Life Advocacy Briefing

February 3, 2020

Promise Kept / Abortion’s Death Toll / Getting Ready
Webcam Abortion Targeted in Ohio Bill / A Better Choice
Outrageously Misplaced Priorities / Enforcing Conscience Rights
Standing with You for Life

Promise Kept

AS WE PROMISED LAST WEEK, we publish today the transcript – prepared by Life Advocacy from televised coverage – of Pres. Trump’s address to the March for Life rally on Friday, Jan. 24, on the National Mall in Washington, DC. You will find it at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.


Abortion’s Death Toll

THE LATEST ABORTION DATA, published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Alan Guttmacher Institute, show that abortion in 2017 “outnumbered each of the individual top ten leading causes of death for the United States,” reports Carole Novielli for Live Action.

Life Advocacy has long urged attention to the death toll statistics as a means of opening the eyes and minds of largely complacent voters, prompted by an in-bus advertising placard many years ago placed by Illinois Right to Life Committee and declaring “Abortion is the Leading Cause of Death.”

“The [2017] numbers reveal,” writes Ms. Novielli, “that heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes (among others) – all tragic causes of death – do not individually outnumber reported deaths of preborn infants killed by a violent abortion … . In addition,” she notes, “had aborted preborn children (862,320) been counted as persons, they would have accounted for over 23% of resident deaths in 2017” in the US.

Death toll numbers cited by Ms. Novielli: Abortion 862,320, heart disease 647,457, cancer 599,108; accidents 169,936, chronic lower respiratory diseases 160,201, stroke 146,383, Alzheimer disease 121,404, diabetes 83,564, influenza and pneumonia 55,672, kidney disease 50,633, suicide 47,173.


Getting Ready

TWO STATE LAWMAKERS IN WISCONSIN are proposing a state constitutional amendment to strike the word “born” and insert a personhood definition as follows, quoted from an appeal from Pro-Life Wisconsin: “‘As applied to the right to life, the term “persons” shall apply to every human being at any stage of development, born or unborn.’”

Notes reporter Charlie Butts, “If Wisconsin’s amendment is approved, then the task of legislating abortion will be strictly in the hands of lawmakers, not the courts. That means any pro-life laws on the books would be protected from the courts.” This analysis concerns potential litigation in state court; litigation would not be precluded in federal court until after Roe v. Wade is recanted by the US Supreme Court. But Wisconsin, if the amendment is advanced and ratified, would be ready.


Webcam Abortion Targeted in Ohio Bill

AN OHIO STATE SENATOR WILL SEEK this year to enact legislation barring administration of the abortion pill via telemedicine, a practice by which pills are administered to abortion customers after nothing more than an interview carried on via computer screen, bypassing physical examination by the so-called doctor.

Citing an Ohio television station as source, Live Action reporter Nancy Flanders writes “the bill would require a woman seeking the abortion pill to visit an abortion facility. ‘It’s about safety,’ explained [State Sen. Steve] Huffman” in the Flanders story. “‘It’s so important that someone should be there looking somebody in the eye and making that decision, not somebody out in California or New York that has a website that you can get on and get the medication to have an abortion.’

“There are 24 known cases of women dying as a result of the abortion pill,” writes Ms. Flanders, “although only about half of all states are even required to report abortion complications – and some women are told that in the case of complications to tell the emergency room staff that they are miscarrying, not that they have taken the abortion pill. …

“Despite the obvious dangers to women,” notes Ms. Flanders, “pro-abortion organizations are working to establish approval for the distribution of the abortion pill via ‘mail order.’ They also want to expand the use of the abortion pill,” she warns, “into the second trimester.”


A Better Choice

MICHIGAN LAWMAKERS WILL THIS YEAR CONSIDER a bill to require abortion pill customers to be give information about abortion pill reversal.

Aborting mothers who have second thoughts after ingesting RU-486 can take progesterone before ingesting the baby-expelling Cytotec drug 24 to 48 hours after the initial baby poison is taken; progesterone is a drug commonly used in preventing miscarriage and “is effective 64% to 68% of the time” when taken timely to reverse a chemical abortion, according to Right to Life of Michigan.

“‘Offering information to women about their options should be something abortion businesses have no issue with, as they claim to support all women’s choices,’” commented Michigan Right to Life president Barbara Listing in the group’s report published by National Right to Life News. “‘The abortion pill reversal protocol is another choice for women who experience regret after taking the first abortion pill.’”

The prominent pro-life group notes that “pill abortions have risen to 35% of all abortions” in Michigan and predicts “the percentage of pill abortions will continue to grow following the US Food & Drug Administration [FDA] expanding the official range for using the abortion pill from seven weeks gestation to 10 weeks.”

Stresses Ms. Listing, “‘There is no good ethical argument for keeping women in the dark about this common [abortion reversal] treatment as an option.’”


Outrageously Misplaced Priorities

Jan. 13, 2020, commentary by Wesley J. Smith, published by National Review

            Misplaced priorities are California’s specialty. Here’s an example: Gov. Gavin Newsom [D] wants to end euthanasia in animal shelters. From the Sacramento Bee story:

            Gov. Gavin Newsom wants California to stop euthanizing animals, and he’s ready to put taxpayer money toward the cause. “We want to be a no-kill state,” Newsom said during a press conference where he presented his 2020-21 budget.

            Specifically, Newsom’s budget calls for a $50 million one-time general fund allocation to the University of California Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program to develop a grant program for animal shelters, with a goal of helping local communities “achieve the state’s policy goal that no adoptable or treatable dog or cat should be euthanized,” according to the budget summary.

            Ironically, as the governor works to save animals from death, California not only legalized assisted suicide but allows encouraging suicide to the terminally ill, and moreover, promulgated a regulation granting access to doctor-prescribed death to dying patients who are involuntarily committed in psychiatric hospitals due to mental illness.

            I am certainly not against “no-kill” animal shelters. I just wish Newsom were as committed to promoting “no-kill” health care.


Enforcing Conscience Rights

Jan. 28, 2020 Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            Last Friday, on the morning of the March for Life, HHS Secretary Alex Azar announced live from FRC’s ProLifeCon that the Trump Administration would be cracking down on California for forcing all insurance plans in the state, including churches, to cover abortion. The Weldon Amendment is a federal law ensuring that states do not discriminate against healthcare providers for refusing to cover abortion. California has been in violation of this law since 2014. In contrast with the Obama Administration, the Trump Administration is taking enforcement action, even to the point of revoking federal funds if California refuses to comply with the law.

            Federal laws like the Weldon Amendment are important to protecting conscience rights. However, enforcement of these laws lies in the hands of the executive branch, leaving many Americans to suffer the consequences of bad state policies in the absence of federal enforcement by an unwilling administration.

            In 2016, after complaints were filed from several churches and employers in California, the Obama Administration had the opportunity to enforce the Weldon Amendment against California – but refused. Jack Hibbs, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in California, is one of the pastors who stood up against this abortion coverage mandate and was forced to give up his church’s health insurance plan as a result. On Washington Watch yesterday, he explained just how this mandate affected his church: “80 of our employees, including myself, lost their healthcare coverage, because we could not take or receive offerings from the church family on Sunday and” then “turn right around and designate portions of that gift to God to … slaughter babies.”

            Now, after news that the Trump Administration would take action to protect employers who refuse to cover abortion in their healthcare plans, other churches are encouraged and are taking a stand. Jack tells me that pastors and other leaders are coming to him and asking what to do next. “We have been praying for this kind of response for decades,” Jack said. Yes, and amen. May we continue to pray for righteousness to sweep California – and our nation!


Standing with You for Life

Jan. 24, 2020, Address by President Donald Trump at 47th March for Life, Washington, DC, transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing

            Thank you very much, and thank you, Jeannie. It is my profound honor to be the first President in history to attend the March for Life. We’re here for a very simple reason: to defend the right of every child – born and unborn – to fulfill their God-given potential.

            For forty-seven years Americans of all backgrounds have traveled from across the country to stand for Life, and today as President of the United States, I am truly proud to stand with you.

            I want to welcome tens of thousands – this is a tremendous turnout – tens of thousands of high school and college students who took long bus rides to be here in our nation’s capital. And to make you feel even better, there are tens of thousands of people outside [the confines of the National Mall] that we passed on the way in. If anybody would like to give up their spot, we can work that out! You have a tremendous group of people outside – thousands and thousands wanting to get in. This is some great success.

            Young people are the heart of the March for Life, and it’s your generation that is making America the pro-family, pro-life nation.

            The Life movement is led by strong women, amazing faith leaders and brave students who carry on the legacy of pioneers before us who fought to raise the conscience of our nation and uphold the rights of our citizens. You embrace mothers with care and compassion. You are powered by prayer and motivated by pure, unselfish love.

            … We are so grateful – these are incredible people – to be joined by Secretary Alex Azar and Kelly Anne Conway – thank you. And thanks also to Senators Mike Lee and James Lankford, who are here; thank you, Fellas. And Representatives Steve Scalise, Chris Smith, Ralph Abraham, Warren Davidson, Bob Latta, John Joyce, Lloyd Smucker, Brian Fitzpatrick and Brad Wenstrup; thank you all. And I have to say – and I look out, I see it exactly – we have many, many more politicians in the audience, but if you don’t mind, I won’t introduce them all!

            All of us here today understand an eternal truth: Every child is a precious and sacred gift from God. Together we must protect, cherish and defend the dignity and the sanctity of every human life. When we see the image of a baby in the womb, we glimpse the majesty of God’s creation. When we hold a newborn in our arms, we know the endless love that each child brings to a family; when we watch a child grow, we see the splendor that radiates from each human soul. One life changes the world.

            From my family, I can tell you, I send love and send great, great love. And from the first day in office, I’ve taken historic action to support America’s families and to protect the unborn.

            And during my first week in office, I reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, and we issued a landmark Pro-Life Rule to govern the use of Title Ten taxpayer funding. I notified Congress that I would veto any legislation that weakens pro-life policies or that encourages the destruction of human life. At the United Nations, I made clear that global bureaucrats have no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that protect innocent life.

            Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House. And as the Bible tells us, each person is wonderfully made.

            We have taken decisive action to protect the religious liberty – so important. Religious liberty has been under attack all over the world and frankly very strongly attacked in our nation. You see it better than anyone. But we are stopping it, and we’re taking care of doctors, nurses, teachers and groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor.

            We are preserving faith-based adoption, and to uphold our founding documents, we have confirmed 187 federal judges who apply the Constitution as written, including two phenomenal Supreme Court justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

            We are protecting pro-life students’ right to free speech on college campuses, and if universities want federal taxpayer dollars, then they must uphold your First Amendment right to speak your mind. And if they don’t, they pay a very big financial penalty, which they will not be willing to pay.

            Sadly, the far Left is actively working to erase our God-given rights, shut down faith-based charities, ban religious believers from the public square and silence Americans who believe in the sanctity of Life. They are coming after me because I am fighting for you. And we are fighting for those who have no voice. And we will win, because we know how to win. We all know how to win; we all know how to win. You’ve been winning for a long time; you’ve been winning for a long time.

            Together, we are the voice for the voiceless. When it comes to abortion, Democrats – and you know this, you’ve seen what’s happened – Democrats have embraced the most radical and extreme positions taken and seen in this country for years and decades, and you can even say for centuries. Nearly every top Democrat in Congress now supports taxpayer-funded abortion all the way up until the moment of birth. Last year lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb right up until delivery. Then we had the case of the Democrat governor in the state of Virginia – the Commonwealth of Virginia – and we love the Commonwealth of Virginia, but what is going on in Virginia, what is going on? The governor stated that he would execute a baby after birth; you remember that.

            Senate Democrats even blocked legislation that would give medical care to babies who survive attempted abortions. And that’s why I’ve called on Congress – two of our great Senators here, so many of our Congressmen here – I called upon them to defend the dignity of life and to pass legislation prohibiting late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in their mother’s womb.

            This year the March for Life is celebrating the one-hundredth anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment which forever enshrined women’s right to vote in the United States and given by the United States Constitution – such a big event. Today millions of extraordinary women across America are using the power of their votes to fight for the right – and all of their rights, as given in the Declaration of Independence – the right to Life. To all the women here today, your devotion and your leadership uplifts our entire nation, and we thank you for that.

            The tens of thousands of Americans gathered today not only stand for Life [here today], it’s really here that they stand for it so proudly together, and I want to thank everybody for that. You stand for Life each and every day. You provide housing, education, jobs and medical care to the women that you serve. You find loving families for children in need of a forever home. You host baby showers for expecting moms. You make – you just make it your life’s mission to help spread God’s grace. And to all of the moms here today, we celebrate you, and we declare that mothers are heroes.

            Your strength, devotion and drive is what powers our nation, and because of you our country has been blessed with amazing souls who have changed the course of human history. We cannot know what our citizens yet unborn will achieve, the dreams they will imagine, the masterpieces they will create, the discoveries they will make. But we know this: Every life brings love into this world. Every child brings joy to a family. Every person is worth protecting. And above all, we know that every human soul is divine and every human life – born and unborn – is made in the holy image of Almighty God.

            Together we will defend this truth all across our magnificent land, we will set free the dreams of our people, and with determined hope we look forward to all of the blessings that will come from the beauty, talent, purpose, nobility and grace of every American child.

            I want to thank you – this is a very special moment. It’s so great to represent you. I love you all, and I say with true passion: Thank you; God bless you. And God bless America. Thank you all. Thank you.