Life Advocacy Briefing

May 18, 2020

Progress at the Ballot Box / Preferential Treatment
9th Circuit Refuses to Bow to Abortion Lobby
4th Circuit Mulling Protect Life Rule Enforcement
Undermining Medical Care / No Exception for Abortion!
Toward an Ethical Vaccine / Intentional Deception

Progress at the Ballot Box

WE INVITE OUR READERS TO JOIN US IN WELCOMING the two newest Members of Congress, both elected last Tuesday in special elections in California and Wisconsin.

The 25th District of California will now be represented by Republican Mike Garcia, a combat veteran who comes to Congress with the endorsement of the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), a major pro-life political action committee.

In an April 24 news release, the SBA List’s vice president of government affairs, former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, called Rep.-elect Garcia “an exemplary servant leader and a passionate advocate for families and community,” adding, “As a fighter pilot in the US Navy, Mike put his values in action defending freedom and democracy. He is dedicated to upholding our Constitution and has the courage to stand up to the abortion lobby in Washington. In contrast,” she said, Mr. Garcia’s Democratic opponent “Christy Smith is an extremist endorsed by radical pro-abortion groups. California does not need another rubber stamp for the Pelosi agenda, which includes forcing taxpayers to fund abortion-on-demand through birth.”

The GOP victory in the May 12 special election represents the first time the Republican Party has taken a California Congressional seat away from the Democratic Party since 1998. The election was called to fill a vacancy created by the scandal-driven resignation of first-term Rep. Katie Hill (D).

Last Tuesday’s second special election was in the 7th District of Wisconsin, unrepresented since pro-life GOP Rep. Sean Duffy resigned last fall to attend to his family when his unborn child was prenatally diagnosed with serious health challenges.

Welcome Rep.-elect Tom Tiffany, a two-term GOP state senator who previously served a term in the Wisconsin House. Here is how Mr. Tiffany’s campaign website defines his position on “protecting the unborn: As the dad of three daughters, Tom has seen the miracle of life firsthand. He is proud to be pro-life and to support Pres. Trump as he works to protect the unborn. A proven fighter for life, Tom has defunded Planned Parenthood at the state level and will work in Congress so no taxpayers’ dollars go to support abortions.” His biographical sketch on his website includes this further statement: “Tom has worked to cut taxes by more than $13 billion, defend the lives of the unborn and ensure our 2nd Amendment rights are protected.”

He handily defeated Democrat Tricia Zunker, who stated on her campaign website: “I am also a fierce defender of a woman’s right to choose and to make her own health decisions.”



Preferential Treatment

WHILE MUCH OF ILLINOIS’s ECONOMY CONTINUES PARALYZED by the virus-driven shutdown ordered by Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D), Planned Parenthood appears to be thriving. What other conclusion can one draw by the opening on May 12 of a new Planned Parenthood abortuary in the state’s far northeast corner?

In a news release issued last Wednesday, Illinois Right to Life executive director Mary Kate Knorr noted, “Gov. Pritzker reminds us every day in his press conferences that we are being confined to our homes so as to protect human life, yet a brand-new abortion clinic has been allowed to open. … Churches, schools and businesses are closed, but the nation’s largest killer of the unborn is expanding. Now is the time for righteous anger.

“This isn’t just about our state,” she said. “Thirteen percent of Illinois abortions are performed on out-of-state women. If you live in this country, you should be angry.”


9th Circuit Refuses to Bow to Abortion Lobby

THE 9th CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS LAST WEEK TURNED DOWN an abortion industry petition to rehear an appeal the cartel lost in the 9th Circuit last June before a three-judge panel.

An 11-judge panel in February affirmed the June ruling which had overturned a temporary restraining order barring the Trump Administration from enforcing its Protect Life Rule, under which abortionists are ineligible for Title X (Ten) funds. Planned Parenthood has, until Protect Life, received about $60 million annually from the federal “family planning” allotment.

Long accustomed to holding the 9th Circuit by a tight leash, the abortion lobby sought to have the February appeal reheard by a different 11-judge panel or by all 29 judges on the court, reports Calvin Freiburger for, citing Bloomberg as source.

“‘The full court has been advised of the petitions,’” said the Court in issuing the denial, “‘and no judge has requested a vote on whether to rehear the matter as a full court.’”


4th Circuit Mulling Protect Life Rule Enforcement

THE 4th CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS HEARD ORAL ARGUMENTS via phone and video conference May 7, reports Ann Marimow for the Washington Post, in an appeal of a February injunction against enforcing the Protect Life Rule in Maryland. The lawsuit has been brought by the city of Baltimore. All 15 of the Richmond-based court’s judges participated in the session.

The Protect Life Rule not only bars Title X (Ten) “family planning” funding recipients from committing abortions but also excludes outfits which furnish abortion referrals. “If a patient specifically asks for a referral,” writes Ms. Marimow, “providers can offer a list of primary healthcare providers but cannot answer patients’ questions about which providers on the list actually provide abortions.

“Justice Dept. lawyer Jaynie Lilley defended the restrictions as ‘reasonable and justified,’” reports the Washington Post, “and told the court Thursday the policy does not interfere with the doctor-patient relationship because it applies only to a limited federal program. She noted,” writes Ms. Marimow, “that 28 states are still participating under the new rules.”

The Washington Post report cites comments by Judges J. Harvie Wilkinson III and Paul V. Niemeyer, opining “that the rules seem to strike the proper balance by limiting how federal tax dollars are spent without infringing on a woman’s right to access abortion services. ‘Individuals do get to exercise what the Supreme Court has said is a fundamental right, but taxpayers also have a right here not to fund something that is basically objectionable,’ said [Judge] Wilkinson” in the Post, “adding that ‘if we destroy this compromise in federal funding, we’re leaving only the absolute positions.’”

Baltimore’s attorney Andrew Tutt “called the Administration’s rule a ‘jarring change,’” writes Ms. Marimow, “in how the program had operated under past Administrations led by Presidents from both parties.”


Undermining Medical Care

WHILE MUCH OF THE NATION is accepting the availability of “telemedicine” as a means for medical patients to communicate with their physicians while avoiding viral hotspots like emergency rooms and doctors’ waiting rooms, lawmakers in Pennsylvania were dismayed to see Gov. Tom Wolf (D) veto a measure expanding telemed options in his state. It just seemed so counter to the pandemic-inspired expansion of the technology-based tool.

Was he determined not to advance a distancing of the physician-patient relationship? Some hesitate to embrace computer-aided remote medical consultation. But that was not what prompted the Wolf veto.

A statement he made in response to public outcry over his veto reveals his actual motivation. Quoted by Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation legislative director Maria Gallagher, writing in National Right to Life News, “the governor said, ‘As amended, this bill interferes with women’s health care and the crucial decision-making between patients and their physicians.’”

So for the sake of the abortion lobby’s campaign to expand telemed abortions, Gov. Wolf vetoed a measure designed to promote medical care at a time when people with serious – though not COVID-19-related – health challenges are looking to telemed as a relatively safe alternative, simply because pro-life lawmakers had amended the bill to exclude abortion from the measure’s applications.

“The truth is,” writes Ms. Gallagher, “the amendment would have safeguarded women’s health and safety by ensuring that dangerous medication was not dispensed without a physician physically present. RU-486 has a host of harmful side effects – everything from excessive bleeding to vomiting, nausea, even death.” And it is for prescription and dispensing of the abortion drug that Planned Parenthood has attempted to establish telemed “consultations” across America.

Ms. Gallagher goes on to note Gov. Wolf’s exceptional relationship with the abortion goliath, reminding readers that the governor is “a former clinic escort for Planned Parenthood” and reminding readers that “two years ago, the abortion behemoth Planned Parenthood made public its plans to spend a whopping $1.5 million to re-elect [Mr.] Wolf, whose radical pro-abortion stance is considered at odds with Pennsylvania’s mainstream. He has routinely vetoed pro-life legislation, including a ban on brutal dismemberment abortions and a bill which would have banned the abortion of preborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome.


No Exception for Abortion!

A U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE KRISTINE BAKER HAS REJECTED Arkansas’ sole surgical abortuary’s petition for a temporary restraining order against Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s executive order limiting elective abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though the order did not exclude elective abortions entirely, it did, reports Dave Andrusko for National Right to Life News, require “that a patient test negative for COVID-19 at least 48 hours before the surgical procedure,” limit surgeries to “‘out-patient’ procedures” and require a surgical facility to “have an ‘ample supply’ of personal protective equipment.”

The abortion facility, aided by the ACLU, objected to applying the governor’s limitations on surgery to surgical abortions, but Judge Baker refused to stay the governor’s order at the behest of the abortuary. The judge presides in the Eastern District of Arkansas and was appointed by Pres. Obama.


Toward an Ethical Vaccine

May 7, 2020, Live Action News report by Anne Marie Williams

            In the May issue of its monthly publication On Point, the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List, assessed the ethical concerns surrounding a number of COVID-19 vaccine programs currently being studied for potential use by the public. There has been a great deal of public concern that a vaccine might utilize cells or tissue from aborted babies.

            According to the Lozier Institute, “the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) identified 115 COVID-19 vaccines in development. At least 78 of these vaccine development initiatives were confirmed to be actively underway. However, many of these active projects are still only at the laboratory investigation stage, with many different biological strategies being investigated.” Of these 78 vaccine development initiatives, the Lozier Institute created a table of 16 initiatives that are “now in registered trials or in early stages of pre-clinical development.”

            Out of the 16 listed, five of them, all of which seek to manufacture “replication-deficient (RD) adenoviruses,” present ethical concerns because they utilize cells taken from electively aborted babies. As the Lozier Institute points out, “The use of cells from electively aborted fetuses for vaccine production makes these five COVID-19 vaccine programs unethical, because they exploit innocent human beings who were aborted.”

            Lozier researchers note that some will say vaccines developed now are using derivatives of cells from babies aborted in the distant past and thus pose no ethical concern, but the researchers point out that “the connection line” between the abortion and the current vaccine still exists. They argue: “The possibility of conscientious objection by those to whom a vaccine is offered creates ethical demands on the policymakers, healthcare officials, scientists, vaccine creators and funders, whether or not they themselves have an ethical concern because of the question of access to the vaccine by the entire citizenry in good conscience. This is especially true if alternative production methods and vaccines are available for which there is no ethical question.”

            In June of 2019, the US Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) ruled that it would no longer fund research using new fetal remains obtained from elective abortions but would allow research using already-obtained fetal remains from elective abortions that took place prior to the rule. Besides the five unethical vaccine initiatives, one vaccine initiative’s ethical status is unclear because it is unknown whether cells from aborted babies were used.

            That leaves 10 vaccine initiatives that pose no ethical quandaries, of which two have received nearly half-a-billion dollars in funding from the US government thus far.

            The Lozier Institute notes that even the five unethical vaccine initiatives have the potential to become ethical if they would use cells from amniocentesis, which have long been available for research use, rather than cells from aborted babies. The bulletin concludes, “Adherence to the highest ethical standards in science and medicine serves all humanity, because it values the dignity of every human life and respects the consciences of all, without exploitation of any group.”

[Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: The Lozier Institute publishes a chart of 16 vaccine candidates under various trial stages, characterizing five as “unethical,” ten as “ethical” and one whose ethical status Lozier terms “indeterminate,” as relates to use of aborted fetal tissue in vaccine development.

The five “unethical” vaccine candidates Lozier identifies include two in Red China (CanSino Biologics, Inc., and Institute of Biotech/Academy of Military Medical Sciences), one from the UK (U. of Oxford) and two from the USA (Janssen Research & Development, Inc., and U. of Pittsburgh).

The ten “ethical” vaccine candidates, according to Lozier, include two in Red China (both at Shenzhen Geno-immune Medical Institute), one in Canada (Symvivo Corp.), one from S. Korea (Inovio Phamaceuticals/Korea Nat’l Institute of Health) and six from the United States (Nat’l Institutes of Health NIAID with Moderna, Inc.; Inovio Pharmaceuticals; Protein Sciences – Sanofi Co.; Sanofi & Translate Bio, and two at John Paul II Medical Research Institute).

The one of “indeterminate ethical status” is being conducted in Red China at Sinovac Biotech Co.]


Intentional Deception

May 13, 2020, commentary by Jonathon VanMaren

            As the debate over whether the cure is worse than the disease with regard to the COVID-19 lockdowns grows, progressives are responding to the suggestion of some that it may be time to loosen restrictions by leveling their favorite criticism at Republicans and conservatives: See? You’re not pro-life at all!

            The headlines are nearly nonstop, with Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post leading the charge. Rubin is one of those commentators who, for entirely mysterious reasons, gets called “conservative” despite the fact that she holds no conservative positions on social issues, fawns embarrassingly over Joe Biden and loathes Donald Trump so much that her Twitter feed often prompts genuine concern from those who peruse it. In fact, I would have had no idea she was conservative if her Twitter bio hadn’t told me.

            Rubin, who is herself pro-abortion, has decided that tearing into conservatives over the alleged hypocrisy of being both a) opposed to aborting babies in the womb and b) skeptical that sweeping lockdowns will not cause more harm than good, is a fruitful line of attack. On April 14, for example, she produced a column titled “The GOP is not a pro-life party,” apparently assuming that that could persuade readers that she is a good judge of who is and who is not pro-life.

            A few days later on April 20, she penned another angry column titled “Rolling back the curtain on the not-all-that-pro-life movement.” And then, just in case we all hadn’t gotten the point, Rubin inflicted another fresh portion of confusing accusations on her editors with a May 6 column titled “At least we can dump the pretense that the GOP is the ‘pro-life’ party.” This column, too, made the same tired point: Republicans who disagree with Rubin on the best way to respond to the COVID-19 crisis are obviously pro-death, mostly because they disagree with her. And because they oppose butchering babies in the womb while disagreeing with her, this makes them hypocrites. This accusation is so boring and clichéd that I’m somewhat surprised that it took Rubin three columns to articulate it.

            As leading pro-life apologist Scott Klusendorf, the author of The Case for Life and Pro-Life 101noted on my podcast last week, the pro-life position is that we can never intentionally kill an innocent human being. That’s it. Pro-lifers can radically differ (and do) on the best economic models, foreign policy, taxes and the welfare state, just so long as they oppose killing innocent human beings. The idea that declining to endorse Jennifer Rubin’s preferred economic reopening strategy (and it is unsurprising that a woman who can work and earn her paycheck from home isn’t in much of a hurry to end the lockdowns) means that someone isn’t pro-life, is idiotic.

            Progressives like Rubin – especially those claiming to be conservative in order to get on the payrolls of media organizations who then pay them to attack and berate their “fellow” conservatives – like to accuse pro-lifers of hypocrisy because it kills two birds with one stone.  First, they get to discredit opponents of killing pre-born children, which they very much want to do. Second, they get to distract people from the fact that they do support killing pre-born children in the womb by pretending they are pro-life because they support preferred policy X and the anti-abortion folks do not. Win-win.

            Jennifer Rubin and the rest of the pundits who support the legal destruction of human beings in the womb appear to think it is a clever gotcha move to take the slogan of a movement dedicated to fighting the legal destruction of human beings in the womb and turn it against us. If they were not so blinded by partisan rage – or capable of attempting to understand the motives and positions of their ideological opponents – perhaps they wouldn’t produce such drivel.

            Being “pro-life” means one thing: opposing the killing of innocent human beings. It does not mean “having a policy disagreement with Jennifer Rubin.” Somebody should tell her that.