Life Advocacy Briefing

April 11, 2022

No Surprise / Budget Battle Looming / Stateside
The Unthinkable Could Be Arriving / Senate Voting Record

No Surprise

THE U.S. SENATE VOTED last Thursday to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to take the place of Justice Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Breyer announced his retirement earlier this year but has not yet left the bench and is not expected to do so until after the current Court term, some time this summer. We are publishing the Senate’s voting record on her confirmation at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing and intend to publish two procedural votes on the matter in future editions. One of those votes – on a motion to discharge committee – resulted from a deadlock on her nomination in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Though we seldom comment on voting records, trusting our readers to draw their own conclusions, we will note on this occasion that Sen. Romney’s votes for Judge Jackson were something of an anomaly – perhaps a surprise? – because the same Senator, in voting on her confirmation to a lower judicial post – had voted “no,” and we are curious as to how he concluded she was worthy of a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court after having judged her unqualified  for a seat on the DC Court of Appeals.


Budget Battle Looming

March 29, 2022, report by National Right to Life News, lightly edited for clearer comprehension by Life Advocacy Briefing

             The National Right to Life Committee condemned [the] FY-23 Biden Budget for stripping away protections designed to save the lives of unborn babies and protect their mothers.

             “The Hyde Amendment is widely recognized as having a significant impact on the number of abortions in the United States and has saved an estimated 2.4 million American lives,” stated Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “The Hyde Amendment is being targeted by pro-abortion Democrats in Congress and the White House at every opportunity, but, until this Congress, the Hyde Amendment enjoyed 45 years of bipartisan support.”

             In spite of efforts by pro-abortion Democrats, Congress recently renewed the life-saving provisions in the FY22 appropriations law.

             Tobias continued, “Despite the inclusion of Hyde in FY22, Pres. Biden is forging ahead with a radical abortion agenda and is proposing to include taxpayer-funded abortion in his FY23 budget.”

             According to the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, the proposed budget:

  • Eliminates the Hyde Amendment, which would allow taxpayer funding for abortion-on-demand through Medicaid, Medicare disability and other programs funded under the Labor/Health & Human Services appropriations bill;

  • Eliminates to the Dornan Amendment, which would allow the District of Columbia to fund abortions through its Medicaid program. When the Dornan Amendment was last gutted in FY2010, DC, through our expense, funded 300 abortions through Medicaid.

  • Eliminates the Aderholt Amendment, which would lift the federal ban on gestating gene-edited embryos, such as three-parent embryos.

  • Increases funding by 40% for the Title X family planning program by $113,521 million to $400 million from $286.479 million. This funding will serve as a slush fund for Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.

  • Designates $5 million for implicit bias training grants for healthcare providers, which could be used to target pro-life health providers.

  • Increases funding by 72% for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) by $23.5 million to $56 million from $32.5 million. The UNFPA promotes abortions around the world and supports China’s forced abortion and sterilization regime.

  • Eliminates the application of the Helms Amendment to the Complex Crises Fund, which could allow those funds to pay for abortions.

  • Adds a sweeping … authority for funding “to promote gender equality” overseas, including by “protecting the rights of women and girls worldwide.” This would bypass the Helms Amendment and Siljander Amendment, to allow taxpayer funding for abortion or abortion lobbying overseas.

  • Decreases the funding-floor earmark for international family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) by $3 million (0.5%) to $572 million from $575 million, which is a welcome development. This earmark is a slush fund for international pro-abortion organizations, including International Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International. However, USAID is requesting that all of these funds be provided through the Global Health Programs (GHP) account – a $48.05 million increase over the $523.950 million provided in that account for FP/RH for FY22 – instead of allowing some of these funds to be awarded through the Economic Support Fund (ESF) account. Pro-abortion groups have sought to shift the annual $51.05 million allocation of the FP/RH earmark within the ESF account over to the GHP account in order to allow USAID bureaucrats more flexibility to give funds directly to non-government organizations in the abortion industry, since the ESF allocations are typically given to the governments of US friends and allies. [Blessedly, the Senators’ budget analysts do understand this verbiage.]



  • COLORADO GOV. JARED POLIS (D) SIGNED A BILL on April 4 legalizing the killing of unborn babies to the moment of birth. “‘No matter what the Supreme Court does in the future, people in Colorado will be able to choose when and if they have children,’” he said during a public bill-signing ceremony, reports Jack Bingham for com. “The bill itself,” writes Mr. Bingham, “states that it will be illegal in Colorado to ‘deny, restrict, interfere with or discriminate against an individual’s fundamental right to use or refuse contraception or to continue a pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion,’ while adding that ‘a fertilized egg, embryo or fetus does not have independent or derivative rights under the laws of the state.’” Responded Live Action leader Lila Rose, quoted in the LSN story, “‘Besides the all-out war against children in-utero, because it defines abortion as a right, the law could also be used to attempt to force medical professionals to commit or participate in abortions. There are zero conscience protections in the law.’”

  • THE STATE OF OREGON HAS DROPPED ITS RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT for abetted suicide, reports Louis Knuffke for com. “On March 28,” he writes, “the state agreed to stop enforcing its current residency requirement after a federal lawsuit was filed” by the euthanasia pressure group “Compassion & Choices.” Note: the action came administratively – not via the elected legislature – simply because a lawsuit was filed. Now, the action already taken (somehow), the Oregon Health Authority announced it plans to “draft a bill to repeal the requirement altogether.” Oregon Right to Life, notes Mr. Knuffke, “sharply criticized the agreement … [and] said it would usher in ‘death tourism’ in Oregon.”

  • LEGISLATION IS ON ITS WAY TO THE DESK OF OKLAHOMA’s GOVERNOR, Brad Little (R), described by Fox News writer Brie Stimson as “a near-total abortion ban … — the only exception being to save the life of the mother.” The bill passed the House April 5 by a vote of 70-14, having passed the Senate 38-9 on March 10, 2021. Its initiator, State Sen. Nathan Dahm, who is a candidate for the GOP nomination to the US Senate, declared the bill, according to the Tulsa World, quoted by Fox, “‘the strongest pro-life legislation in the country right now, which effectively eliminates abortion in Oklahoma.’” And the need in the state is urgent, as the Texas Heartbeat Ban, enacted last September, has boosted abortions in Oklahoma by 800%. “‘A state of emergency exists in Oklahoma,’ Republican State Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat said, according to the Washington Post,” quoted in the Fox “‘It’s sickening.’”

  • CALIFORNIA & MARYLAND LAWMAKERS ARE BOTH CONSIDERING legislation which pro-life attorneys warn, notes Ashley Sadler for LifeSiteNews, “could legalize infanticide for weeks or even years after a baby is born.” We publish near the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing a commentary describing this proposal in detail. That commentary, however, does not mention that the Maryland bill is pending also in California, where it has moved to the Assembly after a party-line vote in the Judiciary Committee. What is said in the BreakPoint commentary concerning Maryland is equally true in California, and we hope readers in both states will weigh in with lawmakers.

  • ILLINOIS LEGISLATORS ARE CONSIDERING SEVERAL ANTI-LIFE BILLS, though recent sessions of the legislature have so stripped Illinois babies and their mothers of any protection that a further agenda was challenging to contemplate. HB-1464, notes Illinois Federation for the Right to Life, “would prohibit Illinois officials from disciplining abortionists who break laws in other states related to abortion;” it passed the House March 31 and is pending assignment in the Senate. HB-5048 would, IFRL reports, “require nursing homes to provide certain residents with Practitioner Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment forms … , [which would] determine what kind of care will be provided if a patient is unable to make decisions … . Legislation passed last year removed the requirement for a witness’s signature on POLST forms. This means,” notes IFRL, “those in nursing care will no longer have the security provided by a witness to ensure that they understand what they are signing.” HB-5048 is in the Senate Health Committee and has been granted a deadline extension after passing the House in February. HB-4221 would be used by the state or by private parties to harass pregnancy care centers; it does not appear to be moving, yet. HB-4247 would require higher education institutions to host on-campus vending machines dispensing “emergency contraception” abortifacients to students; it has yet to see action in the Senate, after passing the House on March 3.

  • ARIZONA GOV. DOUG DUCEY (R) HAS SIGNED legislation modeled on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban which is pending before the Supreme Court in the Dobbs The new Arizona law “‘explicitly says it does not overrule a state law in place for more than 100 years that would ban abortion outright if the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade … ,’ Bob Christie of the Associated Press reported, quoted by National Right to Life News editor Dave Andrusko. But for now, until the high court rules in Dobbs, Arizona has criminalized abortion on babies who have developed for at least 15 weeks. And that is progress.

  • SOUTH DAKOTA GOV. KRISTI NOEM (R) SIGNED two pro-life bills in late March, reports Bridget Sielicki for Live Action. HB-1113, she reports, “makes it illegal to coerce anyone to get an abortion. Those found guilty will be charged with a Class B felony.” And HB-1318, she reports, “prohibits the distribution of the abortion pill via telemedicine. Instead, it requires women who want a chemical abortion to make three in-person visits to a doctor: one to take the first abortion pill, another appointment several days later to take the second drug in the abortion-pill regimen, and a third visit two weeks later to confirm that the abortion was complete. [HB-1318] codifies into law an executive order issued by Noem last year,” which has come under attack by the abortion lobby in court proceedings.


The Unthinkable Could Be Arriving

April 5, 2022, BreakPoint commentary by John Stonestreet & Shane Morris

             If a preborn baby isn’t a human person with rights, when does it become one? Some abortion advocates have drawn that line at the second trimester, while very few others* point to fetal heartbeat or detectable brain activity. Harder-line activists reject any abortion restrictions and insist it’s okay to kill a baby at any point right up until or even during birth. Planned Parenthood’s official stance is still to the point of viability, when the baby’s experience of pain during abortion is excruciating.

             What has never been clear is why abortion supporters would draw the line at birth. At least in medical, scientific and philosophical terms, passing through the birth canal doesn’t change anything about a child. If a tiny human is considered a disposable inconvenience inside its mother, why would six inches and 20 minutes turn them into a person with rights? This is why some, like Princeton ethicist Peter Singer, propose that parents should be allowed to kill children well after birth, if they are born with a disability such as Down Syndrome.

             Until now, this horrifying consistency of pro-abortion logic hasn’t made it into law. But as a Supreme Court decision looms in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, legislatures in progressive states are feverishly taking steps to safeguard so-called abortion ‘rights’ in a potential post-Roe world. In at least one case, lawmakers finally followed the logic of abortion to its awful conclusion and left room for post-birth infanticide.

             Maryland Senate Bill 669 would amend the state’s fetal-murder-manslaughter statute to prevent “any form of investigation or penalty” for a person “experiencing a miscarriage, perinatal death related to a failure to act or stillbirth.” Notice that this is not in the context of a botched abortion. Abortionists have already been caught more than a few times in the past allowing babies born alive after abortions to die.

             This law would prohibit investigations in any case where a baby died after birth as a result of neglect. Making matters worse, the term “perinatal” (which just means “newborn”) is not clearly defined. Typically, as Wesley J. Smith points out at National Review, perinatal refers to baby’s first month after birth, so this bill “effectively decriminalizes death by neglect for the first 28 days of life.” In other words, explained the American Center for Law & Justice, “a baby born alive and well could be abandoned and left to starve or freeze to death, and nothing could be done to punish those who participated in that cruel death.”

             Even worse, the Maryland bill authorizes those who are investigated for fatally neglecting an infant to sue law enforcement for civil damages. And, since even investigations are not allowed, if this bill became law, any Maryland residents could allow any newborn child to die without facing questions or consequences.

             Such deadly logic won’t stop at passive infanticide, either. “Based on the current advocacy trajectory,” writes Wesley J. Smith, “such proposals will eventually extend to permitting active infanticide, which is already promoted as legitimate morally and by many in mainstream bioethics, and which currently is permitted in the Netherlands upon terminally ill babies and those born with serious disabilities.”

             If this bill passes, and other states attempting to shore up abortion rights follow, Americans would be openly participating in a practice that has been widely condemned in the West since the Christianization of the Roman Empire. We should all pray this measure doesn’t pass, and every citizen in Maryland should make sure state lawmakers** know what you think about it.

             The rest of us should take this as a wake-up call, the first skirmish in the post-Roe fight for the sanctity of life. The Supreme Court will not end abortion. Instead, a new battle, fought state by state and life by life, will be before us. This Maryland bill is just a taste of how high the stakes in that fight will be.

*We are not aware of any abortion advocates who support limiting abortion to before the baby’s heartbeat or brain activity can be detected; this is a pro-life compromise, intended chiefly to educate the public on how early that is in a baby’s development.

**And Gov. Larry Hogan, who fancies himself a Republican; one can always hope. two pro-life bills in late March, reports Bridget Sielicki for Live Action. HB-1113, she reports, “makes it illegal to coerce anyone to get an abortion. Those found guilty will be charged with a Class B felony.” And HB-1318, she reports, “prohibits the distribution of the abortion pill via telemedicine. Instead, it requires women who want a chemical abortion to make three in-person visits to a doctor: one to take the first abortion pill, another appointment several days later to take the second drug in the abortion-pill regimen, and a third visit two weeks later to confirm that the abortion was complete. [HB-1318] codifies into law an executive order issued by Noem last year,” which has come under attack by the abortion lobby in court proceedings.


Senate Voting Record

Confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to Justice of the Supreme Court – Adopted – April 7, 2022 – 53-47 (Democrats in italics; “Independent” marked “I”)

Voting “no”/pro-Life: Shelby & Tuberville/AL, Sullivan/AK, Boozman & Cotton/AR, Rubio & Scott/FL, Crapo & Risch/ID, Braun & Young/IN, Ernst & Grassley/IA, Marshall & Moran/KS, McConnell & Paul/KY, Cassidy & Kennedy/LA, Hyde-Smith & Wicker/MS, Blunt & Hawley/MO, Daines, MT, Fischer & Sasse/NE, Burr & Tillis/NC, Cramer & Hoeven/ND, Portman/OH, Inhofe & Lankford/OK, Toomey/PA, Graham & Scott/SC, Rounds & Thune/SD, Blackburn & Hagerty/TN, Cornyn & Cruz/TX, Lee/UT, Capito/WV, Johnson/WI, Barrasso & Lummis/WY.

Voting “yes”/anti-Life: Murkowski/AK, Kelly & Sinema/AZ, Feinstein & Padilla/CA, Bennet & Hickenlooper/CO, Blumenthal & Murphy/CT, Carper & Coons/DE, Ossoff & Warnock/GA, Hirono & Schatz/HI, Duckworth & Durbin/IL, Collins & King(I)/ME, Cardin & VanHollen/MD, Markey & Warren/MA, Peters & Stabenow/MI, Klobuchar & Smith/MN, Tester/MT, Cortez-Masto & Rosen/NV, Hassan & Shaheen/NH, Booker & Menendez/NJ, Heinrich & Lujan/NM, Gillibrand & Schumer/NY, Brown/OH, Merkley & Wyden/OR, Casey/PA, Reed & Whitehouse/RI, Romney/UT, Leahy & Sanders/VT, Kaine & Warner/VA, Cantwell & Murray/WA, Manchin/WV, Baldwin/WI.