Life Advocacy Briefing

February 1, 2021

‘Mexico City’ on the Chopping Block / Defending ‘Hyde’
A Hollow Claim? / What Did They Expect?
Outlawing Abortion on This Year’s Agenda in Mississippi
Fighting for the Defenseless / ‘Life’ Agenda Building in the States
Signers of Congressional ‘Hyde’ Pledge Letter

‘Mexico City’ on the Chopping Block

THE WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCED last Thursday, writes Calvin Freiburger for, Pres. Joe Biden will soon revoke the Reagan-initiated, Trump-strengthened Mexico City Policy with an executive order putting American taxpayers back into the business of funding international abortion committers and campaigners. Revocation of Mexico City was also among the first actions undertaken by former Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

The Mexico City Policy, notes Mr. Freiburger, quoting the White House, “‘bars international non-profits that provide abortion counseling or referrals from receiving US funding.’”  Pres. Donald Trump enhanced the Mexico City Policy to apply the ban also to groups that promote or discuss abortion.


Defending ‘Hyde’

A LETTER CIRCULATED BY THE HOUSE REPUBLICAN STUDY COMMITTEE, dated Jan. 26 and addressed to the House and Senate Leadership, was signed by some 200 House GOP Members “to express our unified opposition to Congressional Democrats’ efforts to repeal the Hyde Amendment and other current-law, pro-life appropriations provisions.”

The letter concludes with a “pledge” to “vote against any government funding bill that eliminates or weakens the Hyde Amendment or other current-law, pro-life appropriations provisions.”

We publish the list of signers at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing, noting the number of likely votes against any weakening or repeal of “Hyde” would actually exceed those who signed the letter. Readers are encouraged to contact those lawmakers who signed the Hyde Pledge Letter to thank them for their commitment to representing taxpayers in the fight for Life. [Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-2131]


A Hollow Claim?

DESPITE HIS REPEATED CLAIMS TO BE A LOYAL CATHOLIC, Pres. Joe Biden and Vice Pres. Kamala Harris openly marked the Jan. 22 Roe v. Wade/Doe v. Bolton anniversary, reports Calvin Freiburger for, “by declaring that their regime is ‘committed to codifying Roe v. Wade and appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe.’ They added,” he notes, “that ‘in the past four years, reproductive health – including the right to choose – has been under relentless and extreme attack.’”

In his report, the LSN writer quotes a response by the chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Kansas City Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, who said, “‘It is deeply disturbing and tragic that any President would praise and commit to codifying a Supreme Court ruling that denies unborn children their most basic human and civil right, the right to life under the euphemistic disguise of a health service. … I take this opportunity to remind all Catholics,’” Archbishop Naumann said in the LSN report, “‘that the Catechism states, “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.’”

Archbishop Naumann also declared, reports Mr. Freiburger, “‘Public officials are responsible for not only their personal beliefs but also the effects of their public actions. … Roe’s elevation of abortion to the status of a protected right and its elimination of state restrictions paved the way for the violent deaths of more than 62 million innocent unborn children and for countless women who experience the heartache of loss, abandonment and violence. We strongly urge the President,’” Archbishop Naumann concluded, quoted by LSN, “‘to reject abortion and promote Life-affirming aid to women and communities in need.’”


What Did They Expect?

PENNSYLVANIA HAS REINSTATED ITS INSPECTION OF ABORTUARIES – a regulatory practice adopted in the wake of the shocking exposure of convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell’s ugly, dangerous abortuary policies – after using the Wuhan Flu pandemic as an excuse to suspend such visits for five months while allowing abortuaries to continue to do business as “essential” enterprises.

The shocking result: Of the 16 free-standing abortuaries doing business in Pennsylvania, reports Maria Gallagher of Pennsylvania’s Pro-Life Federation, four – fully one quarter – “were found to be ‘not in compliance’ with state law over the past four months.” The four are Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Reproductive Health Center, Allentown Women’s Center and two Philadelphia Planned Parenthood shops – PPSP Far Northeast Health Center and PPSP Surgical Locust Street Health Center.

A new legislative effort will be mounted, according to Ms. Gallagher, in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to “require abortion centers to post the results of state health inspections on their websites, along with plans of correction.” Both houses of the legislature are controlled by the Republican Party; Pennsylvania’s governor, Tom Wolf, is a Democrat and an abortion fanatic, having once served as a volunteer “escort” to guide abortuary customers around pro-life sidewalk counselors.


Outlawing Abortion on This Year’s Agenda in Mississippi

STATE LAWMAKERS IN MISSISSIPPI HAVE FILED a bill criminalizing abortion, including by chemical, as “murder.”

Here is the text of the operative section of HB-338, as reported by “A person who sells, lends, gives away or in any manner exhibits, or offers to sell, lend, or give away, or has in his or her possession with intent to sell, lend, or give away, or advertises or offers for sale, loan or distribution any instrument or article, or any drug or medicine, for causing unlawful abortion; or who writes or prints, or causes to be written or printed, a card, circular, pamphlet, advertisement, or notice of any kind, or gives information orally, stating when, where, how, of whom, or by what means such article or medicine, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, be imprisoned for not less than one (1) year nor more than ten (10) years in the state penitentiary and fined not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) but not less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).”

It appears Mississippi’s state legislators are growing impatient and are eager to “push the envelope,” which HB-338 certainly would do. The state already has a law – thus far suspended by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals – to outlaw abortion-killings of babies who have reached a gestational age of 15 weeks.

“Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court in June, 2020,” reports Frank Corder for the Mississippi news website Y’, “to ask the Court to review Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act, which preserves the right to life after 15 weeks within the womb. According to [AG] Fitch,” he writes, “that petition asked the Court to clarify its jurisprudence on abortion to allow states like Mississippi to enact laws that further their legitimate interests in protecting maternal health, safeguarding unborn babies and promoting respect for innocent and vulnerable life.

“AG Fitch said she hoped that the Court would accept the case,” writes Mr. Corder, “and ‘allow Mississippi to defend innocent life as the legislature and people of this great state intend.’”

An announcement was expected on Jan. 22 on whether the Supreme Court will consider the appeal, but on that date the Court did not include the Mississippi 15-week ban in its docket announcement; it may yet agree to take the case and is expected now to make an announcement in February.


Fighting for the Defenseless

SOUTH DAKOTA GOV. KRISTI NOEM (R) FEATURED a proposal to protect unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in her recent State of the State address, calling on the state legislature to “‘make South Dakota a symbol of hope, justice and love for children’ with Down syndrome,” reports Michael Haynes for (LSN). “‘Protecting children,’” she added, “‘begins in the womb.’”

Special guests at her address included former US Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) and his wife Rachel, whose year-old baby’s in-utero diagnosis of Down’s and other anomalies prompted his retirement from Congress in September, 2019.

Gov. Noem, in her speech and in a recent news release, according to Mr. Haynes, “made mention of the manner in which children with Down syndrome are particularly selected for abortion. Iceland and Denmark ‘have virtually eliminated children with Down syndrome by aborting nearly every child that has it,’ she wrote,” reports the LSN writer. “‘As South Dakotans – frankly, as human beings – we should all be appalled by this,’ she warned. ‘We are better than that. … For those who have had the privilege of knowing someone with Down syndrome, you know that person ends up being a gift to all of us.’”

The pro-life research organization Charlotte Lozier Institute published data from 2015, notes Mr. Haynes, estimating that “‘abortion after prenatal diagnosis has reduced the population of individuals living with Down syndrome in the US by approximately 30%,’” suggesting an overwhelming number of newly conceived Down’s children are being cut off before birth.

“A 2019 report,” writes Mr. Haynes, “mentioned that ‘69% of women were offered an abortion after they were told their baby had Down’s syndrome.’ One mother,” he reports, “recalled how she was offered ‘about 15 terminations,’ even up until ‘the morning of the induction.’ Another described that she was offered an abortion at ‘37 weeks’ for her child with Down syndrome, after being told she would be induced the next day.”


‘Life’ Agenda Building in the States

Jan. 25, 2021, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council’s Director of State & Local Affairs, Quena Gonzalez

            As the nation commemorates the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade (the Supreme Court decision legalizing elective abortion nationwide in 1973), pro-life and pro-family Americans can take heart that their voices are still being heard in state capitals across the country. The “wave” election of pro-life Republicans in 2009 inaugurated a new era in pro-life state laws: More pro-life state laws have been enacted in the 11 years since that “wave” first took office in 2010 than in the previous 37 years since Roe.

            And that momentum continues to build, even as pro-abortion Democrats in Washington, DC, prepare to implement radical policies out of step with Americans’ views on abortion. Consider the following highlights as we approach the end of January 2021:

  • Of the 44 states that have convened so far in 2021, 23 have already introduced 54 pro-life state bills so far this year, and another 21 bills (including five in Oklahoma and one in Florida, neither of which are in session yet) carried over from last year.

  • Four states – Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas – have introduced bills to ban abortion, in defiance of Roe v. Wade. But it’s not enough to be defiant, so our [Family Research Council] team has worked on model legislation which will help additional states signal to the Supreme Court that its abortion jurisprudence is untenable and this great injustice must be reversed. (State legislators are invited to be in touch with us.)

  • Three states – Kentucky, Missouri and Oregon – have introduced bills to defund abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. Family Research Council has developed model legislation to defund abortion providers in state appropriations, in Medicaid and/or in Title X [Ten].

  • Eleven states have introduced laws protecting or increasing protections for infants born alive during an abortion (Arizona, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming), and another two states (New Jersey and Virginia) have carried their bills over from last year. (Last year, pro-life Republicans in the US House of Representatives requested unanimous consent a record number of 80 times to bring a national Born-Alive Infant Protection Act to the floor of the House; they picked up seats in November’s election and are planning to bring a discharge petition again this year.)

            And the 2021 state legislative sessions are just getting started. Just this past week, the Kansas House took steps to make that state the latest to ensure that “abortion rights” can’t be read into the state constitution by an activist State Supreme Court.

            If your state isn’t on one of these lists and you think it should be, please reach out to your elected officials and ask them to be in touch [with the Family Research Council’s State & Local Affairs team in Washington, DC]. We would love to work with them.


Signers of Congressional ‘Hyde’ Pledge Letter

            Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), chairman, Republican Study Committee and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), House GOP Whip, joined by GOP Representatives Robert Aderholt, Mo Brooks, Jerry Carl, Barry Moore, Gary Palmer & Mike Rogers/AL; Don Young/AK; Rick Crawford, French Hill, Bruce Westerman & Steve Womack/AR; Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, Debbie Lesko & David Schweikert/AZ; Ken Calvert, Mike Garcia, Darrell Issa, Young Kim, Doug LaMalfa, Jay Obernolte, Michelle Steel & David Valadao/CA; Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck & Doug Lamborn/CO; Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Kat Cammack, Byron Donalds, Neal Dunn, Scott Franklin, Matt Gaetz, Carlos Gimenez, Brian Mast, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Gregory Steube, Michael Waltz & Daniel Webster/FL;

            Also, GOP Representatives Rick Allen, Earl “Buddy” Carter, Andrew Clyde, Drew Ferguson, Marjorie Greene, Jody Hice, Barry Loudermilk & Austin Scott/GA; Russ Fulcher, Mike Simpson/ID; Mike Bost, Rodney Davis, Darin LaHood & Mary Miller/IL; James Baird, Larry Bucshon, Trey Hollingsworth, Greg Pence, Victoria Spartz & Jackie Walorski/IN; Randy Feenstra, Ashley Hinson & Mariannette Miller-Meeks/IA; Ron Estes, Tracey Mann & Jake LaTurner/KS; Andy Barr, James Comer, Brett Guthrie, Thomas Massie & Hal Rogers/KY; Garret Graves, Clay Higgins & Mike Johnson/LA; Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, Lisa McClain, Peter Meijer, John Moolenaar, Fred Upton & Tim Walberg/MI; Tom Emmer, Michelle Fischbach, Jim Hagedorn & Pete Stauber/MN; Michael Guest, Trent Kelly & Steven Palazzo/MS; Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler, Blaine Leutkemeyer, Billy Long, Jason Smith & Ann Wagner/MO; Matt Rosendale/MT; Don Bacon & Adrian Smith/NE; Jeff VanDrew/NJ; Yvette Herrell/NM; Andrew Garbarino, Chris Jacobs, John Katko, Nicole Malliotakis, Tom Reed, Elise Stefanik & Lee Zeldin/NY;

            And, GOP Representatives Dan Bishop, Ted Budd, Madison Cawthorn, Virginia Foxx, Richard Hudson, Patrick McHenry, Greg Murphy, David Rouzer & William Timmons/NC; Kelly Armstrong/ND; Troy Balderson, Steve Chabot, Warren Davidson, Bob Gibbs, Anthony Gonzalez, Bill Johnson, Jim Jordan, David Joyce, Robert Latta, Steve Stivers, Michael Turner & Brad Wenstrup/OH; Stefany Bice, Tom Cole, Kevin Hern, Frank Lucas & Markwayne Mullin/OK; Cliff Bentz/OR; John Joyce, Fred Keller, Mike Kelly, Dan Meuser, Scott Perry, Guy Reschenthaler, Lloyd Smucker & Glenn Thompson/PA; Jeff Duncan, Nancy Mace, Ralph Norman, Tom Rice & Joe Wilson/SC; Dusty Johnson/SD; Tim Burchett, Scott DesJarlais, Chuck Fleischmann, Mark Green, Diana Harshbarger, David Kustoff & John Rose/TN; Jody Arrington, Brian Babin, Kevin Brady, Michael Burgess, John Carter, Michael Cloud, Dan Crenshaw, Pat Fallon, Louie Gohmert, Tony Gonzales, Lance Gooden, Kay Granger, Ronny Jackson, Michael McCaul, Troy Nells, August Pfluger, Chip Roy, Pete Sessions, Van Taylor, Beth VanDuyne, Randy Weber, Roger Williams & Ron Wright/TX; John Curtis, Burgess Owens, Blake Moore & Chris Stewart/UT; Ben Cline, Bob Good, Morgan Griffith & Rob Wittman/VA; Jaime Herrera-Beutler, Cathy McMorris-Rodgers & Dan Newhouse/WA; David McKinley, Carol Miller & Alex Mooney/WV; Scott Fitzgerald, Mike Gallagher, Glenn Grothman, Bryan Steil & Tom Tiffany/WI; Liz Cheney/WY.