Life Advocacy Briefing

August 30, 2021

Pushing Back / Lawmakers Respond to Justice Dept. Retreat
Note to Texas: Repeal the 10-Day Rule! / Indiana Appeals
Facing Reality / Disproportionate Priorities
Abusing Our Children / That’s a Baby!

Pushing Back

THE ABORTION FIGHT IN WASHINGTON, D.C., THESE DAYS happens every so often in actual recorded votes in the Congress but arises also when pro-life lawmakers stand up to set the record straight in the face of relentless abortion advocacy from a variety of bureaucrats and Administration spokesmen. An example of this is seen in an Aug. 9 Live Action report by Anna Marie Williams in which she highlights a push-back by US Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) against misstatements (to put it politely) by Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough in a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing.

The Secretary – a member of Pres. Biden’s cabinet – “called the [VA] abortion prohibition a ‘policy decision,’ and a ‘regulatory matter,’” writes Ms. Williams, “intimating that the policy could be reversed or the regulation removed.

“[Sen.] Moran noted,” reports LA, “that the VA’s prohibition on abortion provision or counseling is no mere ‘policy decision’ – it is enshrined in federal law.” He went on to spell out the history of the prohibition, which includes enactment of the abortion prohibition in 1992, a statutory prohibition which has not been revoked or revised.

We thank Sen. Moran for standing up for Life, and we invite readers to read the entire report at


Lawmakers Respond to Justice Dept. Retreat

MORE FALLOUT HAS DEVELOPED on Capitol Hill from the move by Attorney General Merrick Garland to drop a federal lawsuit against the University of Vermont Medical Center for its violation of the conscience rights of a nurse who was forced to participate in killing a preborn child.

A letter initiated by GOP Senators Tom Cotton (AR) and James Lankford (OK) protesting the Garland move was signed by some 84 Members of Congress from both houses. The letter stated, reports Nancy Flanders for Live Action, “‘Your handling of this case is a profound miscarriage of justice and a rejection of your commitment to enforce federal conscience laws for Americans of all religious beliefs and creeds – and especially for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who object to abortion.’”

A more extensive report on the letter, the text of the letter itself and the signers can be found on the Internet at


Note to Texas: Repeal the 10-Day Rule!

TEXAS RIGHT TO LIFE HAS MOUNTED A PETITION CAMPAIGN to urge Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to add repeal of the state’s pernicious “10-day rule” to the agenda of the Legislature in one of its seemingly frequent special sessions.

The Ten-Day Rule, which is deeply offensive to those of us who advocate the unalienable right to life, authorizes hospitals, notes Katherine Pitcher, reporting for Texas Right to Life, “to override even the explicit instructions in a patient’s valid advance directive to remove basic care that is merely allowing the patient to continue living, often due to unethical value judgments about the patient’s subjective ‘quality of life.’”

Ms. Pitcher’s report outlines a specific case from November, 2020, when a 56-year-old Covid-19 patient named Jose Cobos-Portillo, who resided in Mexico, landed in an Amarillo hospital for treatment after falling ill to the Chinese virus. Two months after he was admitted to the hospital, “Texas Right to Life … received the call for help from [his] family in November; the hospital had already,” writes Ms. Pitcher, “started the 10-day countdown to forcibly remove his ventilator.”

Quoting the patient’s brother, Texas Right to Life reports, “‘A doctor started to get arrogant with me. He told me that he wasn’t asking for my permission. He told me that he was going to go to a committee and that they were going to disconnect’” his brother. “‘The doctor told me that Jose had run out of options and that he only had one week left.’ … [The patient’s] family felt overwhelmed and helpless as their loved one faced a denial of life-sustaining care in a foreign country. … The hospital had arranged for the family to call in to listen to the ethics committee meeting, [but] there was little to no opportunity for meaningful participation on the part of the family. …

“With help from patient advocates and a Texas Right to Life attorney, Jose and his family fought back to protect his life and succeeded in stopping the countdown – with three days to spare. … Because he received meaningful assistance instead of a 10-day expiration date, Jose has miraculously made a full recovery from his harrowing experience with Covid-19,” reports Ms. Pitcher, “and is now safe at home with his family.” [The full story can be found at]

But his story is just the latest in a long string of horror stories out of Texas – of all places – because of the 10-day rule through which hospitals cut their losses in challenging cases. We join Texas Right to Life in urging Gov. Abbott and Texas lawmakers: It’s way past time for the 10-day rule to go!


Indiana Appeals

INDIANA’s ATTORNEY GENERAL TODD ROKITA (R) HAS APPEALED to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals the many-fold ruling of District Judge Sarah Evans Barker enjoining enforcement, notes National Right to Life News editor Dave Andrusko, of six abortion-related provisions of law. (Full story available on page 7 of

Judge Barker, in early July, upheld “some pro-life provisions,” Mr. Andrusko reports, but permanently blocked enforcement of several, outlined in the NRLNews story by Indiana Right to Life: “Indiana is blocked from enforcing the physician-only limitations on chemical abortions, Indiana’s ban on chemical abortions via telemedicine, Indiana’s requirement that second-trimester abortions can only be done in hospitals, Indiana’s requirement that women be informed about an unborn baby’s ability to feel pain at 20 weeks, Indiana’s requirement that women be informed that human physical life begins at fertilization and multiple physical requirements for facilities that do abortions.”


Facing Reality

LIVE ACTION HAS PUBLISHED A REPORT showing abortion data from various states which documents the reality of late-term abortions. Two charts from Kentucky, for example, list abortions committed in the years 2017 and 2019, breaking down the data to disclose the numbers of abortions by weeks of gestation, and showing abortions as late as 38 weeks from conception.

Michigan’s reports, writes LA’s Carole Novielli, “recorded multiple abortions committed at ‘over 28 weeks’ but did not specify the gestational age beyond this. Two of these abortions were committed in 2020, one in 2019, one in 2018, three in 2017, eight in 2016, 21 in 2015 and 18 in 2014.

“Tragically, Minnesota’s 2020 abortion report also recorded one abortion committed at 35 weeks gestation,” Ms. Novielli writes. “The same pattern appeared in the state in 2018, when the clinical estimated fetal ages of babies aborted (up to birth) were as follows: two at 31 weeks, one at 36 weeks and one at 39 weeks gestation.”

Such data could be helpful to the Supreme Court this fall in its consideration of a post-15-week abortion ban enacted by Mississippi. More detail can be found by checking out the full story at


Disproportionate Priorities

Aug. 11, 2021, Memo to American Values supporters by Gary Bauer

             America right now is dealing with two deadly diseases that target people on the margins of life.

             The first one – Covid-19 – is in the headlines every day. It has consumed our attention for 18 months since it probably leaked from a Chinese Communist lab in Wuhan. The second – abortion on demand – is a disease of the heart. And sadly, it rarely makes headlines. We have been dealing with this since 1973 when the Supreme Court claimed it found a right to kill the unborn in the Constitution of the United States.

             So far, over 600,000 Americans have died of Covid. A disproportionate number of them were elderly people and those with pre-existing conditions. So far, abortion on demand in America has taken the lives of over 20 million unborn children.

             On this very day, 500 people will sadly die of Covid, but abortion will claim a much larger toll of several thousand of our most defenseless children.

             Thankfully, Covid does not kill 99% of people who contract it. But 99.9% of abortion victims die. It’s rare indeed for an unborn child to miraculously escape death from the abortionist’s knife.

             We’re spending billions of dollars to fight Covid and to overcome the damage it’s doing to our society. At the same time, we’re spending billions of dollars to subsidize abortion while pro-abortion politicians try to compel everybody to participate in the slaughter.

             While we disagree on strategy, most of us understand the importance of fighting Covid. And – with God’s help – we’re well on our way to defeating it. Today, the new Delta strain of Covid appears to have already peaked in the ‘hot spots” of the last couple of weeks. I pray that we will defeat abortion soon and that all of our children will some day be welcomed into the world and protected under the law.

             But we remain deeply divided over whether the destruction of nearly a million unborn children a year is something to be stopped or celebrated. [We] will continue to do everything we can to save our innocent unborn children.


Abusing Our Children

July 19, 2021, The Point commentary from BreakPoint by John Stonestreet & Maria Baer

             Creators of a new children’s book have raised more than $20,000 online to publish their project. The title? What’s an Abortion, Anyway? Creators say they also plan to send 300 copies to libraries across the country.

             “We believe in building a world for kids and adults where abortion is normalized as another outcome of pregnancy,” reads the fundraising site.

             But this raises an important question. If abortion is “just another outcome of pregnancy,” why does it require a $20,000 effort to “normalize” it? How normal can something be if it takes a fundraising and propaganda effort just to convince the world how normal it is?

             Here’s one thing this sad campaign gets right: It is incredibly important what we teach our children. Very young kids don’t need to know what an abortion is until parents feel they’re ready. But it’s never too early to teach our kids that each person, no matter how small, was created on purpose by a good God and therefore has an inherent dignity no one can – or should – ever steal.


That’s a Baby!

June 29, 2021, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council’s Center for Human Dignity director Mary Szoch

             At 37 weeks, I am well beyond the phase where people are afraid of offending me by asking if I am pregnant. In fact, the large, very visible “bump” that affirms the presence of another within me is almost impossible for people not to comment on.

             As I walked to my car this morning, a man shouted from across the lot, “You have a great day! Both of you!” A few days ago, after walking out of church, a little girl excitedly shouted, “You havin’ a boy or girl?” “I think it’s twins!!” her friend squealed with glee. Leaving Bed, Bath & Beyond, a woman said to me, “You just look just beautiful.” At the local grocery, a fellow mom said to me, “Your life is about to get real fun!” And as I carried my bags out of the store, a man asked if I needed help getting into my car. Neighbors, who I am convinced I would have never met otherwise, regularly ask me how I am feeling and if I need anything. I have not opened a door for myself in at least 12 weeks. Everyone greets me with a smile. Everyone is more patient with me. Everyone gets excited to see me.

             Regardless of people’s age, background, sex, political party or socio-economic status, people who see me, a visibly pregnant woman, recognize the awesome reality that a life is growing within me – and they respond accordingly. In short, people – whether they realize it or not – are pro-life. This past Friday, the Associated Press released a new poll proving the conclusions drawn from my experiences empirically true. In fact, the poll showed 65% of Americans believe abortion should be illegal in the second trimester and 80% believe it should be illegal in the third, once again demonstrating the truth: Roe v. Wade was never in line with American attitudes toward abortion.

             This poll is especially timely as the Supreme Court prepares to review Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health – a case determining whether Mississippi’s 15-week ban on abortion is constitutional. While the Left would have everyone believe abortion on demand is not only a right granted in the Constitution (spoiler alert: it’s not) but also that it is the will of the people, the reality is, according to the Associated Press, 65% of Americans favor restrictions on abortion that are greater than those passed by Mississippi state legislators [and now pending at the Supreme Court].

             In 2021 alone, over 500 pro-life bills were introduced to state legislators with Arkansas and Oklahoma joining Alabama on the list of states to pass total abortion bans. In fact, across the globe, the United States abortion laws are a radical representation of the culture of death that nine Supreme Court justices imposed on the American people. Seventy-five percent of countries world-wide restrict abortion to 12 weeks, and only seven – including human rights violators North Korea and China – allow abortion beyond 20 weeks. The United States allows abortion on demand through 40 weeks.

             It is time for American laws to reflect American values. During my second and third trimester, I have experienced the joy and awe people feel when they see a pregnant woman. Whether consciously or unconsciously, people recognize that the child growing within me is a miracle, and for the past two to three months, they have treated me like royalty because of it.

             Sadly, the Associated Press poll also showed that only 38% of Americans believe abortion should be illegal during the first trimester. The child growing in my womb is the same child today as he or she was 37 weeks ago at the moment of conception. I imagine if people could see the presence of the child in the first trimester, the AP poll results would be significantly different.

             Let’s pray for all those babies whose presence is not yet visible, and let’s pray for America’s laws to protect those “invisible miracles.”