Life Advocacy Briefing

June 22, 2020

Time for Truth / ‘Protect Life’ Rule Upheld
Abortion Advocacy on the World Stage
Chipping Away at Campus Advocacy
Satanist Loses Lawsuit Against Missouri Informed Consent Law
‘Life or Death’ Election / Fighting the Heavy Hand of Government

Time for Truth

A RECENT CBS NEWS POLL SHOWS YET AGAIN that many – if not most – Americans have no clue as to the actual effect of the 1973 Roe v. Wade edict.

Though 55% of the 1,309 persons surveyed – of whom 454 called themselves Democrats and just 331 identified as Republicans – “want to see greater abortion restrictions or to see it entirely outlawed,” reports Nancy Flanders for Live Action, 63% “said [Roe v. Wade] should remain as is.”

Roe is cited always as the precedent for blocking any limit on abortion. But polls such as the recent CBS opinion survey demonstrate that using Roe as political shorthand has served to confuse and discourage voters who actually believe abortion should be illegal or significantly circumscribed.

These findings underscore the value in Life Advocacy Resource Project’s Winning with Life counsel to candidates to speak clearly about the reforms they advocate and about their opponents’ camouflage of their radical opposition to such commonsense proposals as parental notification, tax- funding bans and late-term abortion prohibitions.

“While Roe v. Wade legalized abortion,” notes Ms. Flanders, “its sister ruling, Doe v. Bolton, ensured that abortion could be committed up until birth for any reason, including the categories of ‘physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman’s age.’ A 2013 survey,” reports Live Action, “found that many Americans don’t truly know the ramifications of Roe v. Wade.”

And as long as pro-life candidates trust advice from professional consultants and party advisors to simply “admit” to being “pro-life” and then get off the subject, average voters are unlikely ever to grasp the implications of their own votes, let alone the reality of Roe/Doe’s actual consequences.


‘Protect Life’ Rule Upheld

A U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE IN MAINE HAS DISMISSED a Maine Family Planning lawsuit seeking to block the Trump Administration’s Protect Life Rule, which disqualifies from Title X (Ten) “family planning” grants any outfit which commits or refers for abortions.

Judge Lance Walker, reports Paul Smeaton for, “judged that the ‘rule authorizes nondirective counseling, including abortion counseling; it only prohibits an abortion referral.’

“The Protect Life Rule,” notes Mr. Smeaton, “requires ‘clear financial and physical separation between Title X-funded projects and programs or facilities where abortion is a method of family planning’ and bans ‘referral for abortion as a method of family planning.’ The abortion lobby has responded,” writes Mr. Smeaton, “with multiple lawsuits.”

Maine Family Planning’s suit was among them. Citing the Bangor Daily News as source, LifeSiteNews reports “Maine Family Planning receives ‘a little more than $2 million in Title X money each year, which was disbursed to its 18 owner-operated healthcare centers across the state.’ A spokesperson for the organization said that is about 30% of their total revenue. …

“When the lawsuit was launched last year,” writes Mr. Smeaton, “MFP CEO George Hill said that the new rule on federal funding ‘threatens the very existence of’ MFP’s 18 centers, all of which reportedly offer abortions in the same buildings, although they say that the abortion businesses operate independently.”


Abortion Advocacy on the World Stage

THE MINORITY MEMBERS OF THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE sent a letter, dated June 8, to John Barsa, Acting Administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) expressing “alarm” about the agency’s May 18 demand to the UN Secretary General that “sexual and reproductive health” be removed from the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan for Covid-19.

The letter was organized by Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and co-signed by Democratic Senators Dick Durbin (IL), Benjamin Cardin (MD), Edward Markey (MA), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Jeffrey Merkley (OR), Patrick Leahy (VT), Tim Kaine (VA), Patty Murray (WA) and Tammy Baldwin (WI). The name of Sen. Chris VanHollen (D-MD) was printed as a signatory, without his signature.

“We are alarmed,” the Menendez team wrote, “that you oppose the inclusion of SRH, which,” they claimed, “covers a wide range of essential healthcare services and that you have erroneously defined this reference to only mean abortion,” though worldwide abortion is indeed what is sought by the UN’s insistence that “SRH” be included in a plethora of UN documents and declarations.

The Democratic Senators go on to say they are “alarmed that the executive branch would yet again falsely assert that the UN supports or promotes abortion as a method of family planning” – a fact which is self-evident at the UN and in its bureaucracies day after day.

Overlooking the fact that US voters in 2016 rejected an abortion fanatic as their President, the Foreign Relations panel Minority Members go on to complain, “The United States is undermining this [UN-assembled] consensus [including abortion in what they call SRH] and undercutting the vital role of UN agencies working to meet the full spectrum of essential community needs … .”

Further carrying out the priorities of their political backers in the abortion industry, the Senators insist, “Ensuring continued access to comprehensive SRH care [read: abortion] is critical to stated priorities of the US government’s development investments, including women’s economic empowerment, reducing maternal and infant mortality and morbidity, and advancing HIV prevention, care and treatment efforts.” Rubbish!


Chipping Away at Campus Advocacy

THREE UNIVERSITIES HAVE DECIDED TO DELETE PLANNED PARENTHOOD from their Internet websites’ student resource pages after reviewing information supplied by Students for Life Action, reports Nancy Flanders for Live Action.

More than 70 Christian schools “received a letter of concern” from the national collegiate organization, notes Ms. Flanders, “regarding [Planned Parenthood’s] promotion of the abortion industry to students.”

Lubbock Christian University, which is affiliated with Churches of Christ in Texas, reports Live Action, “replaced the Planned Parenthood information with a link to a local, pro-life pregnancy center.” The others which removed the Planned Parenthood listing, reports Ms. Flanders, were “Clarks Summit University, a Baptist college in Pennsylvania, and Pepperdine University, affiliated with the Churches of Christ in California.”

The three schools follow similar action by two Catholic institutions, according to Ms. Flanders. “In the fall,” she writes, “Seattle University – a Catholic school – also removed Planned Parenthood from its website after being contacted by Students for Life, and the Catholic school College of St. Scholastica removed links to Planned Parenthood in March. …

“According to Students for Life’s research,” notes Ms. Flanders, “79% of all abortion businesses are located within five miles of colleges.”


Satanist Loses Lawsuit Against Missouri Informed Consent Law

THE ST. LOUIS-BASED 8th CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS on June 9 dismissed a lawsuit challenging a Missouri informed consent law, agreeing with a district court ruling last year, reports Associated Press (AP).

The suit had been brought by an anonymous woman, calling herself “Judy Doe,” who argued, notes AP, “the law violates her religious freedom as a Satanic Temple member. …

“At issue is a law,” explains AP, “requiring women, before they can get an abortion, to receive a pamphlet that states: ‘The life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.’”

The opinion of the Appeals Court stated, reports AP, “that the case demonstrates why Missouri wasn’t wrong to promote viewpoints on Life that Doe argued align with the Catholic religion. ‘Any theory of when life begins necessarily aligns with some religious beliefs and not others,’ the court wrote. ‘So, under Doe’s theory, Missouri’s only option would be to avoid legislating in this area altogether,’” a course the court apparently found inappropriate.


‘Life or Death’ Election

June 16, 2020, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

            There’s a first time for everything – including, it turns out, agreeing with Planned Parenthood. “This is literally,” the group’s acting president Alexis McGill Johnson said, “a life or death election.” She’s right. But America’s biggest abortion business must not have any use for the “life” part of that equation, announcing Monday that they’d officially endorsed Democrat Joe Biden for President.

            To most people, it was never a question of “if” – but the biggest surprise may be when. In 2016, the abortion titan wasted no time jumping into the ring for Hillary Clinton, who turned out to be the organization’s first official endorsement for President. This time around, Johnson and company waited until there was literally no other option to put whatever weight they have behind President Trump’s opponent. “Americans need a President who will empower women, families and young people,” Johnson said. (Although no one is quite sure how killing a child is empowering [her or him].)

            Just over a year after Biden’s Hyde Amendment flip-flop heard ’round the world, Planned Parenthood seems confident that even more spoils will be theirs for the taking under the former Vice President, who’s recanted every moderate stance on the issue he ever held. Under his Administration, Biden promises a return to international abortion funding, Title X dollars, taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, legalized infanticide, pro-abortion Supreme Court justices and Obama-era strong-arm tactics against faith-based groups who object to abortion coverage in health care.

            Any American who thinks Biden is a “moderate” option on Life is mistake, Johnson makes clear. “When he left the Senate, Vice Pres. Joe Biden had a 100% voting record from Planned Parenthood Action Fund and has been clear he is ‘100% for sexual and reproductive health.’ And we are going to hold him to that.”

            According to Forbes, they’ll have plenty of money to try. Based on financial reports, Planned Parenthood’s action arm is determined to spend triple what it did on Hillary Clinton, putting an astonishing $45 million on the table for the 2020 election. Thanks to the forced contributions from taxpayers – more than a half-billion dollars’ worth – Johnson can invest more in the political process than ever. And while her PAC can’t technically use tax dollars to lobby for Biden, it certainly gives them more flexibility to try.

            Meanwhile, in a country locked in a coast-to-coast battle over abortion, aligning with Planned Parenthood means Biden’s veneer of reasonability is gone. The contrast between the two major candidates on Life has never been starker or more revealing about where they want to take the nation. Donald Trump is “dangerous,” all right – but only to the radical agenda he’s spent three and a-half years dismantling. If you want an end to that progress, then Planned Parenthood is right: Joe Biden’s your guy.

June 16, 2020, Commentary by former Reagan domestic policy advisor Gary Bauer

            Yesterday, Planned Parenthood formally endorsed Joe Biden for President. In announcing the endorsement, Alexis McGill Johnson, acting president of Planned Parenthood, said, “This is literally a life-and-death election.”

            For once I agree with Planned Parenthood – this is about life and death. But I reach a different conclusion. They want the candidate who will guarantee more dead babies. The Trump/Pence team is committed to defending innocent life.

            The Trump campaign blasted Planned Parenthood and Biden’s pro-abortion extremism, saying: “In an effort to conform to the far left’s agenda, Biden is now calling for zero restrictions on abortion and wants to force taxpayers to foot the bill. Biden has also made promises to ‘codify Roe v. Wade’ … . In sharp contrast, Pres. Trump is the most pro-life President in history and has safeguarded the rights of the unborn.” …


Fighting the Heavy Hand of Government

June 10, 2020, report from

            In the aftermath of Covid-19-related religious liberty lawsuits, the Thomas More Society has now sued the State of Illinois to challenge a law requiring all health insurance policies sold in the state to provide coverage for elective chemical and surgical abortions, with no exemptions – even for churches.

            On June 10, the Thomas More Society filed a complaint in the Sangamon County Circuit Court, charging the state with abuses of the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Illinois Healthcare Right of Conscience Act in relation to the abortion insurance mandate. The case was filed on behalf of a Baptist church association [Illinois Baptist Assn.], a dental practice and its owner [Flossmoor dental practice Southland Smiles, Ltd.] and a freight company and its owner [Sterling-based trucking company Rock River Cartage]. The lawsuit charges that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the Dept. of Insurance and its director, Robert Muriel, have refused to protect the plaintiffs’ sincerely held religious beliefs, which forbid them from funding and providing coverage for elective abortions.

            Under an expansive abortion law that was passed with a straight-party-lines vote by Democratic state legislators and Gov. Pritzker, the “Reproductive Health Act” mandates that every health insurance plan in Illinois that provides pregnancy-related benefits must also provide coverage for abortion. The law, rushed through the legislature over the 2019 Memorial Day weekend, requires private health insurance companies to cover abortion procedures, giving everyone who participates financially in that plan – employees, employers and the company – no way to opt out.

            “Radical partisans have forced employers of faith in Illinois into a terrible choice: either pay for the intentional termination of unborn children or leave your employees’ families and your own without health insurance,” explained Peter Breen, Thomas More Society vice president and senior counsel. “The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly condemned this sort of government coercion against people of faith, including in the 2014 Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. decision. Illinois law protects the sincerely held beliefs of our state’s nonprofits and businesses, but our state’s politicians and bureaucrats have sat silent in response to the conscientious objections of people of faith to paying for elective abortions.”

            The case seeks judicial review of the abortion coverage mandate, asking the court to declare it unlawful, and also asks for an injunction prohibiting the State of Illinois from enforcing the abortion coverage requirements against these employers and their health insurance providers.

            “This forced coverage of abortion is a blatant violation of the religious and conscience rights of Illinoisans,” explained Breen. “While the secular forces behind this mandate often erroneously object to any influence of religion on the state, here they had no hesitation in wielding state power against our sincerely held, commonsense religious beliefs, which compel us to avoid paying for health insurance of abortion.

            “Gov. Pritzker and his administration have run roughshod over the religious freedoms of Illinoisans from shuttering churches during Covid-19 to forcing people of faith to pay for elective abortions,” declared Breen. “The people of Illinois shouldn’t have to sue to have their fundamental religious rights recognized, but just as we succeeded in reopening our state’s churches through vigorous court actions, we will fight this abortion insurance mandate until it is reversed.”