Life Advocacy Briefing

December 19, 2022

‘God Bless Us, Every One’ / Conscientious Texas Nurse Suing V.A.
Journalistic Contortion / Tightening the Screws / In the Courts / Follow the Science!
Reversing Course / Handling ‘Hard Cases’ / Feeble Warning

‘God Bless Us, Every One’

WE WISH ALL OUR READERS A BLESSED CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION and hope you will understand that we do not plan to publish a Dec. 26 edition. Looking forward to communicating with you again in the new year, we thank you for your ongoing support. May God bless you and your family.


Conscientious Texas Nurse Suing V.A.

A NURSE AT THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION is suing the VA to secure her right of conscience in the face of the Biden Regime’s new rule putting the veterans agency into the business of committing abortions.

The plaintiff, notes Calvin Freiburger, writing for LifeSiteNews, “was told [the new rule] lacks a process for accommodating religious objections.”

The rule was put into place in September as a means of imposing abortions on states whose laws bar the crime. The plaintiff, represented by First Liberty Institute, is based in Texas. The lawsuit seeks to enjoin enforcement of the rule in Texas, where the nurse says, notes Mr. Freiburger, she “fears that if she complied [with the rule] she could be prosecuted under Texas’s heartbeat-based abortion ban.”

The VA’s press secretary, reports Mr. Freiburger, denied that the rule does not “‘provide accommodation for VA employees who wish to opt out of providing abortion counseling or services.’” 

But First Liberty attorney Danielle Runyan, who is also, notes LifeSiteNews, an Air Force reservist, said the Biden Regime “‘didn’t care to take notice or comment before the rule was implemented to understand that there are many employees out there who have these concerns. The rule doesn’t account for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act,’” said the attorney. “‘It doesn’t take into account religious conscience; it says nothing about that. So, it’s just another instance where First Amendment and RFRA rights are being ignored, and that just can’t be.’” It also abridges the spirit of the Dobbs ruling by the Supreme Court, which purposefully acknowledged that states can bar abortion within their borders.


Journalistic Contortion

IN ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF LINGUISTIC GYMNASTICS, the Associated Press has amended its industry-standard AP Stylebook, which guides many journalists, reports Jean Mondoro for LifeSiteNews, “to urge used of the term ‘abortion later in pregnancy’ in place of ‘late-term abortion.’” Try putting that into a headline!

“‘Do not use the term “late-term abortion,”’ reads a Twitter post quoting the recently updated guidance,” reports Ms. Mondoro. “‘The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists defines late term as 41 weeks through 41 weeks and 6 days of gestation, and abortion does not happen in this period.’ … Instead, use the term ‘abortion later in pregnancy’ if a general term is needed, but be aware that there are varying definitions of the time period involved.’” How helpful is that?!


Tightening the Screws

NEW JERSEY’S INSURANCE REGULATOR is reportedly planning to mandate abortion coverage by health insurance plans, reports Matt Lamb for LifeSiteNews, “as part of Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s push to make abortion accessible and cheap all across the state.” New Jersey law, notes Mr. Lamb, “allows abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.”

The insurance bureaucrat is citing input, reports LifeSiteNews, “of pro-abortion medical groups, such as the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, the World Health Org. and the American Medical Assn. to justify the proposed rule,” calling “the full range of reproductive healthcare services … ‘central to healthy outcomes. … However, access to such services are often not available due to systemic, patient and provider barriers.’”

Planned Parenthood has lauded the rule, and Students for Life Action criticized it.


In the Courts

  • INDIANA SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE HEATHER WELCH has enjoined Indiana’s new pro-life law, which, notes Ben Johnson for The Washington Stand, “protects nearly all children from being aborted, with exceptions for rape and incest through the first 10 weeks of pregnancy as well as severe maternal health impairment and lethal fetal anomaly.” The injunction was issued “on the grounds that it would violate the religious beliefs of non-Christians, including pagans. … ‘Many pagans believe,’” said the Judge, quoted by Mr. Johnson, “‘that in recognition of women’s autonomy demanded by their sincere beliefs, women must be allowed to obtain abortions.’” The report goes on to quote a spokesman for Attorney General Todd Rokita (R), who told The Washington Stand: “‘Science, not religion, tells us that abortion kills a human being. … When a legislature outlaws abortion, it extends the same ethical judgment embodied in laws prohibiting homicide. Making ethical judgments about the treatment of human beings is a compelling function of government. Indeed, the very nature of law is to make ethical judgments about human actions and their consequences. Just because a legal rule effects an ethical judgment does not make it “religious.”’” Well said!

  • S. DISTRICT JUDGE BRANTLEY STARR has ordered Southwest Airlines to reinstate flight attendant Charlene Carter, reports Dave Andrusko for National Right to Life News, “with full seniority and benefits after she was fired in 2017 for expressing her pro-life views on Facebook and speaking out against the Transportation Workers Union of America.” The order came five months after a jury found in her favor. The judge directed the airline and the local chapter of the Transportation Workers Union, notes Mr. Andrusko, “to share the jury’s verdict and [Judge] Starr’s decision with all members of the union via e-mail and to post the documents in conspicuous places for a 60-day period.” The judge’s order “also forbids both the company and the union ‘from discriminating against Southwest flight attendants for their religious practices and beliefs, including – but not limited to – those expressed on social media and those concerning abortion.’” The plaintiff has been pursuing justice for five years and now lives in Colorado, having moved from Texas. She had been a Southwest flight attendant for two decades, notes Mr. Andrusko.

  • CALIFORNIA-BASED U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE VINCE CHHABRIA on Dec. 7 dismissed a lawsuit brought by a doctor, reports Alex Schadenberg for the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, seeking “to extend California assisted suicide law … to include euthanasia. … Euthanasia is an act of injecting a lethal drug cocktail to cause death. Assisted suicide is an act of prescribing the same lethal drug cocktail but the person self-administers.” The plaintiff’s initial case was “rejected on June 22, 2022,” notes Mr. Schadenberg. “The current decision was a response to Shavelson’s attempt to amend the case.” In dismissing the case this month, the judge “stated,” writes Mr. Schadenberg, “that any further amendment to the case would be futile. … Thankfully,” declares Mr. Schadenberg, “[Judge] Chhabria was not willing to legislate from the bench.”


Follow the Science!

Dec. 15, 2022, The Point commentary by Maria Baer & John Stonestreet

             According to French scientists, female Cape fur seals can recognize the unique cry of their pups as soon as two hours after birth, a new record for mammals. Scientists recorded the seal pups at a seal colony in Namibia and then played back the audio to their moms, who immediately hopped over to the recorder to check on their baby. The researchers also found that seal pups recognize their mother’s cries shortly after birth, which suggests they learn their mother’s voice in the womb.

             To compare, human mothers reportedly recognize their baby’s cries around 24 hours after birth, and, if you ask me, I’ll swear until my grave that my oldest recognized my voice the first time I went to see her in the NICU.

             To those who insist babies in the womb aren’t fully human or can be traded around like products, as in the case of surrogacy, science is stubborn. The more we learn, the clearer it becomes: Preborn children have rights.


Reversing Course

Nov. 30, 2022, BreakPoint commentary by John Stonestreet & Shane Morris

             For 35 years, Communist China imposed a harsh one-child policy on citizens, fearing overpopulation. In 2015, Beijing changed the policy to allow for two children. A few years later, with an aging population and low birth rates, it was changed to three, and finally, in 2021, the limit was removed altogether.

             Now Chinese President Xi Jinping, desperate to reverse his nation’s population woes, has announced plans for a national pro-birth policy, and local officials are already encouraging bigger families. According to Reuters, government officials in Nanjing phone newlyweds asking them when their first baby is due. According to one source, the government “wants newlyweds to be pregnant within a year, and their target is to make a phone call every quarter.” It’s not hard to imagine a future in which Chinese women are required to produce a specific number of children.

             This is the fruit of bad ideas. Seeing people as a problem to be solved is wrong because, as the psalmist sang millennia ago, babies are God’s blessings. And, as history shows, they’re also good economics.


Handling ‘Hard Cases’

Sept. 14, 2022, LifeSiteNews report by Mary Zwicker

             Live Action’s Lila Rose defended on national television this week the right to life of unborn babies, including babies expected to die upon birth. On Sept. 12, the founder and president of the not-for-profit pro-life group appeared on the Dr. Phil show to weigh in on the abortion debate.

             Dr. Phil’s Monday show also hosted Christian Numes, the president to the National Organization for Women [NOW], civil rights attorney Ben Croft; State Senator Katrina Jackson, writer of the Louisiana Abortion law; and a post-abortive couple, Nancy and Shedric. Lila Rose was the only* pro-life representative.

             Dr. Phil began the debate by introducing Nancy and Shedric’s story. The couple decided to have an abortion when their doctors diagnosed their unborn child with acrania, the partial or complete absence of skull bones, a condition that would likely cause the child to die upon birth. While the other debate participants said that Nancy had taken the right course, Rose disagreed.

             Rose expressed her sympathy for Nancy, saying that “the worst thing any mom wants to hear is that her baby is going to die, her baby has a life-threatening illness.” She mentioned her own miscarriage, describing it as “some of the darkest days of my life.” Reminding the audience of the sanctity of human life, Rose said that she grieved for her miscarriage because she knew that she had lost a baby.

             Rose also said that Nancy deserved better health care and that her child likewise deserved to die in the loving arms of his or her parents, not by the tools of an abortionist.

             The Live Action founder reminded the audience of the right to life of every person. “Our fundamental human right that we all share in this room is life,” she said. “Laws are meant to protect the weak. In a society, who is the weakest? A child.”

             Dr. Phil also asked Lila Rose if she defined human life as beginning at fertilization; she replied that fertilization is the scientific definition of when life begins. “Well, that’s science,” she said. “It’s not my opinion. The science is clear when human life begins: at the moment of fertilization.”

             Dr. Phil debated this point, refusing to say when he believed life to begin and saying that there is no consensus among the scientific community on when life begins. Rose responded that he was being “simply inaccurate.”

             “96% of scientists say that life begins at fertilization,” she said. “If you’re an in vitro specialist, you’re looking to create a single-cell embryo, and then you know you have a new human life. So, it is a scientific fact.”

             The debate got heated when Dr. Phil previewed the story of a 10-year-old girl in Ohio, who became pregnant after being raped. Because of Ohio’s strict abortion laws, the child traveled out of state for her abortion. Nancy, too, had traveled to abort her disabled child.

             A woman in the crowd lambasted Lila Rose for her “lack of empathy,” calling her “disgusting” for her views that the child conceived in rape is not to blame and still deserving of the right to life. “Do you know what it’s really like to be raped and then to have to have the child? What kind of trauma is that that you’re inducing on somebody?” the woman asked.

             Lila responded that the trauma in this situation is from the rape and that the punishment for generational sin should not be taken out on the child, who is an innocent party. “That’s not fair to the child,” she said.

             “Listen, whether you live 10 minutes or 10 years or a hundred years, you’re a human life and you deserve the right to not be killed,” she continued. “And that’s what the pro-life fight is all about. That’s what we’re fighting for: a culture of life.”

*Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: Sen. Jackson is pro-life. It could be that Mr. Johnson’s intent was to identify Ms. Rose as the only participant whose full-time career is pro-life advocacy.


Feeble Warning

Oct. 31, 2022, The Washington Stand commentary by Joy Stockbauer, policy analyst at Family Research Council’s Center for Human Dignity

             Americans would be hard-pressed to name a President in US history who has taken a more radically anti-Life stance on abortion than Pres. Joe Biden – but even #46 can’t seem to appease the increasingly dangerous ideas of the abortion industry and the bloodthirsty lobby that supports it.

             [At the close of October], the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) publicly spoke out against abortion providers that had prescribed the chemical abortion regimen to those who are not currently pregnant, in the event that they desire the drugs to abort a future pregnancy.

             An FDA spokesperson told Politico, “The FDA is concerned about the advance prescribing of mifepristone for this use. Mifepristone is not approved for advance provision of medical abortion.” Mifepristone is the first drug of the chemical abortion, which blocks a mother’s flow of progesterone, thus starving the unborn child of nourishment until he or she dies. The second drug, misoprostol, then forces intense uterine contractions to expel the aborted baby from the womb.

             The FDA webpage for mifepristone now includes a warning label that reads, “You should not buy mifeprex or its approved generic over the Internet because you will bypass important safeguards designed to protect your health. … Also, drugs purchased from foreign Internet sources are not the FDA-approved versions of the drugs, and they are not subject to FDA-regulated manufacturing controls or FDA inspection of manufacturing facilities.”

             … The Washington Post recently highlighted the abortion pills being trafficked into the US from locations like Mexico and India; online abortion dealer start-ups like Choix and Aid Access are directly advertising advance provision of abortion drugs for women who are not yet pregnant.

             Though chemical abortions carry a significantly higher risk factor for mothers than other forms of abortion, the FDA under Pres. Biden has already removed precautions intended to minimize harm to women through chemical abortion. In 2021, the Biden Administration permanently removed the requirement for chemical abortion drugs to be dispensed in person, thus allowing women to legally order abortion pills by mail after being evaluated in a telehealth appointment.

             Removing the in-person oversight of a physician in the abortion process directly undermines the health and safety of women in many ways. A woman who undergoes an abortion without receiving an ultrasound, for example, runs the risk of failing to diagnose and treat an ectopic pregnancy, which could pose life-threatening danger to a mother. Taking chemical abortion drugs would not treat an ectopic pregnancy. A mother could also be farther along in pregnancy than she realizes, which could lead to even greater complications than usual if she consumes abortion drugs after 10 weeks’ gestation.

             The sale of abortion drugs without an in-person visit likewise allows a range of unsavory actors to access abortion drugs, including pimps, sex traffickers and abusers. Choix, for example, only requires that their clients supply a selfie and a picture of a photo ID – materials that could easily be accessed by someone who is controlling or abusing a woman or a girl.

             Ironically, these dangers have been present since the Biden Administration opened the door for women to obtain chemical abortion drugs without visiting a doctor. Advance provision does not change the fact that prescribing abortion pills without an in-person evaluation is immensely dangerous to women. The FDA’s back-pedaling regarding only the advance-provision sale of abortion pills is far too little, far too late. Pandering for the favor of the abortion industry has put the Biden Administration in way over its head in policy matters like women’s health, sex trafficking and domestic abuse. It should be no surprise that businesses that profit from ripping unborn children from the womb do not have women’s best interest in mind. Biden’s FDA will not be free to perform its actual purpose of protecting public health until the President can acknowledge the depravity of the abortion industry and reject its unethical sway over policy.