Life Advocacy Briefing

February 15, 2021

Senate Votes Down ‘Born-Alive’ Protection Proposal
GOP House Members Step Up on ‘Mexico City’
And Senators Step Up on ‘Hyde’ & Spending Restrictions / Stateside
At Home with His Lord / GOP Senators’ Letter on Abortion Policy Spending Votes
Signers of Senate Pro-Life Letter to Leader Schumer
House Signers of ‘Mexico City’ Reinstatement Letter
Senate Refuses to Protect Born-Alive Survivors / Senate Voting Record

Senate Votes Down ‘Born-Alive’ Protection Proposal

SENATE REPUBLICANS UNITED BEHIND AN AMENDMENT by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) to enact a form of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act during the Senate’s recent deliberation on a budget reconciliation measure.

Two Democratic Senators – Bob Casey (PA) and Joe Manchin (WV) – voted with the GOP, giving the measure 52 votes, but 60 votes were required under Senate rules. We publish the voting record at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.

“A recent report by the Charlotte Lozier Institute,” notes Raymond Wolfe in reporting for, “found fewer than half of states have adequate protections for babies who survive abortions. Polling,” he reports, “shows that the vast majority of Americans, including a near-majority of Democrats, believe that those babies should not be left to die.”


GOP House Members Step Up on ‘Mexico City’

A CONGRESSIONAL LETTER HAS BEEN SENT TO PRES. JOE BIDEN seeking his reconsideration of his order cancelling the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy (PLGHA), also known as the Reagan Mexico City Policy as strengthened by President Trump. The letter was circulated by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), long-time chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus. The letter closes with a specific request that the President “reinstate the PLGHA policy.”

We list the 136 signers of the letter near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing and ask our readers to call them with thanks for their enlistment in the effort to save the Mexico City Policy. [Capitol switchboard: 1-202/225-3121]

“Americans overwhelmingly oppose using US foreign aid to subsidize abortions,” notes the letter, but reinstatement of PLGHA, the GOP lawmakers state, “represents common ground: it allows the United States to fund global health without using taxpayer dollars to subsidize the work of groups that perform, promote or lobby for abortion. Abortion,” notes the letter, “is not health care.

“It is never safe for the child,” the lawmakers point out. “Abortion is a brutal procedure that ends the child’s life through suction, dismemberment or chemical poisoning. In addition, the child’s mother deserves better than the tragic, irreversible consequences of elective abortion.

“United States foreign assistance should be life-affirming: we can support the health of both women and unborn children by providing essential obstetric care, nutritional aid and other humanitarian assistance to persons in need.”

The letter cites polling results from a late January survey by Marist Poll, showing some 77% of Americans “oppose using tax dollars to support abortions in other countries. This number,” notes the letter, “includes 64% of individuals who identify as pro-choice.”


And Senators Step Up on ‘Hyde’ & Spending Restrictions

ALL BUT TWO OF THE G.O.P. SENATORS SIGNED A LETTER to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Feb. 5 pledging to remain “united in our resolve” to resist the elimination of the Hyde Amendment “or any other current-law pro-life protections.”

We publish the text of the letter, along with a list of the signers, near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing. Readers will not find the names of Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME), as they did not subscribe to the letter.  Sen. Collins is a long-time champion of abortion, and Sen. Murkowski has veered into the Collins lane increasingly often during the past several years.

We thank those 48 Senators who subscribed to the Life-policy pledge. Those readers who wish to contact home-state Senators with thanks can find them via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121.



  • KENTUCKY’s DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR, ANDY BESHEAR, has allowed the state’s Abortion Survivors Protection Act to be become law without his signature. Senate sponsor Whitney Westerfield, in a report by National Right to Life News writer Dave Andrusko, said he was “‘disappointed [the governor] didn’t sign SB-9, but I’m grateful he didn’t veto it.’” In Kentucky, a bill becomes law if the governor does not act on it within 10 days of legislative passage.

  • KENTUCKY LAWMAKERS HAVE OVERRIDDEN THE VETO of a new law granting the state’s attorney general, Daniel Cameron (R) authority, reports com’s Calvin Freiburger, citing National Right to Life News as source, “‘to seek civil and criminal penalties for any violation of Kentucky’s abortion laws.’” HB-2 also, notes Mr. Freiburger, citing Kentucky Right to Life as source, adds further “‘health and safety assurances and protection for women seeking to terminate their pregnancy by allowing the attorney general oversight and to act unencumbered to investigate abortion facilities and take action if violations of the law have occurred.’ … [Gov.] Beshear vetoed similar legislation last year,” notes Mr. Freiburger, who reports, “The dispute is a variant of a dispute from Beshear’s own term as Kentucky’s attorney general, during which he refused to defend the state’s pro-life laws in court.”

  • WASHINGTON STATE LAWMAKERS ARE MULLING a bill to add physician assistants and “advanced registered nurse practitioners” to medical doctors in the state’s abetted suicide law. “When selling the legalization of assisted suicide,” warns Wesley J. Smith in a National Review column, “activists always promise that strict guidelines will protect against abuse. After legalization, these protections are rebranded,” he writes, “as ‘obstacles’ or ‘barriers’ that prevent patients from getting what they want. As soon as activists think they can get away with it, the law is loosened. That process is unfolding,” he asserts, “in Washington State.”


At Home with His Lord

WE ARE SADDENED TO NOTE the passing in late January of George Johnson of Park Ridge, Illinois, known to many as “the Pro-Life Check Guy,” who designed and printed bank checks with pro-life artwork and messaging for decades. He was also on the board of Life Advocacy. We miss him and offer our condolences to his dear wife Jane.


GOP Senators’ Letter on Abortion Policy Spending Votes

            We believe in the value of every child. Each precious child should be honored by our nation and protected by our laws.

            The Hyde Amendment is the law of the land, as has been so since 1976. The Hyde Amendment has enjoyed decades of bipartisan support, including from then-Senator Joe Biden, and has been signed into law by Democrat and Republican Presidents alike. We are deeply opposed to efforts to allow taxpayer funding of abortion on demand and eliminate this more than four-decade-old consensus. Instead, we urge you to allow the Senate to continue its long tradition of bipartisan cooperation in enacting annual appropriations, as well as other health-related spending, with longstanding pro-life protections intact.

            Abortion is not health care; rather, it is a brutal procedure that destroys the life of an innocent unborn child. The Hyde Amendment reflects a consensus that millions of pro-life Americans who are profoundly opposed to abortion should not be coerced into paying for it or incentivizing it with their taxpayer dollars. A substantial majority of the American public agrees. A 2021 Marist poll found that nearly six in ten Americans, including even more than a third of those who identify as pro-choice, oppose the use of their taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions. Most importantly, the Hyde Amendment saves lives. Analysis by the Charlotte Lozier Institute estimates that over 2.4 million Americans owe their lives to the Hyde Amendment, and it routinely saves more than 60,000 lives every year.

            In addition to preserving the Hyde Amendment’s inclusion in the annual Labor, Health & Human Services Appropriations Act, it is equally important that the Senate maintain all other long-standing pro-life protections in federal law. These include, but are not limited to, prohibitions on funding for abortion and abortion coverage for the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, as well as foreign aid due to the Helms Amendment. Other long-standing pro-life provisions prevent the District of Columbia from funding elective abortions, prohibit the destruction of human embryos in federally funded research, prohibit funding for abortion-related lobbying overseas, as well as protect the conscience rights of Americans opposed to abortion.

            We are united in our resolve to guard against any changes to federal law that would unsettle nearly half a century of bipartisan consensus against taxpayer funding for abortion on demand, or otherwise threaten the lives of unborn children. Accordingly, we are committed to vote against the advancement of any legislation that would eliminate or weaken the Hyde Amendment or any other current-law pro-life protections, or otherwise undermine existing federal pro-life policy.


Signers of Senate Pro-Life Letter to Leader Schumer

            Pro-Life Caucus Chairman Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Minority Whip Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and GOP Conference Chairman John Barrasso (WY), joined by GOP Senators Richard Shelby & Tommy Tuberville/AL; Dan Sullivan/AK; John Boozman & Tom Cotton/AR; Marco Rubio & Rick Scott/FL; Mike Crapo & James Risch/ID; Mike Braun & Todd Young/IN; Joni Ernst & Chuck Grassley/IA; Roger Marshall & Jerry Moran/KS; Rand Paul/KY; Bill Cassidy & John Kennedy/LA; Cindy Hyde-Smith & Roger Wicker/MS;

            Also, GOP Senators Roy Blunt & Josh Hawley/MO; Deb Fischer & Ben Sasse/NE; Richard Burr & Thom Tillis/NC; Kevin Cramer & John Hoeven/ND; Rob Portman/OH; James Inhofe & James Lankford/OK; Pat Toomey/PA; Lindsey Graham & Tim Scott/SC; Michael Rounds/SD; Marsha Blackburn & Bill Hagerty/TN; John Cornyn & Ted Cruz/TX; Mike Lee & Mitt Romney/UT; Shelley Moore Capito/WV; Ron Johnson/WI; and Cynthia Lummis/WY.


House Signers of ‘Mexico City’ Reinstatement Letter

            Pro-Life Caucus Chairman Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA), Minority Whip Steve Scalise (LA) and Minority Conference Chairman Liz Cheney (WY), joined by GOP Representatives Robert Aderholt, Barry Moore, Jerry Carl, Mike Rogers/AL; French Hill, Bruce Westerman, Steve Womack/AR; Andy Biggs, Debbie Lesko/AZ; Darrell Issa, Doug LaMalfa, Tom McClintock/CA; Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck & Doug Lamborn/CO; Kat Cammack, Mario Diaz-Balart, Byron Donalds, Neal Dunn, Scott Franklin, Matt Gaetz, Brian Mast, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Gregory Steube, Michael Waltz/FL; Rick Allen, Andrew Clyde, Marjorie Greene, Jody Hice, Barry Loudermilk, Austin Scott/GA; Russ Fulcher/ID; Mike Bost, Rodney Davis, Adam Kinzinger, Darin LaHood, Mary Miller/IL; Jim Banks, James Baird, Larry Bucshon & Jackie Walorski/IN; Randy Feenstra, Ashley Hinson/IA; Ron Estes & Tracey Mann/KS; Andy Barr, Brett Guthrie, Hal Rogers/KY; Garret Graves & Mike Johnson/LA; Andy Harris/MD; Bill Huizenga, Peter Meijer & Tim Walberg/MI; Tom Emmer, Michelle Fischbach, Jim Hagedorn/MN;

            Also, GOP Representatives Michael Guest & Steven Palazzo/MS; Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long, Blaine Luetkemeyer, & Ann Wagner/MO; Matt Rosendale/MT; Jeff Fortenberry, Adrian Smith/NE; Yvette Herrell/NM; Chris Jacobs/NY; Dan Bishop, Ted Budd, Madison Cawthorn, Virginia Foxx, Richard Hudson, Patrick McHenry, Greg Murphy/NC; Kelly Armstrong/ND; Troy Balderson, Steve Chabot, Warren Davidson, Bob Gibbs, Anthony Gonzalez, Bill Johnson, Jim Jordan, Robert Latta, Brad Wenstrup/OH; Kevin Hern/OK; John Joyce, Fred Keller, Scott Perry, Guy Reschenthaler, Lloyd Smucker & Glenn Thompson/PA; Jeff Duncan, Ralph Norman, William Timmons, Joe Wilson/SC; Tim Burchett, Charles Fleischmann, Diana Harshbarger, David Kustoff & John Rose/TN; Brian Babin, Michael Cloud, Pat Fallon, Tony Gonzales, Kay Granger, Ronny Jackson, August Pfluger, Chip Roy, Pete Sessions, Randy Weber, Roger Williams & Ron Wright*/TX; John Curtis, Burgess Owens, Blake Moore & Chris Stewart/UT; Ben Cline, Bob Good, Morgan Griffith/VA; Jaime Herrera-Beutler, Cathy McMorris-Rodgers & Dan Newhouse/WA; David McKinley, Carol Miller & Alex Mooney/WV; and Scott Fitzgerald, Glenn Grothman, Bryan Steil & Tom Tiffany/WI.

*Rep. Wright passed away on Feb. 7; RIP.


Senate Refuses to Protect Born-Alive Survivors

Feb. 10, 2021, Call to Action from Fr. Frank Pavone, national director, Priests for Life, lightly edited

            On Feb. 5 … 48 Democrats in the U.S. Senate failed to vote in favor of saving the lives of newborn babies who survive an abortion. Just two Democrats crossed the aisle to vote with every Republican in support of an amendment added to the Covid relief bill. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE)  needed 60 affirmative votes to attach the amendment that was based on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act to the relief bill. Only 52 senators voted in favor.

            The Born-Alive bill is introduced in every session of Congress, so this won’t be the last we see of it. What I’m asking you to do is get in touch with your two U.S. Senators, of both parties, and urge them to support the bill in whatever form it shows up next.

            Fourteen Democrat Senators’ terms expire in 2022 and, if they so choose, they will be up for re-election. They are: Raphael Warnock (GA), Mark Kelly (AZ), Patty Murray (WA), Ron Wyden (OR), Alex Padilla (CA), Catherine Cortez-Masto (NV), Michael Bennet (CO), Tammy Duckworth (IL), Charles Schumer (NY), Maggie Hassan (NH), Patrick Leahy (VT), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Chris Van Hollen (MD) and Brian Schatz (HI).

            If you are represented by one of these senators, please make sure to note in your message that you know they are up for re-election and if they have any chance of winning your vote, they must vote in favor of providing life-saving care for abortion survivors. If your senators are not up for re-election, please call anyway; they still need to know where you, as their constituent, stand.

            In the House of Representatives, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) introduced HR-619 on Jan. 28. It is the Born-Alive bill, introduced as an amendment to Title 18 of the U.S. Health Code. You probably remember the many attempts House Republicans made to get this bill on the floor for a vote in the 116th Congress, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would never allow it. The entire House, including Pelosi, will be up for re-election in 2022, so if you have a Democrat member of Congress, please be in touch with him or her to let them know you expect them to support this life-saving bill. And if your Rep is a Republican, call to let him or her know where you stand as well.

            Rep. Wagner’s bill is now in the hands of the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by radical pro-abortion enthusiast Jerrold Nadler of New York. If he is your congressman, please let him know how you feel.


Senate Voting Record

Sasse Amendment to Budget Reconciliation bill, seeking to add Born-Alive Abortion Survivor protections – Feb. 4, 2021 – Failed (needing 60) – 52-48 (Democrats in italics; “Independent” marked “I”; new Members in CAPS)

Voting “yes” / pro-Life: Shelby & TUBERVILLE/AL, Murkowski & Sullivan/AK, Boozman & Cotton/AR, Rubio & Scott/FL, Crapo & Risch/ID, Braun & Young/IN, Ernst & Grassley/IA, MARSHALL & Moran/KS, McConnell & Paul/KY, Cassidy & Kennedy/LA, Collins/ME, Hyde-Smith &Wicker/MS, Blunt & Hawley/MO, Daines/MT, Fischer & Sasse/NE, Burr & Tillis/NC, Cramer & Hoeven/ND, Portman/OH, Inhofe & Lankford/OK, Casey & Toomey/PA, Graham & Scott/ SC, Rounds & Thune/SD, Blackburn & HAGERTY/TN, Cornyn & Cruz/TX, Lee & Romney/UT, Capito & Manchin/WV, Johnson/WI and Barrasso & LUMMIS/WY.

Voting “no” / anti-Life: KELLY & Sinema/AZ), Feinstein & PADILLA/CA, Bennet & HICKENLOOPER/CO, Blumenthal & Murphy/CT, Carper & Coons/DE, OSSOFF & WARNOCK/ GA, Hirono & Schatz/HI, Duckworth & Durbin/IL, King (I)/ME, Cardin & VanHollen/MD, Markey & Warren/MA, Peters & Stabenow/MI, Klobuchar & Smith/MN, Tester/MT, Cortez-Masto & Rosen/NV, Hassan & Shaheen/NH, Booker & Menendez/NJ, Heinrich & LUJAN/NM, Gillibrand & Schumer/NY, Brown/OH, Merkley & Wyden/OR, Reed & Whitehouse/RI, Leahy & Sanders/VT, Kaine & Warner/VA, Cantwell & Murray/WA, Baldwin/WI.