Life Advocacy Briefing

June 17, 2019

Breaking? / Heads Up / America’s Docs Reject Abetting Suicide
Illinois Goes Over the Edge / Not in Our Town!
The Fight Intensifies / Judge Pre-Empts State on Abortuary Licensure
Candidate Watch / In the States / Showdown is Building


THOUGH OUR PLANS ARE NOT YET FIRM, we find our editorial staff might be traveling next week. In that event, we will be suspending publication for a week but expect to be back for the July 1 edition. (Wow, July is that close!) If the travel plans do not develop, we’ll be in your mailbox for June 24; not sure yet!

Heads Up

AT THE CLOSE OF THIS LIFE ADVOCACY BRIEFING, we reprint a commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins that we believe is one of the most critical analyses we have ever published. We urge our readers to absorb his report and his concerns and to pray about what we each and all need to be doing.

America’s Docs Reject Abetting Suicide

THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSN. HAS AFFIRMED, writes Lianne Laurence for, its opposition to doctor-abetted suicide “by an overwhelming majority, despite lobbying by euthanasia supporters.

“After intense discussion, delegates at the annual meeting in Chicago voted 392-162 on Monday [June 10],” she reports, “to reaffirm the AMA’s existing policy, which states that ‘physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia are fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control and would pose serious societal risks.’

“Delegates also,” writes Ms. Laurence, “voted 360-190 to adopt the Council on Ethical & Judicial Affairs (CEJA) report, which recommends the AMA keep its opposition to physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, according to MedPage Today. …

“Since Canada legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia three years ago,” writes Ms. Laurence, “‘euthanasia has become a runaway contagion in Canada, with over 4,000 deaths last year,’ observed [Washington delegate Dr. Shane] Macaulay. ‘These alarming developments show us that the wheels are coming off the bus on assisted suicide. We do not have the luxury of time to continue to fail to act on the CEJA report while the real-world situation deteriorates,’ he told fellow delegates,” reports Ms. Laurence. “‘Unless we’re willing to embrace widespread euthanasia, we must accept the CEJA report and reaffirm this policy now as a firewall against what is (happening in) Canada.’”

Illinois Goes Over the Edge

ILLINOIS GOV. JAY PRITZKER (D) HAS SIGNED what appears to be the nation’s most radical abortion law. SB-5, reports, has “repealed [the state’s] ban on partial-birth abortion, set up a path to abolish parental notification, allowed anyone – not just licensed facilities – to do abortion, authorized non-doctors [to] do procedures, created a process for forcing doctors to perform abortions and specifically stated that the unborn have no rights. …

“‘This is easily the most expansive abortion law in the United States,’ [noted] Peter Breen, senior counsel for the Thomas More Society,” quoted by WND.  

“The SBA [Susan B. Anthony List] pointed out the plan also drops requirements,” reports WND, “that abortion data be reported, removes the requirement to investigate deaths of mothers during abortions, creates a ‘fundamental right’ to abortion any time and anywhere and forces health insurance plans – including those for religious groups – to cover the procedures.”

Warned Illinois Right to Life Action, quoted by WND, “Any restrictions or regulations on abortion are effectively eliminated.”

Not in Our Town!

WASKOM, TEXAS, HAS TITLED ITSELF ‘A SANCTUARY CITY FOR THE UNBORN’ while voting overwhelmingly to ban most abortions within its boundaries. The city council in the small eastern Texas town (population 2,189) “unanimously passed an ordinance,” reports Calvin Freiburger for, citing ArkLaTexHomepage as source, “banning abortions within the city except in cases of rape, incest or to save a mother’s life, … as well as a resolution declaring Waskom a sanctuary for preborn babies. Supporters say,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “the exceptions were a necessary compromise to hopefully get the ordinance to reach the US Supreme Court.”

Though some “expressed concern about the legal expenses of a likely lawsuit,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “the measures passed to the cheers of community members in attendance.”

Waskom is not alone or even first. Last month, reports Mr. Freiburger, the city of Roswell, New Mexico, “voted 7-1 to pass its own resolution declaring itself another sanctuary city for preborn babies.”

The Fight Intensifies

A POPULAR INTERNET WEBSITE, Pinterest, has banned Live Action from its platform, claiming the pro-life organization’s posts are “pornography.”

Notes Reagan domestic policy chief Gary Bauer, writing in his June 12 End of Day Memo, “Every conservative, every Christian and every free-thinking American should be alarmed by the Left’s growing intolerance. This totalitarian mindset has seized control of one of America’s two political parties,” he writes. “It is extending its grip well into the news media and social media. …

“Corporate and cultural elites are doing exactly what they accuse conservatives of doing: imposing their values on the rest of society. And we are supposed to shut up and take it.

“The American people are not pro-abortion,” he declares. “Only 13% of the public supports abortion in all nine months of pregnancy, yet we’re being told we can’t even talk about it. That is real extremism.”

Judge Pre-Empts State on Abortuary Licensure

EFFORTS BY THE STATE OF MISSOURI to deny automatic license renewal to the state’s one remaining abortuary are being stymied by state Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer in response to a petition by Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region. Though the abortion shop’s license has expired and the outfit has been unable (or unwilling) to correct deficiencies found in an inspection precipitated by a customer complaint, Judge Stelzer has issued a temporary restraining order blocking state action to protect its citizens.

“Health officials,” writes Calvin Freiburger for, “want to interview five contract physicians regarding seven incidents flagged by inspectors,” interviews, he notes, “which Planned Parenthood opposes on the grounds that their answers could lead to criminal charges.” The notorious St. Louis abortuary, notes Operation Rescue (OR), “failed a facility inspection in March 2019, which put them in non-compliance with licensing requirements. It also failed to submit an acceptable plan of correction prior to the expiration of its license on May 31.”

Judge Stelzer ordered the state’s health department to make a decision on the shop’s license renewal application “no later than June 21,” notes OR, and “set a status conference for June 21, 2019, at 9 a.m.” in his courtroom.

Candidate Watch

  • IT DIDN’T TAKE JOE BIDEN LONG to flip on his campaign’s statement last week that he was maintaining his long-held support of the Hyde Amendment. Though the presumed Democratic frontrunner has always previously – during his Senate career, his vice presidency and the early days of his 2020 Presidential bid – supported protecting taxpayers from subsidizing abortion and has claimed to base that support on his religious conviction, the Joe Biden of days past appears to have been replaced by one who finds the abortion lobby too formidable within his party. He is now committed to supporting his party’s radical platform position on abortion, which includes ditching Hyde. Philadelphia’s Roman Catholic Archbishop, Charles Chaput, “rebuked [Mr.] Biden,” reports Calvin Freiburger for, “for caving into the Democratic Party’s pro-abortion doctrine.” In a June 10 column posted on the Internet website of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, notes Mr. Freiburger, Archishop Chaput stated, “‘The unborn child means exactly zero in the calculus of power for Democratic Party leaders, and the right to an abortion, once described as a tragic necessity, is now a perverse kind of ‘sacrament most holy.’ … It will have a candidate’s allegiance and full-throated reverence,’” wrote the beloved archbishop, “‘or else.’”
  • IN A MOVE REMINISCENT OF EX-NEW YORK SEN. HILLARY CLINTON’s designation of God-fearing American voters as “deplorables,” New York’s current Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who purports to be a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination, last week “suggested,” writes Martin Barillas for, “that pro-life beliefs are ‘not acceptable’ and compared them to racism and anti-Semitism. In an interview with the DesMoines Register,” notes Mr. Barillas, “[Ms.] Gillibrand was asked whether precluding pro-life judicial nominees would endanger judicial independence. … [She] said that as President, she would nominate pro-abortion judges. ‘I think there’s some issues that have such moral clarity that we have as a society decided that the other side is not acceptable,’ [Sen.] Gillibrand said. ‘Imagine saying that it’s okay to appoint a judge who’s racist or anti-Semitic or homophobic. Asking someone to appoint someone who takes away basic human rights of any group of people in America – I don’t think that those are political issues any more,’ [Ms.] Gillibrand said. ‘And we believe in this country in the separation of church and state, and I respect the rights of every American to hold their religious beliefs true to themselves, but our country and our Constitution has always demanded that we have a separation of church and state,’” claiming, notes Mr. Barillas, that “Pres. Donald Trump and ‘ultra-radical conservative judges and justices’ are seeking to unconstitutionally ‘impose their faith on Americans. … There is no moral equivalency when you come to racism,’” she said, writes Mr. Barillas, “‘and I do not believe there is a moral equivalency when it comes to changing laws that deny women reproductive freedom.’”

In the States

  • MAINE GOV. JANET MILLS (D) LAST MONDAY SIGNED a measure she had proposed to expand the medical personnel authorized to kill unborn babies via abortion. “Advanced nurse practitioners,” reports Calvin Freiburger for, “and physician assistants [will] be allowed to perform medication-administered abortions on the grounds that it would increase abortion ‘access’ in more rural parts of the state.” Reports the Bangor Daily News, cited by Mr. Freiburger, “the bill would effectively increase the number of locations in Maine that commit abortions from three to 18.
  • TEXAS GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R) HAS SIGNED legislation barring local governments from doing business with abortion businesses, including Planned Parenthood, in a rebuke to the $1/year lease of a building owned by the City of Austin to the abortion behemoth. Said State Sen. Donna Campbell, quoted by Calvin Freiburger for, “‘While they may not be doing abortions [at the Austin Planned Parenthood facility], those dollars can still pass through to prop up the abortion industry, so this bill does inhibit local municipalities from contracting with an abortion facility. … Texas taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to subsidize the abortion industry with their tax dollars; abortion providers unnaturally end the lives of almost 60,000 of our tiniest and most vulnerable Texans every year,’ [Sen.] Campbell added.”
  • NARAL’s PROPOSAL TO CURB THE LIFE-SAVING SERVICES of pregnancy care centers died in the Connecticut Senate at the close of session early this month. Connecticut Family Institute president Peter Wolfgang said in an e-mail message, quoted by Nancy Flanders for Live Action, “‘That their own political allies paid lip service to the anti-pregnancy center cause while quietly shelving the bill is a huge humiliation for NARAL.’” Aww.
  • LOUISIANA’s LEGISLATURE HAS GIVEN FINAL APPROVAL to posting a Love Life Amendment to the state constitution, accepting a conference committee report which designates the Nov. 3, 2020, ballot for voter consideration of the pro-life proposition. The original version would have sent it to voters in the Oct. 12, 2019, statewide election, but conferees opted to feature it on the Presidential election ballot instead. Said Dorinda Bordlee of the Bioethics Defense Fund, quoted in a report in National Right to Life News Today, “‘If and when Roe v. Wade is reversed and the issue is sent back to the states, this constitutional amendment will block the efforts of abortion industry lawyers to get Louisiana state court judges to impose the trauma and violence of abortion through our state constitution.’”

Showdown is Building

June 10, 2019, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            The Hyde Amendment has survived a lot of challenges over the years, but can it survive the new House Democrats? Americans are about to find out.

            Starting this Wednesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) chamber will be back in familiar territory: trying to pass a slew of complicated appropriations bills. To speed up the process, Democrats are using an old trick – bundling five bills together in one massive package, worth almost $1 trillion. But in a “mini-bus” that spans everything from Defense to HHS, legislators can hide a lot of things – including attacks on Pres. Trump’s pro-life policies.

            “Most Democrats want to repeal Hyde,” one former House Appropriations Committee spokesman told the Washington Post. But even they know it would be a steep climb. “While we loathe the Amendment, the view was: Okay, let’s proceed in this fashion,” Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT) explained. Although Hyde is grabbing headlines in the Presidential race, Pelosi’s party thinks they’d have better luck overturning the ban on overseas abortion funding (Mexico City Policy), Title X [10] “family planning” restrictions and zeroing out abstinence education.

            That’s not to say that some Democrats won’t take aim at the 40-year-old ban on taxpayer-funded abortion. According to Roll Call, a group of liberal House Democrats, including Barbara Lee (CA), Pramila Jayapal (WA) and Ayanna Pressley (MA), filed an amendment with the Rules Committee on Friday that would strike the Hyde Amendment from the mammoth 667-page bill. “It would also go further, requiring the federal government to ‘ensure coverage for abortion care in public health insurance programs’ and prevent the federal government, as well as state and local governments, from restricting abortion coverage by private health plans.”

            That sets up an interesting dilemma for Pelosi’s party, who will have to decide just how far Democrats are willing to go to fund their culture of death. Will they go to the mat on Hyde, risking a government shutdown in a few months? Or will people like DeLauro talk sense into the radical wing? Brendan Buck, who worked for former Speaker Paul Ryan, tweeted “Watch out. … If you think a long shutdown over immigration was bad, wait until we have one over abortion funding.”

            Even if abortion extremists prevailed, Pres. Trump has already vowed that he won’t sign a single bill that doesn’t include Hyde protections. So, just how far are Democrats willing to go to make their point? We’ll see.

            Meanwhile, former Vice Pres. Joe Biden, who destroyed his “moderate” cred by siding with the party’s radicals on abortion funding, is desperately trying to move past the embarrassing triple flip-flop on Hyde. But that’s easier said than done, most pundits say. CNN contributor S.E. Cupp couldn’t believe the week’s events. “Talk about whiplash,” she said. And what’s to say he won’t change his mind on another core value question? But that’s not even the most troubling thing about it. “Now that Biden has caved to progressives on the Hyde Amendment,” Cupp asks, “what’s the point of his candidacy, exactly? … I thought Biden’s raison d’etre in this election was to occupy a moderate lane that far-Left progressives had abandoned over the past few years. I thought he was attempting to capture the forgotten Democrats in the middle of the country. I was told he would speak to working-class Americans that his party had left behind for coastal elites. In flipping on Hyde, he just made himself ideologically indistinguishable from the other 23 candidates.” Moderates, she warned, “you’ve just been dumped.”

            Regardless of how this affects Biden or any other Democrat, the take-away for conservatives is simple. This is a make-or-break moment. After decades of bipartisan support, the Hyde Amendment – which managed to survive three liberal Administrations – is the most vulnerable it’s ever been. This is a winner-take-all battle we’re in, and pro-lifers will need to work harder than they ever had to hold the line. America is with us, but we can’t afford to take anything for granted. Not now.