Life Advocacy Briefing

December 20, 2021

Taking a Break / The Texas Heartbeat Act Beats On
Commonsense from an Unusual Source / Look at the Stats!
Ominous Warning / Texas Does It Again
Assessing the Court’s Questioning

Taking a Break

WE WILL NOT BE PUBLISHING A DEC. 27 EDITION, because, like many of our readers, we will be celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ during next weekend. We are preparing our annual Congressional voting record index for publication Jan. 3, to close out our reporting on 2021. A further note: We apologize for having missed last week without notice because of a publishing glitch; hope you missed us but forgave us!


The Texas Heartbeat Act Beats On

THE SUPREME COURT ONCE AGAIN on Dec. 10 ruled that the unique Texas Heartbeat Abortion Ban can continue in effect while litigation goes forward. The law has been dramatically cutting the number of abortions committed in Texas since it took effect Sept. 1.

The main point at issue in this month’s ruling was whether abortion businesses would have standing to challenge the law, and the Court did grant that standing. At this writing, the abortionists were expected to go back to a federal district judge who early blocked the law, but any decision he makes is expected to be reviewed by the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, according to an Associated Press (AP) story. That appellate court has already twice agreed the Texas law is in effect.

“The court fight over the Texas law,” notes AP, “is focused on its unusual structure and whether it improperly limits how the law can be challenged in court. Texas lawmakers,” explains the AP writer, “handed responsibility for enforcing the law to private citizens [as plaintiffs in civil suits], rather than state officials,” as would have been the case if the law established criminal penalties.

“The law authorizes lawsuits against clinics, doctors and anyone who ‘aids or abets’ an abortion performed after cardiac activity is detected in the fetus,” explains AP. “The case raised a complex set of issues about who, if anyone, can sue over the law in federal court, the typical route for challenges to abortion restrictions. … Federal courts routinely,” states AP, “put a hold on similar laws which rely on traditional enforcement by state and local authorities. …

“The Texas law,” explains AP, “was specifically designed to put obstacles in the way of legal challenges, and so far, it has worked. …

“In its first month of operation,” notes AP, “a study published by researchers at the University of Texas found that the number of abortions statewide fell by 50% compared with September, 2020. … Texas residents who left the state seeking an abortion also have had to travel well beyond neighboring states, where clinics cannot keep up with the increase in patients from Texas, according to a separate study by the Guttmacher Institute.”

We cannot measure the number of reluctant expectant mothers in Texas who have reconsidered abortion now that, once the baby’s heartbeat can be detected, the choice to kill has become significantly less convenient. There can be little doubt, though, that the Texas Heartbeat Act is saving lives.


Commonsense from an Unusual Source

CHUCKLE WITH US over the designation of the always-liberal Time magazine’s designation of multi-billionaire Elon Musk as “Person of the Year,” just at the time the Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder “warned” on Dec. 6, “that the world is in danger of collapsing from a low birthrate.”

The warning came in the Wall Street Journal’s annual CEO Council, reports Emily Mangiaracina for (LSN), citing the New York Post as source.

“‘So many people – including smart people – think that there are too many people in the world and think that the population is growing out of control,’ [Mr.] Musk continued. ‘It’s completely the opposite. Please look at the numbers,’” he said, quoted by LSN. “‘If people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble. Mark my words.’”  Mr. Musk, notes LSN, is a father of six.

Ms. Mangiaracina concludes her report by citing comments by “celebrated columnist and pro-family leader Don Feder, [who] lamented the use of contraception and abortion and the decline of marriage as contributing to the falling birthrate, but he believes,” the LSN writer adds, “‘the most important factor’ is ‘a culture that tells people that children are a burden rather than a joy … a culture that tells us that contentment comes from careers, love, friendship, pets, possessions, travel, personal growth – anything and everything except family and children.’”


Look at the Stats!

“WHILE AMERICANS STRUGGLED, Planned Parenthood flourished – and babies perished,” declares the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) to summarize a statistical chart the legal advocacy group sent recently as a boost to a fundraising appeal. We find the statistics worth reporting, as they show how Planned Parenthood persisted in prevailing during the height of the Chinese virus pandemic.

“Despite Covid-19 and its devastation to our nation’s health, well-being and economy,” asserts the ACLJ piece, “Planned Parenthood recorded its highest number of abortions and largest amount of taxpayer funding to date in 2020:

  • “354,871 – number of abortions recorded in 2020
  • “9,199 – despite claiming women had little access to ‘reproductive health care’ (a/k/a abortion), during the pandemic, the abortion giant performed 9,199 more abortions than the previous year
  • “$618.1 million – tax dollars received … your tax dollars used to fund the killing of innocent babies
  • “80 million – CARES Act money received (on top of taxpayer funds) – money meant to boost struggling small businesses during the lockdowns
  • “Down 40% — percentage that Planned Parenthood’s adoption referral service was cut in a single year. The already abysmally low 4,279 adoption referrals in 2018-2019 dropped to 2,667 in 2019-2020. Other services that declined include well-woman, prenatal, miscarriage and family practice services.”


Ominous Warning

TELEVISION ICON Dr. MEHMET OZ HAS ANNOUNCED he is running for the Republican nomination to the US Senate to succeed the retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA); his announcement comes after the recent withdrawal of well-known combat veteran – and anticipated frontrunner – Sean Parnell from the race. According to a footnote in a (LSN) report by Raymond Wolfe, the celebrity doctor has been mulling this move since at least 2019.

Some generally conservative news sources such as Fox News Channel are responding with non-stop interviews of the TV doc. But pro-life citizens of Pennsylvania need to know a few things about his views, and Raymond Wolfe of (LSN) has provided a disturbing rundown.

When asked during a 2019 broadcast of the New York City radio program “The Breakfast Club” about “what he thought about a heartbeat law recently passed in Alabama that banned abortion at six weeks,” writes Mr. Wolfe, “[Dr.] Oz responded, ‘I’m really worried about it. … The problem with the law as it stands now,’ he said, is that ‘most women don’t know they’re pregnant. It’s only two weeks past your last period when you have to decide by. … So, you’re asking women to decide almost instantaneously if they’re pregnant or not,’ [Dr.] Oz continued,” writes Mr. Wolfe, “‘and it’s also banned in case of incest or rape.’”

He also “dismissed the scientific reality of fetal heartbeats,” Mr. Wolfe reports, “claiming that a baby’s heart six weeks into pregnancy is just ‘a cell’ with ‘little electrical changes. And the other thing is this whole thing about heart beating. I mean, they’re electrical changes at six weeks, but the heart’s not beating. … If you were to say, starting [from] when we can hear the heart, like when the heart’s really doing something, that’d be different. That’s not six weeks, though,’” said Dr. Oz in the radio broadcast, according to LSN.

“Actually, it’s even earlier,” notes Mr. Wolfe. “A baby’s heart begins beating and pumping blood through his or her vascular system to developing organs just three weeks after conception, according to the American Assn. of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists,” writes Mr. Wolfe. “‘By 21 days after conception, the heart starts beating and pumping blood; by 30 days, arms, legs and brain begin to form; and by 35 days, mouth, nose and ears begin to develop, AAPLOG noted.”

Getting back to the Senate hopeful, Mr. Wolfe reports: “When asked whether he would be willing to perform an abortion himself in Alabama despite pro-life restrictions, Dr. Oz said, ‘I think your primary responsibility is to your patient’” – a neat dodge.

But, “during his rambling seven-minute attack on pro-life laws,” writes Mr. Wolfe, “Oz added that he had ‘a big-time concern’ that Alabama’s heartbeat bill would impede ‘safe abortions,’ citing the mythic phenomenon of ‘coat-hanger’ abortions” – a classic abortion-lobby line.

“During the 2019 interview, Oz also gave an indication of how he would vote as a Senator,” notes Mr. Wolfe, “saying that he didn’t ‘want to interfere with everyone else’s stuff. … I think that the rule that most Americans seem to support is, if the child was viable outside the womb, then you don’t want to kill that child, [but] if the child was not gonna be able to survive outside the mom, then it’s – then the mom runs the show.’”

That was then, this is now, and political-campaign polling is evidently of greater interest to the newly announced candidate. “In a stunning reversal soon after announcing his Senate bid last week, Oz claimed in an interview with a local news station in Pennsylvania,” reports Mr. Wolfe, “that he is now ‘pro-life, with the three usual exceptions,’ referring to rape, incest and the ‘health of the mother.’” [Under Roe’s companion ruling, Doe v. Bolton, “health of the mother” can depend on such “factors” as “familial,” “psychological,” and even the mother’s age – a Mack-truck loophole rendering even late-term abortion bans unenforceable.] (Such a loophole-dotted posture is not acceptable as a “pro-life” commitment, as it either ignores the human personhood of the unborn child or discriminates among human beings as victims of fatal attacks.)

“He added,” writes Mr. Wolfe, “that he was ‘okay with the Supreme Court making the right decision’ on an upcoming ruling expected to overturn Roe, without explicitly stating whether he agreed that the 1973 decision should be scrapped or not.”

Mr. Wolfe’s report concludes with other interesting points concerning Dr. Oz’s positions on Life and other social issues; it can be read in full at


Texas Does It Again

A NEW TEXAS LAW TOOK EFFECT Dec. 2 “restricting the use of the abortion pill to the first seven weeks of pregnancy,” reports Nancy Flanders for Live Action, “and prohibiting the shipping of abortion pills through the mail. … The abortion pill regimen,” notes Ms. Flanders, “is known to be four times more dangerous for women than a first-trimester surgical abortion … .

“The law states that ‘a manufacturer, supplier, physician or any other person may not provide to a patient any abortion-inducing drug by courier, delivery or mail service.’ In addition,” writes Ms. Flanders, “before the abortion-inducing drug is given to a woman, the abortionist must examine her in person, verify that she is pregnant and document in her medical records the gestational age and intrauterine location of the preborn child to ensure an ectopic pregnancy has not occurred, which could cause severe hemorrhaging and death if the woman were to take the abortion pill.

“The abortionist must also check the woman’s blood type,” reports Ms. Flanders, “and if she is Rh-negative, the doctor must offer to administer Rh-immunoglobulin at the time of the abortion in order to prevent Rh complications, including miscarriages in future pregnancies.” Other provisions are included to stymie the likelihood of complications, a concern which appears to have eluded the federal Food & Drug Administration in its recent relaxation of warnings and limits with respect to RU-486.


Assessing the Court’s Questioning

Dec. 6, 2021, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

The Supreme Court arguments may be over, but the speculation over what happens next is just beginning. A ruling on abortion in June could mean a lot for the midterms in November. But which side stands to benefit? A lot of that depends on what the justices decide – and there are plenty of scenarios, legal experts explain.

Reading the tea leaves on any Supreme Court decision is tricky business, but on this case, Supreme Court attorney Erin Hawley thinks the justices left plenty of clues behind. The Alliance Defending Freedom [ADF] senior counsel (and wife of Missouri GOP Senator Josh Hawley) said she couldn’t have been “more pleased” with the oral arguments. As someone who’s clerked at the court, litigated before the court, taught law and worked at the Justice Department, Hawley certainly knows what she’s talking about when she says the justices were receptive to pro-life arguments. “I was really pleased with the questions asked by Justice [Brett] Kavanaugh, by Justice [Amy Coney] Barrett, and the Chief Justice [John Roberts] as well … . [I]t’s always so difficult to predict the Supreme Court. But all indications from oral arguments were that the Supreme Court is seriously considering overturning Roe v. Wade.”

In her mind, there are three possible outcomes from the case, which she explained in detail on [FRC’s] Washington Watch. The first one, which she called “the one that I most definitely hope the court takes,” is overruling Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood. In her mind, Wednesday’s argument showed that “this is the direction a number of Supreme Court justices are leaning.” Justice Kavanaugh, in particular, insisted more than once that the Constitution is neither ‘pro-choice nor pro-life.’ And, given that fact, he said, shouldn’t the Court “be scrupulously neutral as to abortion and return that issue to the people so that states can protect life?” To Hawley, “this strongly indicates that he’s tired of the justices being in this position of having to legislate and create rules that are extra-constitutional.”

If the Court doesn’t strike Roe or Casey down, there are a couple of other options – like upholding Mississippi’s 15-week ban on abortion and limiting the ruling to just one state. “Mississippi has a really commonsense law,” Hawley insisted. “[It protects life] when the procedure is especially brutal, when babies can do things like smile and open and close their hands. They have all of their organs. They have a heartbeat. So, the court could simply decide to uphold Mississippi’s law, and … this seemed to be the direction that the Chief [Justice] was leaning. I’m hoping he’ll go further. But he mentioned numerous times that the viability line, which currently forbids states from protecting life before 22 weeks, is completely arbitrary.” Even the author of Roe, Justice Harry Blackmun, recognized that. So, carving out Mississippi’s law as acceptable could be a middle-of-the-road position the court takes.

The last possibility is the worst scenario for pro-lifers – and the unborn: affirming Roe v. Wade and declaring that no state has the power to outlaw abortion before the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy. “That would mean that Mississippi’s law would fall, and states would be unable to protect life at 15 weeks or 20 weeks,” Hawley warned. And yet, as so many scholars have pointed out – including Erin – “There’s simply nothing about a right to an abortion in the Constitution’s text structure or history.” Mississippi’s legal team made that argument very convincingly on Wednesday, and if the justices agree, the issue will return to the states – where both sides are gearing up for an epic battle over the sanctity of human life.

For Democrats, who are desperate to give anyone a reason to vote for them after these disastrous 10 months, a decision overturning Roe is one way they think they could boost turnout in an otherwise dismal election landscape. Already, top Democrats are running with their sky-is-falling messaging, warning that 26 states (according to the liberal Guttmacher Institute) are “certain or likely to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.” Their biggest hope is that the suburban moms the GOP gained over the issue of education in places like Virginia will come back to the fold over abortion.

But not everyone is so sure. While Americans might be narrowly in favor of keeping abortion legal, next to none of them support what the Democrats are calling for: taxpayer-funded abortion through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason. For years, the Left has claimed that a majority of the country wants to keep Roe v. Wade – but that’s only because most people don’t understand what it means. Once you explain that Roe doesn’t just legalize abortion – but allows the brutal killing of a fully developed child right up to the moment of birth – the country is much less enthusiastic. Only eight percent agree with that position (which happens to be the platform of the national Democratic Party).

The far-Left, who’s spent the last several decades hiding behind the courts and America’s misconceptions about Roe, is going to have to come to grips with the fact that their abortion extremism doesn’t go over well in most corners of the country. Once more states start having the hard conversations about what abortion entails, the Democratic Party will be revealed for the radicals that they are. Right now, 65% of the country thinks abortion should be illegal in the second trimester, the AP reports. Eighty percent want it outlawed in the third trimester. By those numbers, even Mississippi’s law is more lenient than most Americans would prefer.

That doesn’t mean the next several months are going to be easy. Even if the court does overturn Roe v. Wade, pro-lifers will have their work cut out for them. But it’s work that we’ve spent the last half century praying for the opportunity to do. “Let us not become weary in doing good,” Galatians 6 tells us, “for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Don’t lose heart. Keep sowing in prayer, and together we’ll see what God can do!