Life Advocacy Briefing

February 10, 2020

Does Your Congressman Favor Infanticide?
Don’t Fall for ‘Mayor Pete!’ / In the States
Current Signers of Anti-Infanticide Discharge Petition
Do at Least This!

Does Your Congressman Favor Infanticide?

WHEN HOUSE MINORITY WHIP STEVE SCALISE (R-LA) ADDRESSED the annual March for Life on the National Mall in Washington, he urged marchers to contact their home-district Representative regarding a discharge petition pending in the US House to bring to a vote HR-962, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO).

Readers are invited to read his speech at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing. And readers are asked to follow his urging to contact their home-district Member of Congress, thanking those who have signed on and urging enlistment by those who have not. (Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121) We publish the current petition signers list above the speech transcript and note that, though the petition continues to fall short, it is nearing the point where a sufficient number of signers can force Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-SanFrancisco) to call up the needed bill for a vote.

We further note that the most recent Member to sign onto the petition is Rep. Jeff VanDrew (R-NJ), who was elected as a Democrat and had compiled a solid pro-abortion voting record until announcing he was aligning with the Republican Party after voting against the House impeachment of President Trump. Signing the Born-Alive petition was among his first acts as a GOP Member of Congress. We welcome him to the pro-life cause and hope this petition signature will be only the beginning of a new commitment to the protection of innocent human life.


Don’t Fall for ‘Mayor Pete!’

DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE PETE BUTTIGIEG was confronted in an Iowa “town hall” event in late January by the executive director of Democrats for Life, pro-life veteran Kristen Day, who asked, reports Emily Jashinsky in The Federalist, “if he would support moderating the Democratic Party’s platform language to better reflect the spirit of ‘diversity and inclusion.’” She was referring to the liberal party’s overt and absolute embrace of the abortion industry.

“‘I am a proud pro-life Democrat,’ [Ms.] Day said,” reports Ms. Jashinsky. “‘So do you want the support of pro-life Democrats? There are about 21 million of us. And, if so, would you support more moderate platform language in the Democratic Party to ensure that the party of diversity and inclusion really does include everybody?’”

Mr. Buttigieg failed the test. He expected to “earn” the vote of Ms. Day, yet, notes Ms. Jashinsky, “skirted her inquiry about the platform language, resorting instead to the basic Democrat talking point that women should have the choice to abort their children. … ‘I believe,’” he said, “‘that a woman ought to be able to make that decision. … The best I can offer,’” said this moderately toned, radically oriented candidate, “‘is that if we can’t agree on where to draw the line, the next best thing we can do is agree on who should draw the line. And in my view, it’s the woman who’s faced with that decision in her own life.’” He did not explain what “line” he thought should be drawn. Nor, evidently, did he win the least bit of satisfaction from Kristen Day, much less her vote.

In an interview with the Catholic News Agency, Ms. Day said, reports CNA’s Matt Hadro, “pro-life Democrats are ‘fed up’ over the party’s staunch support of abortion and need to let the Presidential candidates know it. … ‘We’ve had enough,’ Kristen Day … told CNA … after Democratic Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg told her at an Iowa townhall event on Sunday that he would forego the support of pro-life voters to maintain his absolute support for legal abortion. … ‘We need pro-life Democrats all over the country to go to these candidates and ask the question: Do you want pro-life Democrats in the party? Because if not, we won’t vote for you,’ [Ms.] Day said.”

In a follow-up report, Calvin Freiburger said the Buttigieg response was “far from the first sign that Buttigieg favors effectively unlimited abortion. He previously tried to dismiss late-term abortions as ‘hypothetical,’” notes Mr. Freiburger, “refusing to accept any cutoff line for abortion beyond declaring, ‘I trust women to draw the line when it’s their own bodies.’” (Of course, it’s not!)

“His pro-abortion platform also includes appointing pro-abortion judges to the Supreme Court,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “and making the abortion drug RU-486 available over the counter. As mayor of South Bend, he vetoed Women’s Care Center’s rezoning application to build a pro-life pregnancy center near the site of a proposed abortion center,” reports LifeSiteNews, “and he has largely dodged questions about the discovery of thousands of babies’ corpses on the property of a deceased area abortionist. In addition,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “he has misrepresented Scripture as suggesting that ‘life begins with breath.’”


In the States

  • THE KANSAS SENATE VOTED 29 to send to the state House a state constitutional amendment, reports Calvin Freiburger for, “declaring there is no state-level ‘right’ to abortion and empowering the legislature to set abortion policy. The amendment is meant to correct a Kansas Supreme Court ruling from April asserting such a ‘right,’” notes Mr. Freiburger, “which tied the legislature’s hands and established that even if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, abortion would remain legal in Kansas.” As many as 90 House members, reports Mr. Freiburger, citing the House speaker as source, “have indicated support for an amendment from time to time.” The amendment needs 84 votes (two-thirds of the membership) to place the proposition on the November ballot for voter ratification.

  • VIRGINIA GOV. RALPH NORTHAM (D) IS EXPECTED TO SIGN a bill liberalizing abortion in the Commonwealth, after his lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, cast a tie-breaking vote for final passage. The measure would repeal the law limiting abortion practice to licensed medical doctors and authorize physician assistants and nurse practitioners to commit the act. It would also repeal a law requiring an abortion customer, notes Catholic News Agency, to “be given ‘a full, reasonable and comprehensive medical explanation of the procedure,’ as well as alternatives to abortion. The woman must also be told,” under the law being revoked, “that she can change her mind and withdraw her consent to the abortion at any time and that she can talk to the doctor performing the abortion so [he or she] can answer questions.” The law being repealed also, notes CNA, “requires that a woman be told how old her preborn baby is and have an ultrasound to confirm the estimated age. … Under the new law, an abortionist,” reports CNA, “still has to obtain ‘informed written consent of the pregnant woman’ who wishes to have an abortion but now no longer has to perform an ultrasound.” And the bill holds abortion facilities “to a lower safety and cleanliness standard than hospitals,” even for surgical procedures.

  • OKLAHOMA GOV. KEVIN STITT (R) HAS ISSUED an executive order, reports Calvin Freiburger for com, “banning state-funded travel to California, citing the Golden State’s intolerance of pro-life neighbors,” according to Oklahoma City television station KFOR. “‘California and its elected officials over the past few years have banned travel to the state of Oklahoma in an effort to politically threaten and intimidate Oklahomans for their personal values,’ [Gov.] Stitt declared in a statement. ‘Enough is enough. If California’s elected officials don’t want public employees traveling to Oklahoma, I am eager to return the gesture on behalf of Oklahoma’s pro-life stance. I am proud to be governor of a state that fights for the most vulnerable among us, the unborn.’”

  • THE KENTUCKY SENATE HAS UNANIMOUSLY PASSED legislation, reports Dave Andrusko for National Right to Life News, “which would require the same degree of care for abortion survivors as any other child born alive at the same gestational age,” citing Courthouse News writer Kevin Koeninger as source. “‘The bill also prohibits a person “from denying or depriving a born-alive infant of medically appropriate and reasonable medical care, medical treatment or surgical care,”’” writes Mr. Koeninger, quoted in NRL News, “‘and requires the physician performing the abortion to take necessary steps to save the infant’s life.’” SB-9 now goes to the Kentucky House.


Current Signers of Anti-Infanticide Discharge Petition

Democratic Representatives Lipinski/IL, Peterson/MN & McAdams/UT.

“Independent” Representative Amash/MI.

GOP Representatives Aderholt, Brooks, Byrne, Roby & Rogers/AL; Young/AK; Biggs, Gosar, Lesko & Schweikert/AZ; Crawford, Hill, Westerman & Womack/AR; Calvert, Cook, Hunter*, LaMalfa, McCarthy, McClintock & Nunez/CA; Buck, Lamborn & Tipton/CO; Bilirakis, Buchanan, Diaz-Balart, Dunn, Gaetz, Mast, Posey, Rooney, Rutherford, Spano, Steube, Waltz, Webster & Yoho/FL; Allen, Carter, Collins, Ferguson, Graves, Hice, Loudermilk, A.Scott & Woodall/GA; Fulcher & Simpson/ID; Bost, R.Davis, Kinzinger, LaHood & Shimkus/IL; Baird, Banks, Brooks, Bucshon, Hollingsworth, Pence & Walorski/IN; King/IA; Estes, Marshall & Watkins/KS; Barr, Comer, Guthrie, Massie & Rogers/KY; Abraham, Graves, Higgins, Johnson & Scalise/LA.

Also GOP Representatives Harris/MD; Bergman, Huizenga, Mitchell, Moolenaar, Upton & Walberg/MI; Emmer, Hagedorn & Stauber/MN; Guest, Kelly & Palazzo/MS; Graves, Hartzler, Luetkemeyer, Long, Smith & Wagner/MO; Gianforte/MT; Bacon, Fortenberry & Smith/NE; Amodei/NV; Smith & VanDrew/NJ; Bishop, Collins*, Katko, King, Murphy, Reed, Stefanik & Zeldin/NY; Budd, Foxx, Holding, Hudson, McHenry, Meadows, Rouzer & Walker/NC; Armstrong/ND; Balderson, Chabot, Davidson, Gibbs, Gonzalez, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Latta, Stivers, Turner & Wenstrup/OH; Cole, Hern, Lucas & Mullin/OK; Walden/OR; Fitzpatrick, Joyce, Keller, Kelly, Meuser, Perry, Reschenthaler, Smucker & Thompson/PA; Duncan, Norman, Rice, Timmons & Wilson/SC; Johnson/SD; Burchett, DesJarlais, Fleischmann, Green, Kustoff, Roe & Rose/TN; Arrington, Babin, Brady, Burgess, Carter, Cloud, Conaway, Crenshaw, Flores, Gohmert, Gooden, Granger, Hurd, Marchant, McCaul, Olson, Ratcliffe, Roy, Taylor, Thornberry, Weber, Williams & Wright/TX; Bishop, Curtis & Stewart/UT; Cline, Griffith, Riggleman & Wittman/VA; Herrera-Beutler, McMorris-Rodgers & Newhouse/WA; McKinley, Miller & Mooney/WV; Duffy*, Gallagher, Grothman, Sensenbrenner & Steil/WI; Cheney/WY. [* indicates no longer a House Member.]


Do at Least This!

Jan. 24, 2020, address by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) to the March for Life, transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing

            How are you all doing? Look at this beautiful sight: Tens of thousands of people coming to Washington to march for Life. Thank you for coming!

            What a special treat that was to have the most pro-life President, Donald Trump, come and make history by addressing this group. Just think about this contrast. In 2013, Barack Obama became the first President to address Planned Parenthood’s annual conference. Today Donald Trump became the first President to address the March for Life. Don’t tell me that elections don’t have consequences! You know what’s at stake.

And for all these young people – it is wonderful to see so many young people out here as part of this movement. Thank you for coming. If you’re eighteen or older, register to vote. If you’re almost eighteen, get ready, because we need you in this fight, and you are in this fight. Thank you.

            I’m so proud – I’m also so proud to be from the great state of Louisiana, which was – go, Tigers! – we’re not just number-one in football but we were just rated the number-one most pro-life state. And why? It’s because we’re not afraid to stand up for Life.

            Marching for Life is not a revolutionary idea. In fact, when you think about those three unalienable rights – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness – it’s no coincidence that they put the first among those to be the right for Life.

            But a few years ago – President Trump alluded to this – we started hearing stories out of New York, the governor of Virginia – talking about how they in their states want to now make it legal to kill a baby after it is born alive outside of the womb. They think – they think they can call that abortion. We know what it is – it’s murder to kill a baby born alive outside the womb. Yet in many states right now it’s not illegal, and that is why we are fighting to pass the Born Alive Act.

            For those people that question whether or not this happens, I know later today you’re going to hear from two – I want to give a shout-out to Melissa Ohden and Claire Caldwell – survivors of attempted abortions, who are here with us to tell their story. You know God has a plan for you when you survive an attempted abortion. I know you all are going to want to hear that story. But God has a plan for all of you as well. That’s why you’re here marching for Life.  

            You know, my friend Ann Wagner from Missouri – where are our friends from Missouri? Ann Wagner filed a bill called the Born Alive Survivors Protection Act. This bill makes it illegal anywhere in the country to kill a baby once it’s born alive outside the womb. We know that we need to protect Life at every stage.

            So we filed this bill. Let me tell you what the bill does. It says anywhere in the country, even if a state has a law like New York, it is illegal to kill a baby born alive outside the womb. Yet our bill has been blocked from a vote on the House floor by Speaker Nancy Pelosi [audience boos]. I guess she doesn’t have a lot of fans here, but we’ve asked now over eighty times to bring that bill to the floor, and she’s blocked it every single time. Special interests in the abortion industry are working with Nancy Pelosi, who continues to block this from bringing it on the floor.

            But I filed a discharge petition. This is a seldom-used legislative tool to go around Speaker Pelosi and force a vote on the Born-Alive Survivors Act. Now it takes 218 signatures to get this bill to the floor. Do you know when we filed that discharge petition, it set a record for the most signatures on the first day of a discharge in the history of Congress with over 190 signatures.

            Now this should be a bipartisan issue. This should be an easy bill to get to the floor. But every Republican now has signed that discharge. We have three Democrats, so we’re at 204 signatures. We only have fourteen to go. There are a lot of people out there who ran for office saying they would be pro-life; you are not pro-life if you don’t sign the discharge petition.

            So I’ve got something, I’ve got something I want to ask each and every one of you to do. When you leave here, please call your Member of Congress. And you can see where they are, by the way – you can go to our website at*. Go to the website and you can see if your Member of Congress has signed the discharge petition. If they’re on it, please call and thank them. But if they’re not on that discharge petition, ask them why they’re not, but most importantly encourage them to sign that discharge petition. We need a vote on the House floor. We will pass that bill if it comes up on the House floor.

            Now let me ask this: Do you support the Born-Alive Act? Should we protect babies who are born alive outside the womb? Are we going to let Nancy Pelosi stop us from getting a vote on this bill? Let them hear it on the Hill! So go to the website*, look up your Member of Congress.

            You can get directly engaged in this. It will make a difference. If we get 218, it won’t just pass with 218; this bill will get over 300 votes. But there are a lot of Members of Congress hiding behind Speaker Pelosi to block them. We will not let that happen.

            So let me tell you, what this represents is so important, to see this kind of showing on the floor. What we need to do to stand up for Life doesn’t end. In fact, we come here to stand up for Life, to send a message to everybody else. Nobody said this was going to be easy, but you didn’t march here because this is easy. You marched here because the pro-life values that we stand for today are the values that we represent and who we are as a country. This is what America is about.

            We stand for Life. You marched here because you want to stand up and fight for Life. We’re not just going to march, though. We’re going to march, and we are going to win this fight, the march for Life.

            So thank you for coming to stand up for life. God bless you; God bless America, and God bless this great pro-life movement to march for Life. Thank you.

*For the convenience of our readers, we have published – listed by state – the names of signers of the discharge petition in this edition of Life Advocacy Briefing.