Life Advocacy Briefing

November 23, 2020

Blessed Thanksgiving / Critical Focus
Texas Hospital-Supremacy Law Under Fire
Ben Watson Makes Appeal for Common Sense & Life / Don’t Be Deceived
Ultimate Solution / President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Blessed Thanksgiving

SINCE THANKSGIVING IS THIS THURSDAY – and Thursday is normally an intense work day for our editorial team – we wish you all the blessings of a family Thanksgiving and ask your understanding that we do not plan to publish Life Advocacy Briefing next week, while we gather with our family to ask the Lord’s blessing on America and thank Him for our nation’s values, heritage and God-given freedoms. At the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing, we reprint the first official declaration of an annual day of Thanksgiving, issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, in the midst of America’s first civil war.


Critical Focus

THOUGH POLLING HAS TAKEN ANOTHER BLACK EYE politically this year, one public opinion survey taken last summer – having nothing to do with candidates – is worth noting. Commissioned by Live Action, the opinion poll was taken by the Polling Company, Inc., which has a strong reputation and was originally founded by former Trump Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway in her pre-Presidential career. The focus: Americans’ attitude toward the abortion pill (RU-486).

The poll “assessed the attitudes,” reports (LSN), “of a representative sample of Americans, 95% of whom are registered voters.

“The survey found,” reports LSN, “when given information about the abortion pill and how it affects women and children, Americans are much more likely to oppose the drug than support it. …

“More than 3.7 million children have been killed by the abortion pill,” notes LSN, “and 24 women’s deaths have been recorded through 2018. The abortion pill can lead to maternal death via severe blood loss, infection or an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy. In fact, it is four times more dangerous for women than surgical abortion.”

Some of the survey results, cited by LSN: “Before watching an informational video about how the abortion pill works, 45% of respondents said they supported availability of the drug, and 31% said they did not. After watching the video, the percentage of respondents who favored the drug’s availability had dropped to 39%, and the percentage who opposed the drug’s availability increased to 42% – a total swing of 17 percentage points. More women than men shifted their opinion against availability of the abortion pill,” notes LSN, “with a notable swing of 29 percentage points among suburban women. When those who changed their minds were asked an open-minded question about why, the top two responses were seeing information about prenatal development and understanding that the abortion pill works by killing a human life or a baby.”

Live Action’s Lila Rose said, according to LSN, “the survey results are crucial to informing the pro-life movement’s next steps toward the goal of seeing the abortion pill banned in the US: Live Action’s survey confirms that accurate medical information on the procedure and prenatal embryology shifts hearts and minds away from the abortion pill. And accurate medical information is exactly what the abortion industry doesn’t want women and the public to have.”


Texas Hospital-Supremacy Law Under Fire

THE TEXAS SUPREME COURT last month rejected an attempt by a children’s hospital, reports Laura Nicole for Live Action News (LAN), “to allow them to withdraw medical treatment for 18-month-old Tinslee Lewis. The hospital [had] hoped the court would overturn a 2nd Court of Appeals injunction from July.”

This child is on a ventilator because of “severe congenital heart issues,” reports Ms. Nicole, “from a condition called Ebstein’s anomaly.” The hospital has been attempting for “almost one year” to persuade her family to let her be killed by withdrawing her treatment.

The hospital’s attempt now reverts to district court, notes Ms. Nicole, “to rule on Baby Tinslee’s right to continued care.”

Texas has a 10-day rule giving hospitals authority to withdraw treatment with notice; the notified family’s recourse is to find – within that narrow window – another place for treatment of the endangered patient. “The Second Court of Appeals ruling in July,” reports LAN, “rightly cast doubt on the constitutionality of the Texas 10-day rule” – long overdue, in our view, but apparently still not settled as a matter of law.

“‘No patient should be robbed of due process and civil liberties once admitted to a hospital,’ said Kimberlyn Schwartz, director of media and communication for Texas Right to Life upon [the October] Texas Supreme Court ruling,” writes Ms. Nicole. “‘And no family should have to race against the clock to save their loved one with an ailment or disability.’” Amen!

Live Action News reported earlier this year, notes Ms. Nicole, that “medical doctors who reviewed Baby Tinslee’s case in July have asserted that her condition is treatable. The physicians argued,” reports LAN, “that a simple tracheostomy would solve many of her problems caused by being on a ventilator for an extended period of time, as well as enable further treatment.”


Ben Watson Makes Appeal for Common Sense & Life

FORMER PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYER BEN WATSON HAS PRODUCED a documentary “Divided Hearts of America” in which he poses to “prominent thinkers,” writes Leah Hickman in, “questions” such as “When is a person a person? Who determines a child’s quality of life? What happens in an abortion procedure?”

The 80-minute documentary, notes Ms. Hickman, is “streaming on SalemNOW” and addresses the history and current state of the American abortion debate.

In the documentary, reports Ms. Hickman, “a former abortionist recounts the pregnancy that changed her mind; an abortion survivor talks about the saline solution she soaked in for five days in her mother’s womb; a woman shares the heartbreak of her own abortion … .”

More information about the video can be found at Mr. Watson’s website:


Don’t Be Deceived

Nov. 13, 2020, Washington Update commentary by Ruth Moreno for Family Research Council

            On Nov. 12, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) held a joint press conference calling for the passage of the “Heroes” Act. The Senate, House and White House have been dealing with this far-Left bill for months, but Schumer claims that the results from the 2020 election prove the necessity of passing the Heroes Act as a “starting point” on a new round of coronavirus relief legislation.

            Yesterday on Washington Watch [podcast], FRC president Tony Perkins spoke with House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) to discuss the Heroes Act and the Democrats’ latest attempt to push it through Congress.

            Though formally titled the “Health & Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act,” the $2-3 trillion Heroes Act is much more than a relief package. It bails out mismanaged Democrat-led cities and states on the taxpayers’ dime, making Americans pay for the incompetence and overreach of Democratic leadership.

            Worse, the Heroes Act applies “non-discrimination” provisions which redefine the term “sex” to include “sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions.” In service of the Left’s radical social agenda, this redefinition undermines both pro-life values and broader pro-family values. It also precludes the exemption of religious organizations and private schools from qualifying for the relief the bill provides. This, as Whip Scalise pointed out, comes in the midst of a time when many public schools are refusing to even teach students in the classroom.

            “If someone is going to take your money but not educate your child safely in person while other school systems are willing to, then parents ought to be able to go to those places that will safely educate their child while taking the money,” Scalise said.

            As he observed, the Heroes Act would also release “untold thousands” of criminals from prison. The number of criminals that would be released is truly unknown, because the bill does not explain exactly to whom it would apply.

            Also woven into the Heroes Act is the full text of the Safe Banking Act [proposal], which [would] grant the marijuana industry direct access to banking services. Under the Controlled Substances Act, this is currently prohibited.

            One must wonder, as Tony [Perkins] asked Whip Scalise, what any of this has to do with the coronavirus. “There are bills that would get huge bipartisan votes that would just renew paycheck protection loans for small businesses,” Scalise said, adding that “There are millions of families that don’t want to be unemployed, and their businesses are about to go under. You could save those jobs. That’s where our focus ought to be.”

            Instead, Democrats are pushing partisan legislation under the guise that it’s what the American people want. Despite what Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi may say, the still-disputed 2020 elections were not a “mandate” for the passage of the Heroes Act.

            According to exit polls reported by the New York Times, 35% of American voters said their top political priority was the economy. 20% of voters said it was racial inequality, followed by the coronavirus pandemic at 17%. Seventeen percent is not a mandate. Americans want coronavirus legislation and relief, but it should not come at the expense of other important issues.

            And though the Presidential race and certain Senate races are still lacking a clear winner, Republicans’ 10-seat gain in the House of Representatives proves that Americans are certainly not on board with the Democrats’ radical agenda being pushed by Pelosi. Democrats spent enormous sums of money trying to flip House seats “blue,” but in states like Florida and Texas, the electorate came out in defense of common sense and traditional American values. Adding to this, Republicans will most likely hold onto the Senate, and even picked up gains in state legislatures around the country. When races are examined around the country, at all levels the voters actually delivered a mandate for a conservative agenda – not the Heroes Act.

            The 1,800-page-long Heroes Act stands against just about every traditional American value imaginable. In addition to legislating bailouts, freed criminals, marijuana banking and a complete redefinition of the family, the Heroes Act also includes Planned Parenthood loans, taxpayer-funded abortion, cash for illegal immigrants and even election-altering provisions; the Heroes Act guts voter i.d. laws and other state measures which protect the integrity of elections. The bill also includes anti-free-speech “hate crimes” provisions.

            Indeed, after the 2020 elections, Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi should know better than to force upon Americans something as radical as the Heroes Act.


Ultimate Solution

Oct. 23, 2020, BreakPoint commentary by John Stonestreet, extensively quoting Charles Colson

            The story of how God changed the heart of one of our nation’s most notorious abortionists is about as dramatic of a conversion as Chuck’s was. Yet it came in the wake of one of the greatest defeats pro-lifers had suffered since the Roe v. Wade decision. Here’s what Chuck wrote, in a commentary entitled “The Ultimate Victory.”

            “I was [recently] invited to witness a baptism in the sacristy chapel of St. Patrick’s cathedral in New York City. About 80 of us sat in a semicircle waiting for John Cardinal O’Connor to arrive. While waiting, I couldn’t help but think back to last fall and the Senate’s attempt to override Pres. Clinton’s veto of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban – an attempt that failed. I remember walking the Senate corridors that day, looking for senators and pleading with them to vote to override.

            “One of my most dramatic memories,” Chuck continued, “happened while I was sitting in the Senate gallery, listening to the debate over whether it should be legal to commit infanticide – to kill babies already three-quarters born. The senators fell silent for a moment, and just as they did, a baby’s cry pierced the silence. A poignant reminder to both sides of what was at stake that day.

            “After the vote I walked down to the Senate reception room and saw the grinning, almost cheering, crowd of abortion supporters. There was Kate Michelman, president of the National Abortion Rights Action League [NARAL], surrounded by a crowd of people beaming and congratulating each other. They’d won; they’d scored a tremendous victory for the pro-abortionists. They’d stopped the bill.”

            Chuck continued: “Scenes of that day kept flashing through my mind as I sat in that dimly lit chapel at St. Patrick’s. Why? Because the candidate for baptism was none other than Bernard Nathanson, one of the abortion industry’s greatest leaders, a man who personally presided over some 75,000 abortions, including the abortion of his own child.

            “I watched as Nathanson walked to the altar. What a moment. Just like the first century – a Jew coming forward in the catacombs to meet Christ. And his sponsor accompanying him to the altar was Joan Andrews. Ironies abound. Joan is one of the pro-life movement’s most outspoken warriors, a woman who spent five years in prison for her pro-life activities.

            “… [J]ust above Cardinal O’Connor was a cross. As I reflected on the day when infanticide could not be stopped by the United States Senate, I realized that I was witnessing, this day, the victory. I looked at that cross and realized again that what the Gospel teaches is true: In Christ is the victory. He has overcome the world, and the gates of hell cannot prevail against His church.

            “We may have taken a beating in the Senate on partial-birth abortion, but only temporarily. Because there at the altar was a man who spent three decades in the satanic world of abortion, joyfully accepting forgiveness in Christ.

            “And there were 80 people huddled in the catacombs of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, celebrating a victory Kate Michelman could do nothing about: the triumph of the Gospel over evil.

            “This,” Chuck concluded, “is the way the abortion war will ultimately be won: through Jesus Christ changing hearts, one by one. No amount of political force, no government, no laws, no army of Planned Parenthood workers can ever stop that. It is the one thing absolutely invincible.

            “That simple baptism, held without fanfare in the basement of a great cathedral, is a reminder that a holy Baby, born in a stable 20 centuries ago, defies the wisdom of man. He cannot be defeated.”

            Those are the words from Chuck Colson from 1996. Amen.


President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Issued Oct. 3, 1863, quoted from America’s God & Country Encyclopedia of Quotations by William J. Federer

            No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the most high God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy … .

            I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens…[it is] announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord. … It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.