Life Advocacy Briefing

November 25, 2019

Blessed Thanksgiving / Desperately Guarding Roe v. Wade
Injustice in SanFrancisco / Nosing into the Business of the States
In the States / Clear & Present Danger / Unthinkable

Blessed Thanksgiving

AMERICANS WILL BE PAUSING this week to gather for fellowship and to offer thanks to our Creator for our multitude of blessings. We wish for each of our readers a time of reflection and relaxation among family and friends. And we will be taking some time, ourselves, away from the fray. So please excuse us for taking a break from publishing Life Advocacy Briefing. Expect to see us back in your mailbox with our Dec. 9 edition. And expect soon our annual Voting Record Index for the 2019 Congressional session.


Desperately Guarding Roe v. Wade

AMERICA’s RADICAL FEMINISTS ARE AT IT AGAIN, renewing their decades-old drive to stick abortion – under the guise of “women’s rights” – into the US Constitution, where it does not currently exist and never has.

It’s the old, long-dead “Equal Rights Amendment,” which Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) and her fellow travelers are seeking to revive through a resolution to strip the ratification deadline out of the proposal, in effect starting the process all over again but with more than 30 states already in the can.

On Wednesday, Nov. 13, the House Judiciary Committee reported favorably Rep. Speier’s HJRes-79. The idea is to prepare to declare victory if the Virginia legislature, which recently flipped to Democratic control in both houses, becomes the 38th state to ratify the 1972 proposal.

Should that ratification motion pass in Virginia, the ERA partisans will claim victory without taking into account that several state legislatures have, over the years, rescinded their hasty ratifications. And then there’s the deadline, originally 1979 and extended by Congress – before the deadline was met – to June 30, 1982. That is the hurdle which Ms. Speier is seeking to overcome, completely bypassing the customary expectation – and the textual requirement, in the case of ERA – that constitutional amendment ratifications are expected to reflect timely consensus.

Readers are asked urgently to call their home-district Member of Congress to request him or her to vote “no” on HJRes-79 and to ask the Congressman’s staff to notify the caller in writing of the Member’s intention. (Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121) Since many Members will be in their home districts during the Thanksgiving recess, we ask also that readers contact their Members at their local district offices with the same request and/or that readers seek a meeting with House Members to urge a “no” vote. So much is at stake.

The same goes for home-state US Senators; action could come quickly there if the House does adopt this joint resolution.

We invite those readers who are insufficiently acquainted with the ERA/abortion connection to visit and read the analysis on our home page by former Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall: “Leftists resurrecting ‘Equal Rights Amendment’ to make US Constitution pro-abortion.”


Injustice in SanFrancisco

THE JURY CAME BACK in the Daleiden RICO trial last week with an outrageous judgment against the young investigative journalist and his fellow defendants, awarding punitive damages totaling some $870,000 to Planned Parenthood. It was not unexpected, not because of actual damages or culpability but because of the improper way in which the complicit judge conducted the trial; it is ripe for appeal on many bases.

Said lead Thomas More Society defense attorney, former Illinois State Rep. Peter Breen, quoted by, “‘This lawsuit is payback for David Daleiden exposing Planned Parenthood’s dirty business of buying and selling fetal parts and organs. … We intend to seek vindication for David on appeal. His investigation into criminal activity by America’s largest abortion provider utilized standard investigative journalism techniques, those applied regularly by news outlets across the country.

“‘David’s findings revealed practices so abhorrent that the United States Congress issued criminal referrals for Planned Parenthood, and numerous states and elected officials have moved to strip it of funding,’ continued [Mr.] Breen,” in the LifeSiteNews report. “‘Rather than face up to its heinous doings, Planned Parenthood chose to persecute the person who exposed it. I am fully confident that when this case has run its course, justice will prevail, and David will be vindicated.’”

The LifeSiteNews story also quotes from a news release issued by David’s Center for Medical Progress (CMP): “‘While top Planned Parenthood witnesses spent six weeks testifying under oath that the undercover videos are true and Planned Parenthood sold fetal organs on a quid-pro-quo basis, a biased judge with close Planned Parenthood ties spent six weeks influencing the jury with pre-determined rulings and by suppressing video evidence, all in order to rubber-stamp Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit attack on the First Amendment. This is a dangerous precedent for citizen journalism and First Amendment civil rights across the country, sending a message that speaking truth and facts criticizing the powerful is no longer protected by our institutions.’”

We expected nothing less, when the San Francisco-based US District Judge William Orrick refused to recuse himself despite his personal and business connections to Planned Parenthood. His rulings in the six-week trial and his jury instructions offer ripe opportunities for appeal.


Nosing into the Business of the States

THE U.S. HOUSE COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT & REFORM HELD A HEARING on Nov. 14 “exploring,” reports Calvin Freiburger for, “‘how state policies – like those in Missouri – are impacting access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare services, including abortion,’ as well as the ‘federal government’s role in preserving access to reproductive healthcare services for patients across the United States.’”

Democratic committee members and the abortion lobby witnesses, notes Mr. Freiburger, “agree[d] that even mild abortion restrictions such as waiting periods were burdensome and ‘medically unnecessary.’ …

“Most of the pro-abortion testimony,” notes Mr. Freiburger, “came from [Planned Parenthood medical director Colleen] McNicholas, who represents a scandal-plagued abortion facility currently fighting to keep its license [in St. Louis]. She dismissed all concerns about the facility as stemming from a politically motivated ‘obsession,’ and accused [Missouri] Health Director Dr. Randall Williams of neglecting the ‘medical ethics he was taught’ for his actions, including an invocation [by Ms. McNicholas] of the misleading pro-abortion claim that the state was tracking women’s periods. …

“Among her responses” to GOP panel members “were claims,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “that mandating basic medical care for infants who survive abortions would ‘harm’ the ‘environment’ for abortionists… ; that Planned Parenthood did not sell (Planned Parenthood officials have been caught on video admitting otherwise, though one claims she was joking); and that abortion is safer than childbirth (a claim based on a controversial and disputed study).” 

The sole pro-life witness permitted to appear before the panel was Allie Beth Stuckey, a host on the Blaze TV network, whose daughter was born in July. “During the hearing, she called abortion a process that consisted of ‘tearing a child apart limb by limb,’” reports by Mr. Freiburger. “‘All I’m trying to do,’” she said, “‘is to remind us when we are having this conversation that there are two people.’”


In the States

  • MASSACHUSETTS IS CONSIDERING LEGISLATION to mimic one of California’s recent outrages – a bill to require public universities to provide chemical abortions. The proposal would allocate $400,000 to underwrite “medical abortion readiness” at the public universities’ health centers, including training and medical equipment, according to Laura Nicole, writing for Live Action, and “up to $2.4 million for day-to-day costs, including staff salaries.” Abortions “up to 10 weeks,” according to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa, quoted by Ms. Nicole, “would be covered financially through a trust fund set up for the program with money approved through the state’s legislature, coming partially from donations.” Application of the program is, according to the sponsor, limited to “‘public universities that already have health services on campus where they perform Ob-gyn appointments, so,’” she said, “‘it does not require universities to make upfront capital investment. It’s really,’” she claimed, “‘the cost of the medication [sic].’ … Pro-life leaders,” notes Ms. Nicole, “immediately decried the lack of support provided to students experiencing unplanned pregnancies by having abortion institutionalized on college campuses. … ‘If you’re just putting an abortion facility in the middle of their college campus,’” said C.J. Williams of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, quoted by Live Action, “‘our daughters are not getting the message that they have a choice. You want to give them options, not abortion.’”

  • OHIO LAWMAKERS ARE TAKING THE FIGHT A STEP FURTHER in filing legislation last week that “would fully recognize preborn humans as people in the state,” writes Calvin Freiburger for, “and ban all abortions by putting prenatal killing under the existing murder statutes.” HB-413 declares, notes Mr. Freiburger, “that ‘no person shall purposely, and with prior calculation and design, perform or have an abortion,’ and that courts ‘shall regard the unborn child victim of an aggravated abortion murder or abortion murder as a person who is less than 13 years of age.’” Said Meg Whitman, executive director of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, quoted by Mr. Freiburger, “‘The most important aspect of this visionary legislation is the recognition that unborn children are human beings from conception and should be afforded the equal protection of our laws.’” The sponsors are GOP State Representatives Candice Keller of Middletown and Ron Hood of Ashville. The proposal was reportedly drafted without the aid or endorsement of Ohio Right to Life.

  • NEW YORK GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D) HAS COMPOUNDED his state’s embrace of abortion with the signing of a new law barring pro-life organizations from “discriminating” against abortion advocates in their employment decisions. “Additionally,” notes Hank Berrien in the, “the [new law] would make it impossible for the pro-life organization to fire an employee who chooses to have an abortion.” Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys have filed suit against the new law on behalf of CompassCare, the National Institute of Family & Life Advocates (NIFLA) and First Bible Baptist Church. ADF has written, according to Mr. Berrien, “‘SB-660 … requires all employers – including churches, religious schools, faith-based pregnancy care centers and religious nonprofits – to disavow their beliefs about abortion, contraception and sexual morality by forcing them to hire and employ those who refuse to abide by the organizations’ statements of faith.’”


Clear & Present Danger

Nov. 14, 2019, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            It may be the most dangerous bill no one’s really talking about. But if it becomes law – this radical grab bag of social extremism – all of America will live to regret it. Meet the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). It’s not just about women anymore. In fact, it’s not really about women at all.

            How much damage can 52 words do? Trust me, you don’t want to find out. The House majority’s new ERA may be short, but the list of consequences is never-ending. Liberals will say it’s about equality, but what it’s really about is a one-way ticket to everything on their social agenda wish list. Gender-neutral bathrooms? Check. Taxpayer-funded abortion? Check. Infanticide? Check. LGBT indoctrination at school? Check. Radical sex-ed? Check. Transgender “rights?” Check. The elimination of women’s sports? Check. It’s no wonder the Democrats want to dust off the ERA. As far as they’re concerned, the old push for women’s rights is the perfect Trojan horse for everything else on their agenda.

            Don’t expect the Left to let that cat out of the bag. As far as House Democrats are concerned, this is about “women’s rights.” But what rights? It’s 2019, FRC’s Patrina Mosley pointed out on Wednesday’s “Washington Watch” [FRC radio/podcast]. “Women already have equal rights under the 5th and 14th Amendments. There are even laws in place to prohibit sex discrimination. So what is it the ERA would actually do?

            For starters, it would wipe the slate clean of any state or national pro-life law, amending the Constitution to create a permanent right to abortion on demand – right up until the moment of birth, paid for by American taxpayers. And, as we know from the last 11 months, “abortion,” at least as far as the Left is concerned, includes leaving perfectly healthy unwanted newborns to die.

            This is a smokescreen, Patrina warns, for establishing the most radical nationwide policy on abortion ever seen. Far more radical than Roe v. Wade – and much more binding. Not that liberals will admit it. ERA Coalition co-president Jessica Neuwirth has told everyone who will listen that the proposal is “silent” on abortion. Well, the language may be silent, but abortion groups certainly aren’t. “Both NARAL and Planned Parenthood have had lawsuits in the courts in the states, where they’ve said the ERA would be used to promote and perform abortions,” Patrina countered. “It’s already been used in Colorado. It’s already been used in New Mexico.” [Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: In those states, state constitutional language has mimicked the wording of the proposed federal ERA, and that language has been used in lawsuits, for example, to judicially mandate taxpayer funding of abortion.]

            And what about the word “sex”? How does the ERA define it? Simple: it doesn’t. “They are intentionally ambiguous,” Patrina explains. “The term ‘sex’ is not defined, so it can be interpreted in any way you want. That has implications for women across the board … like allowing men – not even men posing as women, but biological men – to enter women’s locker rooms, showers, facilities. It really opens up that can of worms that we’ve been fighting for so long. This would be that one quick fix that Democrats would have right in the Constitution to strip any protections a state or local government [has] against that.”

            Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) sure wasn’t shy about that in Wednesday’s markup, telling Members that when they talk about “sex,” Democrats mean sexual orientation and gender identity. But how close are Democrats, really, to advancing a bill that’s been dead for 40 years? No one really knows. The Virginia legislature’s flip to liberal control means that their effort to push a state ERA [ratification] is back in business. They argue that if they pass it, they’ll be the 38th – and final – state that’s needed. But the deadline for ratification has come and gone – not that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will let a thing like the rules get in the way.

            Cong. Mike Johnson (R-LA) was as surprised as anyone when the chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Rep. Steve Cohen (R-TN) pointed at Republicans and said, “You guys get so caught up in … process. Process doesn’t matter.” In other words, Mike said, “‘We’re here to advance an agenda. We don’t care what the rules say. We don’t care what the Constitution says. … That stuff’s immaterial.’” Democrats, Cohen said, need to “‘look beyond the process, because we’ve got to advance this principle … .’ That’s what we’re up against. Right now, they’re defying all of that in our Constitutional tradition.”

            The rule of law matters, Johnson told Cohen. At least in the Trump-stocked courts, where this bill will surely end up if it becomes law. In the meantime, urge your Representative to vote “no” on the ERA, which ought to stand for Expanding Radical Abortion.



Nov. 19, 2019, The Point commentary by John Stonestreet & Roberto Rivera

            The latest issue of New York Magazine makes a bunch of predictions about what it calls our “weird” future. Some of them really are weird, like “you’ll crave mold and eat refined scraps.” Others are just creepy, like hologram tours replacing tribute bands.

            One prediction is, I think, dead-on. Pro-abortion activists are assuming Roe v. Wade’s days are numbered, which leaves the question: What’s next? According to New York Magazine, “We’ll perform abortions at home.”

            Activists think chemically induced abortions would make strict abortion laws less relevant. Instead of going after doctors, prosecutors would have to go after women. And they think prosecutors won’t want to do that. On both counts, I think they might be right.

            Ultimately the future of abortion will not be decided in courtrooms – it will be decided in the hearts and minds of everyone. The other side is preparing for a world after Roe v. Wade. We should be, too.

[This is why we at Life Advocacy are among pro-life advocates who insist abortion should not alone be illegal but must become unthinkable. Truth must prevail, along with mercy and justice for all, no matter how small.]