Life Advocacy Briefing

March 21, 2022

Thanks / Faithful Friends / Stateside / In the Courts / Opening Minds
Fight in Senate Re U.S. Autonomy Over U.N. on Abortion Law
Fighting for Access


WE HAVE HAD A TOUGH TIME since the beginning of the year, and we appreciate – more than you know – the inquiries we have received and assurances of prayers. Though the fight continues to enjoy restoration of energy, we are doing much better and are glad to be back, bringing you news you can use in the cause of Life.


Faithful Friends

THOUGH HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES (H.H.S.) SECRETARY Xavier Becerra appeared to be missing in action throughout the Biden Regime’s management of the Chinese flu crisis, he has popped up in another context, one which we think will interest our readers.

He visited Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire early this month, reports Cassy Fiano-Chesser for Live Action, to personally award the outfit a $500,000 federal grant. “The move,” notes the Live Action reporter, “came just months after the state executive council voted to strip abortionists of public funding.

“The $500,000 was delivered to Planned Parenthood by HHS,” writes Mrs. Chesser, “as a Title X [Ten] Dire Need grant. … ‘We’ve got your back,’ [Mr.] Becerra said, according to WMUR. ‘And there have been some challenging times. I don’t think they’re over, but you hung in there, and we hope to make a commitment to you that we’re not going to leave.’”

True to Planned Parenthood’s nature, the outfit’s spokesman, reports Mrs. Chesser, “told WMUR that the grant is not enough. ‘We are in a crisis moment,’ she said. ‘We know that the Supreme Court is going to make a ruling soon that could possible decimate abortion access in this country. We know that when that happens, 26 states could move immediately, or soon to ban abortion.’” Oh well.

For his part, Mr. Becerra, in an official statement, reports Mrs. Chesser, “said the grant to Planned Parenthood is part of [Mr.] Biden’s plan to bolster abortion, saying, ‘The Biden-Harris Administration understands that our nation’s family planning clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, play a critical role in achieving the objections the President laid out … .’”



  • THE WYOMING SENATE has passed a bill, reports Bridget Sielicki for Live Action, to “completely prohibit abortion pills in the state of Wyoming.” The Senate vote on Senate File 83 was 20 to 9. Our check of the Wyoming legislature’s website, however, suggests the House will not consider the measure, which “prohibits anyone in the state,” writes Ms. Sielicki, “from manufacturing, selling, prescribing, distributing or using the abortion pill. According to Wyoming Tribune Eagle,” she notes, “the bill comes with a maximum penalty of six months in prison along with a fine of $9,000 for anyone who violates the legislation.” Wyoming’s election-year session is short; pro-life lawmakers will need to try again next year in order to seek House consideration, but they will be armed then with a strong endorsement of the bill on its first attempt.

  • THE WYOMING LEGISLATURE last week passed HB-92, which takes effect upon the hoped-for ruling of the US Supreme Court later this year vacating the burdensome Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton abortion edicts of 1973. Such legislation is known as a “trigger” bill. This one, unfortunately, was amended to exclude protections for babies conceived in sex crimes. State Sen. Lynne Hutchings argued against the amendment, reports Matt Lamb for com. “‘Taking a life because of the circumstances of conception is wrong,’” she said. “‘Two wrongs actually don’t make a right.’” The generally life-saving measure now goes to Gov. Mark Gordon (R) for his signature.

  • THE IDAHO LEGISLATURE HAS VOTED TO PROHIBIT ABORTION after six weeks. SB-1309 passed the Senate early this month by 28 to 6 and then passed the House March 14 by 51-14. “If it … is signed by Gov. Brad Little (R), Idaho’s abortion ban could take effect as early as April,” reports Caroline Kitchener in the Washington Post, quoted in National Right to Life News. The bill largely reflects the unique Texas Heartbeat Act but limits the potential litigants more narrowly than the Texas measure, providing, according to the Post writer, that “only abortion providers could be sued,” whereas the Texas law permits suits against anyone involved in the abortion. Idaho’s version also limits those who can sue, notes Ms. Kitchener, to “the abortion patient or [her] family members, including the father of the fetus and the patient’s children, parents and siblings.” Lawsuits in Texas can be filed by any citizen, taking up the cause of the targeted child.

  • THE ILLINOIS SENATE IS CONSIDERING A HOUSE-PASSED BILL to mandate vending machines on college campuses for dispensing “morning-after pills,” also known as “emergency contraception.” The House vote was 62 to 38, needing 60. The bill has not yet been assigned to committee in the Senate. “Much of the testimony in support of the bill,” writes Bridget Sielicki for Live Action, “was focused on misinformation commonly offered by the abortion industry that emergency contraceptives merely stop fertilization from occurring, rather than potentially ending the life of an already-conceived child.” Notes Ms. Sielicki: “These pills work by either preventing ovulation, preventing fertilization or preventing the embryo from implanting in the mother’s womb. If it is preventing an embryo from implanting, then it is causing an abortion.”

  • THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE HAS PASSED A 15-WEEK ABORTION BAN, by votes of 23 to 15 in the State Senate and 78 to 39 in the State House. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is expected to sign the measure, which, notes LifeSiteNews, “anticipates a possible Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade later this year. The bill includes exceptions in two cases,” reports LSN: “First, when ‘the termination of the pregnancy is necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life or avert a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman other than a psychological condition;’ and second, when a baby is considered to have suffered a ‘fatal fetal abnormality,’ which the bill describes as ‘a terminal condition that, in reasonable medical judgment, regardless of the provision of life-saving medical treatment, is incompatible with life outside the womb and will result in death upon birth or imminently thereafter.’” Though we are concerned about the “fetal abnormality” exception, we do appreciate the insistence of the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Kelli Stargel, who, reports LSN, “defended the decision not to include rape and incest as exceptions to the rule, stating that a child should not ‘be killed because of the circumstances in which [he or she] was conceived.’” The bill has drawn fire from Pres. Joe Biden (D), who, reports LSN, “criticiz[ed] the pro-life legislation as ‘a dangerous bill that will severely restrict women’s access to reproductive health care’ and stat[ed] that his Administration ‘will not stand for the continued erosion of women’s constitutional rights.’”

  • WEST VIRGINIA STATE LAWMAKERS have sent to their governor a bill “that would restrict abortions sought because of a disability,” reports Brad McElhinny for West Virginia Metro News. SB-468, he reports, “would prohibit licensed medical professionals from performing an abortion if it’s because of a disability unless there is a medical emergency or a non-medically viable fetus. Medical providers who violate the policy would be subject to discipline from licensure boards. Delegates passed the bill 81-17 after almost 90 minutes of debate. … The bill,” notes Mr. McElhinny, “is titled the ‘Unborn Child with Down Syndrome Protection & Education Act,’ but it would apply more broadly,” he writes, “to other disabilities.” Quoted in the Metro News account, Delegate Kayla Kessinger (R), asserted, “‘This is about science and morality. … It’s about when does life begin and whether or not it has value. Those are the only two questions you have to ask yourself. Do you believe life is present in the womb and do you believe it has value?’” Another bill, to ban abortions after 15 weeks, passed the House by a vote of 81 to 18 and was rushed out of committee in the State Senate, but the bill was pending on the calendar, according to our research, at the time the legislature adjourned March 12.


In the Courts

  • THE U.S. SUPREME COURT HAS RULED, reports Andrew Chung for Reuters, to allow “Kentucky’s Republican attorney general [to] seek to restore a restrictive abortion law after the state’s Democratic governor dropped defense of the statute when lower courts struck it down.” The law in question is Kentucky’s 2018 ban on dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions once a baby has reached 15 weeks’ gestation. Only Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented from the 8-1 decision by the high court. The lower court had rejected Atty. Gen. Daniel Cameron’s request to intervene in the litigation, to pick up where the governor had dropped defense of the state law. “A federal appeals court,” writes Mr. Chung, then “found that [Mr.] Cameron’s request, in a bid to revive the law, came too late.” But the Supreme Court ruled that the (federal) 6th Circuit Court of Appeals “should have used its discretion to let the state’s attorney general pursue a rehearing or an appeal to the Supreme Court.”

  • MONTANA’s ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS ANNOUNCED PLANS TO APPEAL a state district court judge’s ruling permitting advance-practice nurses to commit “‘early-term’ abortions,” reports Dave Andrusko for National Right to Life News. The State Supreme Court will be asked to review the ruling. Said an attorney general spokesman, quoted by Mr. Andrusko, “‘Once again, abortionists sued to lower the standard of care for Montana women in order to further their financial interests in performing as many abortions as possible.’”

  • A STATE COURT JUDGE IN CINCINNATI, earlier this month, blocked enforcement of a state law requiring medical care for newborns who have survived abortion. It was not the first time Hamilton County Judge Alison Hatheway has served the abortion industry. She is the same judge who ruled on Jan. 31 this year that Ohio’s law requiring burial or cremation of aborted babies “raised ‘due process’ and ‘equal protection’ concerns,” notes Matt Lamb for


Opening Minds

HERE IS A BRIEF STORY WITH A POINT, which our readers can use – if you choose – to open minds regarding consequences of the abortion culture which has captured America for the past 49 years. It is not original with us, but we find it compelling, so it is something we offer our pro-life candidates in our communicator coaching seminars (Winning with Life). Read it carefully and, if you agree that it can be effective, memorize it for future use; it could come in handy when the abortion cartel steps up its rhetoric in the coming months.

A mother has given birth to three children born blind, two born deaf and one mentally retarded. Now she herself has syphilis, and she’s expecting another baby. Would you advise her to undergo an abortion? (If the answer is “yes”): You just killed Beethoven.


Fight in Senate Re U.S. Autonomy Over U.N. on Abortion Law

March 11, 2022, Friday Fax commentary by Lisa Correnti for Center for Family & Human Rights

Senate Republicans unanimously blocked the confirmation of Sarah Cleveland, President Biden’s nominee for Legal Advisor at the Dept. of State over her position that UN committees trump domestic law over abortion. Cleveland takes the position that abortion is a global human right.

“This is one of the most important positions at the department,” said Sen. James Risch (R-ID), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Prior to the vote, Risch said he was “deeply concerned” with the legal opinions rendered on abortion access during her tenure as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee.

Risch referred to a quasi-legal opinion Cleveland “contributed to and defended” that found a “country’s domestic laws violated its citizens’ international human rights by not providing and paying for an abortion.”

Risch said this was inconsistent with US restrictions on funding for abortions abroad and abortion advocacy internationally. “For this reason, I am not able to support her nomination,” he said. The committee vote ended in a deadlock with all 11 Republican Senators opposing Cleveland and all 11 Democrats supporting.

Senate confirmation for Cleveland now becomes more difficult, posing the additional hurdle of a “discharge vote” from the full Senate. While Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer can move this at his discretion, it requires using valuable Senate floor time and overcoming any potential holds placed on her by Republican Senators.

During her three-year appointment to the UN Human Rights Committee, Cleveland and her colleagues drafted and adopted a legal commentary, known as General Comment 36, on the right to life under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Cleveland and her colleagues said the right to life includes the right to abortion, even though the treaty makes no mention of abortion. Conservative and pro-life organizations opposing Cleveland sent a letter to Republican members outlining her judicial activism on abortion while serving on the Human Rights Committee.

“The role of Legal Advisor of the Department of State must not be entrusted to someone whose understanding of international human rights law is so misinformed,” said March for Life Action. “American foreign policy must remain focused on representing US interests and basic human rights.”

As an abortion activist and the top legal advisor at the State Dept., Cleveland would be able to use her views about international law to re-interpret and implement federal laws, including restrictions on funding abortion abroad. Her placement comes at a time when abortion activists are pressing the Biden administration to gut the Helms Amendment.

The Helms Amendment passed in 1973 has been implemented as a complete ban on all overseas abortions by both Democrat and Republican Presidents. The Biden Administration, however, signaled last year it is willing to reinterpret Helms, and for the first time in almost 50 years allow US foreign aid to fund abortion.

In a recent Time article international abortion groups expressed “frustration” with the Biden Administration over the delay. “The silence on this issue is really remarkable,” said Anu Kumar, president and CEO of Ipas; Ipas provides access to abortion all over the world through equipment and abortion pills, including where it is illegal.

According to Time, Ipas staff had “more than 20 meetings and frequent communication with members of the White House Gender Policy Council, the State Dept., USAID and HHS over the past year to urge Administration officials to offer clear guidance on what services US aid recipients are allowed to provide.”


Fighting for Access

March 14, 2022, Friday Fax commentary by Austin Ruse for Center for Family & Human Rights

Twenty-five US Congressmen have joined 400 international groups and almost 9,000 individuals complaining to the UN that pro-life groups are being blocked from participating in a UN process connected to a major negotiation.

The letter, organized by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), and sent to the UN Women Executive Director, says, “It has come to our attention that NGO CSW has repeatedly denied the parallel event applications of several pro-life and pro-family organizations in recent years.” The letter continues, “NGO CSW informed these organizations it was because their events and ideas did not ‘align with NGO CSW’ values.” The letter calls these developments “very troubling.”

Rep. Boebert told the Friday Fax, “UN Women receives $11.3 million every year from the American taxpayers, and if they wish to continue to receive those funds, they should immediately change course and allow organizations like C-Fam to participate in future summits.”

The UN Commission on the Status of Women, which will negotiate a non-binding document that will later appear at the UN General Assembly, began meeting this week, along with “parallel” events hosted by non-profit advocacy groups. In years past, conservative groups were allowed to host panels but not this year.

Pro-life and pro-family groups began getting rejection letters earlier this year and in comparing notes, the group realized all conservative groups have been rejected. At the same time, on a listserv of NGO CSW, there have been increasing calls to have conservative groups kicked out of the UN altogether.

While NGO CSW is a project of “civil society,” it gets its mandate from UN Women, the $1 billion-a-year UN agency dedicated to left-wing feminism. As such, NGO CSW is acting as an agent of the United Nations. The precedent for blocking pro-life and pro-family groups from UN processes was set in 2019 when the UN Population Fund blocked such groups from the Nairobi Summit on reproductive health.

One of the main issues for the left is that pro-life groups have been so successful over the years in blocking the radical feminist agenda. Though feminists have tried for more than 25 years to garner a global right to abortion, they have failed in no small part because of the persistence of pro-life groups. In the current debate, feminists have said the presence of pro-life groups makes them feel “unsafe” and that the Commission on the Status of Women is their own bailiwick. They say they have the right to keep out those who disagree.

As the Boebert letter says, “…[it seems] as though UN Women and Member States are no longer interested in facilitating inclusive and respectful dialogue on issues that affect women and  instead want to enforce a kind of global feminist orthodoxy, siding with powerful governments and special interests who want to silence pro-life and pro-family organizations…”

The document under discussion starting this week is loaded with leftwing language, including language promoting abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism and much else. These are highly controversial topics at the UN and have never been accepted by the consensus of the General Assembly. It is expected that most, if not all, will be removed during negotiations. It might happen that the meeting will end without agreement at all, as has happened in other commissions over such controversial language.