Life Advocacy Briefing

May 25, 2020

Observing our Nation’s Fallen / ‘Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste’
Using a Pandemic to Promote Abortion / Going to Court in a Good Cause
Signers of the Abortion Defunding Amicus Brief
New Champions Enter the Arena

Observing our Nation’s Fallen

THOUGH OUR NATION’s ATTENTION IS LARGELY FOCUSED on today’s battle against an infectious virus, Memorial Day calls us to remember the sacrifices of those who have truly fought battles – to the death – against enemies of our system, our people and our way of life. We ask our readers to join us in remembering those who have given all to establish and preserve the United States of America. Though admittedly tempted to invoke the holiday to take another break from publishing Life Advocacy Briefing, we did find enough news worthy of our readers’ attention to proceed this week – some of it admittedly aging. But we cannot open a Memorial Day edition without thanking our Lord for the sacrifices that have gone before us. Surely this is more than a day for cookouts and always has been.



‘Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste’

PLANNED PARENTHOOD HIT THE NEWS again last week with the discovery that 37 affiliates of the abortion industry’s biggest business had applied for – and received – some $80 million in “small business” forgivable loans through the federal government’s massive small business relief package. The outrageous news first broke on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” last Tuesday evening.

Just days earlier, a “senior Administration official” had told The Daily Signal, reports Daily Signal writer Rachel delGuidice. “The Trump Administration has acted to ensure that no funds from the new Paycheck Protection Program, set up to assist small businesses battered by COVID-19, will go to Planned Parenthood.” But numerous Planned Parenthood affiliates – financially joined to Planned Parenthood of America – did apply for the funding, and someone at SBA let the dollars flow.

Once the slush was uncovered, the SBA now, report Fox News writers Gregg Re and Alex Pfeiffer, “is reaching out to each involved Planned Parenthood affiliate, explaining that affiliates of larger organizations with more than 500 employees aren’t eligible for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) distributions, Fox News is told. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) alone,” note the two Fox reporters, “has had more than 600 employees.”

The affiliates are being sent letters advising them to return the money for which they were ineligible despite their having “self-certified” their eligibility. The letter also warns the ineligible recipients “more ‘severe penalties’ were possible,” reports Fox News, “beyond mandatory repayment. In particular, incorrect or false eligibility certifications by PPP recipients could result in criminal or civil sanctions if the SBA determined borrowers made knowingly false statements.”

The report cites one Planned Parenthood affiliate in Washington, DC, (PPMetropolitan Washington), as having received a $1,328,000 Paycheck Protection Program loan.” Such “loans” are ultimately grants for businesses which retain their employees despite the economic shutdowns. “The largest single government loan,” write the Fox News reporters, “was a $7.5 million allotment to the Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties in California.”

Not only are they ineligible as affiliates of a massive business enterprise; the emergency funding was intended to assist businesses which were COVID-closed to maintain payroll in order to survive the shutdown and eventually reopen, but many Planned Parenthood affiliates were never shuttered, as many of the states insisted on rating abortion shops as “essential” businesses and the surgeries they engage in as “essential health care.”

Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) have called for an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s acquisition of funding intended to aid small businesses caught in the COVID-19 crossfire. The two Senators, reports Fox News, “said the money needed to be returned, warning that criminal prosecution may be appropriate. [Senators] Rick Scott (R-FL) and James Lankford (R-OK) also demanded,” write Mr. Re and Mr. Pfeiffer, “Planned Parenthood return the funds.”

Sen. Rubio is widely acknowledged to be the architect of the emergency small business relief program. He is also widely acknowledged to be a committed pro-life Senator, who most certainly did not intend that an outfit like Planned Parenthood could ever qualify for such emergency funding.

“‘There is no ambiguity in the legislation that passed or public record around its passage,’” declared Sen. Rubio in responding to the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” revelation, “‘that organizations such as Planned Parenthood, whose parent organization has close to half-a-billion dollars in assets, is not eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program. Those funds must be returned immediately,’” he urged. “‘Furthermore, the SBA should open an investigation into how these loans were made in clear violation of the applicable affiliation rules, and if Planned Parenthood, the banks or staff at the SBA knowingly violated the law, all appropriate legal options should be pursued.’

“Later Tuesday evening,” the Fox News reporters note, Sen. “Hawley tweeted: ‘The money needs to be recovered, and if anybody knowingly falsified applications, they need to be prosecuted.’

“Added [Sen.] Scott: ‘Yet another example of the PPP program being misused. Florida’s taxpayers should not be footing to bail out a huge organization like Planned Parenthood. This money should be returned immediately.’

“[Sen.] Lankford, meanwhile, wrote,” report the Fox News writers, “that ‘every dollar Planned Parenthood took from PPP was a dollar that did not get to legitimate small businesses. With an annual budget of over one billion dollars and the explicit Small Business Administration affiliation rules made it clear that Planned Parenthood was not and is not eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program,’ [Mr.] Lankford wrote. ‘Like other large organizations that returned monies they were not eligible for, Planned Parenthood should immediately repay the American people the money they took from deserving small businesses and non-profits.’”

The report goes on to quote a spokesman for Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), who, write the journalists, “separately highlighted Planned Parenthood’s role as an abortion provider.

“‘Across the country,’” the SBA List spokesman told Fox News, “‘Planned Parenthood refused to cease its abortion operation in wake of the pandemic, hoarding personal protective equipment and putting its staff and women at risk. It is rich that they, in turn, feel entitled to taxpayer dollars meant to help businesses in need,’ the spokesperson continued. ‘After decades of feeding at the taxpayers’ trough while running the nation’s largest abortion operation, they have over a billion dollars in net assets. They should return this funding immediately. We thank Pres. Trump for his strong commitment to stop taxpayer funding of abortion and abortionists like Planned Parenthood.’”

The President and his negotiators have repeatedly had to exclude Planned Parenthood funding from COVID-19 response spending measures despite demands by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-SanFrancisco) that the abortion industry be subsidized without regard to Hyde Amendment restrictions.


Using a Pandemic to Promote Abortion

AMONG A GROWING LIST OF FUNDING DEMANDS hooked to the COVID-19 pandemic, United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appealed for $2 billion, reports Stefano Gennarini for C-Fam (Center for Family & Human Rights). His pitch – wouldn’t you know it – “repeatedly highlights ‘sexual and reproductive health and rights’ as a priority area of food security and health policy.

“Contradicting US state governors who want to concentrate all medical personnel on the coronavirus emergency,” notes Mr. Gennarini, the UN-affiliated “World Health Organization [WHO] officials and staff are promoting abortion as an ‘essential service.’”

Though the WHO COVID-19 manual acknowledges, reports C-Fam, “that there are no known complications related to pregnancy from the novel coronavirus,” the manual states, “‘Women’s choices and rights to sexual and reproductive health care should be respected irrespective of COVID-19 status, including access to contraception and safe abortion to the full extent of the law.’”

Furthermore, reports Mr. Gennarini, a WHO staffer participated in a webinar “hosted by a pro-abortion journal” recently, at which she “praised abortion groups urging governments to designate abortion ‘essential.’ She also promoted the WHO’s official view,” reports C-Fam, “that where access to abortion is difficult, women should self-administer abortions.”

The C-Fam writer further notes that the UN has published a manual stating “that medical personnel should refer for abortions even against their consciences. [The Secretary General’s] plan also allocates $140 million to the pro-abortion UN Population Fund.”


Going to Court in a Good Cause

THE U.S. SUPREME COURT HAS YET TO DECIDE whether it will hear an appeal by the State of South Carolina from a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upholding an injunction against a 2018 executive order by Gov. Henry McMaster (R-SC) barring Planned Parenthood and other abortionists from receiving Medicaid funds.

While South Carolina’s appeal petition awaits decision by the high court, an amicus (friend of the court) brief has been filed in the case by 29 US Senators and 108 Members of the US House, siding with the state.

“‘States have the right to deem their own Medicaid providers,’” said Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), quoted by Calvin Freiburger in a report, “‘and I stand with Gov. McMaster’s lawful decision to ensure public funds don’t go to organizations that perform abortions, like Planned Parenthood.”  Rep. Duncan was among the circulators of the brief among Members of Congress, joining Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) and South Carolina’s two GOP US Senators, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott.

“‘This is a battle on two fronts,’” Rep. Duncan continued in the LifeSiteNews report. “‘A fight for the unborn and the conscience of taxpayers and a fight for states’ authority to decide which providers qualify for funds. I’m hopeful,’” he said, “‘the Supreme Court will hear this consequential case.’ …

“Abortion advocates insist,” notes Mr. Freiburger, “that tax dollars to abortion-involved facilities for other purposes don’t support abortions, but pro-lifers warn that such subsidies ultimately enable abortion groups to commit more abortions by freeing up money from their other revenue services. Duke University healthcare analyst Chris Conover estimated in 2015,” he writes, “that taxpayers ultimately cover almost 25% of all abortion costs.”

We publish below the list, furnished by the Congressional circulators in a news release, of signers on the amicus brief.


Signers of the Abortion Defunding Amicus Brief

            GOP Senators Lindsey Graham & Tim Scott/SC, John Boozman & Tom Cotton/AR, Rick Scott/FL, Kelly Loeffler/GA, Michael Crapo & James Risch/ID, Mike Braun/IN, Joni Ernst & Charles Grassley/IA, Jerry Moran & Pat Roberts/KS, Bill Cassidy & John Kennedy/LA, Cindy Hyde-Smith & Roger Wicker/MS, Steve Daines/MT, Ben Sasse/NE, Thom Tillis/NC, Kevin Cramer/ND, James Inhofe & James Lankford/OK, Michael Rounds & John Thune/SD, Marsha Blackburn/TN, Ted Cruz/TX and John Barrasso & Michael Enzi/WY.

            GOP Representatives Jeff Duncan & Ralph Norman, Tom Rice, William Timmons & Joe Wilson/SC, GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy/CA & Whip Steve Scalise/LA, and Robert Aderholt, Mo Brooks/AL; Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar & Debbie Lesko/AZ; Bruce Westerman/AR; Doug LaMalfa/CA; Doug Lamborn/CO; Neal Dunn, Matt Gaetz, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Ross Spano, Gregory Steube, Michael Waltz, Daniel Webster & Ted Yoho/FL; Rick Allen, Earl Carter, Doug Collins, Drew Ferguson, Tom Graves, Jody Hice, Austin Scott & Rob Woodall/GA; Russ Fulcher/ID; Mike Bost, Adam Kinzinger, Darin LaHood, John Shimkus/IL; Jim Banks, Greg Pence & Jackie Walorski/IN; Steve King/IA; Roger Marshall & Steve Watkins/KS; Andy Barr, Brett Guthrie, Thomas Massie & Hal Rogers/KY; Ralph Abraham, Garret Graves & Mike Johnson/LA.

            Also GOP Representatives Andy Harris/MD; Paul Mitchell, John Moolenaar & Tim Walberg/MI; Tom Emmer & Pete Stauber/MN; Michael Guest & Steven Palazzo/MS; Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long & Jason Smith/MO; Greg Gianforte/MT; Jeff Fortenberry & Adrian Smith/NE; Christopher Smith/NJ; Dan Bishop, Tedd Budd, Gregory Murphy & David Rouzer/NC; Kelly Armstrong/ND; Steve Chabot, Warren Davidson, Bob Gibbs, Jim Jordan & Robert Latta/OH; Tom Cole & Kevin Hern/OK; John Joyce, Fred Keller, Mike Kelly, Scott Perry, Guy Reschenthaler & Glenn Thompson/PA; Dusty Johnson/SD; Tim Burchett, Mark Green & Phil Roe/TN; Jodey Arrington, Brian Babin, Kevin Brady, Michael Burgess, Michael Cloud, Michael Conaway, Dan Crenshaw, Bill Flores, Louie Gohmert, Lance Gooden, Kenny Marchant, Pete Olson, Randy Weber, Roger Williams & Ron Wright/TX; Rob Bishop & Chris Stewart/UT; Cathy McMorris Rogers/WA; Carol Miller & Alex Mooney/WV and Glenn Grothman/WI.


New Champions Enter the Arena

May 20, 2020, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            California conservatives haven’t exactly been riding a wave of great news lately, but last week’s special election was a victory everyone can savor. Former Navy fighter pilot Mike Garcia (R) stunned the media with a landslide victory outside Los Angeles, flipping the seat, and joining Tom Tiffany (R-WI) as the House’s newest Members. Now, barely hours into their new jobs, the two men aren’t giving just House Republicans a shot in the arm – but their pro-life plans too!

            Tiffany and Garcia had barely put their hands down from their Congressional swearing-in Tuesday when they set to work chipping away at the liberal agenda. As House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) points out, the GOP didn’t just put two more R’s in their column, they also added two champions to their unborn crusade. Garcia, who campaigned as “pro-life without exceptions,” and Tiffany, who already had practice voting for Born-Alive protections in Wisconsin, made one of their first official acts signing the Republicans’ discharge petition.

            “This is a really big deal,” Steve told me on [FRC’s podcast] Washington Watch. While New York and other states think it’s just fine to kill a newborn and call it abortion, House Republicans are fighting to give full protection to babies who were born alive. “[Speaker] Nancy Pelosi [D-CA] doesn’t want to bring this bill to the floor. So, we have one tool that’s rarely used in Congress called the discharge petition. And what it means is if 218 members of Congress sign on to that, then even though Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want it to come the floor, it automatically comes to the floor for a vote.” Why is this so important, he went on? “Because we now have – with today’s action, [205] signatures on this discharge petition. That’s how close we are – the closest probably any pro-life bill has ever come to being forced onto the floor over the pro-abortion Speaker.”

            Of course, Steve pointed out, the news that Republicans actually flipped a seat from California for the first time since 1998 was “earth shattering.” “The media never reported it, because they don’t want this narrative to go out [that] we can get the House back in November … and fire [Nancy Pelosi].” But even better than that, he explained, is that both men – Garcia and Tiffany – made this Born-Alive effort a priority. “It’s a major victory for the pro-life community that this has now become a rite of passage, that as soon as you get sworn in as a Republican Member of Congress in a special election, the first thing you want to do is sign that discharge petition to protect Life. And they both did it today. It was great to see that commitment to Life by these two new Members, including a Republican Member of Congress from Los Angeles.”

            As a lot of us have argued all along, there’s no reason for this to be a partisan issue. Extending the most basic rights to a child who survives an abortion is a matter of human dignity. And many Americans – Steve included – think it will be one of the big defining issues in November. “Joe Biden has taken the complete pro-abortion position. He’s against this Born-Alive Act. President Trump’s been a great champion, as we all know. He wants to sign this bill. And so, number one: We’ve got to keep President Trump in office. But we also need to get a Republican House. And I think we will … .” Americans are tired of Democrats in battleground states who campaign on things like Life and guns – and then they get to Washington and can’t even stand up for Life in even the most basic way – after the baby’s born.

            To almost every American but the liberals in Congress, this is a consensus issue. “A majority of people who define themselves as ‘pro-choice’ think it’s wrong to kill a baby after it’s born alive,” Steve explains. “And most of the questions I get on this, Tony, is why do you need a law to do this? Because people think it’s already illegal. I mean, to me, it’s murder. … And yet in some of these states like New York, it’s legal. And so we have a chance to make it illegal. And, you know, I’ve been a champion of this bill since [Rep.] Ann Wagner [R-MO] filed it. And we’re one step closer today with this action.”