Life Advocacy Briefing

February 6, 2023

Call Again, Please! / ‘Heartbeat’ Bill Comes to Congress
‘We Demand You Rescind’ the Postal Abortion Memo
Illinois Governor Competing for Biggest Abortion Fan Label?
Sober Advice to the R.N.C. / March for Life Rally Speech
Rescind the Justice Dept. RU-486 Memo Now!

Call Again, Please!

THE NOMINATIONS OF TWO ABORTION RADICALS to federal appellate court seats – outlined in last week’s Life Advocacy Briefing – are expected to be voted on any day in the Senate but had not cleared committee at the time of this writing.  

We ask our readers to call their home-state senators and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to urge votes against Nancy Abudu and Julie Rikelman. Both were nominated last year as well, but their nominations stalled in 2022. Renewed rejections are in order! [Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121] 


‘Heartbeat’ Bill Comes to Congress

REP. MIKE KELLY (R-PA) HAS INTRODUCED THE HEARTBEAT BILL in Congress with 62 co-sponsors, all Republicans. It has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

Though it reportedly has an unfortunate provision permitting the sacrifice of babies conceived in a sex crime, HR-175 would protect the vast majority of babies who would otherwise be targeted for abortion. It provides that abortion cannot legally be permitted after a developing baby’s heartbeat is detected, at roughly six weeks gestation.

The bill serves as a deterrent not only by subjecting abortionists to criminal penalties but also by the educational value of discussions and debates during its consideration. The concept that a heartbeat can be detected almost at the same time the mother acknowledges her pregnancy is in itself a strong note of persuasion that a human life is at stake.

“‘Instead of abortion stopping a beating heart, with the Heartbeat Bill, a beating heart will stop abortion,’ Janet Porter, president and founder of Faith2Action, told The Washington Stand. After Texas enacted a heartbeat ban,” TWS writer Ben Johnson notes, “abortions [in the state] fell by 97%.”  Mrs. Porter is widely credited with having first developed the Heartbeat Bill and has been an effective advocate for it in many state legislatures.

And the legislation is proving popular. “A 2017 Barna poll found 69% of Americans – including 55% of Democrats – support protecting unborn children who have a beating heart,” writes Mr. Johnson. “A 2019 Hill-HarrisX poll and another 2022 poll also found a majority of all Americans support heartbeat bills.”

Americans do not support the brutal killing of unborn children. Electoral victories by the abortion cartel and its fellow-traveling politicians occur most often when the public is kept ignorant by the failure of pro-life candidates to articulate their positions beyond labels.

Joining Rep. Kelly in sponsoring the measure are GOP Representatives Aderholt, Carl, Moore/AL; Biggs & Lesko/AZ; Crawford/AR; Boebert & Lamborn/CO; Cammack, Dunn, Mast, Posey & Webster/FL; Allen, Clyde & A.Scott/GA; Simpson/ID; LaHood/IL; Baird & Banks/IN; Feenstra/IA; Estes/KS; Guthrie/KY; Graves/LA; Harris/MD; Bergman, Moolenaar & Walberg/MI; Fischbach/MN; Kelly/MS; Luetkemeyer/MO; Smith/NJ; Langworthy/NY; Hudson/NC; Johnson, Latta & Wenstrup/OH; Joyce, Reschenthaler, Smucker & Thompson/PA; Duncan/SC; Johnson/SD; Burchett, Fleischmann, Harshbarger, Kustoff & Rose/TN; Arrington, Babin, Fallon, Jackson, Weber & Williams/TX; Cline, Good & Griffith/VA; Miller & Mooney/WV; and Fitzgerald, Grothman & Tiffany/WI.


‘We Demand You Rescind’ the Postal Abortion Memo

A JOINT LETTER from 22 US Senators and 19 House Members was sent Jan. 25 to Attorney General Merrick Garland calling his attention to a long-standing law barring use of the mails to deliver abortion-related paraphernalia. The lawmakers strenuously objected to a Jan. 3 memo from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, on which we reported last week, which skirts that law to effectively authorize shipping of RU-486 and other abortifacients as a part of the Biden Regime’s all-out collusion with the abortion cartel.

We reprint sections of that letter at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing and commend it to your attention, as we thank its authors for taking this action.

Co-authors of the letter are Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). They are joined by GOP Senators Tommy Tuberville (AL), Marco Rubio & Rick Scott (FL), Mike Crapo & James Risch (ID), Mike Braun (IN), Roger Marshall (KS), John Kennedy (LA), Cindy Hyde-Smith & Roger Wicker (MS), Josh Hawley (MO), Steve Daines (MT), Ted Budd (NC), Kevin Cramer & John Hoeven (ND), J.D. Vance (OH), Markwayne Mullin (OK), John Thune (SD), Marsha Blackburn (TN), Ted Cruz (TX) and Mike Lee (UT).

Signers from the House joining Rep. Jordan are GOP Representatives Robert Aderholt/AL; Paul Gosar/AZ; Daniel Webster/FL; Andrew Clyde, Marjorie Greene & Barry Loudermilk/GA; Mary Miller/IL; Jim Banks/IN; Randy Feenstra/IA; Mike Johnson/LA; Michael Guest/MS; Chris Smith/NJ; Robert Latta & Brad Wenstrup/OH; John Joyce/PA; Randy Weber/TX; Ben Cline/VA; and Alex Mooney/WV.


Illinois Governor Competing for Biggest Abortion Fan Label?

FOLLOWING A PATTERN APPARENT DURING THE CHINESE VIRUS PANDEMIC, Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker cannot seem to tolerate Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) getting ahead of him in outrageous, life-threatening public policy. Now he appears to be seeking to catch up to his neighbor in proposing to corrupt his state constitution with an express “right” to abortion, which Michigan voters tragically endorsed in a binding referendum last November.

Gov. Pritzker proclaimed his commitment to such a constitutional amendment in his inaugural address last month, declaring, reports LifeSiteNews writer Jean Mondoro, “‘The right to privacy and bodily autonomy demand that we establish a constitutional protection for reproductive rights in Illinois. … The extremists still want to take away a woman’s right to choose, and I don’t intend to let them. That’s why, yet again, on women’s rights, Illinois will lead’” – a peculiar claim, since Illinois for decades was a leading state for the pro-life cause and was the critical barrier to ratification of the so-called Equal Rights Amendment whose backers claimed would guarantee “women’s rights.”

Said Illinois Right to Life’s Mary Kate Zander in a news release quoted by Ms. Mondoro: “‘The Illinois constitution explicitly states that “no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law.” … Abortion is inherently unconstitutional, as it does exactly this.’”

Despite Ms. Zander’s perfectly reasonable interpretation of the state constitution, Illinois in recent years has stripped its laws of protections for unborn children and even repealed its parental notification statute last year – all without Gov. Pritzker’s cherished constitutional amendment proposal.


Sober Advice to the R.N.C.

Excerpted from Jan. 27, 2023, report by Dan Hart in The Washington Stand

             … During his address to the Republican National Committee [Jan. 26], [Family Research Council President Tony] Perkins made it clear that the Republican Party cannot afford to muddle its messaging on social issues and must stand firm on the socially conservative principles that undergird the current party platform.

             “If the Republican Party wants to continue building a winning, governing coalition, it must not – it cannot – go silent or walk away from the values and ideals of faith, family and freedom it has championed for decades,” he said.

             Perkins noted how Republican strategists advised candidates to steer clear of discussing abortion ahead of the 2022 midterms fearing that the issue favored Democrats who were newly energized after the overturning of Roe v. Wade. “You don’t win playing defense,” he countered, pointing to polling showing that “a majority of Americans are closer to our position that that of the Democrats – 60% agree there should be a line at 15 weeks when a baby feels pain.”

             Perkins highlighted 11 outspokenly pro-life GOP governors who won re-election in the 2022 midterms after signing pro-life legislation  during their previous terms, all of whom “were confident in their position and leaned into the media hype and not away from it.” …

             “What the party stands for matters,” he underscored. “Now is not the time to shrink back, go silent or go home. … This is a party of hope, of opportunity, of the future,” Perkins concluded. “A party that is not afraid of the truth but instead built on truth – the truth that ‘All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’”


March for Life Rally Speech

Speech by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chairman, House Pro-Life Caucus, speaking after Majority Leader Scalise at the Jan. 20, 2023, March for Life rally on the National Mall; transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing

             We have a great majority leader in Steve Scalise, and the only reason those bills were voted on last week was Steve. Our leadership – Kevin McCarthy – they are all solidly pro-life, and believe me, they will fight the fight, they are fighting the fight as never before. I want to thank Jeannie – first of all, this is my dear wife Marie. We met in the pro-life movement in 1974. All of us want to thank Jeannie for leading the largest human rights rally in the world, the March for Life. Thank you, Jeannie.

             What a glorious day. It’s so inspiring to see all of you gathered here in support of the most critical human rights issue of our time – the protection of unborn children from the violence of abortion and assistance for his or her mother.

             I attended the first March for Life in 1974 as the leader of my pro-life college group, and my wife came a year later after we met, in 1975. This rally stirs all of us to prayer, hard work, and inspires us to do more and more and more in defense of life. Countless times we chanted the slogan, Hey, hey, ho, ho, Roe versus Wade has got to go. And today, we celebrate: Roe is gone!

Obviously, there are so many people that need to be thanked. You heard from Lynn Fitch,* who did a tremendous job in bringing the Dobbs case, but also thank you to Justice Alito for writing a brilliant decision, brilliant opinion. And what he did was to convey to lawmakers at the federal, state and local level to regulate or prohibit abortion. We have an engraved invitation to protect Life.

             Behind me are some of the most dedicated pro-life leaders in the House. Many are back in their districts that are not here today, speaking at their rallies on this great day. So, I want to thank my colleagues. It’s all about teamwork.

             Last week, as you know, the House did pass the Born-Alive bill, Ann Wagner’s bill, and of course a resolution to demand that the terrorists against pregnancy care centers, pro-life offices and churches be investigated, and so far, we have had nothing but crickets from the Dept. of Justice and from the Biden Administration.

             And in the coming weeks, the House will vote on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, and we have great news. The latest Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll – and Marist is a very, very reputable pollster – found again that 60 % of Americans oppose using tax dollars for abortion, and even more so when it comes to abortions done overseas.

             The American people really are with us, so please don’t believe the false statements being made by some in the media and certainly by our opponents. Clearly, a new national debate on abortion has begun, as lawmakers –at the state level especially – act very quickly to protect children in the womb when a heartbeat can be detected at around 6 weeks, and then at 15 weeks when the child suffers pain. Mike Kelly is behind us; he’s the prime author of the bill called the Heartbeat Bill in Congress. I want to thank him for that leadership.

             Regrettably, ladies and gentlemen – I’ll conclude with this – the pro-abortion culture of denial, a modern-day flat-earth society, continues to deny, devalue and disrespect unborn baby girls and boys, and they trivialize the harm that is suffered by women. The United States and the world must recognize the breathtaking miracle of the newly created life of an unborn child and that women deserve better than abortion. We need to care for them both.

             Future generations will some day look back on us and wonder how and why a society that brags about its commitment to human rights could have legally sanctioned and aggressively promoted child beheadings, dismemberment, chemical poisoning and forced expulsion from the womb. The injustice of abortion need not be forever, and because of you, it won’t be. God bless you, and thank you.

*Lynn Fitch is Attorney General of Mississippi, who also addressed the rally.


Rescind the Justice Dept. RU-486 Memo Now!

Excerpts from Jan. 25, 2023, Senate/House letter to Attorney General re intentional violation of law blocking mailing of abortifacients

             On Jan. 3, 2023, the Dept. Of Justice (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) released a memorandum regarding the application of longstanding federal criminal law prohibiting the mailing of chemical abortion drugs in interstate or foreign commerce by the US Postal Service (USPS) as well as common carriers and express companies. These criminal prohibitions regarding the distribution of abortion drugs are enforceable. Nevertheless, OLC’s memo claims that these federal mail-order abortion laws do not prohibit the mailing of the abortion drugs mifepristone or misoprostol “where the sender lacks the intent that the recipient of the drugs will use them unlawfully.” The memo further claims that a lawful use for abortion drugs can be presumed even when these drugs are mailed into states that prohibit most abortions. However, neither Congress nor the courts have articulated such an interpretation of the law that radically departs from the plain text and clear meaning of the law.

             … The OLC memo should be immediately rescinded or, at minimum redrafted to articulate an accurate application of the law.

             Sec. 1461 of Title 18 of the US Code, amended as recently as 1994, imposes criminal penalties on mailing abortion drugs or abortion-related paraphernalia through USPS: “Every article or thing designed, adapted or intended for producing abortion, or for any indecent or immoral use; and Every article, instrument, substance, drug, medicine or thing which is advertised or described in a manner calculated to lead another to use or apply it for producing abortion … is declared to be nonmailable matter and shall not be conveyed in the mails or delivered from any post office or by any letter carrier. … Whoever knowingly uses the mails for the mailing, carriage in the mails or delivery of anything declared by this section … to be nonmailable, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail according to the direction thereon, or at the place at which it is directed to be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed, or knowingly takes any such thing from the mails for the purpose of circulating or disposing thereof, or of aiding in the circulation of disposition thereof shall be fined [up to $250,000] under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both, for the first such offense, and shall be fined [up to $250,000] under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both, for each such offense thereafter.”

             Similarly, section 1462 of title 18 of the US Code, amended as recently as 1996, likewise imposes criminal penalties on the importation of abortion drugs or abortion-related paraphernalia or their carriage in interstate or foreign commerce, either by using a common carrier like FedEx and UPS or an online website: “Whoever brings into the United States, or any place subject to the jurisdiction thereof, or knowingly uses any express company or other common carrier or interactive computer service (as defined in section 230(e)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934), for carriage in interstate or foreign commerce – … (c) any drug, medicine, article or thing designed, adapted or intended for producing abortion, … ; … or Whoever knowingly takes or receives, from such express company or other common carrier or interactive computer service (as defined in section 230(e)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934) any matter or thing the carriage or importation of which is herein made unlawful – Shall be fined [up to $250,000] under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both, for the first such offense and shall be fined [up to $250,000] under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both, for each such offense thereafter.”

             While OLC relies on carefully selected excerpts of a few circuit court opinions from the early 20th century to attempt to justify its memo, its conclusions are baseless. Several of the cases focused on the now-repealed portions of the law that dealt with the mailing of contraceptives.* …

             We demand that you act swiftly and in accordance with the law, shut down all mail-order abortion operations and hold abortionists, pharmacists, international traffickers and online purveyors, who break the federal mail-order abortion laws, accountable. We also demand that, in light of these laws, you cease efforts to prevent states from regulating or prohibiting abortion drugs. Instead, we expect that you put the law and your obligation to enforce it above the abortion industry’s dangerous and deadly political agenda.

*Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: Sections dealing with abortifacients have not been repealed.