Life Advocacy Briefing

January 31, 2022

High Court Contest Underway / Calling for Justice & Mercy
Dobbs Expectancy / Another Sign? / Rallying for Life
Marching for Justice / What are Americans Thinking?

High Court Contest Underway

THE SCUFFLE IS ON, with the news leaked last Wednesday via NBC News that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will be retiring, apparently some time this year. At this writing, the Justice had not made his formal announcement, so timing is still unknown, but political players in Washington, DC, generally believe the White House is determined to nominate and secure confirmation of a new, younger liberal Justice before the November mid-term elections, when the GOP is seen as highly competitive in both House and Senate races across the country.

“[Justice] Breyer’s replacement will not move the Court in a more leftwing direction,” notes Calvin Freiburger for, “but will ensure that his seat remains filled by a liberal for potentially decades to come.”

On the other hand, former Reagan domestic policy advisor Gary Bauer writes in his Jan. 26 End-of-Day Memo, “At first glance, one of the three liberals retiring wouldn’t seem to make much of a difference. But Breyer occasionally surprises people by voting with his conservative colleagues. Justices Kagan and Sotomayor do not. They’re ideologues. I fully expect Joe Biden will appoint another radical ideologue, moving the court somewhat to the left.” Those occasional Breyer forays into conservative jurisprudence which Mr. Bauer cites, though, have never emerged in a case pertaining to protecting the lives of unborn Americans and their mothers.

The vacancy will not likely occur before the Supreme Court rules on the major cases before it, such as the Dobbs case testing the constitutionality of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. Justice Breyer participated in the Court’s oral arguments on that case Dec. 1, and we have no doubt he is participating in the deliberations which are expected to result in a ruling by late June or early July. It is that case which offers the Supreme Court – with its new, more conservative majority – its best opportunity in decades to withdraw from its deadly 1973 opinions in Roe v. Wade and its companion Doe v. Bolton abortion cases. We are hopeful that Mr. Justice Breyer will find himself among the minority of Justices when the Dobbs ruling comes down.


Calling for Justice & Mercy

THE 2022 MARCH FOR LIFE brought a massive crowd to Washington, DC, on Friday, Jan. 21, despite abnormally cold weather and the challenges of a local edict barring customers from the capital city’s restaurants and indoor gathering places.

Addressing the crowd at the kickoff rally on the National Mall were several pro-life speakers, including actor Kirk Cameron and, on behalf of the pro-life Members of Congress and the Senate, Representatives Julia Letlow (R-LA) and Christopher Smith (R-NJ). We publish near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing our transcripts of the speeches by the two Members of Congress.

Also present to cheer on the crowd from the platform were US Sen. James Lankford (OK) and Representatives Barry Moore (AL), Scott Franklin (FL), Andrew Clyde & Marjorie Greene (GA), Mary Miller (IL), Mike Johnson (LA), Andy Harris (MD), Michelle Fischbach (MN), Vicky Hartzler (MO), Matt Rosendale (MT), Yvette Herrell (NM), Warren Davidson (OH), Mike Kelly (PA), Diana Harshbarger (TN) and Dan Crenshaw (TX).


Dobbs Expectancy

SOMEONE AT THE 7th CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS THINKS a new direction may be coming soon from the Supreme Court. That is our conclusion from the news earlier this month that the 7th Circuit has left in place “several Indiana abortion restrictions,” according to a report by Dave Andrusko, editor of National Right to Life News Today, citing Mary Anne Pazanowski of Bloomberg Law as source.

“‘The 7th Circuit said Thursday [Jan. 13] it would delay ruling on a provider’s challenge,’” writes Ms. Pazanowski, quoted by Mr. Andrusko, “‘until the US Supreme Court weighs in on abortion rights.’ …

“The [Supreme Court] reference,” notes Mr. Andrusko, “was to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org., Mississippi Gestational Age Act, which protects babies from abortion after 15 weeks.” A decision, Mr. Andrusko reminds us, is expected in June.

“In August 2021,” writes Mr. Andrusko, “Judge Sarah Evans Barker issued a 158-page ruling where she allowed some of the [Indiana] provisions to go forward, such as a law limiting the performance of first-trimester aspiration abortions to physicians. ‘But she denied the state’s request to stay her injunction against five laws,’ Olivia Covington of The Indiana Lawyer explained,” reports NRL News Today.

“These included,” notes Mr. Andrusko, “the physician-only law for medication [chemical] abortions; the second-trimester hospitalization requirement; an in-person counseling requirement for all pre-abortion counseling; a telemedicine ban prohibiting healthcare providers from using telemedicine to prescribe an abortion-inducing drug; an in-person examination requirement, requiring physicians to ‘examine a pregnant woman in person’ before providing a medication [chemical] abortion.” These are the Indiana laws which were enjoined by Judge Barker.

But in September, Judge Barker’s rulings were temporarily blocked by the 7th Circuit federal appellate court, reports Mr. Andrusko, “‘until the court issued a final ruling, finding that the state was likely to succeed in its appeal” and thereby to secure approval for its authority to continue to enforce those life-protective laws.


Another Sign?

ANOTHER POSSIBLE HINT OF SUPREME COURT INTENTIONS came Jan. 20, when the Supreme Court “rejected a petition from abortionists,” reports David McLoone for, “to return challenges to Texas’s pro-life Heartbeat Act to a federal district court, quashing the hopes of abortion advocates that the life-saving legislation might be overturned.

“The majority conservative Supreme Court decided to uphold the Texas law in a 6-3 decision,” writes Mr. McLoone, “with liberal Justices Sotomayor, Breyer and Kagan dissenting.” The rejection of the petition is not definitive or final, but it is indicative of at least a shift in abortion jurisprudence on the horizon. Let us pray.


Rallying for Life

Speeches at the Jan. 21, 2022, March for Life rally by Rep. Julia Letlow (R-LA) and Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing

Rep. Letlow: Thank you. Who’s ready to march for Life? My name is Julia Letlow, and I’m honored to be here with all of you today, as we collectively raise our voices in unity for those who deserve equal rights under the law – the unborn.

             Today I can’t help but reflect on the amazing experience of carrying my own first child and feeling for the first time those incredible flutters of life in my womb. I remember being filled with awe and wonder at the miracle growing inside of me while praying a scripture from Jeremiah 1:5 over my unborn son. The Lord said, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart.” I believe that the Lord makes that promise for every one of our lives, and every soul is precious in His sight. I have always considered myself to be pro-life, but I never understood exactly what that truly meant until I saw my innocent and precious child take his first beautiful breath of life, and in that moment, I truly understood the importance of why we must always actively fight for Life.

             Now in the coming months, we anticipate a monumental decision from the Supreme Court. We know that it has taken a great deal of work from all of you over the past 48 years to bring us to this one moment in time. There have been many, many ups and downs on this journey, but you never gave up. Your faith and perseverance have been our movement’s guiding light. We are here today because of you. As we stand one step closer to saving the unborn, I encourage you, keep marching, keep advocating, keep praying, keep fighting, because, ultimately, we will prevail. And it’s really an honor to stand with you today. Thank you for all that you have done for Life. God bless you all.

Rep. Smith: Thank you very much, and Julia, what a beautiful, beautiful statement to all these wonderful pro-life marchers here today. As I look behind me, we have the greatest group of lawmakers, articulate, compassionate, fighting for Life. So please give another round of applause for these Members, James Lankford and all the others. Special thanks to the March for Life and Jeanne Mancini for providing this amazing opportunity to again rally to protect women and babies from the violence of abortion.

             We meet this year with fresh hope and heightened expectations that, by at least affirming the Mississippi pro-life law and perhaps going even further with Texas, the Supreme Court may soon take a powerful step towards inclusion, justice and respect for the weakest and most vulnerable. We are here to say: Equality begins in the womb, and the injustice of abortion need not be forever. Today, after decades of noble struggle and sacrifice, we are hopeful that government-sanctioned violence against children and the exploitation of women by abortion is nearing an end – although, in a very real way, the struggle to defend innocent human life now enters a critically important new phase. We are at the tipping point, and we must seize the opportunity with all the faith and courage we can muster to face the serious challenges before us.

             Today, President Biden has weaponized the entire federal bureaucracy to aggressively promote abortion on demand at home and overseas, including a full-court press to force taxpayers to fund abortion on demand. Last September, the House of Representatives passed the Abortion-on-Demand-Until-Birth Act that not only legalizes late-term abortions but would nullify every pro-life modest restriction ever enacted. So, we have challenges. And you know, all of you [turning toward the Congressmen] have worked on this, and some now in our midst did this as state legislators – this includes Women’s Right to Know laws in 35 states, Parental Involvement statutes in 37 states, Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection laws in 19 states, Waiting Periods in 26 states, Sex-Selection Abortion Bans in 11 states, and of course, funding, which they want to compel and coerce us to pay for abortions.

             For decades, my friends – and I know you know this – right up to this very moment, abortion supporters defend the indefensible with solid resolve. Which begs the question, why does dismembering a child with sharp knives, pulverizing a child with powerful suction devices, or chemically poisoning a baby with any number of toxic chemicals, fail to elicit so much as a scintilla of empathy or compassion from the so-called pro-choice crowd?

             Medical research, as you all know, now is finding that unborn children feel pain at 15 weeks’ gestational age and maybe even earlier. With advanced ultrasound, the babies are far more visible than ever before. Children in the womb need to be treated as patients in need of diagnosis and treatment, not killed by abortionists.

             So finally, I can say to all of you, in 1973 – and I hope the Court is listening – the Supreme Court abandoned women and babies to what is now the multi-billion-dollar abortion industry that has killed almost 63.5 million unborn babies – more than the entire population of Italy. In 2022, God willing, the Supreme Court could begin dismantling the culture of [death] that it has imposed on America. God bless you. And march and pray.


Marching for Justice

Jan. 21, 2022, Washington Update commentary by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins

             The tens of thousands of pro-lifers who made the trek to Washington, DC, this morning didn’t just come to support the unborn. They came to see history. For 49 years, they’ve slogged through rain, snow, sleet and freezing cold for the March for Life with one prayer in their hearts: an end to Roe v. Wade. Today, that dream is closer than ever.

             The hope that started blooming two years ago with the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett has exploded into full-blown optimism now, as the Supreme Court considers the first direct challenge to unlimited abortion in a generation: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. After a half-century, Roe could finally fall – ending a bloody legacy that cost our nation 63 million lives. If it does, the young people standing in the sun this afternoon will remember this moment. They’ll remember the belief on everyone’s faces and the anticipation they felt, wondering if this stop on the steps of the Supreme Court could finally be their last.

             “There’s a very big feeling in the pro-life movement and with the young people [here now] that something very big is on the horizon,” Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins agreed. The mood was upbeat, as the possibility that all of the hard work, all of the years of praying and outreach, might finally be paying off. And while there’s no certainty that the Justices will strike down Roe, there’s never been more reason to hope. “You can never really read the tea leaves and how these Justices are going to [decide],” March for Life President (and former FRCer) Jeanne Mancini said, but based on oral arguments, “It looks very positive.”

             Asked by a reporter if her job would be over if Roe is overturned, she replied immediately, “No.” Like most pro-lifers, the goal [of Ms. Mancini] is “to create a culture where abortion is unthinkable.” And as much progress as the movement has made, our work – especially if the Supreme Court answers our prayers – is far from over. The battle will shift to the states, where the strong legislative infrastructure pro-lifers have spent the last several years building will come into play. Even now, lawmakers are ramping up efforts in hopes of a nationwide shift in the battle over abortion. The message to states is simple: “Full-speed ahead.”

             In 2021, by all rights a depressing year with the inauguration of Joe Biden and his pro-abortion agenda, states were more motivated than ever to act. They passed a record number of pro-life laws – and abortion activists worry there are more to come. “Right now, we’re seeing the beginning of what might be another wave,” one Guttmacher Institute director warned this week.

             That wouldn’t be surprising, considering where the country stands. New polling just released this week by Marist ought to rattle Leftists who insist the nation is with them. On the contrary, only 17% of Americans believe as they do, that abortions should be allowed through all nine months of pregnancy. Seventy-one percent think it should be limited to the first trimester (including 49% of Democrats!) – a far cry from the central holding of Roe, which allows abortion at any time, for any reason. Worse for the Democratic Party, the majority of Americans (60%) want the court to return the issue to the states – including 80% of millennials and Gen Z. They think it’s high time the people had a vote.

             And if for some reason the justices don’t agree, all will not be lost. This year, like the 48 before it, carr[ies] hope and promise because God’s people still care – and they won’t stop fighting until this grave injustice is gone from our nation forever.

             As fellow pro-life leaders and I wrote in a column today, “The spotlight has never been bigger on the pro-life movement… . As conservative leaders, we are committed to preparing for this moment and working together to protect those who cannot protect themselves. From policymaking to volunteering with a local pregnancy resource center to peacefully praying and offering support to women outside abortion clinics, every one of us has unique gifts and a role to play in our effort to build a culture of life. That is exactly what we intend to do. Join us.”


What are Americans Thinking?

Jan. 21, 2022, End of Day Report by Campaign for Working Families CEO Gary Bauer

             Contrary to the fake news media and the current pro-abortion occupant of the Oval Office, the vast majority of Americans do not support abortion on demand. New polling finds that 71% of Americans support commonsense pro-life restrictions.  For example: 

  • Only 17% of Americans support abortion on demand at any point in a pregnancy.  That’s Joe Biden’s position. That’s the Democrat Party’s position. 

  • 71% would ban abortions after the first trimester (after 12 weeks).

  • 54% oppose taxpayer subsidies for abortion.

  • 73% oppose subsidizing abortions performed in other countries.

  • 61% believe the Supreme Court should either make abortion illegal or return the issue of abortion to the states.

  • Only 36% believe the Supreme Court should essentially uphold Roe v. Wade, forcing a pro-abortion legal regime on every state in the union.

  • 75% oppose forcing doctors and nurses with religious objections to participate in abortion.

             When it comes to the sanctity of life, Joe Biden and his Democrat allies in Congress are radically out of step with the American people. And we will continue to expose their pro-abortion extremism at every opportunity.