Life Advocacy Briefing

January 27, 2020

Pres. Trump Addresses March for Life / White House Issues ‘Life’ Proclamation
House Pro-Lifers Talk Up the Cause / Latest Poll Offers More Good News
Taking Truth to Power / The Bottom Line / Looking Back to Look Ahead
President’s ‘Sanctity of Human Life Day’ Proclamation

Pres. Trump Addresses March for Life

THE WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCED Wednesday night that President Donald Trump would address the March for Life Friday live, in person – the first President to do so.

Because the March and its rally were scheduled for a time after our publication deadline, we cannot this week report on it but expect to begin, in next week’s Life Advocacy Briefing, our annual tradition of publishing transcripts of selected speeches from the rally. We prepare these transcripts for our readers and focus on the speeches of public officials, occasionally including noteworthy addresses by others. Certainly, we are looking forward to publishing a transcript of the President’s speech, along with remarks by various Members of Congress.


White House Issues ‘Life’ Proclamation

PRES. TRUMP TOOK NOTE last Wednesday of the 47th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton abortion rulings by issuing a proclamation declaring Sanctity of Human Life Day in America. We publish the text of the proclamation at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing in the hope that it will inspire further determination in the hearts of our readers and that those who have opportunities to contribute to pro-life or public policy newsletters – including church bulletins – will use those venues to reprint the document.


House Pro-Lifers Talk Up the Cause

MORE THAN 30 U.S. HOUSE MEMBERS PARTICIPATED in a Jan. 15 “special order” presenting brief speeches in the House chamber following the day’s session, televised nationally by the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN); the occasion was the Jan. 22 anniversary of the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton court edicts opening America to an epidemic of abortion.

Leading off was Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus, who said, reports Paul Smeaton for, “that the more than 61 million deaths of unborn babies through abortion since 1973 was ‘staggering’ and a ‘death toll that equates with the entire population of Italy.’”

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI), according to Mr. Smeaton, cited the advent of ultrasound as what should have been a cause for rejecting the demand for abortion. “‘I remember when ultrasounds came out and became common,’” he said, “‘I had assumed that when people began to look at ultrasounds they would see what they were dealing with here, and abortion would have quickly become illegal. It says something about the callousness of our country,’” Rep. Grothman said, “‘and the ineffectiveness of our clergy that despite the gift of ultrasound – so, unlike 60 years ago, we all know exactly what is going on – our country continues to allow this slaughter to continue,’” he said.

Of course, a key stumbling block to reversing the abortion “right” has been control of the federal courts by left-wing ideologues and country-club Republicans, most worshiping the so-called precedent of the 1973 abomination. That domination has been undermined by the insistence of the current President on nominating jurists committed to restoring Constitutional principles, and many observers believe the days of Roe & Doe are numbered. 

Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) took aim at Planned Parenthood, notes Mr. Smeaton, “as ‘an abortion factory dedicated to providing, protecting and expanding access to abortion.’” Citing death-toll figures from Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report, Rep. Flores stated, reports LifeSiteNews, “‘This genocide constitutes over 96% of their pregnancy resolution services, as they call them, whereas prenatal and adoption referral services accounted for less than 4% of pregnancy resolution services.’”

Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) declared, reports Mr. Smeaton, “that he and his colleagues could not accept that ‘as a nation [we] provide more protection for an unhatched bald eagle or a turtle embryo – i.e. an egg – than we do the children of our own species.’”  

Here is the roster of House Members who participated in the educational exercise of persuasion: in addition to Representatives Smith, Grothman, Flores and Yoho: GOP Representatives Martha Roby (AL), Andy Biggs (AZ), Doug LaMalfa (CA), Doug Lamborn (CO), Rick Allen & Jody Hice (GA), Jim Baird & Jim Banks (IN), Roger Marshall & Steve Watkins (KS), Mike Johnson (LA), Andy Harris (MD), Tim Walberg (MI), Michael Guest (MS), Jeff Fortenberry (NE), Steve Chabot, Warren Davidson & Robert Latta (OH), John Joyce (PA), Ralph Norman & Joe Wilson (SC), Mark Green & John Rose (TN), and Brian Babin, Michael Cloud, Louie Gohmert & Ron Wright (TX).


Latest Poll Offers More Good News

A NEW MARIST POLL SHOWS that “a strong majority of Americans across the country want to elect candidates who support substantial abortion restrictions,” reports “The poll also found that most American still reject the Supreme Court’s reasoning in the 1973 case.”

Poll results show, reports LifeSiteNews, “a notable proportion (41%) of those who identify as pro-choice are more likely to vote for candidates who support restrictions, as are more than nine in 10 who identify as pro-life (96%).

“‘The fact that such large numbers of Americans who identify as pro-choice nevertheless support restrictions and the revisiting of Roe v. Wade shows how misleading it is to conflate the term ‘pro-choice’ with support for radically pro-abortion position that calls for unrestricted abortion,’” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson, quoted by LifeSiteNews. The poll was taken on behalf of the Knights.

That conflict – between voters’ self-identification by label and their actual views – confirms Life Advocacy’s position that pro-life candidates can benefit most by discussing the needed reforms in the law rather than using – and permitting their opponents to hide behind – generalized labels.

Specifically, the poll found, reports LifeSiteNews, “about two-thirds of … registered voters say they ‘are more likely to vote for’ candidates who would limit abortion to at most the first three months of pregnancy. This includes about nine in 10 Republicans (88%), more than six in 10 independents (62%) and more than four in 10 Democrats (44%). …

“By a margin of more than five to one (80% to 14%), Americans say,” notes LifeSiteNews, “that laws can protect both a mother and her unborn child.”


Taking Truth to Power

THOUGH HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-SanFrancisco) WAS OVERSEAS at the time, her office staff were confronted on Jan. 22 with “dozens of pro-life activists,” reports Calvin Freiburger for, “staging a sit-in” at her DC office. Nine were eventually arrested.

“The group intended,” notes Mr. Freiburger, “to call attention to [Speaker] Pelosi’s role in obstructing legislation that would require abortionists to transfer infants who survive abortions to hospitals, where they would be given the same degree of care as any wanted newborn,” the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which is the subject of a petition signed by nearly 200 Congressmen seeking immediate consideration.


The Bottom Line

Jan. 22, 2020, commentary by correspondent Claire Chretien

            Forty-seven years ago, seven Supreme Court justices handed down a decision that legalized the murder of whole, distinct, living human beings.

            In America, you can legally be killed – and in fact, your murder will be celebrated, politicized and maybe even funded by taxpayers – as long as you are smaller and less developed than bigger, stronger humans. As long as you’re inside your mother’s body and dependent on her, you’re fair game for an abortionist’s forceps or suction vacuum or heart attack injection.

            The crux of the abortion debate is not about women’s empowerment, the appropriateness of government programs or “choice.” It’s about one thing: whether it should be legal to violently end the life of a tiny, growing human. A variety of tactics and reasons are deployed in defense of this killing: hard cases like rape, the dehumanization of the preborn child, its alleged necessity for women (or “uterus owners,” if one wants to be woke; after all, we’re told men can get pregnant, too, and that some “pregnant people” are neither men nor women) to be equal in society.

            But none of those reasons should ever justify killing an innocent human being, born or unborn.

            Basic science tells us this tiny, growing human is, in fact, a member of our species. Basic morality says innocent humans shouldn’t be killed.

            The 1973 Roe v. Wade and its sister decision Doe v. Bolton have allowed for the murder of 60 million people. They were little, some of them no bigger than a blueberry. Others were just days away from being born. They were all equally valuable and equally human. Even though their deaths were mostly hidden from the world, and they were unable to scream or cry out, they were. They existed.

            If you’re marching for Life later this week, march to mourn those 60 million innocent little souls. March to represent the many others who are targeted for death right now or will be in the years to come. March with righteous anger at the sickening injustice of abortion. March for those who can’t.

            March to end the genocide.

            As we do that, let’s not lose sight of what – or rather, who – this fight is really about: the youngest members of our human family, who are so tiny and helpless but human nonetheless, and thus should not be killed.


Looking Back to Look Ahead

Jan. 22, 2020, Washington Update Commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            If you flipped through newspapers from that day, January 22, 1973, it may surprise people to know that the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade wasn’t the biggest headline. Pres. Lyndon Johnson had died, forcing the story about America’s darkest verdict into smaller font, below tributes to the “Great Society.” Looking back, the parallel was probably fitting – a nation in mourning, any which way it turned.

            Forty-seven years later, there’s no telling how many other Presidents the country has buried – how many future doctors, inventors or artists we lost because of that day. How much music we never heard, how many cures we might have found, how many teachers might have inspired children to rise above. They are the missing, the 60 million, the children who became ‘privacy rights’ and ‘choices’ and ‘women’s health.’ A half-century ago, seven men in black robes stole their dignity. But today, a nation of pro-lifers – led by a fearless President – is here to take it back.

            It doesn’t matter what the courts say or what society tells us, “every person,” the President declared, “the born and unborn, the poor, the downcast, the disabled, the infirm and the elderly – has inherent value. Although each journey may be different, no life is without worth or inconsequential; the rights of all people must be defended.” It’s the third time Donald Trump has turned this date of American disgrace into a moment of unity for the unborn. In his proclamation to this National Sanctity of Human Life Day, he wanted the country to know that his entire administration “proudly and strongly reaffirms our commitment to protect the precious gift of life at every stage, from conception to natural death.”

            Not that most Americans needed persuading. This is, after all, a commitment that Donald Trump has taken very seriously – passing more pro-life policy, everyone agrees, than any President in US history. But for as much as he’s accomplished, the President is clear: he still isn’t satisfied. Even after listing the dozens of promises kept – from Title X funding and to international human rights – he argues, “Still, there is more to be done, and as President, I will continue to fight.”

            Elsewhere, other leaders are seeing his boldness and following Trump’s lead.  Gov. Pete Ricketts (R-NE) wasted no time declaring Jan. 22 as a statewide Day of Prayer for the Unborn. He encouraged Nebraskans to pray for the end of abortion. But more than that, he explained on [Family Research Council’s podcast] Washington Watch that Americans look upon this day as a reminder to help others – “mothers, fathers and families in need, especially,” he pointed out, “those expecting a child who cannot provide for themselves.”

            When I asked him about this – why he used the Roe v. Wade anniversary as a calling to help others – his answer was telling. The term “pro-life,” Ricketts explained, “is not just a slogan. And it’s not just about abortion. It’s an important part of what we do … but it’s also remembering that we’ve got people in our communities who need our help. That’s a pro-life message. So whether it’s helping families who need food assistance, women who have been trafficked – anybody – that’s what [being] pro-life is really about: recognizing the dignity that’s innate in each and every one of us. And we just had Martin Luther King Day, [and the] most urgent, persistent question of life [to him] was: What are we doing for others?”

            It’s a powerful message, the pro-life ethic, because it doesn’t end in the womb. It’s a persistent, nagging drive to see people as people – with value and needs and purpose. Abut that takes a compassion that not everyone has. So today, Gov. Ricketts explained, “we’re talking about changing hearts and minds – and we need God’s help to be able to do that. We wanted to bring people together in that cause of praying for the end of abortion, to be able to continue to work toward making this a country that respects life again.” Maybe then we’ll start respecting each other again.


President’s ‘Sanctity of Human Life Day’ Proclamation

Issued Jan. 21, 2020, by Pres. Donald J. Trump

            Every person – the born and unborn, the poor, the downcast, the disabled, the infirm and the elderly – has inherent value. Although each journey is different, no life is without worth or is inconsequential; the rights of all people must be defended. On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, our nation proudly and strongly reaffirms our commitment to protect the precious gift of life at every stage, from conception to natural death.

            Recently, we have seen decreases in the total number and rate of abortions in our country. From 2007 [to] 2016, the most recent period of analysis, the number and rate of abortions decreased by 24 percent and 26 percent, respectively. The rate of teen pregnancies – the vast majority of which are unplanned – has almost continuously decreased over the last quarter century, contributing to the lowest rate of abortions among adolescents since the legalization of abortion in 1973. All Americans should celebrate this decline in the number and rate of abortions, which represents lives saved. Still, there is more to be done, and, as President, I will continue to fight to protect the lives of the unborn. I signed into law legislation under the Congressional Review Act that allows states and other grantees to exclude organizations that perform abortions from their Title X projects. My Administration has also issued regulations to ensure Title X family planning projects are clearly separated from those that perform, promote or refer for abortion as a method of family planning; to protect the conscience rights of healthcare workers and organizations, including with respect to abortion; and to ensure the federal government does not force employers that object, based on religious belief or moral conviction, to provide insurance for contraceptives, including those they believe cause early abortions. Additionally, I have called on the Congress to act to prohibit abortions of later-term babies who can feel pain.

            My Administration is also building an international coalition to dispel the concept of abortion as a fundamental human right. So far, 24 nations representing more than a billion people have joined this important cause. We oppose any projects that attempt to assert a global right to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand up to the moment of delivery. And we will never tire of defending innocent life – at home or abroad.

            As a nation, we must remain steadfastly dedicated to the profound truth that all life is a gift from God, Who endows every person with immeasurable worth and potential. Countless Americans are tireless defenders of Life and champions for the vulnerable among us. We are grateful for those who support women experiencing unexpected pregnancies, those who provide healing to women who have had abortions, and those who welcome children into their homes through foster care and adoption. On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, we celebrate the wonderful gift of Life and renew our resolve to build a culture where Life is always revered.

            Now, therefore, I, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 22, 2020, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Today, I call on the Congress to join me in protecting and defending the dignity of every human life, including those not yet born. I call on the American people to continue to care for women in unexpected pregnancies and to support adoption and foster care in a more meaningful way, so every child can have a loving home. And finally, I ask every citizen of this great nation to listen to the sound of silence caused by a generation lost to us, and then to raise their voices for all affected by abortion, both seen and unseen.

            In witness thereof, I hereunto set my hand this Twenty-first Day of January, in the year of our Lord Two Thousand Twenty and of the Independence of the United States of America the Two Hundred and Forty-fourth.

                                                                                                                Donald J. Trump