Life Advocacy Briefing

June 10, 2019

‘Equality Act’ Lurking in Senate / Undoing the Injustice
Candidate Watch / In the States / Consequences / Words Matter

‘Equality Act’ Lurking in Senate

THAT RADICAL ABORTION/‘GENDER’ BILL which has passed the House as HR-5 – and which we reported on last week – has a twin in the US Senate. Both bills are in the Senate Judiciary Committee. S-788 was filed by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and boasts 46 co-sponsors, including one liberal Republican, Sen. Susan Collins (ME).

The Democratic co-sponsors are Senators Doug Jones/AL, Kyrsten Sinema/AZ, Dianne Feinstein & Kamala Harris/CA, Michael Bennet/CO, Richard Blumenthal & Christopher Murphy/CT, Thomas Carper & Christopher Coons/DE, Mazie Hirono & Brian Schatz/HI, Tammy Duckworth & Richard Durbin/IL, Benjamin Cardin & Chris VanHollen/MD, Edward Markey & Elizabeth Warren/MA, Gary Peters & Debbie Stabenow/MI, Amy Klobuchar & Tina Smith/MN, Jon Tester/MT, Catherine Cortez-Masto & Jacky Rosen/NV, Margaret Hassan & Jeanne Shaheen/NH, Cory Booker & Robert Menendez/NJ, Martin Heinrich & Tom Udall/NM, Kirsten Gillibrand & Charles Schumer/NY, Sherrod Brown/OH, Ron Wyden/OR, Robert Casey/PA, Jack Reed & Sheldon Whitehouse/RI, Patrick Leahy & Bernard Sanders/VT, Tim Kaine & Mark Warner/VA, Maria Cantwell & Patty Murray/WA and Tammy Baldwin/WI,  Also, Sen. Angus King of Maine, who is elected as an “Independent” but caucuses with Senate Democrats.

Here is how we characterized this legislation last week: HR-5 (or S-788) imposes twisted definitions of gender for purposes of laws relating to discrimination. Its advocates call it the “Equality Act” and plan to use the roll call to shame those who voted against it in an effort to uphold traditional social standards which comport with reality.

Tucked into the provisions of this radical proposal are sections repealing the Hyde Amendment and forcing American taxpayers to finance overseas abortions and abortion advocacy, as well as repealing conscience protections for medical personnel.

The approach which the Senate Majority takes to this legislation – which ought to be to bury it – will offer voters a compelling measure of how willing Republicans are to cave in to the political pressure which we are certain they will face. Several Republican lawmakers did vote for it when it passed the House.

Calls to Senators to encourage their opposition to S-788 would be helpful. (Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121)

Undoing the Injustice

THE U.S. DEPT. OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES (H.H.S.) HAS POSTED a proposed new rule clarifying that the definition of “sex discrimination” under the law does not include “gender identity” and abortion, as defined by an Obama-era regulation which is currently tied up in court, report Claire Chretien and Dorothy McLean for The Obama regulation, they write, “would force doctors to commit transgender surgeries and abortions even if they conscientiously object.

“The proposed new guidelines reject the idea,” write the LifeSiteNews reporters, “that refusing to abort an unborn baby is somehow a form of sex discrimination. … The Dept. of Justice … said [in court] that ‘sex discrimination’ should be understood according to the ‘plain meaning’ of the term, which is biological sex. [HHS Office of Civil Rights director Roger] Severino said that what HHS is doing is being consistent with the law,” report the two LifeSiteNews writers.

Notes Students for Life of America in a news release quoted by Ms. Chretien and Ms. McLean, “‘Pregnancy is not a disease cured by abortion.’”

Candidate Watch

  • EX-VICE PRES. JOE BIDEN, whom many have considered the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination to the Presidency, put his foot in the abortion controversy last week. Writes Katie Glueck in the New York Times, Mr. Biden “again broke with his party’s base and many of his campaign rivals on Wednesday when his campaign confirmed that he still backs the Hyde Amendment, a measure that prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion with exceptions for cases involving rape, incest and when the life of the mother is in danger. The backlash to Mr. Biden, who despite leading early Presidential polls faces skepticism from his party’s progressive wing, came swiftly from lawmakers and activists who support abortion rights … .” After all, the repeal of the Hyde Amendment is an absolute plank of the Democratic Party’s national platform and is a goal of the radicals who are currently running the US House. “Several of Mr. Biden’s primary opponents,” writes Ms. Glueck, “moved quickly Wednesday to highlight their own opposition to the Hyde Amendment, underscoring how sharply Mr. Biden’s position differs from many in the Democratic field. … ‘Repealing the Hyde Amendment is critical so that low-income women in particular can have access to the reproductive care they need and deserve,’ Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) tweeted,” quoted by the New York Times. “Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) took a thinly veiled swipe as well,” writes Ms. Glueck. “‘There is no middle ground on women’s rights,’ Mr. Sanders wrote. ‘Abortion is a Constitutional right. Under my Medicare for All plan, we will repeal the Hyde Amendment.’ Speaking with reporters after a rally in Indiana, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MS) emphasized her opposition to the measure. ‘This isn’t about politics, this is about what’s right,’ she said,” reports Ms. Glueck. “‘The Hyde Amendment should not be American law.’ And Sen. Kamala Harris (CA) tweeted,” continues Ms. Glueck, “‘No woman’s access to reproductive health care should be based on how much money she has. We must repeal the Hyde Amendment.’” Just in case you didn’t know what these candidates think.

In the States

  • IOWA GOV. KIM REYNOLDS (R) HAS SIGNED her state’s Health & Human Services budget with a cut of $260,000 in Planned Parenthood grants funding. The grants dealt with sex education, and Iowa parents have been protesting the unhealthy PP materials and teachings urging, notes Bob Kellog of, “it’s neither ‘bad or unhealthy’ to have multiple sex partners and elsewhere,” he cautions, “a booklet about HIV suggests it is a ‘human right’ to not disclose to other partners you are HIV positive. The name of the downloadable booklet,” he reports, “for HIV-positive youths is ‘Healthy, Happy and Hot.’”
  • CALIFORNIA GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D) HAS JOINED the apparent competition among most Democratic governors to be crowned exalted champion of Planned Parenthood and the entire abortion cartel. He did so with a proclamation issued May 31, reports Phil Willon for the Associated Press, “‘welcoming women to California’ for the [abortion] procedure and reaffirming the right of women to terminate a pregnancy, a protection enshrined in the state’s constitution. The governor also joined with fellow Democratic Governors Kate Brown of Oregon and Jay Inslee of Washington to urge states to pass laws protecting abortion rights. ‘In the absence of federal leadership on this issue,’” the governors said in a joint statement quoted by AP, “‘states must step up and put in place their own protections – both in statute and in their state constitutions, and through the expansion of family planning and education – to defend every American’s right to reproductive freedom.’”
  • NORTH CAROLINA’s HOUSE HAS FAILED TO OVERRIDE the veto by Gov. Roy Cooper (D) of legislation to “require doctors to try to preserve the life of an infant born alive during an attempted abortion,” report Kate Sullivan and Eli Watkins for CNN. It was the state’s version of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Said the governor in the CNN story, “‘Instead of passing unnecessary legislation for political purposes, we need to move on from divisive social issues and focus on the needs of North Carolina families: education, health care and good-paying jobs.’” A three-fifths majority is needed to override a gubernatorial veto in North Carolina; in the House, such an action requires 72 votes. The GOP controlled the House with 74 votes in 2017-2018 but lost seats in the 2018 election; the party ratio is now 65 Republicans to 55 Democrats. The override vote was 67 to 53.
  • NEBRASKA GOV. PETE RICKETTS (R) HAS SIGNED LB-209, the Abortion Pill Reversal Act, on which pro-life lawmakers overcame a several-days filibuster and voted 36 to 12 to advance it to the governor; Nebraska’s legislature has a single house so only one vote was required once the filibuster was broken. “LB-209 strengthens Nebraska’s already existing Informed Consent on Abortion statute,” notes Dave Andrusko in National Right to Life News Today. “Abortion facilities now must direct the women to the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services which would provide further information as well as help the woman to find a medical professional skilled in the protocol of providing progesterone to reverse the process.” Nebraska is the ninth state to tackle legislation promoting reversal of RU-486 abortions in the early hours after ingestion of the killing pill.
  • ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS WHO VOTED FOR THE RADICAL ABORTION BILL, SB-25, are now officially barred from receiving the sacrament of holy communion in the Catholic Diocese of Springfield, the state capital. The church’s Springfield bishop, Thomas Paprocki, last week “ruled,” reports, “that state legislators who are working to pass Illinois’s new abortion bill may not present themselves for communion in his diocese and that priests are expressly forbidden from giving the Eucharist to both the Senate President [John Cullerton] and the Speaker of the House [Mike Madigan].” Both men are Chicago Democrats, and both claim to be Catholics. The bishop explained the singling out of the two leaders, reports LifeSiteNews, “because they have obstinately persisted in promoting the abominable crime and very grave sin of abortion as evidenced by the influence they exerted in their leadership roles and their repeated votes and obdurate public support for abortion rights over an extended period of time,’ [Bishop] Paprocki wrote in a statement dated June 2.” He further included other abortion-advocating lawmakers by adding, notes LifeSiteNews, “‘I declare that Catholic legislators of the Illinois General Assembly who have cooperated in evil and committed grave sin by voting for any legislation that promotes abortion are not to present themselves to receive Holy Communion without first being reconciled to Christ and the Church in accord with canon 916 of the Code of Canon Law.’”
  • OKLAHOMA GOV. KEVIN STITT (R) HAS SIGNED a budget bill, reports Katie Franklin for Pregnancy Help News, “which includes a $2 million appropriation for life-affirming pregnancy centers. The Choosing Childbirth Program, which was established by a 2017 law signed by then-Gov. Mary Fallin [R], will provide funds for services such as ultrasounds, medical exams, counseling, parenting classes, maternity care and more.”


June 3, 2019, BreakPoint commentary by John Stonestreet & Roberto Rivera

            Nearly 30 years ago, Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen wrote an essay in the New York Review of Books entitled “More than 100 Million Women are Missing.” Sen didn’t mean “missing” as in “missing person.” He meant that in places like China and his native India, there were more than 100 million fewer women than demographic trends suggested there should be.

            Two decades later, journalist Mara Hvistendahl wrote Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men. By the time of the book’s publication, the estimate of missing women had grown to 160 million.

            The “elephant in the room” behind this terrible trend is abortion. Demographers and other researchers first thought that the explanation must be that female infanticide – you know, the kind practiced in the ancient world – had somehow made a comeback. Instead, they discovered that female children were being identified in utero, via amniocentesis or ultrasound, and then they were aborted. The combination of technology, preference for male children, government policies such as China’s infamous “One-Child Policy,” and legalized abortion had altered demographics from China to Albania.

            Still, researchers downplayed this connection between abortion and the 100-million-plus missing women. Hvistendahl, for example, placed far more emphasis on cultural attitudes and discrimination against women. While these factors certainly play a role in the gender imbalance, without easy access to abortion, this problem wouldn’t exist, at least not in its present form.

            A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences makes the connection between abortion and gender imbalance more explicit. Researchers from Britain concluded that between 1970 and 2017, “sex-selective abortions resulted in about 23.1 million missing girls.” According to a demographer from the American Enterprise Institute, that number “seems a bit low.”

            In China and India alone, men outnumber women by 70 million. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has estimated that by next year, 24 million Chinese men of marriageable age will be unable to find a spouse.

            Since mortality rates are much higher for men than women, either Chinese and Indian women are exceptionally unlucky or, as is more likely, the lion’s share of that 70-plus-million represents women who were killed as the result of sex-selection abortion.

            That’s why both China and India have done what the US has not: outlaw sex-selection abortion. While their laws are honored more in the breach than in the observance, at least China and India have acknowledged the problem.

            The cultural preference for boys and systemic discrimination against girls is nothing new. But the radical gender imbalance in places like China and India is. Not coincidentally, that imbalance emerged just as abortion became readily available in the 1970s. To put it bluntly, legal abortion made it easier to eliminate unwanted daughters. To put it even more bluntly, gendercide isn’t the result of people having abortions for the “wrong reason” – it’s the result of abortion itself.

            And though a sexist act of violence halfway around the world should be just as intolerable to us as if it were happening in our own backyard, make no mistake. Elective abortion leads to sex-selection abortion. It is happening in America, too.

            Of course, getting abortion-rights advocates to acknowledge this is like trying to swim against the current of the Ganges from the Bay of Bengal to its source in the Himalayas. Good luck with that.

            Still, the savage truth is, hundreds of millions of missing women is the price we’ve paid for legalized abortion. It’s the elephant in the room, and it isn’t going anywhere.

Words Matter

May 29, 2019, The Point commentary by John Stonestreet & David Carlson

            Prof. Robert George, co-author of the Manhattan Declaration and one-time winner of our Wilberfoce Award, teaches at Princeton and sometimes on Facebook. The other day, he posted a picture of three young women wearing “my body, my choice” t-shirts and holding a sign: “Parasites don’t have rights.”

            Here’s what Dr. George wrote in response: “Scholars of the history of genocides observe that people who want to kill other people invariably develop and deploy forms of rhetoric designed to dehumanize the victims. A well-known example is the Nazis referring to the Jews as ‘vermin.’ In the debate over abortion, a similar rhetoric is deployed to dehumanize unborn children. Abortion advocates, such as [the women pictured] (with big smiles on their faces), label them ‘parasites.’ To justify killing them, they suggest that they are the moral equivalent of lice or leeches or tapeworms.”

            Words have meaning. The language used in the abortion debate is literally a matter of life and death.

[Life Advocacy editor’s note: We wholeheartedly agree with that last sentence. That is why we wince when we hear or read abortionists referred to as “providers,” when we read or hear even pro-life communicators referring to expectant mothers as “women” and when we hear or read the phrase “perform abortion” rather than “commit abortion.” We urge our readers to think through their word choice carefully and to avoid the euphemisms which cloud the true nature of abortion and its victims.]