Life Advocacy Briefing

July 26, 2021

‘Hyde’ Officially in Peril Now / Good Try / N.A.R.A.L. in Disarray?
Chen Guangcheng Now a U.S. Citizen / Supreme Court to Hear Kentucky Case
Bishop Refuses Communion for Abortion-Activist State Senator
House Voting Record / The Assault on Hyde

‘Hyde’ Officially in Peril Now

HOUSE DEMOCRATS HAVE ADVANCED to the House floor an appropriation bill that drops the Hyde Amendment protections for taxpayers and unborn children. Readers are asked to note the Family Research Council commentary on this development at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing and then to call their Member of Congress [Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121] and request support for the Hyde Amendment and a “no” vote on any appropriations bill that allows for taxpayer funding of abortions. Readers are encouraged also to follow the FRC link at the close of the commentary to take action against the radical proposal.

And we ask our readers – regardless of home Congressional district – to contact Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and thank him for standing up for the Hyde Amendment, the sole Democrat to have done so in the Appropriations Committee; he is no doubt under pressure from his party and from the abortion lobby to change his vote on Hyde if and when the question is considered in the full House.


Good Try

ABORTION SUPPORTERS IN THE U.S. HOUSE in June mounted an effort to pass – on a “suspension” motion without a recorded vote – a bill to require US taxpayers to pay for contraceptive coverage for veterans. Contraception is a controversy we do not typically write about, but when legislation does not specify that the contraceptive devices or drugs to be underwritten by taxpayers must exclude abortifacient contraceptives, many pro-life organizations – including Life Advocacy – view any vote on such a proposal as an attack on Life.

We appreciate, therefore, the effort by Rep. Matthew Rosendale (R-MT) to block HR-239 or at least force a recorded roll call on the measure. The first-term Congressman organized opposition to the bill and raised an objection to its passage under “suspension of the rules,” resulting in a roll call first on the suspension motion and then, a week later, on the measure itself. The pro-life lawmaker won on his opposition to “suspension,” because when a suspension bid is objected to, roll call on suspension requires a two-thirds majority to pass. Rep. Rosendale had secured enough “no” vote pledges to block that extraordinary majority. We thank him for his leadership and publish the voting record on the suspension motion near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing. We will soon publish the voting record on final passage of the contraception underwriting mandate in a future edition, as soon as space permits.


N.A.R.A.L. in Disarray?

NARAL PRO-CHOICE AMERICA IS UNDERTAKING a reorganization which appears to be stirring dissent in the abortion lobby’s ranks.

NARAL recently decided, reports Matt Lamb for Life (LSN) “to dissolve its 11 state affiliates and bring them under one national umbrella.” The leftwing Huffington Post characterizes the reorganization as “‘some soul-searching as it searches for a new president,’” notes Mr. Lamb. NARAL’s president Ilyse Hogue recently announced her departure.

The reorganization move, reports LSN, again quoting HuffPost, “has ‘fractur[ed] members of the NARAL community and bringing [sic] long-simmering grievances and frustrations out into the open.’ The decision comes,” writes Mr. Lamb, “as a record-breaking number of pro-life laws have been introduced … and the Supreme Court is set to hear a law that could lead to a reversal of Roe v. Wade. …

“Several state affiliates plan to break away from NARAL,” reports Mr. Lamb, “because of the decision to move to a chapter model,” centralizing power in the umbrella organization without autonomy for state and local affiliates.

“‘We are disappointed by this decision, especially as it was made without our input and against our recommendation,’ Christel Allen, executive director of the Oregon affiliate, told donors on July 13, according to the Willamette Week,” quoted by LSN.

In Virginia, the “NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia” organization “will no longer be an affiliate of NARAL Pro-Choice America,” reports Mr. Lamb, declaring as well that the Virginia outfit is “‘ready to fight harder than ever.’”

Said NARAL Missouri in the LSN report, “‘This decision was made despite protest from affiliates and without regard to the impact this decision will have on communities across the country.’”


Chen Guangcheng Now a U.S. Citizen

THE CELEBRATED BLIND CHINESE DISSIDENT who was punished by the Red Chinese government for his exposure of their lethal “one-child” depopulation regime became a US citizen on June 21 and met July 8 with his legal team to celebrate in Manchester, New Hampshire. He is currently a fellow at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

Chen Guangcheng “said in an interview with The Associated Press last week,” writes AP reporter Kathy McCormack, “he was ‘very grateful that America, this free country, has welcomed us.’ …

“An international symbol for human dignity,” notes Ms. McCormack, “after running afoul of local government officials for exposing forced abortions carried out as part of China’s one-child policy, Chen was subjected to years of persecution and illegal detention for advising villagers on how to counter official abuses.

“After serving four years in prison on what supporters called fabricated charges,” notes AP, “Chen was kept under house arrest until escaping in 2012, dodging a security cordon around his home … and placing himself under the protection of US diplomats.”

Chen was among those who addressed the Republican National Convention in 2020, calling “on other countries,” writes Ms. McCormack, “to support Pres. Donald Trump in leading a coalition to ‘stop China’s aggression.’”


Supreme Court to Hear Kentucky Case

ANOTHER ABORTION CASE IS HEADED FOR THE SUPREME COURT. The case arises out of Kentucky, where Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) is seeking standing to defend his state’s dismemberment abortion ban.

The law was passed by the legislature in 2018 and signed by then-Gov. Matt Bevin (R) but never took effect because of a judicial order enjoining its enforcement. After Andy Beshear (D) defeated Mr. Bevin and became Kentucky’s governor, the abortion advocate refused to appeal the 2019 injunction by US District Judge Joseph McKinley, Jr., a Clinton appointee. 

“In March 2021,” reports National Right to Life News Today (NRL/NT), “Atty. Gen. Cameron was granted the right to appeal to the US Supreme Court to be allowed to intervene to defend the law as the duly elected attorney general.” That is the question that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear; whether there will be an eventual appeal hinges on the decision the Court makes this fall. The Court has announced it will hear oral arguments Oct. 12 on the attorney general’s request.


Bishop Refuses Communion for Abortion-Activist State Senator

A NEW MEXICO STATE SENATOR HAS BEEN DENIED COMMUNION by the Roman Catholic bishop in his diocese after co-sponsoring a measure to repeal a long-standing, unenforced statute that restricts abortion and protects conscience rights of healthcare professionals.

State Sen. Joe Cervantes (D) had voted for a similar measure in 2019 and told the Albuquerque Journal in 2020, reports Raymond Wolfe for (LSN), “‘There should be no laws which outlaw the private decisions regarding pregnancy.’”

The liberal senator also, notes Mr. Wolfe, “backed a law this year that made New Mexico the ninth state in the US to authorize doctor-assisted suicide.”

Said the Catholic diocese in response to the Senator’s complaint about his treatment, “‘We regret the decision of Sen. Cervantes to politicize this issue,’” reports Mr. Wolfe, who further reports that the senator’s priest and then the diocesan bishop had “repeatedly attempted to contact [Sen. Cervantes] about his support of SB-10. The bishop of LasCruces, Rev. Peter Baldacchino,” reports LSN, quoting the diocese communications director, “‘did not receive a response from the senator’ either, even though Cervantes ‘was contacted multiple times prior, letting him know that if he voted for SB-10, he should not present himself for communion.’”



House Voting Record

Motion to Suspend the Rules & Pass HR-239 – Taxpayer Funding of Contraception for Veterans – Lost 240 (aye) to 188 (no) (needing 2/3) – June 15, 2021 (Democrats in italics)

Voting “No”/pro-Life: Aderholt, Brooks, Carl, Moore, Palmer, Rogers/AL; Young/AK; Gosar, Lesko, Schweikert/AZ; Crawford, Hill, Westerman, Womack/AR; Calvert, Garcia, Issa, LaMalfa, McClintock, Nunes, Valadao/CA; Boebert, Buck, Lamborn/CO; Bilirakis, Buchanan, Cammack, Diaz-Balart, Donalds, Dunn, Franklin, Gaetz, Mast, Posey, Rutherford, Steube, Waltz, Webster/FL; Allen, Carter, Clyde, Ferguson, Greene, Hice, Loudermilk, A.Scott/GA; Fulcher, Simpson/ID; LaHood, Miller/IL; Baird, Banks, Bucshon, Hollingsworth, Pence, Spartz, Walorski/IN; Feenstra, Hinson/IA; Estes, LaTurner, Mann/KS; Barr, Comer, Guthrie, Massie, Rogers/KY; Graves, Higgins, Johnson, Letlow, Scalise/LA; Harris/MD; Bergman, Huizenga, Meijer, Moolenaar, Walberg/MI; Emmer, Fischbach, Hagedorn, Stauber/MN; Guest, Kelly, Palazzo/MS; Graves, Hartzler, Long, Luetkemeyer, Smith, Wagner/MO; Rosendale/MT; Bacon, Fortenberry, Smith/NE; Amodei/NV; Herrell/NM; Smith/NJ; Garbarino, Jacobs, Stefanik, Tenney, Zeldin/NY; Bishop, Budd, Cawthorn, Foxx, Hudson, McHenry, Murphy, Rouzer/NC; Armstrong/ND; Balderson, Chabot, Davidson, Gibbs, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Latta, Turner, Wenstrup/OH; Bice, Cole, Hern, Lucas, Mullin/OK; Bentz/OR; Joyce, Keller, Kelly, Meuser, Perry, Reschenthaler, Smucker, Thompson/PA; Duncan, Norman, Rice, Timmons, Wilson/SC; Johnson/SD; Burchett, DesJarlais, Fleischmann, Green, Harshbarger, Kustoff, Rose/TN; Arrington, Babin, Brady, Burgess, Carter, Cloud, Fallon, Gohmert, 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, 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, Kim, Lee, Levin, Lieu, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Matsui, McCarthy*, McNerney, Napolitano, Obernolte, Panetta, Peters, Porter, Roybal-Allard, Ruiz, Sanchez, Schiff, Sherman, Speier, Steel, 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, Gimenez, Lawson, Murphy, Salazar, Soto, Wasserman-Schultz, Wilson/FL; Bishop, Bourdeaux, Johnson, McBath, D.Scott, Williams/GA; Case, Kahele/HI; Bost, Bustos, Casten, D.Davis, R. Davis, Foster, Garcia, Kelly, Kinzinger, Krishnamoorthi, Newman, Quigley, Rush, Schakowsky, Schneider, Underwood/IL; Carson, Mrvan/IN; Axne, Miller-Meeks/IA; Davids/KS; Yarmuth/KY; Carter/LA; 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, McClain, Slotkin, Stevens, Tlaib, Upton/MI; Craig, McCollum, Omar, Phillips/MN; Thompson/MS; Bush, Cleaver/MO; Horsford, Jones, Lee, Titus/NV; Kuster, Pappas/NH; Gottheimer, Kim, Malinowski, Norcross, Pallone, Pascrell, Payne, Sherrill, Sires, VanDrew, Watson-Coleman/NJ; Leger-Fernandez, Stansbury/NM; Bowman, Clarke, Delgado, Espaillat, Higgins, Jeffries, Katko, Malliotakis, C.Maloney, S.Maloney, Meeks, Meng, Morelle, Nadler, Ocasio-Cortez, Reed, Rice, Suozzi, Tonko, Torres, Velazquez/NY; Adams, Butterfield, Manning, Price, Ross/NC; Beatty, Gonzalez, Kaptur, Ryan/OH; Blumenauer, Bonamici, Schrader/OR; Boyle, Cartwright, Dean, Doyle, Evers, Fitzpatrick, Houlahan, Lamb, Scanlon, Wild/PA: Cicilline, Langevin/RI; Clyburn, Mace/SC; Cohen, Cooper/TN; Allred, Castro, Crenshaw, Cuellar, Doggett, Escobar, Fletcher, Garcia, Gonzales, Gonzalez, Green, Jackson-Lee, Johnson, Veasey, Vela/TX; Welch/VT; Beyer, Connolly, Luria, McEachin, Scott, Spanberger, Wexton/VA; DelBene, Jayapal, Kilmer, Larsen, Newhouse, Schrier, Smith, Strickland/WA; Kind, Moore, Pocan/WI.

Not voting: Biggs/AZ; DeFazio/OR.

*Mr. McCarthy is the House Minority Leader.


The Assault on Hyde

July 16, 2021, Washington Update commentary by Tony Perkins, Family Research Council president

             The year was 1993. Republicans and Democrats flocked to the House floor, one right after another. The debate was eerily similar to the one some Members of Congress had Thursday: Should taxpayers be forced to pay for abortions?  Pres. Bill Clinton watched the fireworks from a couple of miles away [in] the White House, where he’d started this whole argument. For the first time in 17 years, he’d presented a budget with zero abortion restrictions, plunging Congress (and the country) into a furious debate that – until this week – had been a non-negotiable truce.

             “You’re going to get a million more abortions,” argued the late Cong. Henry Hyde, who the famous amendment is named for. “We’re awash in a sea of blood.” Then, as now, Democrats resorted to a line about discrimination, arguing that this is about fairness for poor women. Tempers, the New York Times reported that day, got hotter. When things finally quieted down a half-hour later, Democrats insisted on an exception for the “health of the mother,” which Hyde blasted as amounting to “abortion on demand.” At the end of the day, Clinton’s party couldn’t muster the votes it needed to do away with the longtime compromise.

             That changed this Thursday. For the first time since 1993, the House advanced a bill that puts the price of killing innocent unborn children on the backs of unwilling taxpayers. After an intense five-hour debate, the Appropriations Committee, led by extremist Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), voted to strip the Hyde Amendment from the bill – a move so radical that it hasn’t been done in decades. Republicans desperately tried to stop the Left – with more than 24 of them lining up to speak out about the betrayal of the agreement that’s been in place for 45 years. “This is a very passionate issue for so many of us,” Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA) said.

             Right now, she pointed out: “Americans are sitting around their kitchen tables right now worrying about paying their bills. They’re worried about their jobs. They’re worried about their loved ones, especially coming out of a devastating pandemic. They’re worried about getting a spot in child care. They’re worried about putting food on the table, keeping lights on and making ends meet. Those are the real kitchen table conversations happening in Iowa and around the country. They’re working hard for their paychecks, and they hold strong convictions, much like most of us in this room. But what an absolute slap in the face to the millions of Americans who are working so hard and strongly oppose elective abortions to tell them, ‘Hey, you know what, we know you’re struggling, but we are going to fundamentally force you to do something you don’t agree with. Send your taxpayer dollars here to Washington, and we’re going to use them to pay for this horrible act that you oppose.’ That’s just wrong, and it’s reprehensible. And I’m frankly ashamed that we are even having this fight today.”

             Others rose, delivering powerful and fiery speeches about the immoral decision Democrats are forcing on the country with this crusade. “Nothing in this amendment, in the Hyde language or in the Waldon [sp.?] language would prevent a woman from seeking an abortion,” Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) argued. “Nothing. But most of the debate has been about a woman’s right to have an abortion – and whether that’s health care or not. That’s not the debate. The debate is: Who has to pay for it? And whether someone that has religious objections to abortion should be required to perform one or participate in one. That’s the only debate here [today], and it seems like there should be bipartisan support for that.”

             In the end, there was bipartisan support. Congressman Henry Cuellar from Texas rejected his party’s extreme lurch and stood with Republicans for the unborn, the women and the American people. But it wasn’t enough. Joe Biden’s party sent a bill to the full House floor that makes co-conspirators out of US taxpayers for a bloody agenda they want no part of.

             “If you think more money needs to be put into abortions, if you believe in abortion rights, you have every right to donate your money to organizations … that support abortion,” [Cong.] Simpson argued. “You have every right to do that. What you don’t have a moral right to do is to tell me – [who] believes that abortion is morally wrong – to forcefully take money from my pocket to fund abortions. That is morally wrong. … We’ve been told, ‘Well, follow the science, just follow the science.’ I am following the science, and the science that matters to me is that every abortion ends in one dead person.”

             Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), a doctor, watched the vote unfold with sadness – like every other pro-lifer. “I think it’s going to be up to the Senate,” he warned on [FRC’s] Washington Watch, to put a stop to this. “It’s going to be up to Mr. McConnell.” Fortunately for Americans, the Senate Minority Leader is up for the fight. In a shot across the bow Thursday, he watched what unfolded in the House with absolute disgust and went to his own floor to shame it.

             This newfound opposition to the Hyde Amendment is “yet another way in which the [Biden] Administration has sold itself as ‘moderate and unifying’ but ‘is now spiraling way to the Left … .’ Since the 1970s, abortion has claimed the lives of more than 60 million unborn children. But at the very, very least, the mainstream bipartisan Hyde Amendment has ensured that taxpayers’ hard-earned money is not funneled into this brutal practice in today’s Democratic Party.” Now, he shook his head, “There is no room to dissent from the far-Left in the culture war – even in the most modest, most long-standing, most popular ways.”

             For now, FRC is proud of all the House Republicans who stood together in defense of innocent human life. For the first time in a long time, more Republicans spoke out for the unborn than Democrats did for abortion. They may not have won the vote, but they’re winning the argument. And in the end, that’s what will matter for this debate – and our future.

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