Life Advocacy Briefing

November 15, 2021

Just When We Thought They Could Not Get Worse
In the Courts / ‘There Is No International Right to Abortion’
Moving Ahead in Ohio / Let Us Pray

Just When We Thought They Could Not Get Worse

THE BIDEN REGIME HAS SENT $5 MILLION of our tax money to the United Nations, reports Jack Bingham for LifeSiteNews (LSN), “to fund ‘portable abortion devices’ helping to kill unborn children abroad.” The “gift” was announced by the State Dept. on Nov. 1, to be funneled through the notorious United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

It will “aid women abroad,” notes Mr. Bingham, “in accessing contraceptive, abortion-inducing drugs and abortion-performing ‘manual vacuum aspirator’ (MVA) devices.”

The State Dept. views this atrocious use of our tax dollars as a means, reports LSN, of “empowering women and girls, including by promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights, advanc[ing] human rights, gender equality and global health.’” Ha!

To add further insult, the State Dept. announced the grant as “‘an inaugural US contribution to UNFPA Supplies,’” so apparently the Biden apparatus views this as an ongoing commitment of our dollars.

Dr. Rebecca Oas, who is research director for the Center for Family & Human Rights, “provided a breakdown of the recent announcement,” writes Mr. Bingham, “list[ing] the products provided by the UNFPA, including ‘a portable abortion device called the manual vacuum aspirator’ and ‘the abortion-inducing drugs misoprostol and mifepristone [RU-486].’ According to [Dr.] Oas,” reports LSN, “an MVA works by using ‘suction to evacuate the uterus’ and is ‘frequently used in early-term abortions,’” as is the RU-486 drug cocktail.

“According to [Dr.] Oas,” notes LSN, “‘The US does not directly fund abortions overseas due to the 1973 Helms Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act. This law has always been interpreted to prohibit the procurement of abortion-inducing commodities … .’”

We look forward to learning of objections to this “gift” being raised in the US House and Senate, and we hope to be able to report who steps forward to protest this further assault on American values and taxpayer integrity.


In the Courts

  • IN LATE OCTOBER, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rebuffed Planned Parenthood of Indiana & Kentucky in the abortionists’ attempt to win “‘rehearing by the full court in a case alleging the complications reporting law is unconstitutionally vague,’ according to MaryAnne Pazanowski of Bloomberg Law,” quoted by National Right to Life News editor Dave Andrusko. “In so doing,” notes Mr. Andrusko, “the court upheld an August decision of a panel of the 7th [Circuit] which overturned a permanent injunction that barred Indiana from enforcing the law, which lists 255 complications that should be reported if they arose because of an abortion.” The law was enacted in 2018 and is indeed, as Mr. Andrusko delineates, “very specific in what must be reported.” Such laws serve to curb abuses in abortuaries and to alert the public that abortion is neither simple nor safe. We are glad to see the 7th Circuit getting this one right and holding firm.

  • THE 4th U.S. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS IS EXPECTED to hear oral arguments on Dec. 6 in Planned Parenthood’s challenge to enforcement of South Carolina’s Fetal Heartbeat & Protection from Abortion Act, which was immediately challenged after being signed into law last February by Gov. Henry McMaster (R). A District Court has blocked enforcement of the law pending the Supreme Court’s anticipated 2022 ruling in Mississippi’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org. The high court has scheduled oral arguments in that case for Dec. 1. Some 20 states in July submitted an amicus brief supporting South Carolina’s law, and 20 other states in September filed an amicus brief siding with Planned Parenthood. Live Action notes a story by Life News, which reports, according to LA, “Gov. McMaster claims Planned Parenthood had filed its lawsuit before he had even signed the act into law, saying that US District Judge Mary G. Lewis ‘substituted [her] own assessment for the [SC] General Assembly’s judgment and the Act’s plain text.’ He also argued,” reports LA, “that the judge should have upheld [at least] those parts of the law that ‘many states have passed – and courts have upheld” – namely, the informed consent [provisions] that give women the option to see their child’s ultrasound and hear the heartbeat before an abortion.”


‘There Is No International Right to Abortion’

Nov. 3, 2021, National Review column by Alexandra DeSanctis

             Congressional Republicans [introduced] a concurrent resolution affirming that there is no international right to abortion. The resolution, obtained exclusively by National Review, celebrates the first anniversary of the Geneva Consensus Declaration, which was signed last year by a coalition of nearly three dozen countries. The declaration affirmed that both women and unborn children have inalienable rights deserving of protection and denied that there is an international right to abortion.

             Almost immediately after taking office in January, Pres. Joe Biden removed the US as a signatory to the declaration, offering no explanation for that decision. Citing a number of previous United Nations documents, the Geneva Consensus Declaration restated several key principles, including:

  • “All are equal before the law,” and “human rights of women are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of all human rights and fundamental freedoms”

  • The inherent “dignity and worth of the human person,” that “every human being has the inherent right to life”

  • “In no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning” and that “any measures or changes related to abortion within the health system can only be determined at the national or local level according to the national legislative process”

  • There is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation on the part of states to finance or facilitate abortion, consistent with the long-standing international consensus that each nation has the sovereign right to implement programs and activities consistent with their laws and policies

             The new resolution [SConRes-17], sponsored by Republicans Steve Daines (MT) and James Lankford (OK) in the Senate, reaffirms several planks of the Geneva Consensus Declaration and repudiates Biden’s decision to remove the US as a signatory.

             Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, who is chair[man] of the Republican Study Committee, has introduced a companion measure [HConRes-57] in the House with 29 [now 35] co-sponsors.

             “Honoring the most basic right of an individual to live should not be controversial, but unfortunately Pres. Biden is determined to be the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history, as demonstrated by his decision to remove the United States from the declaration and promote abortion to other countries,” Lankford told National Review.

             “Last year, under the leadership of Pres. Trump, the US led a global coalition to reaffirm that all life is sacred and there is no international right to abortion, to protect the family and to defend the sovereign right of nations to enact laws that advance these core values, without external pressures,” Daines said in a statement to National Review. “Despite Pres. Biden’s withdrawal, the Geneva Consensus Declaration coalition has continued to grow to now 36 signatory countries, which are committed to working together against the imposition of an anti-life, anti-family agenda.”

             “This resolution celebrates the historic nature of the Geneva Consensus Declaration and affirms the commitments we made with our like-minded friends a year ago. Pro-life Americans will continue to defend the basic right to life for all individuals,” Lankford added.

             The resolution has 14 co-sponsors in the Senate: John Boozman of Arkansas, Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, John Hawley of Missouri, Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran of Kansas, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, Mike Braun of Indiana, Rob Portman of Ohio, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Mike Lee of Utah and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma.

             Among other provisions, the resolution pledges to “conduct oversight of the United States executive branch to ensure that the United States does not conduct or fund abortions, abortion lobbying or coercive family planning in foreign countries, consistent with longstanding federal law.”

[Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: The House version of the concurrent resolution has 35 co-sponsors as of our publication deadline. Joining Rep. Banks of Indiana are GOP Representatives Robert Aderholt (AL); Paul Gosar (AZ); Bruce Westerman (AR); John Rutherford and Michael Waltz (FL); Earl Carter & Andrew Clyde (GA); Mary Miller (IL); Larry Bucshon & Jackie Walorski (IN); Randy Feenstra & Marianette Miller-Meeks (IA); Jake LaTurner & Tracey Mann (KS); Mike Johnson (LA); John Moolenaar (MI); Steven Palazzo (MS); Blaine Luetkemeyer & Ann Wagner (MO); Yvette Herrell (NM); Ted Budd (NC); Brad Wenstrup (OH); Markwayne Mullin (OK); Lloyd Smucker (PA); Jeff Duncan, Ralph Norman & William Timmons (SC); Diana Harshbarger & David Kustoff (TN); Brian Babin, Louie Gohmert & Ronny Jackson (TX); David McKinley & Alex Mooney (WV); and Glenn Grothman (WI).]


Moving Ahead in Ohio

Nov. 2, 2021, Live Action News report by Cassy Fiano-Chesser

             A new bill introduced by Ohio State Rep. Jena Powell aims to reduce the number of abortions in the United States from 2,363 each day to zero. The 2363 Act would ban abortion in Ohio, except in the rare situation where a mother’s life is at grave risk … . Like the Heartbeat Act in Texas, citizens would be able to sue an abortionist for violating the law by committing an abortion, while the bill would exempt women undergoing abortions from legal repercussions.

             [Rep.] Powell spoke with Live Action News in an exclusive interview about the legislation.

             “The 2363 Act is … based off of the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act, which was signed into law earlier this year, but we’ve made a couple of changes,” explained [Rep.] Powell. “This bill uses the enforcement language by the Texas Heartbeat Act, which has been upheld by the 5th Circuit Court. We stated Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas and Utah as having recently passed similar pieces of legislation.”

             The 2363 Act is one in which Powell has a personal investment, due to her upbringing and her passionately held pro-life beliefs.

             “As a woman legislator in our state, I believe it is crucial that we move forward on pro-life issues,” she said. “I’m very, very passionate; I’m actually one of seven children. I’ve grown up in a household that protects life and understands that abortion is wrong. And so, for me, being in the legislature, it was exciting to start working on crucial pieces of legislation. We already passed the Heartbeat Bill in my first term, and that said that at the time we can see a heartbeat, that child deserves life, and to be protected; that’s currently being held up in the courts, but what I realized was, if we believe life begins at fertilization, then we have to continue moving the ball forward in protecting every life.”

             Powell is also doing more than just passing legislation to defend life. She’s founded the Ohio Pro-Life Caucus, which aims to take pro-life activism even further. Powell and the Pro-Life Caucus believe in taking a dual approach to ending abortion, both through enacting pro-life legislation and offering increased support to women, children and families.

             “We have a lot of pro-life members in our state,” she said. “In Ohio, we’re trying to pull together as many conservative Republicans that believe in Life, or members [who] holistically believe in the pro-life movement. We’ve sent out a co-sponsorship request, and we’re really moving forward on the bill. The goal of the Pro-Life Caucus is to inform and educate members, as well as help them move forward the narrative and policies to protect every single life in the state of Ohio. We have bills that we’re working towards in the caucus between members – everything from eradicating abortion holistically, to protecting and preserving life, to helping pregnancy resource centers, to helping hurting mothers and families in our state. So, we’re kind of looking at a two-pronged approach, and saying, all right, let’s end abortion in our state, and let’s also move forward and help women, help children and take steps to eradicate abortion as well.”

             Despite support for pro-life bills across the country, the abortion industry continues to go on the attack against them. One common argument is that pro-life legislators are only concerned with protecting children before birth, which Powell said was “categorically untrue.”

             “The state of Ohio gives tons of money to women, families and children in our state. We continue to support pregnancy resource centers, we provide a lot of opportunities, whether it’s struggling mothers or young children, in our state,” she said. “Data would show us that those claims [about pro-lifers wanting to protect children only before birth] are untrue. And I understand why the pro-abortion movement wants to say that. But at the end of the day, the stats, the data, the knowledge is on our side.”

             Powell currently has 33 co-sponsors and one joint sponsor for the 2363 Act, noting that she believes there is “an appetite to protect and support life in our state, specifically with everything that’s going on in the Supreme Court. Ohio is a pro-life state. My first general assembly, we passed the Heartbeat Bill, and our voters – there’s over 11 million Ohioans – were in huge support of that bill and were very thrilled that we moved forward on it. Ohio is a more conservative state, for sure, and Ohioans see that we not only support mothers and children but also we’re looking to protect life in the process.”

             Live Action president and founder Lila Rose noted in a press release: “Abortion is our nation’s leading cause of death, killing more people than heart disease, cancer or Covid-19. This gruesome truth echoes throughout the 2363 campaign, pleading with our national conscience that action must be taken on behalf of the most vulnerable. The science is crystal clear – human life begins at the moment of fertilization – not at birth, not at 15 weeks gestation, not even at six weeks when a pre-born child’s heartbeat can be first detected. Every single pre-born child deserves protection, and no child should be discriminated against based on race, gender, medical diagnosis or age.

             “The 2363 Act ensures that no child will be left behind to face the abandonment and violence of abortion. We must be absolutely fearless in our efforts to protect these children, as well as their mothers and families, from the predatory abortion industry. The 2363 Act is the beginning of the end of legally sanctioned abortions in America.” …


Let Us Pray

Nov. 8, 2021, Washington Update commentary by Mary Szoch, Family Research Council director of Center for Human Dignity

             Since the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision that legalized abortion on demand throughout the United States, over 60 million babies have been aborted. With a number so large, it can be challenging to feel a personal connection to each of the babies whose life has been lost. Still, it is essential to remember that each baby is a unique human being made in the image and likeness of God. 

             Each of the 60 million babies killed as a result of Roe v. Wade had a name. How many little girls named Maria, Nadia, Brittany, Monet, Emily, Monica, Simone or Sandra are missing from this world? How many little boys named Tommy, Jervon, Billy, Nasir, James, José, Kyle or Anthony will never have the opportunity to smile into their mother’s eyes because of Roe

             On Dec. 1, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org., a case widely recognized as the greatest opportunity to overturn the Roe decision since it was first handed down. In advance of those arguments, Family Research Council is hosting Pray Together for Life, a national prayer gathering on Nov. 28 at New Horizon Church in Jackson, MS, at 7 p.m. CT. This will be a non-partisan, unified prayer meeting of the body of Christ with the sole focus of praying for an end to the atrocity of abortion and a renewed respect for life in America. As we approach the oral arguments in the Dobbs case, prayer must be at the center of our efforts. 

             In Dobbs, the Supreme Court will consider Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act, which prohibits elective abortion after 15 weeks gestation. This law is a direct challenge to the abortion jurisprudence of Roe, which made abortion legal through all nine months of pregnancy the default law of every state. If Roe is overturned, the question of abortion’s legality would likely fall to the states – meaning states would once again have the ability to defend the most vulnerable beginning at the moment of conception. 

             The Roe decision has brought about untold evil. Mothers have been pitted against their children, fathers have abandoned their families, abortionists have profited by taking babies’ lives, and abortion businesses have sold unborn baby body parts for scientific research. In the name of “choice,” millions of lives have been lost. Abortion has torn our nation apart, but the power of God is stronger than evil. God can heal the brokenhearted, restore the destroyed and mend the torn. 

             As a nation, we must come together and pray for God to rid our nation of the evil of abortion. We must pray for: 

  • Courage for the Supreme Court justices, 
  • Wisdom for Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s team, 
  • Healing for post-abortive mothers and fathers, 
  • Life for unborn children, and 
  • Our nation to once again protect defenseless children in the womb. 

             Sixty million lives have been lost to abortion. Although their names will never be spoken in this world, our Heavenly Father certainly loves each one and calls each by name. Join us as we pray for the day when no child named Devon, Courtney, Jerome, or any other name is aborted. …