Life Advocacy Briefing

March 16, 2020

Censure? / What More Do We Need to Know about ‘Bernie’?
In the States / Forward Movement?
Buttressing the Abortion Cartel / House Voting Record


SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO) HAS FILED SRes-532, “censuring and condemning” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) over threatening declarations he directed at Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh during a March 4 abortion cartel rally on the sidewalk in front of the Supreme Court.

As of our deadline, some 14 Senators – all Republicans – had signed on to the resolution as co-sponsors, and the measure had been referred to the Senate Committee on Ethics. The co-sponsors are Senators Martha McSally (AZ), Rick Scott (FL), Kelly Loeffler & David Perdue (GA), Mike Braun (IN), Joni Ernst (IA), Steve Daines (MT), Ben Sasse (NE), Thom Tillis (NC), Kevin Cramer (ND), James Inhofe (OK), Tim Scott (SC), Ted Cruz (TX) and Mike Lee (UT).

The resolution describes Sen. Schumer’s remarks, reports Ronn Blitzer for Fox News, “as ‘an attempt to unduly influence the judicial decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States and to undermine the vision of the founders of the United States of the “complete independence of the courts of justice.”’”

The resolution further states, according to Fred Lucas, writing for The National Interest website, “Sen. Schumer has acknowledged that threatening statements can increase the dangers of violence against government officials when he stated on June 15, 2017, following the attempted murder of several elected Members of Congress, ‘We would all be wise to reflect on the importance of civility in our nation’s politics’ and that ‘the level of nastiness, vitriol and hate that has seeped into our politics must be excised.’” That was then; this, though, was about abortion.

Explaining his reason for filing the resolution, Sen. Hawley wrote on Twitter, reports Mr. Blitzer, “‘[Sen.] Schumer’s threats to [Justices] Gorsuch and Kavanaugh [are] part of pattern of Democrat attacks on the Supreme Court. Dem[ocrat]s have threatened to pack it; now they’re threatening Justices personally. This is insane. It’s wrong. Schumer should be censured.’”



What More Do We Need to Know about ‘Bernie’?

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) ‘HAS FORMALLY UNVEILED the abortion agenda he’s running on in 2020,” reports Calvin Freiburger for, “collecting in a single location the various absolutist promises he has made to the abortion lobby.”

He has reportedly released a plan characteristically titled “Reproductive Health Care & Justice for All,” which, notes Mr. Freiburger, “pledges to repeal the Hyde Amendment, thereby allowing direct funding of elective abortions with tax dollars; make contraception ‘free’ and available over-the-counter; and ‘significantly’ expand ‘funding for Planned Parenthood, Title X and other initiatives’ that offer and promote abortions.

“[Sen.] Sanders would restore foreign aid to abortion organizations as well as the United Nations Population Fund, support codifying Roe v. Wade in federal law, ban abstinence-only sex education and deny federal funding to crisis pregnancy centers that focus on alternatives to abortion,” reports LifeSiteNews.

“The [Sanders campaign] document also promises,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “to appoint pro-abortion ideologues to federal judgeships and touts [Mr.] Sanders’s 100% pro-abortion voting records with Planned Parenthood and NARAL. …

“Though not explicitly listed in this document,” notes Mr. Freiburger, Sen. “Sanders has previously threatened that if elected, he would direct the US Dept. of Justice to ‘go after those states’ that restrict abortion ‘in every way that I legally can.’ In the document, [Mr.] Sanders also pledges to ‘require preclearance for state abortion laws to ensure that state laws do not impose undue restrictions and barriers for abortion services.’”


In the States

  • PRO-LIFE ACTIVISTS IN CONNECTICUT are planning the state’s first-ever March for Life, gathering at Bushnell Theater in Hartford and marching to the state capitol, where a rally is scheduled. The April 15 event, reports Calvin Freiburger for com, “is being organized in partnership with the national March for Life, the Family Institute of Connecticut and the Connecticut Catholic Conference.” Two weeks before the event, a pro-life speakers’ panel organized by the state’s Family Institute will feature Population Research Institute founder Steven Mosher, “a prolific author and public speaker,” notes Mr. Freiburger, “who has testified before Congress on the one-child policy and other human rights abuses by the Chinese [Communist] regime.” Mr. Mosher authored a book called Broken Earth in the late 1970s, the first exposure of Red China’s deadly depopulation campaign; it was based on discoveries he made while pursuing an anthropological study of rural Mainland China. Both events, notes Mr. Freiburger, “are free to attend.” Readers are asked to pray for a groundbreaking outcome of what could prove to be breakthroughs in the cultural wilderness of New England. Further detail is available on the Internet at

  • WITH A FINAL VOTE OF 81 to 15, the Indiana House has sent to Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) SB-299 to require abortionists to inform their customers about the state’s law mandating humane disposal of the remains of aborted babies. The SB-299 conference report had passed the state Senate by a vote of 39 to 10. Said Indiana Right to Life president Mike Fichter, quoted in National Right to Life News, “‘Indiana’s current humane final disposition law, as upheld by the Supreme Court, contains grey areas we believe abortion clinics use to keep women in the dark, especially when it comes to drug-induced abortions. This bill addresses these areas and makes sure women get all the facts, including the reality that a drug-induced abortion will result in an aborted baby. We will continue working for a day when no child is aborted in Indiana,’” Mr. Fichter said. “‘Until that day comes, this bill will make sure these children are never again treated like common medical waste in our state.’” The Indiana fetal remains disposal law is a groundbreaking initiative which is likely to be replicated in other states. Passage of SB-299 offers a more complete model and includes such provisions as requiring, notes NRL News, “that abortion clinics maintain a log for each aborted baby … [and] that any contracts between abortion clinics and crematoriums or funeral homes must be made available for review by the state.” A fetal remains humane disposal bill cleared the Utah House early this month after passage by the state Senate.

  • COLORADO PRO-LIFE CITIZENS have filed a petition for a ballot measure seeking to end late-term abortions. The petitions are being reviewed by the Colorado Secretary of State. Petition organizers submitted “more than 138,000 signatures,” according to; the minimum required to qualify for the ballot is “roughly 125,000.”


Forward Movement?

March 10, 2020 BreakPoint commentary by John Stonestreet & David Carlson

            Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the most important abortion case since Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt. In that 2016 case, the Court struck down a Texas law requiring abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their location. The Court said that such a law placed undue burdens on a woman’s access to abortion. That law would have led to the closing of about 75% of the state’s abortion clinics.

            So far the headlines about the case heard by the Court this past Wednesday have mostly been about Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer threatening Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, but there’s much more at stake in June Medical Services v. Russo. This case involves a Louisiana law nearly identical to the Texas law struck down by the Court. Note here that I am emphasizing the word “nearly.” Despite what you may hear from the New York Times and elsewhere, the laws are not identical, especially in how they would play out on the ground in their respective states.

            That’s why, after a federal district court initially struck down the Louisiana law based on the Texas law precedent, the 5th Circuit reversed the district court ruling, with the majority opinion citing two important ways the Louisiana law and the Texas law are different.

            First, the Louisiana law would only affect about 30% of women seeking an abortion. Second, the requirements for doctors to obtain admitting privileges are less strict in Louisiana than Texas, meaning abortion providers could more easily comply with the law and fewer would be forced out of business. With these differences in mind, the Circuit Court concluded that the Louisiana law did not impose an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to an abortion.

            So here we are, barely four years after deciding Whole Woman’s Health, a recently remade Court is agreeing to hear a case which could overturn precedent and create significantly more elbow room for state-level restrictions. The whole thing has abortion rights advocates, shall we say, a bit nervous.

            Much of the oral arguments centered around what constitutes “an undue burden” on abortion. Chief Justice Roberts raised the possibility that the issue was a factual one. What may constitute an “undue burden” in one state may not in another. Such factors as the number of clinics and doctors in each state, in light of the geographic size and population of the state, would need to be considered.

            The lawyer for June Medical Services rejected that idea and insisted that because requiring admission privileges served no medical purpose, it would always impose an “undue burden.” That prompted Justice Kavanaugh to ask whether such a requirement would have any effect on the availability of abortion if, for instance, every doctor could get such privileges.

            The lawyer repeated her answer that an admission privilege requirement serves no medical purpose. Her answer was telling. Apparently, any regulations of the abortion industry above bare minimum is unacceptable, whether or not it has any real-world impact on the availability of abortion.

            Ultimately this case is not about the availability of abortion in this one state. It’s about the nearly unique status abortion laws hold in our country. Unlike virtually every other right, such as freedom of speech or of religion, any limitation on abortion – no matter how small – is considered a mortal threat to “abortion rights” and cast as part of a “war on women.”

            It’s difficult to know how the case will turn out. The Supreme Court seems always reluctant to overturn prior rulings, even closely decided ones like Whole Woman’s Health, or to issue sweeping rulings, especially about issues on which America is so deeply divided.

            My prediction is that the Court will narrow the reach of that 2016 decision and lean on the factual differences between the states and the cases. While such a decision wouldn’t be the end of Roe, it could incentivize additional state-level innovations to restrict abortion – which would mean, as we’ve often said, that our fight against the evil of abortion would only intensify, and local-level activism would only become more important.

            After all, the goal is to make abortion unthinkable, not just illegal. That’s our job, not the Court’s.


Buttressing the Abortion Cartel

Feb. 27, 2020, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            How is killing off future customers good for business? Justin Danhof has no idea, but he’s raising an important question now that some of America’s biggest brands are starting to become major players in the abortion debate. Shareholders have already started changing the boardroom conversations, he warns. And conservatives, Danhof says, need to start speaking up.

            CEOs across 30 of the country’s biggest companies are already feeling the heat. Earlier this year, a group of investors – with hundreds of billions of dollars in assets – demanded to know where their businesses stood on things like “sexual and reproductive health care.” The first step here, Justin cautions, “and they make this very clear in the articles written about this – they first want companies to make pro-abortion statements. But then, then once they get them on record supporting abortion – they’re going to go after [their] corporate tax funding. And if they find funding for any pro-life legislator, they’re going to hammer that corporation.” The goal is simple, he says: to silence political speech that the Left doesn’t like.

            Danhof, who’s become an expert in corporate activism during his time at the National Center for Public Policy Research, worries that the tide is turning at a lot of these major companies – and too many Americans are sitting on the sidelines. “What I found out,” he told listeners, “is that this year – for the first time since 1973 – investor advocates are actually going to corporations and demanding that they get on board, demanding that they ‘make the business case for abortion.’”

            And part of the way they’re doing that is by introducing shareholder resolutions. So far, he believes, there are five backed by a group called the As You Sow network – “including one in front of Macy’s and one from Progressive [Insurance]. And again, the message is clear from these proposals: Get into the abortion debate, get on our side or we’re coming after you. In the end, it’s all about money and speech. The Left likes to silence conservative and Christian voices because they don’t want to debate us, and they don’t like what we have to say. That’s the goal.”

            But, as Justin points out, more than three dozen companies fund Planned Parenthood directly. So, “you would think,” he suggested, that these liberal activists would be “satisfied with their status in corporate America.” Well, he said, “you’d be wrong.” Shelly Alpern of Rhia Ventures spelled it out when she talked about the motive for filing these resolutions. They claim “lobbying and political contributions that ultimately fund candidates or groups backing abortion restrictions do implicate companies.”

            If you’re wondering how much sway these radicals have, just look at Macy’s. The company “is closing hundreds of stores and firing thousands of employees at the moment. They don’t need to spend time getting involved in the abortion debate when they have [no reason] to do so,” Danhof argued. But “[t]he tipping point comes when they’re only hearing from liberals [or] from pro-abortion advocates. It eventually becomes just easy to appease the activists if they’re not hearing from pro-life Americans. So if you shop at Macy’s, if you’re an investor at Macy’s, reach out to them and let them know that you oppose this resolution, that you think the company should just continue to sell goods that folks want and frankly do a better job of it so that they don’t fire more employees and close more stores.”

            The threat is real – and so is the urgency for pro-lifers to get in the game. “Companies can – and should – remain neutral in the culture wars,” Justin agrees. “But they need to hear from both sides in order to have the political courage to do so.”

[Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: We find this to be a troubling development as the abortion cartel senses that America may be entering a post-Roe era of deepening cultural and political fighting over abortion. Readers who wish to go more deeply into the topic will find useful a Feb. 28 LifeSiteNews report by Calvin Freiburger, which can be retrieved from the Internet at]


House Voting Record

Motion to Recommit HR-2339 to committee to add Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act – Failed 187-220 – Feb. 28, 2020 (Democrats in italics; “Independent” marked “I”)

Voting “yes”/pro-life: Aderholt, Brooks, Palmer, Roby, Rogers/AL; Young/AK; Biggs, Gosar, Lesko, Schweikert/AZ; Crawford, Hill, Westerman, Womack/AR; Calvert, Cook, LaMalfa, McCarthy, McClintock, Nunes/CA; Buck, Lamborn, Tipton/CO; Bilirakis, Buchanan, Diaz-Balart, Gaetz, Mast, Posey, Rutherford, Spano, Steube, Waltz, Yoho/FL; Allen, Carter, Collins, Ferguson, Graves, Hice, A.Scott, Woodall/GA; Fulcher, Simpson/ID; Bost, R.Davis, Kinzinger, LaHood, Lipinski, Shimkus/IL; Baird, Banks, Brooks, Bucshon, Hollingsworth, Pence, Walorski/IN; King/IA; Estes, Marshall, Watkins/KS; Barr, Comer, Guthrie, Rogers/KY; Abraham, Graves, Higgins, Johnson, Scalise/LA; Harris/MD; Amash(I), Bergman, Huizenga, Mitchell, Moolenaar, Upton, Walberg/MI; Emmer, Hagedorn, Peterson, Stauber/MN; Guest, Kelly, Palazzo/MS; Graves, Hartzler, Luetkemeyer, Smith, Wagner/MO; Gianforte/MT; Bacon, Fortenberry, Smith/NE; Amodei/NV; Smith, VanDrew/NJ; Katko, King, Reed, Stefanik, Zeldin/NY; Bishop, Budd, Foxx, 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; Fitzpatrick, Joyce, Keller, Kelly, Meuser, Perry, Reschenthaler, Smucker, Thompson/PA; Duncan, Norman, Rice, Timmons, Wilson/SC; Johnson/SD; Burchett, DesJarlais, Fleischmann, Kustoff, Roe, Rose/TN; Arrington, Babin, Burgess, Carter, Cloud, Conaway, Crenshaw, Flores, Gooden, Hurd, McCaul, Olson, Ratcliffe, Roy, Taylor, Thornberry, Weber, Williams, Wright/TX; Bishop, Curtis, McAdams, 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 “no”/anti-Life: Sewell/AL; Gallego, Kirkpatrick, 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, 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; Johnson, McBath, D.Scott/GA; Case/HI; Bustos, Casten, D.Davis, Foster, Garcia, Kelly, Krishnamoorthi, 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, Phillips/MN; Thompson/MS; Clay, Cleaver/MO; Horsford, Lee, Titus/NV; Kuster, Pappas/NH; Gottheimer, Kim, Malinowski, Norcross, Pallone, Pascrell, Payne, Sherrill, 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, Rice, Rose, Serrano, Suozzi, Tonko, Velazquez/NY; Adams, Butterfield, Price/NC; Beatty, Fudge, Kaptur, Ryan/OH; Horn/OK; Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio, Schrader/OR; Boyle, Cartwright, Dean, Doyle, Evans, Houlahan, Lamb, Scanlon, Wild/PA; Cicilline, Langevin/RI; Cunningham/SC; Cohen, Cooper/TN; Allred, Castro, Escobar, Fletcher, Garcia, Gonzalez, Green, Jackson-Lee, Johnson, Veasey, Vela/TX; Welch/VT; Beyer, Connolly, Luria, McEachin, Scott, Spanberger, Wexton/VA; DelBene, Heck, Jayapal, Kilmer, Larsen, Schrier, Smith/WA; Kind, Moore, Pocan/WI.

Not voting: Byrne/AL; Grijalva/AZ; Pelosi/CA; Dunn, Rooney, Webster/FL; Bishop, Lewis, Loudermilk/GA; Gabbard/HI; Massie/KY; Long/MO; Sires/NJ; Holding/NC; Mullin/OK; Clyburn/SC; Green/TN; Brady, Cuellar, Doggett, Gohmert, Granger, Marchant/TX.