Life Advocacy Briefing

October 3, 2022

Reject This Nominee! / Standing Tall in Arizona
One University Gets It Right / Tie These News Items Together
The Biden Abortion Obsession
Why Don’t GOP Lawmakers Do Something About This?

Reject This Nominee!

CALLS TO HOME-STATE SENATORS ARE IN ORDER to request a “no” vote on the nomination of Julie Rikelman to the 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Boston. [Capitol switchboard: 202/224-3121]

Ms. Rikelman has worked as an attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, one of the leading abortion lobby law firms, according to Matt Lamb, writing for LifeSiteNews. CRR is frequently the lead outfit challenging pro-life state laws, so it should be no surprise that Ms. Rikelman was one of the lawyers who sought to block the Mississippi law which precipitated the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade in last spring’s Dobbs case.

In challenging Oklahoma’s partial-birth abortion ban in 2019, notes Mr. Lamb, Ms. Rikelman said, “‘Politicians should never take medical options off the table for pregnant persons.’” [Note the gender-neutral reference to expectant mothers, a further radicalization of the abortion cartel.]

The radical lawyer appeared on Sept. 21 before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a hearing on her nomination, where she was grilled by some of the pro-life Senators. Said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), quoted by Mr. Lamb, “‘You have spent the majority of your professional life as an extreme zealot, advocating for abortion. That is clearly a heartfelt and personal passion of you. It is a passion you‘ve decided to devote your life to, but it is not remotely within the mainstream. … Your views on abortion are not middle of the road, they’re not views that most people in their typical lives encounter,’ he told [Ms.] Rikelman.

“‘You believe, for example that abortion ought to be entirely legal right up until the moment of birth including the ninth month of pregnancy, is that correct?’” Sen. Cruz asked, quoted by Mr. Lamb, who further reports, “She denied that she ever took that position as a legal ‘advocate’ and declined to share her personal views.

“She has, however, shared her personal views in the past,” notes Mr. Lamb, “before being nominated – and that includes calling life-saving pregnancy resource centers ‘faux clinics.’ Her 2018 opinion piece in the Huffington Post criticized the Supreme Court for ruling in NIFLA v. Becerra against California in its attempt to force pregnancy resource centers to promote abortion,” reports Mr. Lamb. “‘Reproductive rights advocates have long been concerned that CPCs [crisis pregnancy centers] use dishonest tactics like internet deception and falsely presenting staff as medical providers,’” she charged in HuffPost, quoted by LifeSiteNews, “‘in order to trick women who are seeking abortion or contraception services into visiting their facilities.’ …

“Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) confronted her,” reports Mr. Lamb, “on what she wrote about the ‘faux clinics’ claim, since many pregnancy resource centers employ medical professionals. … He said her support for ‘radical’ abortion law and her criticism of pro-life centers left him with a ‘grave concern’ about her nomination.”

The abortion lawyer, reports Mr. Lamb, “tried to portray herself as a neutral, objective judge” during the hearing. But the abortion lobby is not offering her cover. Tweeted Planned Parenthood president Alexis Johnson, notes Mr. Lamb, “‘Watching Julie Rikelman, nominee for the 1st Circuit US Court of Appeals, truly gives me hope for the future of our courts … .’”

Committee Democrats, reports Mr. Lamb, used the pro-life Senators’ criticism of the nominee to attack their committee colleagues, calling them “‘right-wing politicians’” and attacking their views as “‘extreme anti-choice.’” Oops … the party which most emphatically backs vaccine mandates, it seems to us, no longer gets to claim the “pro-choice” moniker!


Standing Tall in Arizona

ARIZONA PROSECUTORS HAVE A CHOICE, apparently, of pro-life laws they can now enforce. A law banning abortion at or after 15 weeks of a baby’s gestation took effect Sept. 24, but Arizona already has a law banning all abortions, on the books since 1901 and now enforceable, thanks to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

What is more, the Arizona Republic’s overtly pro-abortion writer E.J. Montini reports that a superior court judge in Pima County “has ruled that an abortion ban first put on the books in 1864 and never taken off is back in effect now that the US Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade.” It was that law that was amended by a 1901 statute, which, he bemoans, “offers no exceptions for rape or incest and says that anyone who provides abortion services or facilitates the means to do so will receive two to five years in prison.” How shocking! That someone who kills another human being or abets the killing might be sentenced to prison!

Arizona’s attorney general, Mark Brnovich, Mr. Montini noted, “argued for the old law to take effect” and said in a statement after Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson ruled the 1901 law could be enforced, “‘We applaud the court for upholding the will of the legislature and providing clarity and uniformity on this important issue.’”

So, what happens to the 15-week ban? It appears it can sit on the books, but it has a provision, noted by Mr. Montini, “specifically saying it didn’t supercede any previous law. …

“The Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature got what it wanted,” writes Mr. Montini, “what it has been waiting for since 1973. Generations of GOP lawmakers prevented the 1964 law from being taken off the books, hoping that it would again become the law of the land.” Well, yes. Thank God.


One University Gets It Right

IDAHO HAS BANNED ABORTION via a 2020 trigger law which has now – post-Dobbs – taken effect. And what has the University of Idaho done about it? We expect our readers will be surprised.

The institution’s administration issued a lengthy memo on Sept. 23, reports Jean Mondoro for LifeSiteNews, describing “the state’s pro-life legislation, cautioning all employees about the different ways in which they could violate the law and possibly face termination and felony charges.

“The memo states,” writes Ms. Mondoro, “that the university ‘is committed to operating within the confines of laws of the state of Idaho which restrict expenditures of funds and activities of university employees in the areas of abortion and contraception. … During all the times that university employees are performing their jobs,’” reads the memo, quoted in the LifeSiteNews story, “‘the law prohibits them from taking any action, and from using or providing institution funds or facilities, for any of the following: Promoting abortion, providing or performing abortion, counseling in favor of abortion, referring for abortion, providing facilities for an abortion or for training to provide or perform an abortion.’”

What is more, Ms. Mondoro reports, “The document points out that any drug ‘classified as emergency contraception by the FDA’ is illegal to distribute unless in cases of rape. ‘Contracting with abortion providers and advertising or promoting services for abortion or for the prevention of conception’ is also prohibited.”

Clearly, Idaho lawmakers were very careful and detailed in the way they constructed their abortion-ban law. Clearly, the statute itself addresses the inclination of institutions of higher learning to be abettors of the abortion cartel. Congratulations to Idaho, both to lawmakers and even to university officials.


Tie These News Items Together

LOCAL POLICE IN A RURAL WEST MICHIGAN COUNTY are investigating the shooting of an 84-year-old woman who had engaged in a “tense conversation,” reports Matt Lamb for LifeSiteNews, while delivering campaign material opposing the ballot proposition that would lock abortion into the state constitution and permanently block any regulation of it.

A spokesman for Right to Life of Michigan said the lady had been a volunteer “‘for a very long time,’” reports Mr. Lamb. She had engaged the homeowner in “‘a heated conversation,’” according to the RtLM spokesman, who said the man who shot her “‘was not a part of her conversation. … We are still waiting for the police report to be released to the public.’” Early media reports did not identify the cause for the volunteer’s visit to the homeowner.

The incident recalled for Mr. Lamb an incident in August when “a violent pro-choicer [sic] attacked a pro-life teen in Kansas … after a brief and peaceful interaction with a different household member about the Value Them Both Amendment. The woman’s daughter became upset at the mere presence of the 18-year-old Students for Life Action volunteer and shoved her in the chest with both hands and began beating her on the head with her closed fists.”

And then there’s this from a story by Emily Mangiaracina in LifeSiteNews: “FBI agents questioned a pro-life prayer supporter outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility [Sept. 27] in St. Paul, Minnesota, after a complaint that he had interfered with a client’s access to the facility.” The president of Pro-Life Action Ministries told Ms. Mangiaracina “that this prayer supporter explained to the agents that his interference with access to the Planned Parenthood facility ‘could not be possible.’

“‘This prayer supporter comes almost every day to pray, while kneeling, for hours on end,’” the Ministries leader “shared in an e-mail” the next day. “‘He kneels on the public sidewalk near a tree cut-out, where no one can walk, at least 30 feet from the entrance driveway to Planned Parenthood.’” A local radio broadcaster “said her understanding was that, in fact, the man was ‘kneeling in prayer on the sidewalk’ when the FBI agents approached.”

The prayer ministry leader tied the St. Paul incident to the FBI arrest of Pennsylvania pro-life leader Mark Houck at about the same time and warned, “‘It seems clear that there is a new effort by the Biden Justice Department to intimidate us all from the important work we do to save lives.’”


The Biden Abortion Obsession

Sept. 23, 2022, commentary by Dan Hart, editor of Family Research Council’s The Washington Stand

             On Friday, it came to light that during a Democratic National Committee fundraiser held in New York this week, Pres. Biden made the following comment in reaction to pro-life legislation introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that would limit elective abortion at 15 weeks’ gestation:

             “Think about what these guys are talking about. No exceptions – rape, incest – no exceptions, regardless of age. I happen to be a practicing Roman Catholic. My church doesn’t even make that argument now.”

             In the space of just 33 words, Biden uttered two outright lies. The first is that Graham’s bill does not include exceptions in the cases of rape and incest – the bill’s language explicitly does allow for abortion in those cases.

             The second lie is the contention that the Catholic Church has somehow changed its position recently with regard to abortion. By saying the church “doesn’t even make that argument now,” Biden seems to be implying that the church was once against abortion in the cases of rape and incest but is now in favor of abortion in these exceptional cases, because, you know, that’s what is popularly acceptable. This is false.

             The Catechism of the Catholic Church (which is a compilation of the teachings that the Catholic Church has held since the first century) is unequivocal in its condemnation of abortion: Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. … Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion – that is to say abortion willed either as an end or a means – is gravely contrary to the moral law. (CCC 2270-2271)

             In the Catechism’s entire section on abortion, which spans six separate segments, there is no mention of abortion being acceptable in the cases of rape and incest.

             Mary Szoch, director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council and a Catholic, told The Washington Stand that the current pope and his two predecessors have reiterated the church’s position on multiple occasions.

             “As the Catechism clearly states, the Catholic Church has always been opposed to the grave evil of abortion,” she noted. “This is a church teaching that has not and cannot ever change. Pope after pope has reiterated this, with Pope John Paul II urging Americans to ‘stand up for life!’ Pope Benedict made it clear that there may be diversity of opinion among Catholics about waging war and the death penalty but ‘not however with regard to abortion.’ Pope Francis said abortion was like ‘daily murder.’ Despite what he says, Pres. Biden has clearly rejected the teachings of the church he claims to be a part of. We should all pray for his conversion.”

             This isn’t the first time Biden has muddied the waters about the doctrine of the Catholic Church regarding abortion. During his long history of flip-flopping on his position on abortion over his four-decade career in Congress and in the White House, Biden wrote in 2007 that he is “personally opposed” to abortion but that he does not feel he has the “right to impose [his] view on the rest of society.”

             But this view is also directly contrary to the Catholic Church’s teaching regarding the responsibility that lawmakers have to protect unborn life in the law: The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation.

             “The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death. …

             “The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. … As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights” (CCC 2273).

             By publicly advocating for legislation and enacting executive orders that allow abortion on demand, Biden is not only disregarding his own church’s teaching but is actively working to undermine it. Let us pray that Pres. Biden will undergo a deep and profound conversion of heart and develop the courage to actually live by the teachings of a faith that he publicly professes.


Why Don’t GOP Lawmakers Do Something About This?

Sept. 29, 2022, Memo from FRC Action

             Health & Human Services has issued a proposed rule to re-insert pro-abortion and LGBT ideology into health care. This change was first made under the Obama Administration, was undone by the Trump Administration and is now being reintroduced under Biden.

             In a nutshell, this rule would consider the terms “termination of pregnancy,” “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to be included under the definition for “discrimination on the basis of sex.” This denial of scientific reality would result in even further promotion of abortion, a breakdown of conscience rights for medical professionals and obstacles to the proper diagnosis and care of patients.

             The period for public comment on this rule ends on Oct. 3rd. In order to help ensure that this bad regulation is rejected, HHS needs to hear from you today!

             This rule could:

  • Require doctors and health insurers to perform or cover abortions.
  • Make it harder for doctors to properly diagnose and treat patients, particularly those who identify as transgender.
  • Require doctors and health insurers to perform/administer or cover gender transition procedures (e., puberty blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones and surgeries), including for minors.

             Sadly, these types of incidents are already happening with dire outcomes.

             In 2019, a biological female identifying as a man appeared to be an overweight man to hospital staff. Therefore, they had no reason to think the patient was pregnant and either in labor or otherwise suffering from complications. Sadly, because of this, the patient did not receive immediate care and delivered a stillborn baby. The doctor noted that the male classification “threw us off” from the patient’s actual medical needs.

             In 2017, a nurse at the University of Vermont Medical Center was forced to assist in an abortion, despite her expressed objections on conscience grounds. There were other staff on site who could have assisted in the abortion, yet the hospital forced the nurse to participate or be subject to discipline that could include loss of licensure.

             Cases like these will only increase if this proposed rule is adopted.

             By law, HHS is required to review your public comment, so your voice will be heard, even if you comment anonymously. The activists on the Left are mobilizing comments, so your voice is greatly needed*!

*Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: FRC Action has provided a suggested message and posted it at It is at the headline “Tell HHS not to insert abortion and gender ideology into healthcare!”