Life Advocacy Briefing

February 24, 2020

Senate to Vote / Ethical Appointees Need Apply
Polite Extremism in Defense of Vice
Abortion: The Ultimate Exploitation of Women
Standing for Women, Against E.R.A. / Defining Proposal

Senate to Vote

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY) HAS FILED cloture motions to bring forward votes on two major pro-life measures, expected to be on the Senate docket this week. Readers are urged to contact home-state Senators via the Capitol switchboard (1-202/224-3121) and ask them to vote “yes” on S-130, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse, and to vote “yes” on S-160, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, filed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Calls to co-sponsors can express thanks and anticipation of the “yes” votes.

The Born-Alive bill is effectively a measure barring infanticide after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), a doctor, suggested babies who survive late-term abortions are routinely killed by neglect, though he – an abortion advocate – did not express the reality in appropriately negative terms. Though a Born-Alive survivors law was enacted during the G.W. Bush Administration, the existing federal law carries no penalties and thus is ineffective to end the practice. S-130 would provide penalties, among other provisions strengthening the law.

The Pain-Capable bill is effectively a late-term abortion ban, which would outlaw abortions at or after 20 weeks’ gestation, a developmental milestone at which unborn babies are known to experience pain. The United States – thanks to the 1973 Supreme Court’s unconscionable Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions – is one of only seven nations worldwide which fail to protect late-term gestating babies.

Co-sponsors of S-130 (“Born-Alive”) are GOP Senators Shelby (AL), Sullivan (AK), McSally (AZ), Boozman & Cotton (AR), Rubio & Scott (FL), Loeffler & Perdue (GA), Crapo & Risch (ID), Braun & Young (IN), Ernst & Grassley (IA), Moran & Roberts (KS), McConnell & Paul (KY), Cassidy & Kennedy (LA), Hyde-Smith & Wicker (MS), Blunt & Hawley (MO), Daines (MT), Fischer (NE), Burr & Tillis (NC), Cramer & Hoeven (ND), Portman (OH), Inhofe & Lankford (OK), Toomey (PA), Graham & Scott (SC), Rounds & Thune (SD), Blackburn (TN), Cornyn & Cruz (TX), Lee & Romney (UT), Capito (WV), Johnson (WI), Barrasso & Enzi (WY).

Co-sponsors of S-160 (“Pain-Capable”) are GOP Senators Shelby (AL), Sullivan (AK), Boozman & Cotton (AR), Rubio & Scott (FL), Loeffler & Perdue (GA), Crapo & Risch (ID), Braun & Young (IN), Ernst & Grassley (IA), Moran & Roberts (KS), McConnell & Paul (KY), Cassidy & Kennedy (LA), Hyde-Smith & Wicker (MS), Blunt & Hawley (MO), Daines (MT), Fischer & Sasse (NE), Burr & Tillis (NC), Cramer & Hoeven (ND), Portman (OH), Inhofe & Lankford (OK), Toomey (PA), Scott (SC), Rounds & Thune (SD), Blackburn (TN), Cornyn & Cruz (TX), Lee & Romney (UT), Capito (WV), Johnson (WI), Barrasso & Enzi (WY).


Ethical Appointees Need Apply

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS REPORTEDLY SEEKING NOMINATIONS of qualified individuals to serve, reports Calvin Freiburger for, on “an advisory board to help … craft ethical policies with regard to the use of aborted babies in medical research.”

Creation of the 15-member Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board was announced last June by the Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS); the board is to advise the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The announcement, according to Mr. Freiburger, followed “controversy over the Administration contracting with Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc. (ABR) and the University of California-SanFrancisco (UCSF) on experiments to give mice ‘humanized’ immune systems for the purpose of drug testing.

“Following criticism from pro-lifers,” adds Mr. Freiburger, “HHS canceled the contracts and pledged to audit the other projects it was funding for similar ethical conflicts. It also announced the advisory board, which will ‘review [future] research proposals and recommend whether, in light of the ethical considerations, NIH should fund the research project.’”

The board now being assembled, notes LifeSiteNews, “must include at least one attorney, at least one ethicist, at least one practicing physician and at least one theologian. Between a third and half of the appointments must be ‘scientists with substantial accomplishments in biomedical or behavioral research.’” None may be federal employees.

“Those interested in nominating someone to the board,” notes Mr. Freiburger, “can find further details on materials to submit and where to send nominations” at “Nominations,” he reports, “must be received within 30 days of the notice’s publication in the Federal Register,” which was on Feb. 20.


Polite Extremism in Defense of Vice

IN AN APPEARANCE ON THE LEFT-LEANING TELEVISION SHOW The View, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a Democratic candidate for President, insisted, reports Calvin Freiburger for, that “‘there’s a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath’” and then insisted, “‘We live in a country where it is extremely important that no one person have to be subjected to some other person’s interpretation of their own religion.’”

The program’s “lone Republican host Megan McCain,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “followed up by bringing up partial-birth abortion, because ‘people, even Democrats – and there are a lot of pro-life Democrats in the country – want to know exactly where your line is, because you’ll be the President if you win.’

“‘Right,’” retorted Mr. Buttigieg, quoted by LifeSiteNews. “‘But my point is that it shouldn’t be up to a government official to draw the line. … It should be up to the woman who is confronted with the choice.’”

Miss McCain pressed the ex-mayor further, saying, “‘So if a woman wanted to – I don’t know – invoke infanticide after a baby was born, you’d be comfortable with that?’” The candidate, writes Mr. Freiburger, “responded by asking, ‘Does anybody seriously think that’s what these cases are about?’” He went on to hypothesize about a late-term hard-case diagnosis and declared, reports Mr. Freiburger, “‘I don’t know what to tell them, morally, about what they should do. … I just know that I trust her and her decision, medically or morally, isn’t going to be any better because the government is commanding her to do it in a certain way.’”

Ex-Mayor Buttigieg’s “pro-abortion platform,” notes Mr. Freiburger, “also includes appointing pro-abortion judges to the Supreme Court and making the abortion drug RU-486 available over the counter.” What is more, reports Mr. Freiburger, “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, and he has largely dodged questions about the discovery of thousands of babies’ corpses on the property of a deceased area abortionist.”


Abortion: The Ultimate Exploitation of Women

Jan. 24, 2020, March for Life address by Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing

            My dear, dear pro-life friends, we are living in a moment of greatest hope and opportunity since Roe versus Wade for countless little girls and little boys just waiting to be born. It’s a pivotal moment for the pro-life movement and this great nation.

            Now this year we’re going to be celebrating the women and men who fought for the women’s right to vote. But the question is, how do we use that power, women’s movement? What good or ill will we use that power – and what have we done with the power that we have? We mourn forty-seven years of abortion on demand under Roe versus Wade. Over 60 million little girls and boys intended for this world with a purpose, untold suffering of their mothers, families and communities. That is not how it works, women’s movement; you can’t build rights on the broken bodies and rights of other human beings.

            Since 1992, my organization has proudly borne the name of Susan B. Anthony. She and her compatriots all understood something really important, and that’s that the rights of women extend to the rights of their children, born and unborn. Written in what was called “The Revolution” – Susan B. Anthony’s newspaper that she published and funded – was this: “The act will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in the grave. But thrice guilty is the one who drove her to the dreadful deed.” Alice Paul knew what we know: that unborn rights must be conjoined with the rights of women and that abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.

            I’d like for you to assess the beautiful spot on which you stand today; every successful human rights movement in American history has found itself in a time such as this. We, like our civil rights friends and our sisters and activists before us, will use the tools of democracy to right even the worst wrongs that plague our society, and we will form a more perfect union through the power of the pro-life movement.

            In just ten months, we will face the most consequential election of our lifetimes for the cause of the unborn. What we do in those intervening months will determine whether generations of children will live or die. We have seen historic gains under this President; you heard what his heart is and what his track record has been, along with his Senate. But now is the time to go for the win. It’s time to roll back Roe versus Wade and put the will of the people into the law, and that means protecting the unborn in the law. Now we know that victory is possible, but we also [know] that nothing is inevitable, so no one can afford to sit on the sidelines during this coming election.

            People are asking, why is it that the pro-abortion women’s march is shrinking as the power and the optimism and the youth of the March for Life grows. I think we know why: You are the reason. You are the reason that this movement has grown. Lasting power comes from the truth reflected in the hearts of the American people like you. Now, let’s go for the win, and let your pro-life voices be heard in November. Thank you.


Standing for Women, Against E.R.A.

Feb. 13, 2020, debate in the US House of Representatives, transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO): I rise today to commend the women who have gone before us, to celebrate the achievements that women have made and to reaffirm the fact that we are equal in the eyes of God and in law. Women make up 51% of the population, comprise over half of the college students, make up most of today’s medical and law school students, and own the majority of new businesses. Women are not victims in need of validation. Little girls can be whatever they want to be, whether that be an astronaut, a doctor, a full-time mom working at home or a Member of Congress. In addition, federal law and court precedent uphold our rights; that is something to applaud, and I do. However, today’s legislation is problematic on several fronts.

            First, the resolution is unconstitutional. The time limit to pass the ERA expired decades ago. Congress can’t go back and remove a deadline from a previous constitutional amendment initiative. The Supreme Court has recognized that 1972 ERA expired, and the Dept. of Justice issued a ruling saying Congress may not revive a proposed amendment after a deadline for its ratification has expired. Pretending that we could remove the time limit for passage is both futile and deceptive.

            Secondly, if the time limit could be extended, the ERA would not bring women any more rights than they currently have right now. But it would entrench the legality of abortion. We know this from court precedent and by listening to those who have the most to gain from constitutionally protecting abortion on demand. In 1998, the New Mexico supreme court ruled that the Equal Rights Amendment in their state constitution requires state funding of abortions. Federal courts are likely to do the same. Perhaps that’s why every pro-abortion organization is endorsing passage of the ERA. NARAL Pro-Choice America says, “With this ratification, the ERA would reinforce the Constitutional right to abortion.” National Organization for Women says “an ERA, properly interpreted, could negate the hundreds of laws that have passed restricting access to abortion.”

            But that’s not the only concern with passing this resolution. Besides being unconstitutional and shredding state and federal pro-life protections, the ERA would also erase decades of progress which have provided opportunities for women, advanced women’s progress through federal programs and secured necessary protections for women and girls. How? By incorporating gender identity in the definition of sex, jeopardizing private spaces for women, girls’ sports programs and women’s educational institutions. The ERA endangers laws, programs and funding designed to benefit women, providing a pathway for legal challenges to welfare programs, grants for battered women’s shelters, efforts to bolster women participating in STEM programs, as well as state laws governing child support, alimony and custody. These outcomes are anything but pro-woman. I urge my colleagues to vote “no.”


Defining Proposal

Feb. 14, 2020, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            Imagine knocking out more than 500 pro-life laws in a single shot. It sounds too horrible to be true – except that in this House of radicals, nothing is impossible. When Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) dropped her bill, the ridiculously named Women’s Health Protection Act [HR-2975], it was like loading a deadly missile – aimed at all 50 states.

            “We face a five-alarm fire in the danger to women’s reproductive rights,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) barked at a press conference. “We need to command the urgency and immediacy that all of our lives are at risk.” Lives are at risk, all right – but not his. If Chu and her 215 co-sponsors ever passed HR-2975, it would be the single most devastating vote on the unborn yet. It’s so sweeping, Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) warned, that even the original Roe v. Wade ruling was tame by comparison. Those justices, he said, “never envisioned the extreme position reflected in this bill.” We’re talking about, he paused, “overturning nearly all federal and state limitations on abortion … .” Everything pro-lifers have worked for [for] literally decades would be eradicated – along with hundreds of votes in statehouses all across America.

            “The whole point of living in a democracy is that your vote matters,” Americans United for Life [AUL] argued. “What the House is considering would void democratically enacted health and safety protections for more than 100 million Americans.” Congressman (and Doctor) Andy Harris (R-MD) talked about the aftershocks of this Thursday on [FRC’s podcast] Washington Watch. As we pointed out, if this legislation went into effect – and it could if Democrats control … the Senate and House – then all of the pro-life laws at the state level would be eliminated. We’re talking about elective abortions for any reason, right up to the moment of birth, at taxpayer’s expense. It would torpedo even the barest protections – like limits on painful late-term abortions, informed consent, even commonsense safety standards – things a majority of Americans, regardless of their party, support.

            It’s not all that surprising, Dr. Harris shook his head, when you consider how far outside the mainstream the Democratic Party is. “You know, even the so-called ‘moderates’ like Mayor Pete, can’t bring himself to say that … late-term abortion should be outlawed or that the Born-Alive Act should become law … . [T]hey’re as radical as can be.” But in this case, what the House is suggesting is “inventing a new constitutional right without the two-thirds majority necessary [to pass an amendment], plus the ratification of the states.” And if Americans want to stop them, he insisted, “It all comes down to November. …

            “[I]f it gets to the floor,” Harris agreed, “I think it will have the votes to pass. Thank goodness that Mitch McConnell in the Senate will never consider it. And of course, the President would never sign the bill. But this is a radical House … driven by the extreme Left-wing of the Democrat Party.” And for once, he pointed out, they may not have the courts on their side.

            “We’re seeing now … how important it is that Pres. Trump has appointed and confirmed over 190 judges, including two Supreme Court judges. … In the next President’s term [whether it’s Pres. Trump or someone else], there are likely going to be two appointments at least. And if those two appointments are liberal judges, then we’re going to revert to the old days of the courts inventing a right to abortion in the Constitution. If Pres. Trump is re-elected, I think we’re going to have a 6-3 majority … [and] a good chance that they will turn over abortion law back to the states where [it] truly belongs.”

            Over in the Senate, it’s night and day. While the House tries to disenfranchise voters and bulldoze state laws, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is pushing back with two pro-life bills of their own. One, a no-brainer for anyone with a scrap of decency, would order doctors to treat abortion survivors like patients when they’re born alive. It has absolutely nothing to do with abortion, as multiple Senators argued during an emotion hearing this week – but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from fighting it. They’d rather embrace infanticide than admit that abortion survivors are people. It’s a horrifying position – one that Americans will get a good long look at it when McConnell holds a vote.

            The second bill is one pro-lifers have been eyeing for years: the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. In a nod to Pres. Trump, who called for outlawing barbaric late-term abortions in his State of the Union speech, McConnell may be bringing the 20-week ban up for a vote as early as Feb. 24. Although the media would never let on, the idea of limiting abortion to the first trimester is an overwhelmingly popular idea (everywhere, it seems, but Democratic headquarters). Sixty percent of Americans, Gallup found, want to limit abortion to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This bill is even less restrictive – outlawing it when science says that babies can feel the excruciating pain of their execution.

            The good news is, voters are about to see where Democrats stand on two very fundamental bills. The bad news is, we can already know what it will be. Contact your Senators and urge them to vote “yes” on Born-Alive and Pain-Capable protections!