Life Advocacy Briefing

February 17, 2020

House Re-Advances ‘E.R.A.’ / Sen. Sanders Spells It Out
Good Start / Painful ‘Progress’ / Can’t We Agree Even on This?
‘We are Making Progress’ / House Voting Record

House Re-Advances ‘E.R.A.’

REPEATEDLY, THE ABORTION CONNECTION with the so-called “Equal Rights Amendment” was raised by ERA opponents in US House debate last Thursday. The debate was staged to advance a resolution, HJRes-79, to remove the long-lapsed deadline for ratification of the controversial constitutional amendment. The resolution passed 232 to 183 after parliamentary objections from Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) were rebuffed by the presiding officer.

Though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-SanFrancisco) declared, “This has nothing to do with the abortion issue,” opponents of the resolution cited state-level litigation in New Mexico, which forced taxpayer funding of abortion under identical ERA language incorporated in the state constitution.

The radical ERA issued to the states by Congress in 1972 had a deadline clause fixing a seven-year limit on state ratifications, providing its expiration on March 22, 1979. On Oct. 6, 1978, reports CQ Almanac, “the Senate gave final approval … to a resolution granting states 39 additional months to ratify the [ERA] … . Passage of the resolution (HJRes-638) on a 60-36 vote capped a year-long lobbying effort by backers of the ERA and marked the first time Congress had extended the ratification period for a constitutional amendment since it began setting time limits in 1917. … The new deadline,” reports CQ Almanac, “was June 30, 1982,” which coincided with the constitutionally provided adjournment of the state legislature in Illinois, the principal battleground of resistance and the home state of ERA’s chief opponent, the late Phyllis Schlafly.

Ratification campaigns have recently resurfaced in the wake of Mrs. Schlafly’s 2016 passing, and the newly radical Virginia is now claiming to be the 38th state to ratify – though the amendment did expire in 1982.

The House action Thursday defies a January Justice Dept. legal opinion effectively endorsed last Monday by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, when she told a Georgetown Law School audience, reports National Review writer Tobias Hoonhout, “that the deadline to ratify the 34th amendment had passed, and that it was time ‘to start over’ the efforts.” One can only assume, after such a warning by such a powerful ERA advocate, that the House debate and vote were designed solely as political fodder for deceptive 2020 campaigns.

It is critical that pro-life citizens recognize the ERA/abortion connection and take a cue from the House debate and roll call, in their own voting decisions. We publish the voting record at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing and thank those Members of Congress who raised warnings in debate about the ERA’s abortion implications; we hope to publish transcripts of some of their speeches in future editions. We hope also to publish a transcript of the pro-resolution speech by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who amazingly was chosen by the resolution’s backers to close the debate. Clearly, the abortion lobby is anticipating a Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade and is desperately seeking not only to elect more abortion advocates but also to forestall judicial acknowledgment of the human personhood of the unborn child.


Sen. Sanders Spells It Out

DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL FRONTRUNNER BERNIE SANDERS (Socialist-VT) “reiterated his pro-abortion bona fides to voters” during a televised Friday evening debate before last Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, reports Calvin Freiburger for, “pledging to enshrine abortion in federal law and give far more of the taxpayers’ money to the abortion industry. …

“‘Is there a litmus test for those of us up here?’” asked Sen. Sanders, notes Mr. Freiburger. “‘For me there is,’ he said. ‘I will never nominate any person to the Supreme Court or to the federal courts in general who is not 100% pro-Roe v. Wade. Number two,’” he added, “‘we have got to codify Roe v. Wade into legislation.

“‘Number three,’” Sen. Sanders went on, still quoted by LifeSiteNews, “‘we have to significantly expand funding for Planned Parenthood.’” And, notes Mr. Freiburger, he “declared that ‘being pro-choice [sic] is an absolutely essential part of being a Democrat.’”


Good Start

THE BUDGET PROPOSAL SUBMITTED BY THE WHITE HOUSE last Monday “calls for eliminating the taxpayer funding Planned Parenthood receives via US Departments of Labor and Health & Human Services (HHS),” reports Calvin Freiburger for, “as well as funding for the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). “It would also,” notes Mr. Freiburger, “strengthen federal conscience protections by adopting the Conscience Protection Act.

“‘The budget prioritizes the value of human life by ensuring that federal funding does not support abortions,’ the plan explains,” reports LifeSiteNews. “‘The budget proposes to prohibit federal funding, such as in the Title X Family Planning and Medicaid programs for certain entities that provide abortion services,’” the explanation continues. “‘The budget also protects conscience rights, prohibits coercion in health care and allows private parties to enforce such rights in federal court. With these protections, the Administration will continue to ensure robust protection of conscience rights and religious liberty.’”

As promising as the Administration’s budget proposal is, however, “few expect,” opines Mr. Freiburger, “the Fiscal Year 2021 plan’s new pro-life provisions to make it into the final budget that becomes law.’”


Painful ‘Progress’

A FILM EXPOSING RED CHINA’s ONE-CHILD POLICY was nominated for “best documentary” in the recent Academy Awards competition — “a scorching indictment” of the brutal Communist pogrom, notes Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, reporting the development for

The caveat: “The film begins,” she notes, “with the statement that China ended the One-Child Policy in 2015, making it seem as though the film serves as a memorial to a tragic era gone by. The film does not mention, however,” writes Ms. Littlejohn, “that forced abortion continues under the Two-Child Policy. The new rule is that every couple is allowed to have two children; single women and third children are still forcibly aborted.”


Can’t We Agree Even on This?

Feb. 11, 2020, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            “Can you look me in the eye and tell me that I shouldn’t be alive?” That was the question 14 abortion survivors never got to ask America. Fox Sports, the host of this year’s SuperBowl, refused to air their ad. Maybe they were afraid of creating controversy. Or maybe they were worried about putting a real face on this thing called “choice.” Either way, it’s a question our country needs to answer. And Tuesday morning, Senate Republicans looked at their colleagues and did.

            When 44 leaders of this country walked to the Senate floor last February and voted to make newborn-killing legal, our country crossed into territory most of us considered unthinkable. “Republicans need to stop wasting time on political games and legislation aimed at rolling back women’s constitutionally protected rights,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) fumed. But negligent homicide isn’t abortion. Taking the life of a newborn baby that could grow up in a loving family isn’t abortion. “We’ve heard speech after speech after speech that have nothing to do with what’s actually in this bill,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) insisted. “We’re talking about babies that have already been born … . We’re not talking about Roe v. Wade.”

            In the year since Democrats marched to the floor and staked out ground no civilized country can defend, Americans have finally come to understand the horrors of what they stand for. And with the exception of the 2020 candidates, they’re desperate for infanticide to end. Sasse knows Republicans can’t do it alone – so this morning, he and the rest of the Senate Judiciary Committee did their best to explain exactly what’s at stake. In a hearing called, “The Infant Patient: Ensuring Appropriate Medical Care for Children Born Alive,” Sen. Sasse made clear, “ … I’m not here to get my pro-abortion rights colleagues to join me at next year’s March for Life. That’s not what this hearing is about. … This hearing is not about overturning Roe v. Wade. In fact, this hearing is not actually about limiting access to abortion at all. This hearing isn’t a debate about third-trimester or second-trimester or first-trimester abortion. This hearing is about making sure that every newborn baby has a fighting chance – whether she’s born in a labor-and-delivery ward or whether she’s born in an abortion clinic.” For once, he urged, can we not “immediately retreat into the fortified and familiar trenches our two parties have occupied for most of the past 47 years?”

            FRC’s Patrina Mosley, director of Life, Culture & Women’s Advocacy, had the opportunity to testify and debunk the lie that this is somehow a phony crisis. There are hundreds of official reports and eyewitness accounts of newborns being born alive and later destroyed. And yet, “there have been no cases involving prosecutions under the [2002] Born-Alive Infants Protection Act that we know of. Why? Because there is currently no federal criminal statute specifically prohibiting taking the lives of born-alive infants.” If babies do survive, Patrina said, “it’s because of the compassion of others. But we cannot, she insisted, “rely on the extraordinary for these infants to have a chance at life. Instead, we should expect that ordinary care be given to anyone considered a full person under the law.”

            As we speak, 35 states (and the federal government) don’t have the adequate protections for babies who live through a botched abortion. To people like Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), that’s astounding. “I’m aware of no other circumstance in the law where we would willfully disregard the humanity of a human being.” And the idea, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said, “that it would somehow be debatable what to do with that child … is a remarkable statement of just how extreme and radical the pro-abortion side of this debate has gotten.”

            Melissa Ohden wakes up every single day trying to cope with the fact that there are people in this country who think the nurse who found her 42 years ago, burning in a bucket of saline, should have just walked away. To the US Senate, House, Democratic candidates and media, she wants to know: “Can you really look me in the eye and tell me that I didn’t deserve to live?”


‘We are Making Progress’

Jan. 24, 2020, March for Life address by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), chairman of the U.S. House Pro-Life Caucus, transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing

            Jeannie, thank you very, very much. You know, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of my wife Marie and I and all of us, we are so grateful that you’re here today. Because we march, because we are pro-life and because we are pro-women. We march today to defend the weakest and the most vulnerable.

            As you know, tragically, since the infamous 1973 Supreme Court decisions that eviscerated legal protections for unborn children, more than 61 million babies have been dismembered or chemically aborted – a death toll that equates with the entire population of Italy.

            Under President Obama, abortion was aggressively promoted at home and overseas. Even long-standing bipartisan conscience protection laws were shamelessly not enforced. Now President Trump is robustly enforcing Americans’ conscience laws. He just took action this week, this day – Secretary Azar was here – to enforce conscience protections towards California, where they are forcing health plans and all others to be complicit and to pay for abortion. In just three years, several executive orders and actions have been promulgated by the Trump Administration, and the courts appear to be seriously trending in the right direction. And you’ve got to know, that’s not by accident – it’s by design. 187 judges picked by this President and ratified by the Senate and confirmed.

            My friends, just last month several pro-abortion legislative assaults on life were stopped in Congress by the skill, determination, your lobbying the House and Senate, people like Steve Scalise – who just spoke – Kevin McCarthy, the minority Leader; Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader; the Republican leadership stood firm that there will be no retreat when it comes to these long-standing laws and the policies that have been put forth by the Trump Administration. We’re making progress.

            I encourage you: Be encouraged. Be very encouraged. With the help of ultrasound imaging, we will tirelessly struggle to ensure that unborn children are no longer invisible, trivialized, mocked, dehumanized and killed.

            Above all, I want to thank each and every one of you here for your presence here today. Jeannie, thank you for the leadership of March for Life. You know, it would be unimaginably worse without you. Because of you, countless women and babies have been spared the violence of abortion and today live, love and thrive. Because of you, many women who have had abortions now know there is only love, respect and deep concern for them in our hearts and a willingness to assist.

            Re-establishing the right to life – regardless of sex, age, disability or condition of dependency – is the human rights issue of our time. So, with faith in God, indomitable hope and charity for all, we recommit today to defending human life no matter the sacrifice, no matter the cost. God bless you.


House Voting Record

HJRes-79 – Resurrect failed Equal Rights Amendment by removing already passed deadline – Passed 232-183 – Feb. 13, 2020 (Democrats in italics; “Independent” marked “I”)

Voting “no”/pro-life: Aderholt, Brooks, Palmer, Roby, Rogers/AL; Young/AK; Biggs, Gosar, Lesko, Schweikert/AZ; Hill, Westerman, Womack/AR; Calvert, Cook, LaMalfa, McCarthy, McClintock, Nunes/CA; Buck, Lamborn, Tipton/CO; Bilirakis, Buchanan, Diaz-Balart, Dunn, Gaetz, Posey, Rooney, Rutherford, Spano, Steube, Waltz, Webster, Yoho/FL; Allen, Carter, Collins, Ferguson, Hice, Loudermilk, A.Scott, Woodall/GA; Fulcher, Simpson/ID; Bost, 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; Harris/MD; Amash(I), Bergman, Huizenga, Mitchell, Moolenaar, Upton, Walberg/MI; Emmer, Hagedorn, Stauber/MN; Guest, Kelly, Palazzo/MS; Graves, Hartzler, Long, Luetkemeyer, Smith, Wagner/MO; Gianforte/MT; Bacon, Fortenberry, Smith/NE; Amodei/NV; Smith/NJ; Katko, King, Stefanik, Zeldin/NY; Bishop, Budd, Foxx, Holding, Hudson, McHenry, Meadows, Murphy, Rouzer, Walker/NC; Armstrong/ND; Balderson, Chabot, Davidson, Gibbs, Gonzalez, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Latta, Stivers, Turner, Wenstrup/OH; Cole, Hern, Lucas/OK; Walden/OR; Joyce, Keller, Kelly, Meuser, Perry, Reschenthaler, Smucker, Thompson/PA; Duncan, Norman, Rice, Timmons/SC; Johnson/SD; Burchett, DesJarlais, Fleischmann, Green, Kustoff, Roe, Rose/TN; Arrington, Babin, Brady, Burgess, Carter, Cloud, Conaway, Crenshaw, Flores, Gohmert, Gooden, Granger, Hurd, McCaul, Olson, Ratcliffe, Roy, Taylor, Thornberry, Weber, Williams/TX; Bishop, Stewart/UT; Cline, Griffith, Riggleman, Wittman/VA; Herrera-Beutler, McMorris-Rodgers, Newhouse/WA; McKinley, Miller, Mooney/WV; Gallagher, Grothman, Sensenbrenner, Steil/WI; Cheney/WY.

Voting “yes”/anti-Life: Sewell/AL; Gallego, Grijalva, O’Halleran, Stanton/AZ; Aguilar, Barragan, Bass, Bera, Brownley, Carbajal, Cardenas, Chu, Cisneros, Correa, Costa, Cox, Davis, DeSaulnier, Eshoo, Garamendi, Gomez, Harder, Huffman, Khanna, Lee, Levin, Lieu, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Matsui, McNerney, Napolitano, Panetta, Pelosi, Peters, Porter, Rouda, Roybal-Allard, Ruiz, Sanchez, Schiff, Sherman, Speier, Swalwell, Takano, Thompson, Torres, Vargas, Waters/CA; Crow, DeGette, Neguse, Perlmutter/CO; Courtney, DeLauro, Hayes, Himes, Larson/CT; Blunt-Rochester/DE; Castor, Crist, Demings, Deutch, Frankel, Hastings, Lawson, Mucarsel-Powell, Murphy, Shalala, Soto, Wasserman-Schultz, Wilson/FL; Bishop, Johnson, Lewis, McBath, D.Scott/GA; Case/HI; Bustos, Casten, D.Davis, R.Davis, Foster, Garcia, Kelly, Krishnamoorthi, Lipinski, Quigley, Rush, Schakowsky, Schneider, Underwood/IL; Carson, Visclosky/IN; Axne, Finkenauer, Loebsack/IA; Davids/KS; Yarmuth/KY; Richmond/LA; Golden, Pingree/ME; Brown, Hoyer, Raskin, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes, Trone/MD; Clark, Keating, Kennedy, Lynch, McGovern, Moulton, Neal, Pressley, Trahan/MA; Dingell, Kildee, Lawrence, Levin, Slotkin, Stevens, Tlaib/MI; Craig, McCollum, Omar, Peterson, Phillips/MN; Thompson/MS; Clay, Cleaver/MO; Horsford, Lee, Titus/NV; Kuster, Pappas/NH; Gottheimer, Kim, Malinowski, Norcross, Pallone, Pascrell, Sherrill, Sires, VanDrew, Watson-Coleman/NJ; Haaland, Lujan, Torres-Small/NM; Brindisi, Clarke, Delgado, Engel, Espaillat, Higgins, Jeffries, Lowey, C.Maloney, S.Maloney, Meeks, Meng, Morelle, Nadler, Ocasio-Cortez, Reed, Rice, Rose, Serrano, Suozzi, Tonko, Velazquez/NY; Butterfield, Price/NC; Beatty, Fudge, Kaptur, Ryan/OH; Horn/OK; Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio, Schrader/OR; Boyle, Cartwright, Dean, Doyle, Evans, Fitzpatrick, Houlahan, Lamb, Scanlon, Wild/PA; Cicilline, Langevin/RI; Clyburn, Cunningham/SC; Cohen, Cooper/TN; Allred, Castro, Cuellar, Doggett, Escobar, Fletcher, Garcia, Gonzalez, Green, Jackson-Lee, Johnson, Veasey, Vela/TX; Curtis, McAdams/UT; Beyer, Connolly, Luria, McEachin, Scott, Spanberger, Wexton/VA; DelBene, Heck, Jayapal, Kilmer, Larsen, Schrier, Smith/WA; Kind, Moore, Pocan/WI.

Not voting: Byrne/AL; Kirkpatrick/AZ; Crawford/AR; Mast/FL; Graves/GA; Gabbard/HI; Kinzinger, LaHood/IL; Payne/NJ; Adams/NC; Mullin/OK; Wilson/SC; Marchant, Wright/TX; Welch/VT.