Life Advocacy Briefing

January 6, 2020

Added Protection for Taxpayers / Will You Be There?
Rallying Closer to Home / Candidate Watch / Radicals Acting Radical
Parental Notice Law on Chopping Block in Illinois
Dismemberment Ban on the Way in Michigan / Nailed

Added Protection for Taxpayers

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HAS FINALIZED A RULE preventing taxpayer dollars from being used to cover abortions under ObamaCare.

Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar explained, notes National Right to Life News, “‘When an [ObamaCare health coverage] exchange plan covers abortions for which public funding is prohibited by federal law, this rule requires that customers receive separate bills for that abortion coverage and for the rest of their insurance. Providing these separate bills is an essential step,’” he said, “‘in implementing the Affordable Care Act’s bar on tax credits going toward coverage of abortions for which public funding is prohibited.

“‘The separate billing requirement fulfills Congress’s intent and reflects Pres. Trump’s strong commitment to preventing taxpayer funding of abortion coverage.’” A long time coming but done at last.


Will You Be There?

THE 47th ANNUAL MARCH FOR LIFE will bring hundreds of thousands of Americans to Washington, DC, on Friday, Jan. 24, rallying at noon at the National Mall, near the White House, and then walking down Constitution Avenue to the steps of the Supreme Court. The theme is “Life Empowers: Pro-Life is Pro-Woman.”

Speaking at the rally will be US Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and US Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), chairman of the House Pro-life Caucus, as well as Louisiana Democratic State Rep. Katrina Jackson, chief sponsor of the Louisiana admitting privileges law, which is currently being resisted by the abortion lobby at the Supreme Court. Congresswoman Wagner is chief sponsor of HR-962, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which is trapped in the House Committee on the Judiciary.  They will be joined by abortion survivors Melissa Ohden and Claire Culwell and by Focus on the Family president Jim Daly, SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser, New Mexico Alliance for Life founder Elisa Martinez and David Platt, pastor of the McLean (Virginia) Bible Church.

“We are delighted to welcome to the world’s largest annual human rights demonstration this inspiring group of speakers, who are all working ardently to promote the inherent dignity of the human person,” said March for Life president Jeanne Mancini in a news release. “Protecting babies who are born alive after a failed abortion or requiring abortion doctors to hold admitting privileges at a local hospital are commonsense, bipartisan policies with the full support of the majority of Americans.”

A two-hour youth rally at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23, will feature Vice President Pence’s daughter Charlotte, prominent conservative podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey, former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson, songwriter and worship leader Phil King, pro-life activist and speaker Christina Marie Bennett and Rock for Life founder Bryan Kemper, as well as a Christian rock band “The Reckless” and Ms. SanAntonio’s Outstanding Teen, Angelica Park. The Youth Rally will be in the grand ballroom of the Renaissance DC Downtown Hotel, major venue for March activities, including a three-day Expo opening the March events on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 5 p.m.

Details can be examined at the March organizers’ Internet website:


Rallying Closer to Home

LEADING UP TO THE ANNUAL MARCH FOR LIFE will be localized marches and rallies in cities across America. The rallies known to the national March organizers include a Jan. 10 march in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jan. 11 rallies in Denver, Chicago and Pensacola, as well as a Jan. 12 event in Columbia, South Carolina, and a Jan. 17 “march” in Birmingham, Alabama.

Jan. 18 brings Marches for Life to the following cities: Mobile, Phoenix, SanDiego, LosAngeles, St. Augustine, Boise, Raleigh, Lincoln (Nebraska), Erie, Dallas, Spokane and Helena. Further marches and rallies will gather on Jan. 19 in Little Rock and Bossier City (Louisiana), on Jan. 20 in SanFrancisco and on Jan. 21 in Olympia.

The actual anniversary of the outrageous Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton rulings, Jan. 22, will see marches and rallies in Jacksonville (Florida), Atlanta, Indianapolis, Lake Charles (Louisiana) and St. Paul. Then marches and rallies will follow on Jan. 25 in Baton Rouge, Austin, Salt Lake City, Cheyenne, Bridgman (Michigan), on Jan. 26 in Monroe (Louisiana) and even into February, on the 1st in Pineville/Alexandria (Louisiana) and in Jefferson City (Missouri).

Virginians will march for Life on Feb. 13 in Richmond, Marylanders on Feb. 24 in Annapolis, Connecticut pro-lifers on April 15 in Hartford and Pennsylvanians in Harrisburg on May 18.

Details on these various rallies can be found on the March for Life website, cited above.


Candidate Watch

  • EX-OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL JULIAN CASTRO celebrated the new year last week by announcing his departure from the Democratic Presidential cattle call. He will perhaps be remembered best for his declaration during a debate last June, when, notes Politico writer Nolan McCaskill, “asked whether his healthcare plan would cover abortion.” His memorable reply, quoted by Politico, “‘Yes, it would. … I don’t believe only in reproductive freedom. I believe in reproductive justice.’” And then he explained. “‘And you know, what that means is that just because a woman – or let’s also not forget someone in the trans community, a trans female – is poor, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to exercise that right to choose. And so I absolutely would cover the right to have an abortion.’ Hmm,” commented Mr. McCaskill. “Trans females needing access to abortion. Biologically speaking, when would that be necessary?” When it comes to demonstrations of the outlandish extremism of abortion politicians, Mr. Castro will surely be missed, don’t you think?

  • DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, a billionaire publisher whose political credential is his past mayoralty of New York City, was the defendant of a sex discrimination lawsuit in 1997, reports The Telegraph, by a former employee who alleged, writes Calvin Freiburger of, “that he made a number of disparaging comments about her pregnancy and preborn child … .” The former sales executive with Mr. Bloomberg’s company said, writes Mr. Freiburger, “that when she informed the mayor she was pregnant, he disdainfully reacted, ‘Great! Number 16!’ (in reference to his overall number of pregnant employees) and suggested that she ‘kill it.’ [Mr.] Bloomberg denied making the abortion remarks and settled the suit in 2000 but has acknowledged some inappropriate comments about women more generally,” writes Mr. Freiburger, who adds, “The allegations place in a new but not entirely surprising light Bloomberg’s doctrinaire leftwing stance on Life issues. Planned Parenthood,” notes the LifeSiteNews reporter, “awarded him its Global Citizen Award in 2014 for his pro-abortion record, including investments to decriminalize abortion abroad and enacting a ‘gag order’ against pro-life pregnancy centers in New York City.”


Radicals Acting Radical

THE CITY COUNCIL OF WASHINGTON, D.C., IS CONSIDERING a proposed ordinance titled “Strengthening Reproductive Health Protections Amendment Act of 2019,” introduced by Councilmember David Grosso, who, notes Live Action’s Cassey Fiano Chesser, “seemed to acknowledge” in a press release that his filing of the proposal “was purely about striking back against the pro-life bills … states are passing and not about the well-being and safety of women.

“He said,” notes Mrs. Chesser, “‘Across the country, reproductive health decisions – and specifically abortion rights – are under attack. However,’” he claimed, “‘another movement is growing, one that seeks to positively and proactively protect people’s right to make their own reproductive health decisions. I believe the District of Columbia should be at the forefront of that movement.’” (Note his use of the term “people’s,” as the abortion lobby moves away, in their language, from advocacy for women, in the interest of pandering to those who seek to claim gender alteration.)

“While this bill may very well ensure that women are able to go to abortion facilities,” writes Mrs. Chesser, “it also means that the abortions committed within are unregulated and dangerous. If the bill were to pass,” warns the Live Action reporter, “some of the things that abortion facilities would no longer have to worry about are sanitary condition requirements, having to report victims of abuse, maintaining functioning sewage systems, proper administration of medication, proper medical staffing and more.”

Students for Life of America’s capital area regional coordinator was to testify against the proposal during Christmas week. Given the renowned radicalism of the DC City Council, pro-life citizens across America are asked to pray as the ordinance is considered.


Parental Notice Law on Chopping Block in Illinois

ILLINOIS’s CHIEF ABORTION PLOTTER, Personal Pac’s Terry Cosgrove, has declared war on the state’s parental notice law, telling Politico, reports Bridget Sielicki for Live Action, that repeal of the 1995 law is “‘our biggest priority.’”

Since the law took effect in 2013, after nearly two decades of litigation, “minor abortions have dropped 55%,” according to Illinois Right to Life, notes Ms. Sielicki.

Illinois Right to Life executive director Mary Kate Knorr called the Cosgrove declaration “‘a direct attack on the rights of parents – not just across the state but across the Midwest,’” reports Ms. Sielicki. “‘Repealing this law does not protect girls in crisis; on the contrary,’” said Ms. Knorr, quoted by Live Action, “‘it protects their abusers and traffickers by opening the door for coercion and forced abortions. …

“‘As Personal Pac zeroes in on this piece of legislation for the coming year,’” declared the Illinois Right to Life leader in the Live Action report, “ ‘it is essential that we, as pro-lifers, do whatever we can to combat their tactics. … We expect this obscene move to supercharge Life advocates throughout the Midwest, to make their voices heard at the Jan. 11 March for Life Chicago and beyond.’”

Personal Pac and its “independent expenditure PAC” are expected to be active in the March 17 primary election and in the Nov. 3 general election in Illinois.


Dismemberment Ban on the Way in Michigan

THE MICHIGAN VALUES LIFE COALITION FILED 379,418 SIGNATURES on Dec. 23, reports Right to Life of Michigan in National Right to Life News, “to initiate legislation to ban dismemberment abortions in Michigan.” The required number of valid signatures was 340,047, according to the report, a figure established by a specified percentage of the total votes for governor in 2018.

The result of the petition – if the required number of signatures are officially ruled valid – will be to instigate a dismemberment abortion ban within the GOP-controlled legislature, and under provision in the Michigan Constitution, the state’s radical Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, would have no veto authority if both houses of the legislature approve it within 40 days of the petition’s certification.

A dismemberment abortion ban did pass both houses of the legislature last spring, but legislative leaders held onto the proposal when the governor vowed to veto it, giving the state’s citizens an opening to pursue the petition initiative. 

A second coalition is currently circulating a petition to put a Heartbeat Abortion Ban on the Nov. 3 Michigan ballot as a referendum proposition, which would bypass both the legislature and the governor.



Dec. 20, 2019, commentary by Dave Andrusko for National Right to Life News

            Increasingly, “fact checkers” are a dime a dozen. Some, such as Snopes, are absurdly biased and, beyond that, incapable of understanding irony and satire. This is why they occasionally “fact check” the Babylonian Bee, which is (as it is often described) a hilariously funny Christian version of The Onion. Sometimes the judgment of the Washington Post’s Factcheckers is highly questionable (to be polite).

            Sometimes, ironically enough when addressing the abortion issue, Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee, can produce first-rate work. Why ironic? The Post is up to its institutional eyeballs in promoting abortion.

            This past week, Kessler produced what he described as “our annual round-up of the biggest Pinocchios of the year.” Pinocchios refer to how deceptive an assertion is, with four Pinocchios representing the highest degree of distortion. Three Pinocchios means (according to the Post) that a statement has “significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.”

            Although Kessler tells us there is “no particular order” to the examples, lo and behold, after the pro-forma, obligatory thrice thrashing of President Trump, Kessler goes directly to “Thousands of women died every year pre-Roe,” an assertion from then-Planned Parenthood president Dr. Leana Wen.

            Briefly, Kessler tells us, “We dug through the statistics, and it turns out she was citing numbers from the 1930s, before the advent of antibiotics. In 1972, the number of deaths in the United States from legal abortions was 24 and from illegal abortions 39, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.”

            This is good, although there is much, much more.

  • Kessler doesn’t list how many Pinocchios for any of the top 10, but Wen’s assertion drew the maximum – four.

  • As Kessler said at the time of the original critique, “The problem with Wen’s claim is that [it] is derived from data that is decades old.” In truth, as Kessler was too kind to point out directly, the claim was based on data that was inadequate when it was accumulated and patently absurd in retrospect.”

  • Wen peddled this nonsense not once but three times.

  • In explaining his “Four Pinocchios” [“whopper” status] designation, Kessler concluded, “Wen is a doctor, and the ACOG [American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists professional association] is made up of doctors. They should know better than to peddle statistics based on data that predates the advent of antibiotics. Even given the fuzzy nature of the data and estimates, there is no evidence that in the years immediately preceding the Supreme Court’s decision, thousands of women died every year in the United States from illegal abortions.” Finally.

  • Another huge irony. In his top-ten list, Kessler cites a New York Times story in which Planned Parenthood was busy explaining away why they had lopped off Wen’s head after less than a year. In that story, after reporters Sarah Kliff and Shane Goldmacher cite Kessler’s conclusion that the assertion was false, they write that this was something “a former employee said she had been told repeatedly by her staff but disregarded.”

            Does that pass the smell test? Nope.

            More significant[ly], Planned Parenthood and truth are rarely ever mentioned in the same sentence. [From] a headline that ran over a column that appeared in the Washington Post in August, 2015, written by Michelle Yee Hee Lee, we learn “for Planned Parenthood abortion stats, ‘three percent’ and ‘94%’ are both misleading.” PPFA received three Pinocchios but easily could have earned four.

            Kessler concluded his original critique with this: “Advocates hurt their cause when they use figures that do not withstand scrutiny. These numbers were debunked in 1969 – 50 years ago – by a statistician celebrated by Planned Parenthood. There’s no reason to use them today.” To which I would add something much stronger: These people are shameless.