Life Advocacy Briefing

July 13, 2020

Late on Our Promise / ‘Little Sisters’ Win High Court Ruling on Conscience Rights
Urgent Appeal to the Attorney General / Right This Time
Shifting Gears? Not Really! / Biden on Board for Unlimited Abortion
On the Record, Seeking Justice / Democratic Party Platform Planks from 2016

Late on Our Promise

WE HAD PROMISED WE WOULD PUBLISH the 2016 Democratic Party platform sections affecting the right to Life just a week after reprinting the GOP 2016 Life platform planks, but in all our stew over the Supreme Court’s atrocious ruling against Louisiana’s abortuary regulation, we missed our deadline on that! So, you will find it at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing; the GOP planks were near the close of our June 29 edition. Please forgive!


‘Little Sisters’ Win High Court Ruling on Conscience Rights

THIS TIME, THE SUPREME COURT GOT IT RIGHT. In a 7-to-2 ruling last Wednesday, the Supreme Court declared, reports Tyler Olson for, “that the Trump Administration acted within its authority when it expanded exemptions to the Affordable Care Act’s requirement for employers to provide insurance coverage that includes contraception.”

The victory came in the lawsuit between Little Sisters of the Poor and the state of Pennsylvania, which sought to block the Trump Administration from exempting the Roman Catholic humanitarian organization from ObamaCare’s contraception coverage mandate.

Justices Ruth Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor voted against the majority; Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Stephen Breyer, Neil Gorsuch, Elena Kagan, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas voted to allow the Administration to honor the conscience rights of the respected order.

The majority opinion was written by Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote, quoted in the Fox News report, “‘For over 150 years, the Little Sisters have engaged in faithful service and sacrifice, motivated by a religious calling to surrender all for the sake of their brother. … But for the past seven years, they – like many other religious objectors who have participated in the litigation and rulemakings leading up to today’s decision – have had to fight for the ability to continue in their noble work without violating their sincerely held religious beliefs.’ He added: ‘We hold today that the Departments had the statutory authority to craft that exemption, as well as the contemporaneously issued moral exemption. We further hold that the rules promulgating these exemptions are free from procedural defects.’”

In an interview earlier this year with Fox News Channel’s Shannon Bream, quoted by Mr. Olson, a spokesman for Little Sisters, Sister Constance Veit, called the ObamaCare contraception mandate “‘unthinkable. … We dedicate our lives to this because we believe in the dignity of every human life at every stage of life from conception until natural death,’ [Ms.] Veit said. ‘So, we’ve devoted our lives – by religious vows – to caring for the elderly. And we literally are by their bedside holding their hand as they pass on to eternal life. So, it’s unthinkable for us, on the one way, to be holding the hand of the dying elderly, and on the other hand, to possibly be facilitating the taking of innocent unborn life.’”


Urgent Appeal to the Attorney General

MORE THAN 60 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS joined Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) in sending a letter June 26 to Atty. Gen. William Barr reminding him of the release five years ago of “gruesome undercover videos exposing the monetization of baby body parts by Planned Parenthood. We publish, with appreciation, the names of the letter signers near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.

“As you may recall,” the letter says, “public outrage against the Center for Medical Progress’s (CMP) videos spurred a high-profile probe by the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Just last month,” the letter continues, “CMP published another video, on May 26, 2020, including recently unsealed sworn testimony from Planned Parenthood executives about the sale of body parts from aborted babies. This recent media underscores Planned Parenthood’s role in the trafficking of aborted baby body parts.”

The letter reminds the Attorney General that the Congressional investigations prompted several letters to the Dept. of Justice “requesting follow-up on multiple criminal referrals” and notes that the department confirmed receipt of those letters.

“That, however, was several years ago,” the Congressional signers point out. “Considering the new data, we respectfully request the Dept. of Justice to provide a written update on the status of criminal referrals, including referrals of Planned Parenthood affiliates made by the House Select Panel on Infant Lives.”

To be sure Atty. Gen. Barr – who is very busy, after all – gets the point, the letter goes on: “In a shocking compilation of incriminating testimonies released in May, Planned Parenthood executives openly admit to trafficking human fetal tissue from aborted infants. For instance, uncovered exchanges in the video footage between Dorothy Ferguson MD, the director of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte and research company StemExpress outline a contract for PPMM to sell fetal body parts to StemExpress at a rate of $65 per useable specimen. In total, the CMP projects PPMM profited $250,000 in revenue from fetal tissue sales. This admission,” the letter notes, “is not only morally repugnant, to strip an unborn child for parts and sell them to the highest bidder, it is also a federal crime. …

“Given this new information, and in conjunction with Planned Parenthood’s erroneous application and qualification for $80 million in taxpayer dollars in the form of Paycheck Protection Program loans, we feel it is particularly appropriate at this time to request an update on the status of the Department’s investigation into Planned Parenthood and its affiliates. After intentionally siphoning millions of dollars in PPP loans from small businesses in need, it is clear Planned Parenthood continues to engage in legally suspect actions that merit investigation.”

The letter closes: “We respectfully request that the Dept. of Justice not only provide an update on the status of their investigation but an explanation of steps it is taking to prioritize the enforcement of fetal trafficking laws altogether.”


Right This Time

THE SUPREME COURT DID MANAGE to get some things right, after their disgraceful failure to uphold Louisiana’s abortuary regulation law. In a 5-to-3 ruling on June 29, the high court ruled, reports Live Action, “that the federal government can limit funding for international organizations based on their policy positions, … that the United States government is free to require international affiliates of US organizations that receive US aid to comply with certain guidelines if they are to continue receiving American taxpayer funding.”

At stake, reports Live Action, was “a rule of the federal government’s international aid agency, USAID, which was upheld. USAID’s rule says that foreign affiliates of humanitarian organizations must have policies opposing prostitution and sex trafficking in order to receive any US funding to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Foreign organizations,” Live Action explains, “said this rule was a violation of their free speech, but [the Supreme Court’s] ruling said that international affiliates do not have First Amendment rights under the US Constitution.

“In terms of abortion,” notes Live Action, “this ruling could allow the federal government to withhold funding from international organizations, even those affiliated with organizations in the US, which commit abortions or refer for abortions.” It’s a good sign the Court would likely rule in favor of the Mexico City Rule in any legal challenge being put before it.

The five Justices who ruled correctly in the case June 29 were Justices Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Thomas, as well as Chief Justice Roberts.


Shifting Gears? Not Really!

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-SanFrancisco) has not revealed a credible motive for the move, but she has, reports Live Action’s Cassy Fiano-Chesser, “announced that the House will not attempt to end the Hyde Amendment,” reportedly “to avoid an abortion fight with the Senate during an election year.” Could it be she has taken the time, for a change, to read the consistent opinion polls showing that American voters do not want their tax dollars spent on snuffing out our next generation?/

Lest any of our readers think the Speaker is softening her party’s abortion advocacy, the July 4 report on “Hyde” was followed quickly by a story by Calvin Freiburger reporting, “House Democrats are making another attempt to undo the Trump Administration’s ban on foreign aid to pro-abortion organizations, this time with language that would make international abortion funding permanent.”

The House Democrats’ abortion imperialism comes on the State & Foreign Operations Appropriation bill, which Appropriations Committee Democrats are polluting with the provisions of Rep. Nita Lowey’s “Global HER Act,” through which the New York liberal proposes to permanently repeal the Mexico City Policy, first propounded by Pres. Ronald Reagan and recently expanded by Pres. Donald Trump.

“Committee Democrats are also,” reports Mr. Freiburger, “calling for $750 million in funding for the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), $175 million more than the fund received last year.” UNFPA has long been exposed for complicity in Red China’s forced abortion depopulation pogrom.

“Even if it passes the Democrat-controlled House,” notes Mr. Freiburger, “the pro-abortion language would presumably be a non-starter in the Republican-controlled Senate. However,” he cautions, “it offers a preview of things to come next year should former Vice Pres. Joe Biden defeat [Pres.] Trump in November’s Presidential election. Biden,” he explains, “has endorsed codifying a ‘right’ to abortion in federal statutes, which would not only force states to allow abortion [in the event Roe v. Wade is recanted by the Supreme Court] but invalidate most mild state-level abortion restrictions and regulations.”


Biden on Board for Unlimited Abortion

LIKELY DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE Joe Biden went on the record after learning of the Supreme Court’s rejection of Louisiana’s abortuary regulation law. Reports Martin Burger in a July 1 story, the ex-Vice President “affirmed his support of abortion ‘under any circumstance.’”

His reaction to the Louisiana case? “‘Republicans in state legislatures will stop at nothing to get rid of Roe – and we have to be just as strong in our defense of it.’”

And, according to Mr. Burger, he went further: “Republicans ‘are trying to get these laws appealed to the Supreme Court in the hope that Trump’s justices will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade,’” he said. “‘It’s wrong. It’s pernicious. And we have to stop it.’

“[Mr.] Biden did not clarify,” writes Mr. Burger, “why making laws that are then challenged at the Supreme Court would be ‘pernicious.’ He promised to ‘codify Roe v. Wade’ as President, adding, ‘My Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate a woman’s protected, Constitutional right to choose.’ …

“Speaking directly about [June 29’s] Supreme Court decision in the Louisiana case, Biden said,” reports LifeSiteNews, “‘Women’s healthcare rights have been under attack, as states across the country have passed extreme laws restricting women’s Constitutional right to choice under any circumstance.’”


On the Record, Seeking Justice

Congressional Signers of the June 26, 2020, letter to Atty. Gen. William Barr seeking action against Planned Parenthood in the sale and commoditization of fetal body parts

GOP Representatives Ralph Norman/SC, Christopher Smith/NJ and Vicky Hartzler/MO, co-signed by GOP Representatives Paul Gosar & Debbie Lesko, David Schweikert/AZ; Bruce Westerman/AR; Doug LaMalfa/CA; Doug Lamborn/CO; Gus Bilirakis, Neal Dunn, Matt Gaetz, Bill Posey, John Rutherford & Ross Spano/FL; Earl Carter/GA; Rick Allen, Doug Collins & Jody Hice/GA; Russ Fulcher/ID; Rodney Davis & John Shimkus/IL; James Baird & Jim Banks/IN; Steve King/IA; Roger Marshall/KS; Ralph Abraham/LA; Tim Walberg/MI; Tom Emmer/MN.

Also Republican Representatives Michael Guest/MS; Billy Long, Blaine Luetkemeyer & Ann Wagner/MO; Greg Gianforte/MT; Ted Budd & David Rouzer/NC; Steve Chabot, Warren Davidson, Jim Jordan, John Joyce, Robert Latta & Brad Wenstrup/OH; Kevin Hern/OK; Fred Keller & Guy Reschenthaler/PA; Jeff Duncan, William Timmons & Joe Wilson/SC; Chuck Fleischmann, David Kustoff, David P. Roe & John Rose/TN; Brian Babin, Michael Burgess, Michael Cloud, Michael Conaway, Bill Flores, Pete Olson, Chip Roy, Randy Weber, Roger Williams & Ron Wright/TX; Ben Cline/VA; Cathy McMorris Rodgers/WA; Carol Miller & Alex Mooney/WV; and Glenn Grothman/WI.


Democratic Party Platform Planks from 2016

            Securing Reproductive Health, Rights & Justice – Democrats are committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights and justice. We believe unequivocally, like the majority of Americans, that every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion – regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes or how she is insured. We believe that reproductive health is core to women’s, men’s and young people’s health and wellbeing.

            We will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers, which provide critical health services to millions of people. We will continue to oppose – and seek to overturn – federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment. We condemn and will combat any acts of violence, harassment and intimidation of reproductive health providers, patients and staff.

            We will defend the ACA [ObamaCare], which extends affordable preventive health care to women, including no-cost contraception, and prohibits discrimination in health care based on gender. We will address the discrimination and barriers that inhibit meaningful access to reproductive healthcare services, including those based on gender, sexuality, race, income, disability and other factors. We recognize that quality, affordable comprehensive health care, evidence-based sex education and a full range of family planning services help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions.

            And we strongly and unequivocally support a woman’s decision to have a child, including by ensuring a safe and healthy pregnancy and childbirth, and by providing services during pregnancy  and after the birth of a child, including adoption and social support services, as well as protections for women against pregnancy discrimination. We are committed to creating a society where children are safe and can thrive physically, emotionally, educationally and spiritually. We recognize and support the importance of civil structures that are essential to creating this for every child.

            Protect our Values – Women and Girls – We believe the United States must continue to be a strong advocate for the rights and opportunities of women and girls around the world. Elevating their status is not just the right thing to do – it is also a strategic imperative that advances American interests in prosperity and stability. When women and girls are healthy, educated and able to participate economically, their families and communities prosper, poverty decreases and economies grow. And when women participate in conflict resolution and post-conflict processes, it improves the likelihood of securing sustainable peace.

            Democrats are committed to advancing the rights and opportunities of women and girls as a central focus of American diplomacy, development and defense efforts and will continue to support the United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace & Security.

            We will work to end the epidemic of gender-based violence around the world. We will urge ratification of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. We will support sexual and reproductive health and rights around the globe. In addition to expanding the availability of affordable family planning information and contraceptive supplies, we believe that safe abortion must be part of comprehensive maternal and women’s health care and included as part of America’s global health programming.

            Therefore, we support the repeal of harmful restrictions that obstruct women’s access to healthcare information and services, including the “global gag rule” and the Helms Amendment that bars American assistance to provide safe, legal abortion throughout the developing world.