Life Advocacy Briefing

April 26, 2021

Another Radical Move / Good Way to Start!
Expecting the Worst / They Don’t Even Listen to Themselves!
Taking Biden-Harris Agenda to the Global Stage / House Voting Record

Another Radical Move

THE U.S. HOUSE VOTED LAST THURSDAY to declare the District of Columbia a state, seeking to give a Congressional House seat and two US Senate seats to the most left-wing-concentrated 68.3-square-mile area in the United States and to overturn the unique reservation of the nation’s seat of power, which has served the nation well since its 18th-century inception and whose unique composition is provided for in Article I, Section 8, of the United States Constitution. The 216-208 vote was completely partisan. We publish the roll call at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing and will publish two related procedural-motion roll calls in later editions.

The pendency of this ill-intended legislation offers another reason for advocates for Life to oppose – in these days of intense division – the reshaping of the Senate by elimination of the filibuster; the Senate rule requiring 60 votes to advance legislation to a vote is currently standing in the way of “DC Statehood” taking effect, pending litigation to preserve the unique treatment of our nation’s capital district.   

HR-51 was introduced by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), who is not a US Representative but under the rules adopted by the Pelosi Democrats is authorized to file legislation, though she cannot vote on her own bill. Here is the wording of the first section: “Subject to the provisions of this Act, upon the issuance of the proclamation required by section 103(a), the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth is declared to be a State of the United States of America, and is declared admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the other States in all respects whatever.”


Good Way to Start!

WE WELCOME REP. JULIA LETLOW (R-LA) TO THE U.S. HOUSE. The winner of a special election called upon the unexpected passing of her husband, who had won the northeast Louisiana seat last November but died shortly before he was to take office, has already signed on as one of the 200 co-sponsors of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, HR-619, sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO).

House passage of the legislation is a top goal of the pro-life contingent in the US House, where Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) is circulating a petition to discharge it from committee, attracting some 202 signatures on the first day; 218 signatures are needed to trigger a House floor debate and vote.

The proposed legislation would require medical personnel to afford to abortion survivors the same medical intervention as given to a newborn whose birth is wanted. The Senate version, S-123, is sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) with 45 co-sponsors. All sponsors in both houses are Republicans, though the same legislation in the last Congress was co-sponsored by three Democrats, two of whom lost the 2020 election; one, Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, has yet to sign on to this year’s bill when we checked last Thursday.


Expecting the Worst

EVERY DAY THE AGENDA ROLLS OUT, and following it imposes whiplash on those of us who care about the effect of public policy – regulatory, legislative and judicial – especially since the inauguration of the Biden-Harris Regime. When it comes to abortion policy, the Guttmacher Institute – formerly the “research arm” of Planned Parenthood – has laid out a roadmap for the abortion cartel’s fellow travelers in government. Live Action’s Carole Novielli reported on Guttmacher’s latest “report” in late March, and the outline of what Guttmacher is “demand[ing] to its allies” in government is worth noting and quoting from Ms. Novielli:

  • “Promote abortion as good: ‘The power of using the bully pulpit to destigmatize and promote access to comprehensive, equitable abortion care cannot be overstated. Congress and the Biden-Harris Administration must use their platforms to speak clearly and often about abortion rights …’

  • “Federal statutory right to abortion: ‘Congress must act … to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would establish a federal statutory right for … abortion care free from … restrictions … .’

  • “Taxpayer-funded abortion: To ‘promote equitable access to abortion care,’ Guttmacher recommends removal of the Hyde Amendment … . Guttmacher also suggested Congress pass the EACH Woman Act, which it claims would ‘ensure people can obtain insurance coverage of abortion whether they get their coverage or care through Medicaid, Medicare, other public programs or private health plans.’

  • “Force medical personnel to participate in abortion: Another of Guttmacher’s directives is to eliminate the Weldon Amendment, which protects healthcare organizations from being penalized for not providing abortion … . In other words, part of Guttmacher’s goal is to force physicians and others to be complicit with abortion. …

  • “Expand access to the abortion pill: A previous Guttmacher report indicated the abortion industry had no plans to relinquish profits from chemical abortions. It is estimated that the abortion industry is grossing nearly $200 million annually in abortion pill sales. Therefore, the industry is pushing to expand access to the abortion pill by removing a safety system called REMS, put in place by the FDA. This would open the flood gates to DIY, at-home chemical abortions. … ‘First, the Administration must immediately issue guidance confirming that the FDA will not require in-person dispensing of abortion pills for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic. Next, the FDA should review all the restrictions it currently places on abortion pills in light of the full body of scientific and realworld use and modify or remove them accordingly,’ Guttmacher wrote. …

  • “Promote abortion to minors: Guttmacher data reveals that younger teens (age 15 and under) accounted for 0.2% of reported abortions, while those 15-19 years accounted for 8.7 % of reported abortion. … Guttmacher’s directive claims abortions would, according to them, ‘benefit adolescents and young adults.’ This follows a recent Planned Parenthood affiliate strategy to increase its self-described ‘bucket of money’ by including outreach to minorities and teens. To accomplish this, Guttmacher suggested the federal government should ‘address the specific needs and barriers facing this age group, as well as to prioritize young people’s access to confidential and affordable care.’ In other words, do not involve their parents.

  • “Create an abortion service corps: … Guttmacher wants the taxpayer to finance a pool of abortionists and directed Congress to ‘[c]reate a reproductive healthcare provider service corps’ to ‘increase the availability of abortion care.’ This new tax-funded agency would then ‘provide incentives and support’ to abortionists willing to target abortion to the ‘underserved areas.’ … Guttmacher wrote, ‘This program should … encourage enrollment of bilingual providers and providers of color to reflect the populations they serve.’”


They Don’t Even Listen to Themselves!

April 20, 2021, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council’s director of the FRC Center for Human Dignity Mary Szoch

            Alexis McGill Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood, recently wrote an op-ed in the New York Times titled, “I’m the Head of Planned Parenthood. We’re Done Making Excuses for Our Founder. We must reckon with Margaret Sanger’s association with white supremacist groups and eugenics.”

            Yet this title proves to be more than a little misleading, when several lines into the article, Johnson states, “whether our founder was a racist is not a simple yes or no question.”

            Well, Margaret Sanger spoke at a KuKluxKlan rally; she said, “We don’t want the word to get out that we want to exterminate the negro Population,” and she referred to birth control as “nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defectives.” So maybe the answer is not simple to Johnson, but Sanger’s actions and words speak for themselves.

            Johnson goes on to acknowledge that Sanger caused harm “to generations of people with disabilities, and Black, Latino, Asian-American and Indigenous people.” But sadly, she proves the first words of the op-ed, “we need to talk about Margaret Sanger,” true when throughout the rest of the article, Johnson – who promised to reckon with Sanger’s actions – simply talks.

            In all of her talking, Johnson promises not to ignore women of color, but not once does she mention that as the largest provider of abortions in America, Planned Parenthood targets people of color by locating 79% of their surgical abortion facilities within walking distance of African-American or Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods.

            Johnson commits to fighting dehumanization including the “dehumanization of transgender people,” but fails to confess that by becoming the second largest provider of cross-sex hormones in the country, Planned Parenthood is putting people who identify as transgender at risk of serious dangers, including interference with brain development, inhibition of normal bone-density development and sterilization.

            Johnson concedes that Sanger caused harm to people with disabilities, but she fails to admit that in America, abortions – which in America are performed primarily by Planned Parenthood – target people with disabilities in the womb and that 67% of parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome abort their child, 63% of parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Spina Bifida abort their child, at least 65% of parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of cystic fibrosis abort their child, and 83% of parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of anencephaly abort their child.

            Not surprisingly, among the many things Johnson fails to remember in her op-ed is that when Missouri tried to pass legislation banning abortion because of race, gender or prenatal diagnosis indicating Down syndrome, she responded on behalf of Planned Parenthood, saying, “Let’s be very clear: these severe restrictions on abortion access do nothing to address disability rights or discrimination.” This statement identifies the root of why Planned Parenthood has not and will not “reckon with” and depart from Margaret Sanger’s beliefs. Planned Parenthood believes that killing innocent babies in the womb because they are black, because they are women or because they have Down syndrome is not a form of discrimination.

            As Johnson said, “Margaret Sanger harmed generations with her beliefs. In our second century, Planned Parenthood has the chance to heal those harms.” Perhaps not dehumanizing and killing the most innocent among us – the unborn – would be a good place to start.


Taking Biden-Harris Agenda to the Global Stage

April 15, 2021, commentary by Stefano Gennarini, JD, for Center for Family & Human Rights (C-Fam)

            US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made two recent moves that will raise alarms among pro-lifers and other conservatives. First, he “repudiated” the work of the US Commission on Unalienable Rights, founded by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and chaired by Harvard Prof. Mary Ann Glendon. At the same time, Blinken promised to elevate “sexual and reproductive rights” in the annual human rights report issued by the State Dept. This is also a reversal from the Trump Administration that removed abortion from the annual report because abortion is not recognized as a human right. The moves drew praise from abortion groups and criticism from conservatives.

            “Women’s rights – including sexual and reproductive rights – are human rights,” Blinken said, as if to shut down any further debate about the legitimacy of abortion and LGBT issues.

            The new focus of the Biden Administration on “sexual and reproductive rights” – a term used by the global abortion industry and the LGBT lobby internationally – promises to be broader in scope than the approach to “reproductive rights” under the Obama Administration.

            Traditionally, reproductive rights were understood to refer to the prevention of coercion in family planning and access to maternal and child health. The new emphasis on “sexual rights” signals the intention of the Biden Administration to elevate controversial social policies, including abortion, LGBT issues and sexual autonomy for children as human rights. And it is consistent with the positions taken by the Biden Administration in the United Nations alongside the European Union. Blinken promised to add a focus on these issues in future years and to publish an addendum on sexual and reproductive rights to the 2020 human rights report later this year.

            Blinken chided the Trump Administration for seeking to prioritize unalienable civil and political rights that are in line with the US Constitution over social and economic rights, saying there was no “hierarchy” of human rights. “All people are entitled to these rights, no matter where they’re born, what they believe, whom they love or any other characteristic,” Blinken emphasized.

            He did not call the commission by its proper name; he derogatorily dismissed it as “a recently disbanded State Dept. advisory committee.” He described the work of the commission as “unbalanced.” And he downplayed the work of the commission as mere “statements,” without referring to the landmark report of the commission.

            The lobbying arm of the global abortion industry in Washington, DC, a group called CHANGE, praised Blinken’s remarks and launched a social media campaign to support him. Conservatives expressed confusion and disapproval.

            At the Council on Foreign Relations, former Bush and Trump White House advisor Elliot Abrams called Blinken’s characterizations of the US Commission on Unalienable Rights “unfair” and “unworthy of the State Dept. and the Secretary.” He accused Blinken of bowing to political pressure and questioned whether Blinken had even read the report of the commission. Members of the “disbanded” commission defended their work. Peter Berkowitz at Real Clear Politics and Russell A. Berman at the National Interest accused Blinken of politicizing human rights.


House Voting Record

HR-51 – Conferring Statehood on the District of Columbia  – April 22, 2021 – Passed 216 to 208 (New Member, ALL CAPS; Democrats in italics)

Voting “no”/pro-Life: Aderholt, Brooks, Carl, Moore, Palmer, Rogers/AL; Young/AK; Biggs, Gosar, Lesko, Schweikert/AZ; Crawford, Hill, Westerman, Womack/AR; Calvert, Garcia, Issa, Kim, LaMalfa, McCarthy, McClintock, Nunes, Obernolte, Steel, Valadao/CA; Boebert, Buck, Lamborn/CO; Bilirakis, Buchanan, Cammack, Diaz-Balart, Donalds, Dunn, Franklin, Gaetz, Gimenez, Mast, Posey, Rutherford, Salazar, Steube, Waltz, Webster/FL; Allen, Carter, Ferguson, Greene, Hice, Loudermilk, A.Scott/GA; Fulcher, Simpson/ID; Bost, R.Davis, Kinzinger, LaHood, Miller/IL; Baird, Banks, Barr, Bucshon, Hollingsworth, Pence, Spartz, Walorski/IN; Feenstra, Hinson, Miller-Meeks/IA; Estes, LaTurner, Mann/KS; Comer, Guthrie, Massie, Rogers/KY; Harris/MD; Graves, Higgins, Johnson, LETLOW, Scalise/LA; Bergman, Huizenga, McClain, Meijer, Moolenaar, Upton, Walberg/MI; Emmer, Fischbach, Hagedorn, Stauber/MN; Guest, Kelly, Palazzo/MS; Graves, Hartzler, Long, Luetkemeyer, Smith, Wagner/MO; Rosendale/MT; Bacon, Fortenberry/NE; Amodei/NV; Herrell/NM; Smith, VanDrew/NJ; Garbarino, Jacobs, Katko, Malliotakis, Reed, Stefanik, Tenney, Zeldin/NY; Bishop, Budd, Cawthorn, Foxx, Hudson, McHenry, Murphy, Rouzer/NC; Armstrong/ND; Balderson, Chabot, Davidson, Gibbs, Gonzalez, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Latta, Turner, Wenstrup/OH; Bice, Cole, Hern, Lucas, Mullin/OK; Bentz/OR; Fitzpatrick, Joyce, Keller, Kelly, Meuser, Perry, Reschenthaler, Smucker, Thompson/PA; Duncan, Mace, Norman, Rice, Timmons, Wilson/SC; Johnson/SD; Burchett, DesJarlais, Fleischmann, Green, Harshbarger, Kustoff, Rose/TN; Arrington, Brady, Burgess, Carter, Cloud, Crenshaw, Fallon, Gohmert, Gonzales, Gooden, Granger, Jackson, McCaul, Nehls, Pfluger, Roy, Sessions, Taylor, VanDuyne, Weber, Williams/TX; Curtis, Moore, Owens, Stewart/UT; Cline, Good, Griffith, Wittman/VA; Herrera-Beutler, Newhouse, Rodgers/WA; McKinley, Miller, Mooney/WV; Fitzgerald, Gallagher, Grothman, Steil, Tiffany/WI; Cheney/WY.

Voting “yes”/anti-Life: Sewell/AL; Gallego, Grijalva, Kirkpatrick, O’Halleran, Stanton/AZ; Aguilar, Barragan, Bass, Bera, Brownley, Carbajal, Cardenas, Chu, Correa, Costa, DeSaulnier, Eshoo, Garamendi, Gomez, Harder, Huffman, Jacobs, Khanna, Lee, Levin, Lieu, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Matsui, McNerney, Napolitano, Panetta, Pelosi*, Peters, Porter, Roybal-Allard, Ruiz, Sanchez, Schiff, Sherman, Speier, Swalwell, Takano, Thompson, Torres, Vargas, Waters/CA; Crow, DeGette, Neguse, Perlmutter/CO; Courtney, DeLauro, Hayes, Himes, Larson/CT; Blunt-Rochester/DE; Castor, Crist, Demings, Deutch, Frankel, Lawson, Murphy, Soto, Wasserman-Schultz, Wilson/FL; Bishop, Bourdeaux, Johnson, McBath, D.Scott, Williams/GA; Case, Kahele/HI; Bustos, Casten, D.Davis, Foster, Garcia, Kelly, Krishnamoorthi, Newman, Quigley, Rush, Schakowsky, Schneider, Underwood/IL; Carson, Mrvan/IN; Axne/IA; Davids/KS; Yarmuth/KY; Golden, Pingree/ME; Brown, Hoyer, Mfume, Raskin, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes, Trone/MD; Auchincloss, Clark, Keating, Lynch, McGovern, Moulton, Neal, Pressley, Trahan/MA; Dingell, Kildee, Lawrence, Levin, Slotkin, Stevens/MI; Craig, McCollum, Omar, Phillips/MN; Thompson/MS; Bush, Cleaver/MO; Horsford, Jones, Lee, Titus/NV; Kuster/NH; Gottheimer, Kim, Malinowski, Norcross, Pallone, Pappas, Pascrell, Payne, Sherrill, Sires, Watson-Coleman/NJ; Leger-Fernandez/NM; Clarke, Delgado, Espaillat, Higgins, Jeffries, C.Maloney, S.Maloney, Meeks, Meng, Morelle, Nadler, Rice, Suozzi, Tonko, Torres, Velazquez/NY; Adams, Butterfield, Manning, Price, Ross/NC; Beatty, Kaptur, Ryan/OH; Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio, Schrader/OR; Bowman, Boyle, Cartwright, Dean, Doyle, Evans, Houlahan, Lamb, Scanlon, Wild/PA; Cicilline, Langevin/RI; Clyburn/SC; Cohen, Cooper/TN; Allred, Castro, Cuellar, Doggett, Escobar, Fletcher, Garcia, Gonzalez, Green, Jackson-Lee, Johnson, Veasey, Vela/TX; Welch/VT; Beyer, Connolly, Luria, McEachin, Scott, Spanberger, Wexton/VA; DelBene, Jayapal, Kilmer, Larsen, Schrier, Smith, Strickland/WA; Kind, Moore, Pocan/WI.

Not voting: Clyde/GA, Tlaib/MI, Smith/NE, Ocasio-Cortez/NY, Stivers/OH, Babin/TX.

*Though the Speaker of the House does not customarily cast a vote, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-SanFrancisco) chose to do so in this matter.