Life Advocacy Briefing

September 19, 2022

Our Urgent Appeal / A Win in California! / And Another Win in California!
Ominous / Echo of Fundamental Truth / Election Watch

Our Urgent Appeal

WE DO NOT OFTEN – EVER? – IN LIFE ADVOCACY BRIEFING – GET INTO legislative tactics. But we cannot be silent in our disappointment over the move by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) to propose a federal ban on post-15-week abortions.

This proposal – introduced at a time when it has literally zero chance of passing – serves only to put pro-life candidates on the spot during an abortion-heated campaign season. Our candidates are being poorly served already by professional consultants brought in by the GOP leadership and campaign chiefs; dropping an unpassable proposal into the spotlight serves them even worse, pinning them to the wall.

Many states are already adopting stricter limits and even bans on abortion; a weaker federal proposal undercuts their pioneering efforts and state enforcement. And the response by DC sponsors that their bill will treat differently the lives of children in states with stricter policies calls into sharp question the constitutionality of such a proposal.

For so many inexcusable reasons, the proposal becomes a press-release bill, not a serious bid for serious reform. And it is inexcusably divisive within the pro-life community, just weeks before what will likely be a watershed election.

We suggest that if our federal lawmakers want to bring their pro-life convictions into a useful campaign for reform – even at this late date in the legislative process – they focus instead on such reforms as demanding that the Hyde Amendment be re-adopted as a no-compromise requirement for their votes on any spending measures.

And in light of the Supreme Court’s having sent the right to life of unborn children to the states for their widely varying lawmaking, we urge that our federal lawmakers revive now the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act to protect the adolescents in states neighboring abortion havens. The disparate treatment of abortion law by the various states makes this long-languishing proposal now a matter of added urgency.

Another area our federal lawmakers should be addressing is the blocking of Biden Regime regulatory and bureaucratic schemes to push abortion through offering abortions at the VA – a federal issue – and the atrocious pressure coming from such bureaucracies as the Dept. of Health & Human Services, which is shredding conscience protections for medical personnel and finding contorted workarounds to put taxpayers on the hook for the killing of unborn children.

Let the states deal with abortion bans for now, Senators and Congressmen. There’s so much going on at the federal level – yes, on abortion – that you could be dealing with. Please, stay in your lane. If you do not rise up now on the Biden Regime’s undermining of the Dobbs ruling and of the right to life, which is in our nation’s founding charter, when will you? Leave the states to do their job. Please.


A Win in California!

A U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE IN CALIFORNIA HAS RULED “unconstitutional” last year’s new state law requiring California doctors to administer suicides despite conscientious objection.

Judge Fernando Aenlle-Rocha, reports Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, “also granted a preliminary injunction barring the state from compelling healthcare providers to document a patient’s request for assisted suicide.” The judge, incidentally, was appointed to the bench by then-President Donald Trump.

“The case has not ended,” notes Mr. Schadenberg, “but this decision is a great victory for conscience rights.” This is the second federal-court rejection of California’s abetted suicide statute during 2022.


And Another Win in California!

THE CHIEF JUDGE OF THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA, Judge Kimberly Mueller, has knocked out a Planned Parenthood-initiated mandate by the California Dept. of Managed Health Care (DMHC) requiring, reports Cassy Fiano-Chesser for Live Action, “all employers, including religious institutions, to include abortion in their healthcare coverage.”

Three churches, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), filed suit against the mandate in 2014. Now, eight years later, the Obama-appointed judge ruled, reports Mrs. Chesser, “that the DMHC violated the churches’ First Amendment rights by denying their requests for an exemption from the abortion mandate. …

“The California attorney general’s office did not respond to the ruling,” notes Mrs. Chesser, “while a DMHC spokeswoman said they were reviewing it.”

Planned Parenthood’s involvement in developing the mandate was uncovered by ADF attorneys in the course of the lawsuit. “Planned Parenthood lobbyists,” reports Mrs. Chesser, “specifically asked how Catholic and other religious institutions could be forced to pay for abortions.”

The Live Action report quotes an exultant ADF attorney, Jeremiah Galus: “‘The government can’t force a church or any other religious employer to violate their faith and conscience by participating in funding abortion,’ he said. ‘For years, California has unconstitutionally targeted faith-based organizations, so we’re pleased the court has found this mandate unconstitutional and will allow the churches we represent to operate freely according to their religious beliefs.’”



Sept. 12, 2022, BreakPoint commentary by John Stonestreet & Kasey Leander

             Recently an impressive development in embryology was reported by the Israeli Weizmann Institute of Science. Using only stem cells, without the presence of sperm, eggs, or even a womb, researchers successfully created functioning mouse embryos, complete with beating hearts, blood circulation, brain tissue and rudimentary digestive systems. Carolyn Johnson in The Washington Post described the discovery as “a fascinating, potentially fraught realm of science that could one day be used to create replacement organs for humans.”

             For the more than 100,000 people currently waiting for a life-saving organ donation, that kind of breakthrough would indeed seem like a miracle. However, since scientists are still years away from creating human organs in a lab for the purpose of transplant, the technology raises serious ethical questions, none of which should be taken lightly.

             One of these questions is, in fact, an old one. Do the promises of embryonic stemcell research justify it? While some stem cells can be harvested from a variety of non-embryonic sources such as bone marrow, others are harvested from so-called “unused” embryos that have been donated to science. The lives of these tiny, undeveloped human beings are being taken in the process.

             For context, the research conducted by the Weizmann Institute uses embryonic stem cells. Though, for the time being, this implies only embryonic stem cells harvested from mice, the move to human research would involve the harvesting of stem cells from human embryos and involve tissue derived from already living human beings.

             The Christian stance on when life begins is the same as the science. Human life begins at conception, and every single human life is worthy of protection. If we would not take the life of a born child in our research for a cure for some medical condition, neither the anonymity of an embryo nor the confines of a laboratory justify doing the same thing in the process of embryonic stemcell research.

             Science is a process of trial and error, but we should never employ “trial and error” with the lives of thousands of human beings, in particular human beings who cannot consent to our actions. A rule of thumb is this: If you wouldn’t try an experiment on an adult or small child, don’t do it to human embryos at any stage.

             The breakthrough at the Weizmann Institute, however, takes this old debate a step further. On one hand, lead researcher Dr. Jacob Hanna was quick to clarify that the goal is not to make complete, living organisms of mice or any other species. “We are really facing difficulties making organs,” he said, “and in order to make stem cells become organs, we need to learn how the embryo does that.”

             Given the history of science, including the last chapter involving breathless promises of what embryonic stemcell research would bring, the grandiose predictions of scientists should be taken with at least a grain of salt. The process of growing organs for mice, for example, involved the creation of entire embryos. Should the technology be perfected in mice, what ethical or legal limits are there to prevent the creation of synthetic human embryos for the purpose of harvesting their organs?


Echo of Fundamental Truth

1994 Amicus Brief submitted to U.S. Supreme Court by Mother Teresa (now St. Teresa of Calcutta)

             I hope you will count it no presumption that I seek your leave to address you on behalf of the unborn child. Like that child, I can be considered an outsider. I am not an American citizen. My parents were Albanian. I was born before the First World War in a part of what was not yet and is no longer, Yugoslavia. In many senses I know what it is like to be without a country. I also know what it is like to feel an adopted citizen of other lands. When I was still a young girl, I traveled to India. I found my work among the poor and the sick of that nation, and I have lived there ever since.

             Since 1950, I have worked with my many sisters from around the world as one of the Missionaries of Charity. Our congregation now has over four hundred foundations in more than one hundred countries, including the United States of America. We have almost five thousand sisters. We care for those who are often treated as outsiders in their own communities by their own neighbors – the starving, the crippled, the impoverished and the diseased, from the old woman with a brain tumor in Calcutta to the young man with AIDS in New York City.

             A special focus of our care is mothers and their children. This includes mothers who feel pressured to sacrifice their unborn children by want, neglect, despair and philosophies and government policies that promote the dehumanization of inconvenient human life. And it includes the children themselves, innocent and utterly defenseless, who are at the mercy of those who would deny their humanity. So, in a sense, my sisters and those we serve are outsiders together. At the same time, we are supremely conscious of the common bonds of humanity that unite us and transcend national boundaries.

             In another sense, no one in the world who prizes liberty and human rights can feel anything but a strong kinship with America. Yours is the one great nation in all of history that was founded on the precept of equal rights and respect for all humankind, for the poorest and weakest of us as well as the richest and strongest. As your Declaration of Independence put it, in words that have never lost their power to stir the heart:

             “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness … .” A nation founded on these principles holds a sacred trust: to stand as an example to the rest of the world, to climb ever higher in its practical realization of the ideals of human dignity, brotherhood and mutual respect. Your constant efforts in fulfillment of that mission, far more than your size or your wealth or your military might, have made America an inspiration to all mankind.

             It must be recognized that your model was never one of realized perfection but of ceaseless aspiration. From the outset, for example, America denied the African slave his freedom and human dignity. But in time you righted that wrong, albeit at an incalculable cost in human suffering and loss of life. Your impetus has almost always been toward a fuller, more all-embracing conception and assurance of the rights that your founding fathers recognized as inherent and God-given.  

             Yours has ever been an inclusive, not an exclusive, society. And your steps, though they may have paused or faltered now and then, have been pointed in the right direction and have trod the right path. The task has not always been an easy one, and each new generation has faced its own challenges and temptations. But in a uniquely courageous and inspiring way, America has kept faith.

             Yet there has been one infinitely tragic and destructive departure from those American ideals in recent memory. It was this Court’s own decision in Roe v. Wade (1973) to exclude the unborn child from the human family. You ruled that a mother, in consultation with her doctor, has broad discretion, guaranteed against infringement by the United States Constitution, to choose to destroy her unborn child. Your opinion stated that you did not need to “resolve the difficult question of when life begins.” That question is inescapable. If the right to life is an inherent and inalienable right, it must surely exist wherever life exists. No one can deny that the unborn child is a distinct being, that it is human and that it is alive. It is unjust, therefore, to deprive the unborn child of its fundamental right to life on the basis of its age, size or condition of dependency. It was a sad infidelity to America’s highest ideals when this Court said that it did not matter, or could not be determined, when the inalienable right to life began for a child in its mother’s womb.

             America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts – a child – as a competitor, an intrusion and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered domination over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters. And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners.

             Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign. The Constitutional Court of the Federal Republic of Germany recently ruled that “the unborn child is entitled to its rights to life independently of acceptance by its mother; this is an elementary and inalienable right that emanates from the dignity of the human being.” Americans may feel justly proud that Germany in 1993 was able to recognize the sanctity of human life. You must weep that your own government, at present, seems blind to this truth.

             I have no new teaching for America. I seek only to recall you to faithfulness to what you once taught the world. Your nation was founded on the proposition – very old as a moral precept, but startling and innovative as a political insight – that human life is a gift of immeasurable worth, and that it deserves, always and everywhere, to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. I urge the Court to take the opportunity presented by the petitions in these cases to consider the fundamental question of when human life begins and to declare without equivocation the inalienable rights which it possesses.


Election Watch

Aug. 27, 2022, Live Action report by Amanda Vicinanzo

             Mid-term election preparation is in full swing across the nation, and the issue of abortion has taken center stage. According to a new report by ad-tracking firm AdImpact, Democrats have spent nearly $32 million on abortion-related campaign ads – compared to the $4.2 million spent by Republicans – over the past 50 days.

             Pro-abortion advocates have been in an uproar since the reversal of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 US Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion, sending the issue of abortion back to the states. Nowhere is that more evident than in the millions spent on ads talking about abortion this year compared to four years ago when only $1 million was spent by pro-abortion politicians.

             The pro-abortion ads take all forms. Some describe pro-life candidates with the phrase “too extreme.”* One promotes a veteran with the message, “He sure didn’t fight for our freedom abroad to see it taken away from women here at home.” In another, a candidate used a montage of women to target an incumbent’s stance on abortion. In the ad, the women discussed being victims of rape and incest, fear of criminalizing women for abortion (though no laws in the nation currently do so), and accusations of “forced pregnancy.”

             In addition, the New York Times reports that pro-abortion politicians have spent more than $2 million on ads targeting specific politicians in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Nevada.

             Just weeks ago, the executive directors of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Governors Assn. blasted the popular streaming service Hulu for refusing to run abortion ads, saying “censorship of truth is outrageous, offensive and another step down a dangerous path for our country.”

             Hulu later issued a statement saying the company would be changing its advertising policies to accept political ads on “a wide spectrum of policy issues.”

             While abortion activists are quick to chide any organization standing in the way of pro-abortion ads as “censorship,” it is an entirely different tune when the ads are pro-life. Live Action News recently reported that abortion advocates are working to ensure that search engine results for abortion do not include information on pregnancy centers – a vital resource for vulnerable pregnant women who may be seeking alternatives to abortion. And it is common for social media entities to disallow pro-life groups from running ads, though abortion giant Planned Parenthood is allowed to advertise on those same platforms.

             The campaign ads highlight a deep divide in the nation right now. While the overturning of Roe v. Wade marked a monumental moment in the pro-life movement’s unwavering efforts to protect preborn children, the fight is far from over. Knowing the issue is now with the states, campaign dollars are being spent on abortion ads in hopes of electing politicians who will vote in favor of pro-abortion state laws.

*Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: The “too-extreme” line is not new. It is a standard hit on pro-life candidates. Unfortunately, the professional consultants’ standard pitch to those candidates – that they should minimize or even avoid the issue – leaves them vulnerable to this lie.