Democratic extremist by reversing his long-time position on taxpayer-funded abortion. So much for a reasonable, grown-up, middle-of-the-road campaign.

            For someone like Biden, who’d held the same policy position for 40 years, his about-face on abortion should have been bigger news. Instead, Biden’s answer – captured by an ACLU activist on May 4 – went completely under the radar until Washington Post reporter David Weigel made it a national story last Sunday. While the rest of his party moved farther and farther Left, the Delaware senator always maintained that forcing taxpayers to bankroll abortion was a step too far.

            Back in 1973, the eventual Vice President was practically conservative on Life, arguing that the Supreme Court had overstepped in Roe v. Wade. Twenty years later, in 1994, that hadn’t changed. “I will continue to abide by the same principle that has guided me throughout my 21 years in the Senate: Those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them,” Biden wrote. “As you may know, I have consistently – on no fewer than 50 occasions – voted against federal funding of abortions.” Even as recently as 2007, before joining the most pro-abortion administration in history, Biden separated himself from his eventual boss. “I’ve stuck to my middle-of-the-road position on abortion for more than 30 years. I still vote against partial-birth abortion and federal funding,” he added.

            That all changed in 2019 – the same year (not so coincidentally) that his party is trying to make infanticide the new abortion. Pushed twice by a liberal voter about his position on the wall between taxpayers and abortion, Biden finally replied, “It can’t stay.” Of course abolishing the Hyde Amendment has been the official position of the Democratic Party since the platform in 2016, but not everyone has rushed to throw their support behind it.

            Time will tell just how costly Biden’s u-turn is. In a country locked in a coast-to-coast battle over abortion, his veneer of moderation – which made him an attractive alternative to the rest of the fanatical field – is gone. For pro-life Democrats – a bloc that’s thriving in the rust-belt states any candidate would have to win, Biden’s change of heart may be a fatal one.

            Kristen Day, the executive director of Democrats for Life, told NRO’s John McCormack, “Biden is making a critical error flip-flopping on his position of the Hyde Amendment. … Among the current top-tier candidates, there is not a single one who is considering pro-life Democratic voters.” He’s falling into the trap of “catering to the vocal minority who is pushing an abortion extremist agenda,” but, Kristen warns, “that will not resonate with general election voters.”

            Most Americans agree with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WVA), who called the Democrats’ plank on abortion funding “crazy.” Almost every public poll shows the same opposition: at least 58% of voters disagree with Biden that taxpayers should be on the hook for the culture of death. It’s a policy so outside the mainstream that even Barack Obama couldn’t bring himself to publicly call for what his Vice President just endorsed.

            This is the man who was supposed to be the party’s counterweight to liberal extremism – the grown-up in the room who’s likeable and understands the American heartland. As far as most people were concerned, that was Biden’s only path to the nomination – distinguishing himself from the party’s fanaticism, not embracing it. Now even he’s joined the ranks of the puppets of the radical Left. It’s exactly the kind of agenda that failed Hillary Clinton in 2016. Even now, three years into Trump’s Administration, heartland Democrats have pleaded with the national party to return to the center. “You’re Killing Us” was the message to Washington. The contrast between the two major parties on the issue of Life has never been more stark … and revealing about where they want to take the nation.


May 20, 2019, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            It’s been almost five full months since Jan. 22, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) made infanticide the new abortion. In most states, the time has flown by, thanks to a blur of pro-life legislation. Turns out, New York didn’t just light up the city in deadly celebration – it fired up a movement.

            Looking back, Gov. Cuomo is probably horrified to know that he’s responsible for the biggest wave of unborn protections America has ever seen. From the Midwest to the deep South, nothing has captured the country’s attention more than the debate over innocent life. In places like Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Kentucky, pro-life bills are sailing through the legislature that no one would have thought possible even last year. One after another, governors are signing bills – or announcing their intention to sign – some of the tightest restrictions since Roe.

            This past Saturday, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) told state leaders his pen is ready when they are. “This is a pro-life state,” he vowed. “When that Heartbeat bill gets to my desk, I will sign it.” Even Democratic governors like John Bel Edwards from my home state of Louisiana are bucking the extremism of the national party – and refusing to apologize for it. Although his office says that he’d have to see the Heartbeat bill before he signs it, they agree that it’s “very much in line with his pro-life votes and actions.”

            “My position hasn’t changed,” the governor told reporters at a Thursday news conference. “In eight years in the legislature, I was a pro-life legislator. When I ran for governor, I said that I was pro-life. And so that’s something that’s consistent.” In legislatures like Rhode Island, North Carolina and others, the deciding votes are coming down to men and women who identify as Democrats but who just can’t swallow the party’s radicalism on abortion. One after another, elected officials like State Sen. Stephen Archambault (D-RI) have the same message: You’ve gone too far.

            In other GOP states, some exclamation points have been replaced by question marks. How is it that these same bills failed to pass in Texas, West Virginia or Tennessee? If Democrats can find the courage to support some of the tightest restrictions on abortion in generations, surely Republican states can, too. The momentum is on pro-lifers’ side. Science and technology and public opinion, too. It’s time for people on both sides of the aisle to stand up and be counted.

The Real Point

May 20, 2019, The Point commentary by John Stonestreet

            “These 25 White Men – All Republicans – Just Voted to Ban Abortion in Alabama.”

            Of all the hyperbolic, misleading headlines following recent legislation passed in Georgia and Alabama, that one – from The Guardian – took the cake. For extra effect, the article provided images of each of the Alabama legislators who voted to effectively ban abortion in the state, to show just how white and male they really are.

            For a bit of historical context, my colleague Shane Morris posted another image of a group of almost all white men on his social media feeds: the Supreme Court in 1973. That group of men overrode state sovereignty and forced on America abortion on demand.

            So if Tuesday’s vote is illegitimate because of gender or race, why wouldn’t Roe be illegitimate for the same reason?

Signers of FDA/RU-486 Letter

CO-SIGNING WITH REPRESENTATIVES BURGESS & ROBY (new Members in ALL CAPS): Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL) and GOP Representatives Bradley Byrne & Gary Palmer/AL; Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar & Debbie Lesko/AZ; Rick Crawford, French Hill & Bruce Westerman/AR; Ken Calvert & Doug LaMalfa/CA; Doug Lamborn/CO; Gus Bilirakis, Mario Diaz-Balart, Brian Mast, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Ross SPANO, Greg STEUBE, Michael WALTZ, Daniel Webster & Ted Yoho/FL; Rick Allen, Buddy Carter, Tom Graves, Jody Hice & Barry Loudermilk/GA; Russ FULCHER/ID; Mike Bost, Rodney Davis, Adam Kinzinger, Darin LaHood & John Shimkus/IL; Jim BAIRD, Jim Banks, Larry Bucshon & Jackie Walorski/IN; Steve King/IA; Ron Estes, Roger Marshall & Steve WATKINS/KS; Brett Guthrie/KY; Ralph Abraham & Mike Johnson/LA; Andy Harris/MD; Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga & John Moolenaar/MI; Tom Emmer & Jim HAGEDORN/MN; Michael GUEST, Trent Kelly & Steven Palazzo/MS; Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Jason Smith & Ann Wagner/MO; Greg Gianforte/MT;

Also, GOP Representatives Jeff Fortenberry & Adrian Smith/NE; Chris Smith/NJ; Ted Budd, Virginia Foxx, George Holding, Richard Hudson, Patrick McHenry, Mark Meadows, David Rouzer & Mark Walker/NC; Steve Chabot, Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson, Jim Jordan & Robert Latta/OH; Tom Cole & Kevin HERN/OK; John JOYCE, Mike Kelly & Dan Meuser/PA; Jeff Duncan, Ralph Norman, William TIMMONS & Joe Wilson/SC; Dusty JOHNSON/SD; Tim BURCHETT, David Kustoff, Phil Roe & John ROSE/TN; Brian Babin, Kevin Brady, Bill Flores, Louie Gohmert, Lance GOODEN, Pete Olson, John Ratcliffe, Chip ROY, Van TAYLOR, Randy Weber, Roger Williams & Ron WRIGHT/TX; Chris Stewart/UT; Ben CLINE, Morgan Griffith & Rob Wittman/VA; Jaime Herrera-Beutler, David McKinley & Dan Newhouse/WA; Carol MILLER & Alex Mooney/WV; Sean Duffy, Mike Gallagher, Glenn Grothman & Bryan STEIL/WI; and Liz Cheney/WY.