Life Advocacy Briefing

August 22, 2022

Taking a Breather? / The Biden Abortion Obsession
Competing for Abortion Cartel Kudos / Blocking Justice & Mercy
A Model of Persistence / Stay Focused on the Fundamental Reality / Surprised?

Taking a Breather?

CONGRESS IS OUT OF SESSION, as are most legislatures here in August, so do not be surprised if we take off a week in our publishing schedule, and don’t be surprised if this week’s Life Advocacy Briefing looks, in some respects, like playing catch-up. This summer has resembled a firehose!


The Biden Abortion Obsession

THE PENTAGON HAS MOVED INTO ABETTING THE ABORTION CARTEL, according to a Live Action report by Bridget Sielicki.

A Pentagon spokesman, she reports, “told the Military Times that the decision was made in early June … to change a policy that blocked abortion-related content from showing on its servers, lifting a ban that had been in place since 2010. …

“‘We are working our way through all Dept. of Defense networks now to ensure that restriction is lifted uniformly,’” said Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Gordan, quoted by Live Action from the Military Times report. “‘Further,’” he said, “‘we are updating our broader policy to ensure consistency and access to appropriate information for the DoD workforce.’ …

“Servicewomen have previously spoken out,” reports Ms. Sielicki, “about the pressure they often feel to have abortions in the military. As Live Action News has previously reported, the current policy at military academies is that students cannot have dependents; this means that women who get pregnant (and men who father a child) must either abort their child or drop out.

“‘The unspoken code is that a good soldier will have an abortion, continue the mission and get some sympathy because she chose duty over motherhood,’” writes Bethany Saros in a Salon essay, quoted by Ms. Sielicki. “‘But for the woman who chooses motherhood over duty, well, she must have been trying to get out of deployment.’”


Competing for Abortion Cartel Kudos

NOW THAT THE SUPREME COURT HAS FINALLY ADMITTED there is no right to abortion in the US Constitution and has, um, granted to the states the right to regulate or even outlaw the killing of preborn human children, certain of the states’ leading politicians seem to be competing with each other to rush abortion-industry defense into their states’ policies.

Two such that have made the news since the Dobbs ruling was handed down are the governors of North Carolina (Roy Cooper) and of Nevada (Steve Sisolak), both Democrats.

Gov. Cooper issued an executive order early in July, reports Nancy Flanders for Live Action, citing ABC News as source, “ensur[ing] that neither a woman who undergoes an abortion nor an abortionist who commits abortions in North Carolina will be penalized, with the executive order protecting them from extradition to the woman’s pro-life state. It also states,” notes Ms. Flanders, “that members of the North Carolina Cabinet are prohibited from cooperating in investigations launched by other states regarding abortions in North Carolina.” And of course the order and accompanying news release  persist in blah-blah affirmations to the abortion cartel. The governor implies having used Planned Parenthood as principal source in “not[ing] that one-third of the abortions scheduled in North Carolina this week [circa July 8] will be carried out on women from out of state.”

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak acted just four days after the Dobbs decision was handed down. He signed an executive order, reports Bettina DiFiore for Live Action, “prohibit[ing] executive department agencies and employees – which includes the office of the Attorney General – from ‘provid[ing] any information or expend[ing] or us[ing] time, money, facilities, property, equipment, personnel or other resources in furtherance of any investigation or proceeding initiated in or by another state that seeks to impose civil or criminal liability or professional sanction’ upon anyone providing or receiving an abortion. However, it explicitly permits assisting those who are the subject of prosecution or investigation.” It also directs the various professional licensing boards to “‘implement policies that will ensure that no person shall be disqualified from licensure or subject to discipline … for providing or assisting in the provision’ of abortion as a result against that person by another state. In other words,” writes Ms. DiFiore, “an abortionist who is disciplined in another state can rest easy knowing they will still be able to practice in Nevada, so long as whatever action merited that discipline is considered legal in Nevada. … Current Nevada law,” notes Ms. DiFiore, “permits abortion on demand up to 24 weeks, after which point it is permitted in cases where the mother’s life or health is deemed to be ‘endangered.’”


Blocking Justice & Mercy

THE MONTANA SUPREME COURT HANDED DOWN A RULING Aug. 9 upholding a lower court’s blocking of three pro-life laws enacted in 2021.

One of the “major pro-life [laws],” reports Live Action’s Bettina DiFiore, “ensures a pregnant woman has a chance to see an ultrasound and listen to her baby’s heartbeat prior to an abortion, one … prohibits abortions after 20 weeks, and one … requires a woman’s in-person informed consent signature prior to receiving the abortion pill (essentially prohibiting telemedicine prescriptions for the abortion pill).”

Ask yourself, what is unreasonable about laws like that? The state supreme court claims, reports Ms. DiFiore, citing NBC Montana as source, “‘Montana’s constitution recognizes an individual’s right to privacy, adding that the new legislation appears to violate the state constitution.’”

The state supreme court wrote, according to Live Action, “‘that abortion service providers and their patients would suffer great or irreparable injury if the laws were not enjoined.’”

The case now is remanded to the district court where it originated “for a full trial,” notes Ms. diFiore.


A Model of Persistence

May 19, 2022, Live Action report by Nancy Flanders

             During a hearing held (May 18) by the House Judiciary Committee regarding access to abortion in the United States, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) asked pro-abortion activist Aimee Arrambide, executive director of Avow (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice Texas) why it is lawful to kill an undelivered baby when it is unlawful to kill a baby who was born just an hour prior. Her response was to fall back on a typical pro-abortion talking point that completely dismisses the humanity of human beings in the womb.

             Rep. Johnson: “So abortion should be allowed, by your definition, for any reason for any purpose at any stage, right?”

             Arrambide: “I trust people to make decisions about their body and then when relevant, I think that they need to consult their medical practitioner and not Congress.”

             Rep. Johnson: “Let me ask you this question: If it is not lawful and morally acceptable to take the life of a 10-year-old child – I assume you agree with that, right? That would be wrong? Correct?”

             Arrambide: “I believe that is wrong”

             Rep. Johnson: “OK. And a two-year-old child, same thing. That would be murder. We would all agree that’s wrong. Then what is the principal distinction between the human being that is two years old or nine months old or one week old or an hour old and one that is eight inches further up the birth canal …? What’s the difference? Why is it okay in the latter case but not the former case?”

             Arrambide: “I trust people to determine what to do with their own bodies. Full stop.”

             Legalized abortion is based on the lie that abortion is nothing more than women deciding what to do with their own bodies. But the reality of abortion – the entire reason why pro-life individuals object to abortion – is that abortion is an act of homicide against a unique, developing human being in the womb and does not merely involve the body of the woman.

             Arrambide, who is the daughter of a Texas abortionist and who has had an abortion of her own, falls back on this manipulation tactic in order to avoid answering the question of what the difference is between a born human being and a human being still in the womb. That’s because the truth is that there is no difference between these two humans when it comes to their humanity. Killing an innocent human being in the womb is always as unethical and immoral as killing an innocent born human being.

[Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: Our point in reprinting this is to illustrate an effective challenge raised by a pro-life front-liner (Rep. Johnson). While reading it, we noticed also the abortion advocate’s determined avoidance of the term “woman.” Increasingly, the abortion lobby is deserting its own 49-year argument that it is offering some benefit to “women,” as it strangely embraces the transgender fallacy. The quandary was brought front-and-center into public view when the Supreme Court’s newest Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson, refused even to be drawn into the definition of “woman” during her confirmation hearings, thanks to Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn’s grasp of the verbal jujitsu being practiced by abortion advocates.]


Stay Focused on the Fundamental Reality

June 6, 2022, commentary by Charlie Johnston reprinted from American Thinker

             It can be maddening and baffling to engage in debate with left-wing activists. Their love of ad hominem arguments and non sequiturs would make a sophist blush. Their stated principles shift during an argument like a kaleidoscope. That doesn’t even begin to take into account their shrieking rage and cosplay costumes.

             Yet on the abortion question, all their histrionics are designed to obscure the one fundamental question that must be answered before any further discussion can take place: Is the fetus a human person or not? If he is, he is entitled to all the protections all other humans have.

             As a young lawyer riding the circuit in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln was often an enigma to his colleagues. He seemed frequently to concede too many points to his opponent, yet he prevailed. His genius was to find the fundamental issue, then grab hold of it like a bulldog with a rag, refusing to let go or be distracted from it. Pro-lifers should adopt Lincoln’s strategy and hold fast to it.

             Almost all the arguments abortion advocates advance are rhetorical variations of 3-Card Monte. The aim is to draw your attention away from where the action really is. Though they have a full set of tools of distraction, there is a primary argument, usually accompanied by three smaller ones. Each of these is facilitated by a consistent sleight-of-hand trick.

             The big distraction is to call abortion a woman’s “right.” This both misunderstands what a right is and misapplies it to the specific case. Under natural law theory (which is the basis of our Bill of Rights), all rights precede the existence of the state. Rights are endowed to each person by virtue of his existence – and the state has no authority over them. They are granted by God through natural law.

             This is a critical protection, for he who has authority to grant a right has equal authority to revoke it. This takes government entirely out of the business of dispensing and revoking rights. In fact, it makes the defense of actual rights under natural law a test of the very legitimacy of any government. Since a right is vested in a person by virtue of being a human person, the argument of a woman’s right to kill another human person is irrelevant to the point of incoherence.

             The three smaller distractions include the argument that all children should be wanted and have a comfortable life. If your answer to that problem is to kill those who are unwanted or impoverished, why not solve all poverty and hardship with an assault rifle? The answer is obvious: We don’t do that to actual persons. Current circumstances are never a completely reliable guide to future prospects, as Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) pointedly told Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

             The second distraction is the undue burden it places on an unwilling mother. If killing a person is a remedy for an undue burden, we can clear out the nursing homes and orphanages with the above-referenced assault rifle. But we don’t do that to actual persons.

             The third major point is that having a child would adversely impact a woman’s career prospects and options. That is an argument from interest. If we can kill people because they threaten our interests, a hitman would be a respectable part of the service economy. We don’t do that to actual people.

             All of these arguments are decimated when the focus is on the actual, vitally relevant question: the humanity of the unborn. Science and orthodox Christian theology are yoked on that question: a fetus is just an early stage in the development of a human person. If people tell me to “keep your rosaries off my ovaries,” I ask if they are among those primitive science-deniers. (They hate that!)

             The sleight of hand the left uses is to talk of principles. A generation or so ago, most honorable people worked hard to develop a set of principles, which were the pylons sunk in bedrock to build a foundation for a coherent intellectual worldview. Even when flawed or mistaken, a person’s actions and arguments were mainly in service to his foundational principles.

             Modern leftists have appetites. Their actions, arguments and principles are all malleable things in service to their capriciously arbitrary appetites. This is how, a month ago, the left argued that no one (except perhaps a biologist) could begin to define what a woman is and now argue that only those undefinable beings have any say about abortion. Don’t get lost in the weeds with them. Demand that they answer the fundamental question.

             Neither be shaken by nor waste time with the bitter-enders, those to whom abortion advocacy is a cosmic crusade rather than a rational decision. Even without the dissolution of coherent and consistent principles, there would be a cohort to whom abortion is the animating issue, which gives their life meaning. So it was with the great debate over slavery 170 years ago.

             Take another page from Lincoln. Without ever falling into raw hatred of his most vitriolic foes, he addressed himself primarily to those in the great middle – those who were not directly affected by slavery but felt vaguely uncomfortable with it. Most of them genuinely wanted to do what was right but were not quite sure what that was. It was to the angels of their better nature that he appealed. Staying focused on the fundamental humanity of the enslaved, Lincoln used logic and evidence to persuade those who were uncertain into his camp.

             Focusing on the fundamental humanity of the unborn child will not settle the issue with those who are vested in abortion advocacy. Rather, it is a battle plan which, adhered to rigorously, will make them into an ever diminishing and disreputable remnant.

             If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, as now [has occurred], it will be a big step in the right direction. But is a beginning, not an end. Pro-lifers’ work is not done until our culture once again fully acknowledges the human dignity and irrevocable right to life of every person, no matter what his stage of development. Keep focused, and many of us may live to see the day when every innocent person is valued and protected.



July 29, 2022, commentary by National Right to Life News editor Dave Andrusko

             The results of the latest Washington Post – Schar School poll on abortion, released today, finds Prof. Mark Rozell “struggl[ing] to wrap my head around this disconnect. …

             “Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the end of Roe v. Wade represents a ‘major loss of rights’ for women, a Washington Post – Schar School poll finds, but those who support abortion access are less certain they will vote this fall – a sign of the challenges facing Democrats who hope the issue will motivate their base in the midterms,” report the Post’s Hannah Knowles, Emily Buskin and Scott Clement.

             “The poll also provides evidence of an enthusiasm problem for Democrats: Those who reject the idea that the court’s ruling is a loss for women are 18 percentage points more likely to express certainty they will vote in the midterms – 70% compared with 52% of those who do see such a loss, according to the Post – Schar School poll conducted July 22 to 24. Democrats and women, especially younger women, are particularly uncertain they will vote. About one in three women under 40 are sure they will cast a ballot even as they have strong concerns about rollbacks in abortion access. ‘Is the discontent with Democratic Party leadership and policies generally so deep that those most affected by the Court decision … still plan to sit out this election?’ said Mark Rozell, dean of the Schar School of Policy & Government at George Mason University, who worked on the poll. ‘I struggle to wrap my head around this disconnect.’”

             There are many reasons for this “disconnect.” The public, by and large, doesn’t yet realize that the Dobbs decision returns the abortion issue to the states. In fact, this is democracy in action.

             The abortion lobby has already unloaded its first stream of tough cases. The goal, obviously, is to paint pro-lifers as uncaring, as if killing an unborn baby is the model of sensitivity.

             And, naturally, pregnancy help centers, which work faithfully to help both mother and children, get short shrift. They offer the ultimate in offering win-win solutions.

             Finally, the “enthusiasm gap” is as old as the abortion wars. Single-issue pro-lifers are much more likely to vote than single-issue pro-abortionists. In this poll, “Those who reject the idea that the Court’s ruling is a loss for women are 18 percentage points more likely to express certainty they will vote in the midterms – 70% compared with 52% of those who do see such a loss.”

             And finally, according to the Post story: “Republicans are the most confident they will vote: 74% say they will definitely do so, compared to 62% of Democrats and 53% of independents. Americans who say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases are also more likely to say they will definitely vote than those who say abortion should be legal, by 11 points.”